Tag Archives: vegan

Dried Fruit Candy from 7-Eleven

One day I’m going to do an entire 7-Eleven appreciation post. I love that damn store. But I’m a realist and I don’t love everything they do.

Like this sweetened, dried fruit medley:

Let’s get this part out of the way right now: Yes, it is tasty!

But there are also 17 grams of sugar. Sugar is not good for us. But it’s addicting, and tasty, and stimulates that part in the brain that says “ahhh yess. Just one more.”

Sugar is in most of the foods available in the store. When I’m seen in the store, the number one thing I check the nutrition label for is … the sugar content.

Most of the time, after checking it, the product is back on the shelf before I think to check if there is milk or gelatin in it. That’s because the astronomical amount of sugar added literally stops me in my tracks.

One more thing about sugar grams, (& I’ll get back on topic track ASAP) but notice on the nutrition labels they don’t tell us how much of the daily value we’re consuming. That’s because we’d all be dismayed to discover we ate 2 fancy donuts and it put us over the daily limit.

The Nutrition Label.

So there are a couple things we need to discuss.

We can look and say “17 grams, that’s not bad.” But before it’s officially “not bad,” take a look at the top where the serving size is indicated.

There are 4.5 servings in one bag.

If someone were to enjoy one serving a day, this should last the entire work week.

But, sadly, and yes it is sad, this decent sized bag probably wouldn’t last more than 3 days.

The honest truth is that consuming an entire bag of these would supply your body with over 70 grams of sugar.

That’s just crazy. Especially because this is a snack food and you are pretty much guaranteed to be eating more food with added sugar later on.

Many people may be fooled into thinking these are healthy when it’s just as bad as a Snickers bar.

Now, what about the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit? How much of the 17 sugar grams comes from fruit? I would really like to know.

However, as the amazing resource that 7-Eleven is, they do have much healthier dried fruit options that do not have added sugar ๐Ÿ’› I’ve seen mango and pineapple so far! However, before we switch food products, I have one more bone to pick with these:

Look at that green fruit in the package preview window. Now, scroll back up and look at the ingredients. If that’s too much, I’ll jump right to the point:

There are no green fruits in the ingredients:

Pineapple & star fruit are yellow ๐Ÿ

Papaya & mango are orange (and sooooo delicious๐Ÿ˜‹)

Cantaloupe is also orange, but there’s a loophole here as there is a green variety of cantaloupe. But it’s usually called by its name, Honeydew melon. And also, it’s fruity parts are light green.

The added yellow #5 and blue #1 make the color green. Oh no, artificial ingredients.

Look, enjoy this as a snack if you must. Consider it real fruit candy But keep in mind a real serving is like 5/6 pieces.

The 100% natural, no sugar added dried fruit is different.

We can tell that this one doesn’t have much added to it. On the package they say the whole pineapple was dried, then they sliced and packaged it.

It tastes good but it’s not pretty. That is, if you want a vibrant yellow pineapple ring, it does not look like that.

Of course, it is still beautiful in its own way.

The sugar content of these claims to be 14g per package. At least we know with this, the sugar comes from the fruit.

Give it a try and let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

Plant-Based Coke

Can we talk about something unwholesome metaphorically?

Yes drugs are bad, don’t worry. But just because something comes from a plant doesn’t make it healthy.

The reasons why that’s true are a long list. Some of those reasons are subtle but sometimes it’s for a big, obvious reasons.

By name alone, we know that coke is not something that should be done. It has a big reputation of being bad for your health. Do not do drugs.

Speaking of drugs, it seems like the worst ones are mostly chemical looking and really processed. The more processed something is, the worse it usually is for your health. Especially when you can’t read the ingredients.

It’s a risky situation. You have a right to know what you’re getting. No thank you for mystery ingredients.

Stepped on coke is when people add a lot of inorganic material to the drug to make it stretch further. In the agriculture world, they step on the food growing with pesticides for the same reason: so that the food will last longer.

That wouldn’t be a bad thing if organic sources were used but no – lots of commercial farms use nasty chemicals that have been known to cause cancer.

Pesticides are bad. They make the food not as healthy and nourishing as it can be.

Back on topic, plant-based coke is an illicit illegal drug for lots of reasons. Technically, it comes from a plant called the coca tree. Sometimes the workers chew on the leaves as they harvest it.

