Give yourself a HighFive (Naturals!)

You probably know this about me, but I have an extreme love of cupcakes. I mean a super, over-the-top, try to translate every dessert under the sun into a cupcake kind of love.

However, I have been lacking one thing SERIOUSLY when it comes to baking.

Pot holders. Oven mits. Trivets, all that crazy stuff. I own those items, but I never really like them enough to keep them handy for when I’m actually baking. So I’m usually stuck grabbing a kitchen towel and pulling my baked goods out, meanwhile trying not to burn whatever part of my hand I accidentally didn’t double up on the towel layers.

Yeah, I get it, it’s my fault, but seriously, who really has enough space for pot holders to just be hanging around. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And am I the only one who seems to find a way to burn myself with those, too?

So one lucky days I was sorting through some emails, when I came across a ridiculously timely one from the HighFive Naturals. They wanted to know if I would give their silicone cooking gloves a go! And since I’ve been busy burning myself in the kitchen, I figured, what the heck, it was worth a shot!

We’ve had these babies for two weeks now and I’m happy to report they have not been tossed aside or hidden in some drawer. In fact, they’ve been in our sink, on the oven, on the counter, basically any and everywhere my baked goods go. They’ve even traveled outside to help us grill some veggie burgers and a pizza!

Want to know another secret? I’ve used these to open a jar of pickles (because we all know that’s basically impossible unless you’re like, a man, or maybe they’re just Chubby Vegan Mom, proof), rendering my husband ALMOST useless. ( I keep him around because he’s pretty, not just because I can’t open a jar by myself!)

So the details on these gloves? They’re heat-resistant to 446 degrees, 10-fingers, super duper easy to clean (I just rinsed them off in the sink), sure-grip and odor and mildew resistant. We’ve used these to turn things in the oven, to pull steamy vegetable bags out of the microwave and to carry in that ridiculously scorching pizza pan from our grill.

Other suggestions for these can be easier handling for a campfire, in a smoker, a wood stove or even to handle those super frigid items before they give you frostbite!

I haven’t tried these suggestions yet, but I can’t wait to pop these on the next time we have a campfire. I’m always the first person to burn my hand on the vegan marshmallow stick holder, not to mention the fire pit thing itself, so I have a feeling these will come in handy.

These silicone gloves are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and a super bright, awesome orange color. You can snatch up your own pair at amazon for only $20, and if you decide you HAVE to have them right now, you can save 20% through August 14 by simpling entering the code «SGLOVES1» at checkout!

Stay tuned to my next blog for a recipe with my absolute favorite cupcake in the WHOLE world!

You also might like:

How we got our baby’s leg out of the crib slat (again and again and again)

OK, so I guess he’s technically not my «baby» anymore. Judging by his full-blown tantrums, insatiable appetite and the current «18-month-old sleep regression» we’ve entered, I’ve got a toddler on my hands.

Another fun thing he’s been doing for the last month and a half? Oh you know, just shoving his chunky thighs through his crib slat EVERY chance he gets. Yeah, we’re not talking about «oh, he accidentally rolled over in his deep sleep and got tangled,» no, we’re dealing with a «purposely shoving his leg through there and then wailing when, SURPRISE, his sweet toddler thunder thighs won’t come back out.» 

Sigh. I think this boy is going to give me grey hair. 

You’ll be even more amused to know that crib slats are not the only things he tries to stick his body parts through. He also does is with the kitchen chairs backs and his arms, floor vents and his fingers and the occasional head-through-the-porch railing. Yeah, is there a milestone for sticking his limbs in inappropriate places? Because check and check, we’ve totally surpassed that bad boy.

And then a little over a week ago, Braeburn jammed his leg REAL good. So good that I couldn’t get it out. And when I tried to, he cried and writhed in pain. And I panicked. Every other time this happened my husband was home. He would pry the slats apart and I’d slide Brae’s leg out. But now, this particular morning, I was home alone. I was by myself with Braeburn screaming, reaching up for me, wanting me to stop his pain and I had no idea how to. 

Thousands of things ran through my mind, from getting a hand saw to just breaking the damn thing with a hammer. But I worried about the impact those would have on his little knee. Chubby Vegan Dad was a good 30 minutes away and I couldn’t wait that long. So I did it. 

I called the fire department. Yep. I was that mom. 

