Yesterday at Shoppers I scanned the aisles looking for new vegan options next to the regular versions of products such as cheese and dairy. This is always my tactic when I’m not in a natural food store. I go through the aisles thinking about what I need and what foods I consider a staple in my diet. This gives me the opportunity to learn what options I have when I am in a new store, and even though it iist never as exciting as walking into a MOM’s or Whole Foods, each store carries different options and I found some new products to take on a test drive.
The first product I want to highlight is Galaxy Vegan American Slices. I have seen this brand around but every product so far had casein in it and therefore was not vegan, just lactose free. So I was very happy to find their line of vegan cheese slices. I made a grilled cheese with onion and tomato on Ezekiel bread. I thought it was pretty delicious and mimicked the taste and characteristics of cheese well, including its melting abilities. To be honest I still prefer Daiya cheese since it is soy free and there is endless debate surrounding soy’s effects on the endocrine system. Because of the controversy, I save my soy intake for meals where soy dominates the market, i.e. anything with tofu or fake meats, especially when I go out.
On the subject of avoiding soy, one action I took to reduce my soy intake months ago was switching to almond milk. I enjoy the taste so much, I will never go back to soy milk as the staple for my fridge. But yesterday as I went to the dairy aisle I was presented with a case full of different Almond Breeze varieties including Unsweetened Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend. That combination sounded too novel to ignore and after comparing the nutrition labels to regular Unsweetened Breeze Almondmilk I was excited to try it! It is so delicious and creamy and only 45 calories a cup, five more than regular Almond Breeze, plus calcium and Vitamins E and D. I think the coconut really adds another component and make everything seem so luscious, even if it is just milk and not some sort of decadent dessert. I love making it just that decadent by warming a cup of the milk then adding a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a stevia packet or teaspoon of sugar. This morning I put it in my oatmeal but that will take a little getting used to because the coconut flavor overpowered the meal. I think if I was eating a cereal that was not as mild as oatmeal, such as plain shredded wheat or anything flavored, it would be a suitable accompaniment. I also think it will be the perfect non-dairy milk for baking since it has such a rich taste.
I wonder what my next dessert will be considering that the only sweet I desire is banana slices with a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter, a few chocolate chips, and a handful of blueberries on the side. Have my taste buds completely changed on me and conquered my sweet tooth perhaps? I almost made a single serving cupcake or cookie but the fruit really hit the spot. Nonetheless tomorrow my goal is to experiment a little and make a homemade cashew crust so I can complete this chocolate mousse pie. Results to follow soon!