But we will never see an agriculture worker tasting the process of spraying pesticides. It’s the opposite for them; they have to wear protective suits and masks.

So it looks like, with produce, the bad pesticide stuff happens before it’s picked. And then with cocaine, the bad energy begins when the plant base is picked.

Chemicals, no matter how small the amount may seem, will accumulate in the body for years and years.

Plant-based food items that have bad ingredients are sort of the same. Eating lots of sugary foods may give you a bad feeling. Bad habits and addictions have a way of showing up in ways that you don’t want to deal with in life.

Truth be told, this is a whole rabbit hole that is a little boring to discuss. BUT more than that, it is important to remind others that just because something is available does not mean that you should have it.

Consider this: junk food is a drug. That’s why we eat so many at one time. The taste of sugar, fat, and chemicals all make a very pleasant combination that you want to eat more and more of.

One reason why cocaine is so detrimental is the tendency users have to become addicted.

Studies show that white sugar is just as addicting as cocaine, but why is nobody talking about it?

There is a lot to go on and on about here.

Obviously coke is not the only plant-based drug. At one time, all drugs were plant-based. And then as science progressed, the smart people at the time figured out the chemical compounds inside the plants that make them effective. After that, instead of using plants still, they learned how to create the chemical without the extra plant matter.

Prescription drugs are stronger than herbal supplements for that reason. They’re also harmful, for different reasons – health and non-health.

Chemicals in our lives are nearly impossible to avoid all together. But when you know what’s bad for your health then you can try to avoid it.

This article on if plants can be used as drugs proposes that the lighter your body is, the more a person will be able to feel the effects from quality sourced herbs. Check it out.

Thanks for reading.

Cold Brewed Conversations

Coffee qualifies as a plant-based beverage. Essentially made with beans and water; it sounds like it should be pretty healthy.

New ways to prepare old favorite food and drinks are everywhere. It’s the best when the new way is healthier, too!

Some may say that cold brew coffee isn’t new but lately it’s being talked about a lot more than ever before.

Is coffee healthy? Who knows, honestly. Some say it’s a drug, it’s a diuretic, it’s addicting, and even that it’s healthy.

The opinion here is that Coffee is okay. It gets more unhealthier the more “add-ins” there are (like granulated sugar and creamers…)

Good advice: drink more water than coffee.

The thing about coffee that makes gives me the most pause is the acidity of hot coffee. It’s just unfortunate, really. But thats where cold brew comes in.

Cold brew means that hot, boiling water is not used in the process of making it.

Using cold water cuts the acidity by around 60-70%. That’s great!

What’s not so great is the process of cold brewing requires the coffee drinker to plan ahead. Like, ahead-ahead. Unlike hot coffee, which can be prepared on about 3 minutes, cold brew goodness requires a few hours until it’s ready. Some say overnight.

However, that’s not a bad thing. The advantage is that a person can make large batches at a time and it’ll be ready to go at a moments notice.

The coffee will be cold to drink, though. Which is fine for someone like me. Iced coffee is the bees knees.

So the musings come in now, with questions of whether or not the acidity levels will rise if the coffee is then warmed up..

And then sweetening cold brewed coffee can really only be accomplished with a liquid sweetener. These are generally bad, unless you make it yourself with good ingredients.

A premade creamer will blend in well with cold coffee, if need be.

I think it would be worth it to try to make your own creamer/sweetener. After all if your making your own cold brew then you can probably do that too!

Can we discuss for a moment, Premade cold brew coffee drinks?

Generally speaking they seem to be reasonably priced (when purchased at the grocery store). And easy to drink. Too easy sometimes, especially if it’s tasty.

I find that for hot coffee, one cup is usually enough caffeine. But for cold brew iced coffee drinks, I’ll be tempted to drink more just because it’s so refreshing. Yes that’s a problem! That’s an easy way to catch the jitters.

Also, always take note of the sugar content in the prepackaged stuff. I like Califia brand, they seem to be reasonable when it comes to the add-ins.

Unfortunately they give no indication of the caffeine content. Also, “XX Espresso”? Where? Lol. Seems normal to me.

Next up is Gevalia. Seems okay.

Quick review:

This product doesn’t seem very caffeine dense. I’ve been following the directions, using 1/2 a cup (with almond milk) and it’s okay.

I mean, I loved iced coffee so, hell yeah, this rocks!

