When you think about eliminating all sources of animal protein from your diet, the first things to come to mind are most likely meat, dairy and eggs. Those foods may be pretty simple to avoid in “whole” form, but not so easy to avoid overall. When you really start to look at nutrition and ingredient labels, you’ll find that animal-based ingredients are in everything. Even some of the different nut butters in my pantry contain “milk powder” and many of the protein/snack bars that I’ve been eating contain eggs or dairy. Even the Trader Joe’s naan bread that we usually use for pizza crusts contains egg. Luckily, common allergens such as dairy, eggs, nuts and soy (amongst others) are required to be noted on food labels per the FDA.
It’s nice to know that several different companies make foods completely free of these common allergens, so that you can easily use the products without having to scan the labels for ingredients or warnings. Earth Balance’s products are 100% plant-based, vegan, non-GMO, lactose-free, gluten-free, egg-free, casein-free and have 0g of trans fat. Many of their products contain soy- but they also have several that are 100% soy free. Oh, and did I mention that they’re based just outside of Boulder, Colorado? That might just make me love a teeny bit more.
Last month, I was lucky enough to meet several representatives for Earth Balance and talk to them about their different products. I had purchased their “buttery” spread in the past, and like it very much. I had also just recently discovered their coconut-peanut spread, which is the best tasting peanut butter I’ve ever had, period. They were nice enough to give me a jar of each of the varieties of the peanut spread (creamy and crunchy) to take home and enjoy. Since all of the other products they make need to be refrigerated, I was given a handful of “free product” coupons so that I could go pick out what I wanted.
I’ve been making my way through both jars of peanut butter, and recently redeemed three of my coupons for these items.
Let’s talk about the coconut-peanut spread first, shall we?
This is the perfect marriage between peanut butter and coconut oil, and the taste is almost hard to describe. It’s super rich, creamy and just decadent- without really being sweet. It also spread really easily and is just as perfect slathered on a piece of bread as it is straight out of the jar. Between the creamy and crunchy varieties, I can’t really pick a favorite. It just really depends on my mood!
Let’s move on to the mayonaisse:
I’m not a huge mayo fan, but it’s something that my husband uses on an almost daily basis. I knew I’d have to get him something that would taste good enough and hold it’s own on a sandwich. The Earth Balance Mindful Mayo is made with olive oil- and definitely does the trick! And personally, I think it tastes way better than any egg-based mayonnaise I’ve had.
Up next, the whipped buttery spread:
I’ll be honest with you. I love the taste of real, good quality butter- and it’s something that I’m pretty picky about. I was a little skeptikal about purchasing a spread that was made from vegetable oil- but this is really, really good! It definitely meets my taste standards, and it’s also super easy to spread.
Last but not least… the sweet cinnamon spread.
Oh. My. Goodness. Before even tasting this, I knew I would love it. I was so excited when I saw this at the store, and I’ll admit it- I tried it as soon as I got home. You have to be careful not to just dig into this stuff with a spoon… but I won’t judge you if you do. My favorite way to enjoy it (so far) is simply spread onto a piece of hot bread or toast. It is so rich and flavorful, and if you’re a cinnamon lover, you will definitely be a big fan. I also want to try the roasted garlic & herbs culinary spread, which is savory and sounds almost just as delicious as the sweet cinnamon.
These are just a few of the delicious products that Earth Balance offers- go check out the rest here! I can tell you from experience- their organic Soy Nog is to die for (and I imagine that it will be back in stores soon for the holiday season!)
*Earth Balance provided me with the products for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Don’t forget to enter the Kombucha Brooklyn home-brew giveaway if you haven’t yet!
Do you use any plant-based milks, spreads, etc.? What are some of your favorites?