Vegan Yogurt Product Review – The OK, the bad, and the worse

Vegan yogurt.  My taste buds just shudderd a bit.   In my opinion, yogurt is the main dairy product that has not been reproduced to even an ounce of my satisfaction.  I’m sure most people would say cheese, but Daiya has mostly rescued me there.  Most days.  But there is just no acceptable vegan yogurt to eat straight from the container as a snack.

I’ve tried all the vegan yogurt I can get my hands on, all the brands available to me, with all the available options (soy, almond, and coconut-based).  They are okay to bake with, but nearly all of them make me want to gag when I eat them alone.  I thought I’d share my reviews of the options you may be seeing on store shelves.

First, I’ll start off with the “ok”…

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It’s the Amande brand of almond milk-based yogurts, and only the coconut flavor is good.  The texture is silky, like dairy-based yogurt, but it’s not like what you imagine when you think of creamy yogurt.  Yes, it’s consistently smooth and all one texture, but you could turn the container upside down and it would plop out and hold it’s shape like a jello mold.  The container-shaped yogurt is sitting in a thin layer of a liquid syrup, which I’m guessing is part of the flavor/sweetener that separates over time.   But the yogurt itself is like a cross between yogurt and jello.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not “creamy-runny.”  Not like sour cream or a creamy dip.  You can’t get a spoonful, tilt your spoon, and then watch it run back off the spoon or put a “dollop” on anything.  It’s smooth, but gelatinous, if that makes sense.  The strawberry and blueberry flavors are very muted and not that sweet.

A close second in the “ok” category is the SO Delicious brand coconut-milk based yogurts.

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These are the most true to texture, in my opinion. They offer both a “regular” (it’s runny creamy, but not too runny) and a Greek style (thicker and richer,” like dairy-based Greek yogurt).  I occasionally buy the Greek style in the vanilla flavor for the macrobiotics and I can get it down, but again, it’s not as good as dairy yogurt.  SO Delicious makes a wider variety of flavors then Amande.  They have strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, chocolate, plain, raspberry, and mango.  I’ve only tried the first 4.  None of them are very sweet, so you may actually prefer this brand, but I like sweet yogurt.  As with the Amande brand, the flavors are very muted.

Recently, Almond Dream has come out with another almond-milk based yogurt.  It’s definitely better than the Amande brand, but I haven’t been able to find any flavors except vanilla and plain (if you consider “plain” a flavor).  I had the vanilla once and never bought it again.  It’s just not good, folks.

Everything else is totally unacceptable, if you ask me.  I don’t like any of the soy-based yogurts, and there are plenty of them out there.  I’ve tried at least one flavor by each of the following companies: Stonyfield O’Soy, Whole Soy & Co., Silk, and SO Delicious.  Most of them are very runny and when I say runny, I don’t mean “creamy-runny”, I mean watery.   And the soy-ish flavor/aftertaste they all have just really turns me off.

Sorry I couldn’t blow your mind with a really awesome vegan yogurt review.  If I ever find one (an awesome vegan yogurt, that is) I’ll be sure to review it.  Until then, Odwalla organic Australian yogurt is delighting my taste buds!

Product Review: Whole Foods 365 Breaded Chickenless Patties (soy free!)

While strolling through Whole Foods one day, I passed an employee passing out vegan meatball and chicken nugget samples.  I tried one of the “chicken” nugget samples, dipped in honey mustard and it was really good.  I went over to the freezer section to read over the ingredients list, thinking for certain they were soy-based, but to my surprise, they are actually made from wheat protein. 

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They were out of the nuggets, so I bought the patties. They come 4 to a pack and were around $4, I think.  I thought they’d make a good, quick lunch for work days.  Unfortunately, you can’t microwave them, which was a huge con for me.  The only way they recommend cooking them is in the oven and it takes nearly 20 minutes.  That won’t do for work, and at home, I must admit that it feels like a waste of energy to warm up the oven for one little patty.  I tried cooking 2 and then refrigerating one for the next day.  When I go to work, I placed the already cooked one in the toaster oven for a few minutes to re-heat it and that worked out fine, but it was slightly tougher than the one I ate straight from the conventional oven.   It is for these reasons that I probably won’t buy them that often, but here is what I thought of the actual product:

If you like the MorningStar “chicken” nuggets, you’ll like these.  They taste almost identical to me.  The breading crisps up nicely, especially when I cook them in my iron skillet, sprayed with a little oil.  The texture is also very close to the MorningStar brand soy-based nuggets, so if the texture of most frozen faux meats weirds you out, don’t even bother trying these. 