And sure enough, three burly dudes show up at my door, in their big ole’ truck and gear. I’ve got giant raccoon eyes from bawling and apologize OVER AND OVER to them. (Why do the stupidest things happen to me?) They reassure me about a jillion times and ask me for some dish soap. They were able to grease up Braeburns leg, and each one pulled on a slat while the third lefted him up and out of it. It took about three minutes total and I felt like a moron. Best Canning Recipes.

They were kind enough to inform me that he had really jammed it in there, this wasn’t the only call like these that they’ve gotten and one of them was even going through this with his baby at home.

His advice? Keep a block of wood nearby that can fit in between the slats and help «separate them» so I can get his leg out if I’m home alone. Bless these men. Seriously, bless them. For three seconds I didn’t feel like the worst mother in the world. And Braeburn got a plastic fire hat out of the deal, so that’s a win.

This was the last straw. After the embarrassment of having to call the fire department and weeks of waking to a pain-addled, leg-jammed-all-the-way-to-his-hip, screaming-bloody-murder little boy at two or three in the morning, I did what any overly protective and sleep-deprived mother would do: I googled «how in the hell do I stop my baby from getting leg stuck in his crib slat.»

 

We tried your run-of-the-mill breathable bumper — no such luck (and I’m not starting a bumper war here, so please don’t incite one). He simply put his leg over the bumper, shoved it down and jammed it up a bit higher. We tried readjusting it so he couldn’t force it down, he just tried to hit a ride on the bumper and climb out of the crib. Yeah. Super fun. 

Eventually, we surrendered ourselves to the idea that we’d just have to put him in a toddler bed, although, I was more worried about all the other stuff he could get into that way and the lack of sleep he’d be getting because this boy is not ready for a toddler bed. We started Braeburn-proofing everything, which, is almost an impossible feat for this curious little boy.

 

And then, I came across a few reviews for Go Mama Go Designs Wonder Bumpers. These bumpers zip on each crib slat individually and have a layer of foam with cloth surrounding it. You can buy them in a 2, 24 or 38 packs.So there’s still a small space between each slat (helping them be breathable and so you can still see in), but not enough that babies can jam limbs through them. They’re super soft and I imagine it probably feels better to bash your head on these than the bare crib slats, so bonus points for that. 

 

Plus, we put the zippers on the outside and at the bottom, so Braeburn hasn’t been able to take them apart or get his little hands on them! 

 

And they’re long, so they can’t use them to hitch up on and get out the crib. Seriously, they’ve solved like every problem we’ve run into. 

Let me tell you parents, these babies worked. I mean really, really worked.  (And side note, this is not a product I was asked to review. This is something I found doing my own googling and absolutely LOVE). 

There’s one downside to them, they are not the cheapest things in the entire world. We purchasaed a 38-pack on Amazon for $120, which I get it, probably sounds pretty extreme for «bumpers.» 

But please trust me on this, they have been a lifesaver. An absolute lifesaver. Our little boy no longer wakes angry in the night because he can’t free his leg. In fact, the most he’s been able to get his leg through is just to the ankle. And that was when he was really, really trying to force it in there. 

They’re soft, they’re cute and are worth every.last.penny. It is the one thing I have now recommended to my parent friends. I don’t have a tiny newborn of course, so while the company promotes this as a «safe alternative» to bumpers for newborns and what not, I can’t validate that statement. However, I would certainly talk about it with our child’s doctor if we had another baby, because it seems like a viable option. But once your out of the SIDS risk and you don’t want tangled limbs or bumps and bruises because of those hard slats, Go Mama Go Designs Wonder Bumpers ARE THE ANSWER.

You also may like: 

Crispy chickpeas: Your favorite meals in one bite

Why did the armadillo cross the road?

I don’t know. I’m not even sure why the chicken did.

I’m just utterly giddy about this awesome company, 2Armadillos!

Not familiar with them yet? Trust me, you should seriously rush out and get to know them, because they make some of the most phenomenal chickpeas I’ve ever had.

I know, you’re all, really Chubby Vegan Mom, chickpeas? But yes, yes dear reader, chickpeas. Roasted chickpeas. Crazy delicious, crazy crispy chickpeas. With flavors like Spicy Cayenne, Tomato Basil, Rosemary and Cinnamon Toast, they pack a punch for any and everyone.

