Our Top Ten Vegan Finds at Expo West 2017

top 10 expo west featured

Another year, and now Natural Products Expo West 2017 in the books! 

Natural Products Expo West (or Expo West) is held in Anaheim, CA. It is one of, if not, the biggest trade shows in the natural products industry. It features a healthy mix of products and services across a variety of industries from healthcare to retail. What’s even better is that there is a solid growing number of vegan products to explore! Read more

Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy-Free Organic Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread [Product Review]

Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread

They say you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but who are “They?” 

When you find a product you love, and learn it’s not vegan, then it’s time to get into high gear to crack the recipe and make it yourself. OR, you can hope that some brilliant company comes up with one for you to buy (saving you time in the kitchen, no doubt). Well, friends, that day has come, thanks to Rigoni di Asiago and their FABULOUS Nocciolata Dairy-Free Organic Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread.

Did you know that hazelnut in Italian is “nocciola?” It’s not “nutella!” 

nocciolata-jar

Yes, this is the non-dairy hazelnut spread you’ve been looking for. Some companies have come close, but not many quite like this! The thing that has been key for us is a hazelnut spread where you can really taste the hazelnuts AND the chocolate. It’s not enough to just have the two blended together. 

nocciolata-with-crackers

Like with any good spread, it has to be versatile. This is not just for your sweet tooth. You can put it on sliced fruit, crackers, even some semolina bread. You can also sprinkle on some rosemary, fennel or a little cayenne (yes, we’re a little weird like that) to add a bit savory into the mix. Stir into your coffee or warmed non-dairy milk, or whip it up in a shake or smoothie! The nuttiness goes very well here!

Speaking of nuts, HOW CUTE is Rigoni di Asiago’s logo for this product. It incorporates a SQUIRREL! If you’ve been following us long enough, then you know about our squirrely friends

 

nocciolata-top

Rigoni di Asiago is an Italian-based company, dating back to 1923. While many of their products contain dairy and/or honey, we’re excited to see that they’ve stepped up in producing a certified vegan (by The Vegan Society) product that is also palm oil free, USDA-certified organic and GMO-free!

We’re telling you that you’ll want to eat a whole jar by yourself. Since the holidays are coming up soon, you may want to consider this as a gift too! SOOOO GOOD! You have to share with your friends…if you’re a person and stuff.

To learn more about Nocciolata Dairy-Free and Rigoni di Asiago, please visit https://rigonidiasiago-usa.com/

NuGo Slim Bars [Product Review]

Protein and vegans. Vegans and protein. We keep getting asked questions about protein and vegan sources. We don’t know about you, but the answer is always the same…”FROM PLANTS!” Then comes the retort about needing protein for fitness. With many vegan protein products on the market, we’re often looking for what not only meets our recommended daily allowance, but what also tastes good! 

We’ve been fans of NuGo Nutrition for some time. When we learned that they had a new line of high protein, low sugar bars, we were eager to try! With that, we’d like to introduce you to…NuGo Slim!

Okay, we know the name sounds like it’s geared towards feminine weight-loss. However, it’s quite the contrary. Many high protein products are high in sugar, or use a sugar alternative that’s really off-putting, like malitol, reflecting in its taste (and body reactions). What NuGo has created is a vegan bar in multiple flavors, ranging in 15 to 18 grams of protein, less than 5 grams of sugar and around 6-7 grams of fiber. This product hits low on the glycemic scale, making it an option for diabetics!

What’s also great is that this bar is certified vegan and gluten-free. It is a soy-based product, using non-GMO soy in its ingredients. It’s low in carbs, yet high on protein and fiber. 

So far, we’ve tried the Toasted Coconut and the Chocolate Mint. Here’s what we thought of them (with comments from Momma Mac too)!

0000243_nugo-slim-toasted-coconut-12-bars_600 
Photo Credit: NuGo Nutrition

Carlo: Light with a coconut subtle flavor. It tasted like a brownie with a hint of coconut. I could taste the chocolate without chalkiness.

Carmella: No chalk. No weird aftertaste that you get with some sugar alternatives or artificial sweeteners. I also thought it was like a coconut brownie with a slight crunch from the coconut flakes,

Momma Mac: These are vegan? They’re good, but not so good for me because I’ll eat them like candy bars. I don’t even like coconut!
0000242_nugo-slim-chocolate-mint-12-bars_600
Photo Credit: NuGo Nutrition

Carlo: The coolness of the mint!! It was a good marriage with the chocolate. It tasted in the realm of a Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie, but without the slap of sweetness.

Carmella: If you love chocolate and mint together, then you’ll love this in a bar. Again, no chalk, no weird aftertaste and you can really taste the flavors in the bar.

Momma Mac: This wasn’t bad at all. Are you getting more?

Bottom line: We liked these bars and will certainly eat them again. The low amount of sugar per serving really attracted us. 

NuGo Nutrition’s line of NuGo Slim come in other flavors too:

  • Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Brownie Crunch
  • Raspberry Truffle
  • Roasted Peanut
  • Espresso

Bars sell in boxes of 12 for around $21.00 (depending on where you buy). Individual bars are around $1.99-2.99 per bar (depending on where you buy).

Carm’s got her eye on the Peanut Butter, and Carlo’s set on Espresso! We’re sure these will be yummy!

To learn more about NuGo Nutrition and its NuGo Slim line, please visit https://www.nugonutrition.com

Be sure to check out all of their vegan products at https://www.nugonutrition.com/lifestyle/vegan/