They work well for dinner recipes other than just chicken sandwiches.  I made chicken parmesan out of them one night, placing the patty on top of cooked pasta with marinara and a little vegan parmesan melted over the top.  You could also use them for chicken alfredo or cut them into pieces for a child’s snack.

I wouldn’t recommend putting them in a dish while it bakes or cooks because the breading will become soggy.  I think the best way to incorporate them into a dish with any kind of sauce would be to cook them separately and add them in at the end.

Overall, I would buy these again based on taste and texture, but if you’re looking for ease and convenience, you may want to try another product.

Product Review: Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge

I have tried many vegan cheese products over the past few years and have been let down many times.  None of them have the right flavor for me and most of them have a strange texture.  I am now pleased to say that I have found an amazing vegan cheese!  It melts (like Velveeta) into creamy, cheesy goodness that would be awesome in Rotel dip (Daiya cheddar style wedge + a can of Rotel or salsa), as a fondu dip, or melted on top of veggie burgers, tacos, chili, burritos, nachos, tofu chili dogs, vegan philly cheese steaks, or anything else you want melted cheese on!

Daiya makes three flavors right now, cheddar, pepper jack, and jalapeño garlic havarti.  I’ve only tried the cheddar so far.  I put a big slice between two pieces of bread and put it in a skillet with some melted Earth Balance margarine to make an incredibly yummy vegan grilled cheese.  The cheese does get really melty though, so it dripped out of the sandwich and onto my plate a little while I was eating it, but that was okay with me.  I just wiped it up with my bread and kept eating!  If you wanted it a little less “runny,” you could just not toast the bread until it was practically burnt like I did.

The texture of the block in solid form is slightly soft, but still firm enough to slice and handle.  It’s very similar to the Velveeta product sold in the US in both texture and flavor.  This is the best tasting vegan cheese I’ve ever had.  It has a nice tangy cheddar flavor.  Other reviewers say it’s great eaten “raw,” that is, sliced with crackers or apples or eaten cold on a sandwich.   I personally recommend it for recipes where you want warm, melted cheese.  I don’t know too many non-vegan folks that want to eat Velveeta straight from the package!

Here is the grilled cheese I made (alongside a bowl of Almost Instant Tomato Chickpea Soup from Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap).  I tried to get a close up pic as well to show you the creamy texture.

Field Roast Reviews (Celebration Roast & Classic Meatloaf)

Since the holidays are coming up, I decided to do a review of two common Field Roast Grain Meat products that are served at Thanksgiving and Christmas for those of you who haven’t tried them and may be curious. First, you may be wondering what grain meat is. If you’ve heard of seitan, it’s essentially that, with other spices and vegetables added in. Seitan is a faux meat product made from vital wheat gluten, broth, and spices. This makes for a high protein, soy free* replacement for people who don’t eat animals. (*Some store-bought seitan is made with soy sauce to add flavor, so if you are allergic to soy, you can make your own or look for a soy free brand.) I have recently tried two Field Roast products with the coupons they sent me. I tried the Celebration Roast and the Classic Meatloaf. Here are my thoughts:

Celebration Roast


I made this in the toaster oven and baked it according to the instructions. I basted it with vegetable broth every few minutes because it started to look dried out (the instructions recommend basting as well). The roast was stuffed with a mixture of butternut squash, apples, and mushrooms, but I missed the part about the stuffing being “sausage-style.” I did not expect the roast to taste like sausage, but that’s all it really tasted like. If you’re looking to replace the flavor of turkey during the holidays, this doesn’t do it, in my opinion. If I wanted sausage or had expected sausage flavor, it may have been okay, but I was never big on pork when I ate meat anyway. I suppose this would probably be good crumbled up in spaghetti sauce or chopped and put into stuffing (for those who like sausage stuffing), but it just wasn’t my thing, flavor-wise. I thought it had a good texture, however. It sliced well and held together, so it would be good on a sandwich or a biscuit (again, if you like sausage).

Classic Meatloaf


I enjoyed the meatloaf much more than the celebration roast. I spread ketchup on top and baked it in the oven. The texture worked for me, same as the Celebration Roast. The flavor was good (it has carrots, celery, onions, tomato, and garlic in it) and tasted like you would expect meatloaf to taste. This would probably make a great sandwich as well. I served it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I would buy this again, but honestly it’s cheaper portion-wise (and more tasty) to make my own lentil loaf!

A con to both products is that they aren’t very good re-heated. I recommend eating them immediately after baking. Once refrigerated and then heated in the microwave, the gluten takes on a rubbery texture that isn’t very pleasant. I’ll post my lentil loaf recipe soon as my partner said she liked it much better than the products above.

You can learn more about the Grain Meat Co and their other products at http://www.fieldroast.com/products.htm.