The even better part? These snacks aren’t bloated with a bunch of crazy ingredients or chemicals. They’re roasted in organic coconut or olive oil and rubbed in a few simple spices to create the perfect snack in one little crunch! That also means no scary GMOs to worry about! They even hand roast all these chickpeas so they reach absolute perfection!

I know what you’re wondering. What the heck does armadillos have to do with chickpeas? It’s inspired by a cartoon which the team likes to incorporate into their day-to-day business, one that speaks volumes of the importance of collaboration and teamwork.

Now, the BEST part. Oh my goodness these are crunchy chickpeas of Heaven. I know, I know,  you’re thinking, psh, I’ve roasted chickpeas before, they were OK, but I don’t think they were necessarily celestial. Trust me, the chickpeas from 2Armadillos are. They SO are.

My personal favorite was rosemary. The olive oil, salt and seasoning in this little beauty tasted like Thanksgiving in one bite, one crunch. I felt like I had gobbled up a bunch of stuffing and then some.

And the tomato basil were by far Braeburn’s favorite. Pear even tried one and said it reminded her of pizza, which it really does. Brae stood in the kitchen as we sampled these different flavors, shaking his head yes and no when I tried to offer him other things.

Spicy cayenne was made for Chubby Vegan Dad. It was spicy, but still flavorful. I’m a fan of hot things, so a few of these seemed to fulfill my craving for something snacky. And these babies aren’t just hot to be hot, they actually taste really, really good.

And lastly, the cinnamon toast. These were stolen and hoarded by Pearyn right away, but lucky for me she left enough for me to do something fun with. I wasn’t sure how good a «sweet» chickpea would be, but the coconut oil really smoothed over the taste and balanced the cinnamon. I found these to be the perfect addition to some awesome cinnamon swirl muffins I made.

These chickpeas aren’t available nationwide at stores yet, but they’re working on it. And who needs to shop in a store anyhow? You can order chickpeas galore over on the 2Armadillos website! I can’t wait to get my hands on a few more bags so I can bake a few more tasty items with them!

Coffee cake muffins with crunchy chickpea crisp
(Makes 12)
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon (you can add a bit more to your taste, just remember it will intensify when baking)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (you can substitute another, like soy, coconut or hemp. I’d avoid rice because it tends to be a bit thinner)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce

Crumble topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3-oz pouch of roasted cinnamon toast chickpeas
1 stick vegan butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Pour in almond milk, canola oil and applesauce. Whip together with a hand or stand mixer on high (this will help add some fluff to the batter). Spoon batter into a greased muffin pan.

For the crumble topping, blend chickpeas in food processor a few times to crush them. They should be in a crunchy, chunky baking sugar state. (If you overpulse don’t worry, it will just be more soft crumble and less crunch). Set asside and mix together sugars, melted butter and flour. You might find pressing the mixture with a fork will help some give it a «crumbly» texture. Add in pulsed chickpeas.

Distribute crumble over coffee cake muffin batter evenly (start by a spoonful at a time). Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sides pull some and you can insert a toothpick in the middle and pull it out cleanly.

You also might like:

The perfect guide to being vegan

During our family’s path through veganism, we’ve read our fair share of cookbooks, recipes, magazines and blogs. Heck, we’ve even sat through several documentaries and cooking shows.

When I was pregnant with Braeburn, Chubby Vegan Dad got me the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide. It was one of the first non cookbooks we purchased that was designed for vegans. And while it was wonderful, it doesn’t really appeal to the non-pregnant, vegan me.

Slowly, but surely, our bookshelves and tablets are being stocked with more and more options at our disposal. Gone are the days of perusing barren bookshelves looking for a good tofu scramble recipe, now, we’ve got piles of books to choose from. Thanks to vegan pioneers like Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, our shelves are now decorated with a variety of culinary tastes and treats.

But there has always been a large hole when it comes to vegan living. Because veganism isn’t just a diet, it’s a lifestyle, there are so many gray areas it can be hard to field it alone when you’re vegan. And although veganism and cruelty-free living are up and coming, a lot of vegans probably only have a handful of friends (if even that many) who adhere to the same lifestyle.

It can be a lonely, confusing path to trek sometimes.

But now, thanks to Elizabeth Castoria, we don’t have to go it alone any longer. Her book, How to Be Vegan, tackles any and all matters when it comes to vegan living.