But as a caffeine source, it is hard to come up with a conclusion. Partially because I’ve been significantly sleep deprived (busy life!! Like website content being punched out at 12:34 midnight. ) And, remember friends, caffeine is not a replacement for sleep. Let’s be sure we’re getting enough of that Light Source. Seriously. That’s an order!

I’m impressed with the caramel flavor. Check the ingredients:

I am also happy that there is no sugar in this.

These have 3 flavors that I saw and this is the only one I saw with salt. So I guess that’s an important flavoring component.

Okay you guys, ironically I’m sleepy so we’ll conclude this convo with something very important:

7-Eleven is selling their luxurious cold brew for only one dollar. Take advantage!

Is Multnomah Falls Milk Any Good?

Let me start by saying that Multnomah Falls has several varieties of plant-based milks available and I only tried one. This one โฌ‡

A mixture of soymilk and almond milk. Shelf-stable so that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it’s opened.

This has a .. perfume flavor to it. Almost like the fragrance found in cherry almond body spray – just without the cherry.

Optimistically, I’ll say that it is creamy. But I can’t fake the funk. It does not appeal to my tastebuds.

Perhaps it is the cooking process (that’s required to make it shelf-stable) that gives it a weird flavor. I’m not sure.

Or maybe it could be the soymilk. I don’t drink soymilk unless it’s the only non-dairy option available at Starbucks. At the grocery store, I perfer almond milk.. Or a coconut almond blend.

I dont mean to dump on this brand. They seem to have good intentions:

But for me this is a big NO THANK YOU.

Adventures in Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a diverse vegetable! The best โค๏ธ Here are some things I recently did with a head of cauliflower:

First I had some fun with it ๐ŸŒ

Then I separated the florets because I wanted this photo to look this way but also because the cauliflower is getting the roasted treatment.

After this photo I processed it a little further and added to a casserole dish with ingredients:

If you like raw food, the cauliflower food above is ready to eat!

But I had other plans so I roasted in the oven until it cooked like this:

Soooo gooooood you can eat it just like this!

Or you can make into a pasta sauce like I did :

Sorry no pics of the process but for the sauce I blended the roasted cauliflower with almond milk, coconut oil, the spices used in the baked cauliflower, and non-dairy butter. Heat the milk and melt the butter with the other ingredients before combining.

The kale was sauteed well and the mushrooms were a very special treat that only I enjoyed because no one else really eats them. But if you like mushrooms, it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

This was a fun one! Wonder what’s next on the food adventure..

Why Chocolatey Oatmeal

I had some chocolate oatmeal. Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut oatmeal, to be exact.

To answer the title, it’s for people who enjoy it. It also exists for people who feel guilty eating desserts so they combine it with oatmeal to make it ~healthy.

The list of things I enjoy in this oatmeal happen to be listed in order of what I like the most to the least.

Chocolateโžก๏ธalmondโžก๏ธcoconut

Chocolate makes me want to take chances on new foods. After all, it’s chocolate; how bad can it get?

On the box, it looks like Chocolatey heaven and so enjoyable.

The excitement that I felt wavered when I opened one of the single packs.

Why is it so tan and oatmeal colored? Where’s the deep brown chocolate evidence I was expecting?

It made up for that SLIGHTLY because of the addition of miniature chocolate chips. But honestly, it was not enough! They should have doubled the chocolate chips.

I made mine with water first. I tasted it. It was like LITE chocolate. I was frustrated; if it says Dark Chocolate on the box, I’m expecting a deep chocolate flavor.

So, I was feeling some kind of way about it.

There was absolutely no way I was eating in that state so… I added a teaspoon or so of unsweetened cocoa powder. The color immediately deepened and I began to feel more comfortable with my food choice. But it wasn’t enough.

A sprinkle of pink salt made it better.

Notice, there’s not a mention to the almond and/or coconut.

My response to that (read in Deebo’s voice, if you will):

What almond/coconut?

Okay, texturally, there are some almond flakes but no flavor.

Almost the same with the coconut, just even less flavor. Go figure. [Although now I’m wondering if the addition of coconut oil would make better work? Mmm flavor.]

There remains a box of instant chocolate oatmeal packets. No one else is interested, apparently. Although I may be able to encourage a chocolate loving 7-year-old to go for it.

Me? Maybe I should’ve gone for the birthday flavor.