I gave up refined sugar years ago, but that doesn’t mean I gave up on sweet. I still crave and enjoy things that tempt those particular tastebuds. When I learned about stevia a few years ago, I was thrilled, and immediately began experimenting with it in all its varieties.
A new-to-me brand has got my attention. Natvia makes stevia sweeteners and also Norbu, a monk fruit-based product. Both products can be used in tea, coffee, and other beverages that need a little something-something – as well as in baked goods. I used their stevia + erythritol blend in my Blood Orange Creme Brûlée to excellent results and I’ve been using it to sweeten my soy lattes and chai tea. I’ve found that I need a bit more of it than I do of a similar product from NuNaturals – but it’s just a matter of finding the, uh, sweet spot, right? A big bonus: absolutely NO bitter aftertaste in these products.
Both Natvia and Norbu are zero calorie sweeteners that won’t cause your blood sugar to spike post-drink or post-snack. 100% natural, no funky stuff in these products. If you’re trying to cut down on or eliminate refined sugars, I encourage you to try both of these sweeteners.
Natvia also offers a zero-calorie variety just for baking. Since this is a product I’ve been hoping someone would make available – I was thrilled when they sent me a box. My first recipe using their baking blend was Banana Bread Cookies and the result was a soft, cake-like cookie with just the right amount of sweetness.
“Heidi Ho is the future of cheese.“ That’s what it says on the Heidi Ho website and it’s a bold statement to make, but I have no argument with it. Here’s why: of course, there is the powerful argument that going vegan is good for the planet; and the equally important argument about plant-based eating being far healthier for your body than an animal-based diet. But here’s the most persuasive argument and one that will win over more people than whining “it’s good for the earth and your body“: these cheeses taste incredible with all of the rich creaminess, the tangy bite, and the subtle complexities of dairy cheeses. And – – unlike many vegan cheezes (especially those in the early days of vegan cheesemaking when the products were no better than Velveeta or shiny, plastic slices of Kraft Singles), Heidi Ho cheezes are made from whole, recognizable, real food. Like nuts, vegetables, seeds, and spices. Seriously. This is the kind of cheez you’d make in your own home if you could just find a few spare minutes to throw the ingredients in a blender.
Heidi Ho sent me three cheezes to taste and review: Creamy Chia Cheeze, Ne Chèvre-Pure, and Ne Chèvre-Black Lava. I toasted up some bread, filled a bowl with tortilla chips, and Kel and I commenced to the taste-testing. We loved each of these cheezes – not a loser in the bunch. But it was the Creamy Chia Cheeze that really got to us. While it is addictive straight out of the container, I can’t wait to try it wrapped around some elbow noodles.
This is an exciting time in the vegan world for cheesemaking – – there are new brands and new varieties popping up all of the time. Heido Ho is a welcome addition.
Heidi Ho is currently offering six products: Creamy Chia Cheeze, Spicy! Chia Cheeze, Smoky Chia Cheeze, Ne Chèvre-Pure, Ne Chèvre-Black Lava, and Ne Chèvre-Blueberry.
Learn more about Heidi and Lyssa – the women behind the company; their line of cheezes and where you can buy them here.
As you may remember from an earlier post, I keep my “maintenance” to a minimum. No fuss no muss is my motto. I could almost function with body lotion and lip balm alone. So the products ellovi sent to me for review were perfect.
Their Vanilla Butter is unlike any cream or lotion I’ve ever used. The texture is unbelievably soft and luxurious. The coconut oil in this product melts on contact with skin, making it wonderfully silky and a little bit goes a long way. The light vanilla fragrance is yummy, but not so overpowering that you want to get away from yourself. Perhaps the best thing about this product is that it contains only 6 all-natural (but no water) ingredients. Fragrance not your thing? Get the plain variety. Both butters sell for $26 each. Psst: ellovi Butters make great facial moisturizers, too.
And then there’s the lip butter. I never go anywhere without a lip balm of some kind. Like the body cream it is silky smooth and instantly soothes lips – and it is also made up of only a few, all-natural ingredients. What I noticed right away is that this balm didn’t make my lips feel drier the way other lip balms can.
I also appreciate that the plain truly has no taste. But, if you like a little bit of flavor, you can go with the Vanilla Lip Butter – or, try their red-tinted variety. I just ordered a couple of tubes because I’m not a big fan of lipstick, but I do like just a hint of color. The lip butters go for $5 each.
UPDATE: ellovi is now offering Mint Chocolate Butter and Mint Chocolate Lip Butter!
Learn more about ellovi or order direct from their site.
Rawxies are the brain-child of Callie England, created as an alternative to typical raw food/energy bars. Rawxies are vegan, gluten- and soy-free – and unlike most raw bars – are based on oats rather than nuts. The oats help keep your tummy feel full longer and provide a nice “chew.” Additionally, Rawxies are sweetened with dates and coconut palm sugar rather than cane sugar. Palm sugar doesn’t cause those highs and lows that one experiences with white sugar and – bonus! – contains iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Rawxies was kind enough to send me four varieties (Banana Nut Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha Almond) and I dutifully and faithfully gave them a thorough taste-testing. These are the perfect treats to tuck into one’s purse, backpack, or in the glove compartment for those low-energy moments or when the hangry threatens to take over your otherwise sane self. They’re tasty enough to make you feel guilty about eating them! Rawxies cookies are filled with good things like cacao, peppermint, almonds, poppyseeds, lemon, coconut, cinnamon, and bananas.
Savory snacks, chocolate, and “Stop Eating Crap” t-shirts are also available from Rawxies. Order online here.
Although I received these products for free, I was not obligated to write reviews, let alone positive reviews. The opinions contained in this post are strictly my own.