And not only does it tackle them, it takes them head-on, turns them upside down, puts them out to dry and then does a few more cycles just to be certain all the bases are covered.

This is literally, like everything you could ever want, need or dream of in a vegan guide.

The best part? It’s compact, precise, humorous and easy to drag with you wherever you want! I found it particularly helpful to bring it along during a work trip, as it helped me navigate not-so-vegan-friendly airports and any sticky dinner situations I might run into along the way.

Sure, I’m more than a few years deep into my veganism, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got it all figured out, especially when it comes to taking me out of my comfy, well-mapped-out city element and throwing me into a new city, a business experience and awkward menu situations.

In addition to fielding the basic «why go vegan» and where our food and all that cruel jazz comes from, there are a few really awesome sections in this book that help approach hard-to-talk-about subjects: mainly, relationships.

From a rundown on how to handle overly protective (and at times, critical) parents and their concerns about your protein intake, to figuring out whether or not your blind date spells romance for your lifestyle, this book has not only an awesome amount of information, but it’s presented in a conversational tone that makes you want to keep reading. It doesn’t feel like Castoria is nagging or lecturing you, it feels like she’s hanging out in the room with you dishing the vegan lowdown.

My favorite section, by far, is the «Manners» chapter, where Castoria discusses how to handle loaded questions, pesky coworkers and how to spread the vegan message without biting people’s heads off OR compromising your beliefs.

Take for example this excerpt: «When we are nice, decent humans who happen to forgo animal products, people think vegans are nice, decent humans. It’s nutty how that works, right?»

I found myself thinking «Oh my gosh, she took the words right out of my mouth» so often that I’m basically convinced Castoria is my sister from another mister or something.

Additionally, there’s a section of straight-forward vegan recipes, not to mention a listing of products that make clean and cruelty-free living easier.

With mini profiles on other vegans around the globe, this book has something for everyone. I really cannot rave about it enough. If you buy one book related to veganism or cruelty-free living this year, make it this one!

All and all this is a no-frills, kickass, simple guide to getting through the day-to-day scenarios and situations. Treat yourself to this eccentric guide, because trust me, you’re not only going to love it, you’re going to wonder how you functioned without it!

You also might like:

  • The Imperfect Environmentalist
  • Want to cook like Skinny Bitch?

Do you matcha your muffins?

It’s not any big secret that I have a ridiculously sweet tooth. In fact, my love of all things sweet is probably the only thing that rivals my passion for carbs.

I know, talk about some healthy habits, right?

Anywho, I’ve been on a serious muffin kick. I’ve been cranking out muffins for our new neighbors, mini-muffins for my kiddos, you name it, I’ve been baking it.

From blueberry cheesecake muffins to wild berry, we have been consuming these for breakfast and light snacks for the last few weeks.

And then I was offered the opportunity to review Kiss Me Organics’ Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. At first I was a little hesitant, because I’ve never been much of a tea fan. Every once and a while when it’s super hot outside I’ll get a monster craving for super sweet iced tea (go figure), but other than that, it’s not usually something I go out of my way to consume.

But I decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone. Besides, my husband loves all things green tea and the folks from Kiss Me Organics were kind enough to include a small recipe booklet with the product.

I had NO idea you could do so much awesome stuff with green tea.

You may not have any idea what matcha is, because I sure didn’t. Matcha basically means it’s super-finely ground up, so it makes it easy to add to practically anything you want.

I bet you can’t guess what we added it to?

Yep, you got it, muffins.

I decided the best way to give green tea a real shot was to put it in a muffin. And boy am I glad. These mocha matcha muffins were the perfect amount of sweet, earthy and rich. I added some chocolate chips to some of them, while I decided to top some with almonds. They were a sweet surprise!

There is a ton of other cool things you can do with the matcha green tea powder, including: putting in in lattes, smoothes and more baked goods! Green tea boasts tons of awesome  perks, like increased focus, energy, a metabolism boost, antioxidants and skin health!

A 4 oz bag of this matcha green tea powder retails at around $25, but trust me when I say a little bit goes a very long way. We’ve had our bag for almost a month now and it’s still going strong!

My husband was already a believer, but after trying this product, even I’ve started incorporating it into my morning meals!

Matcha mocha muffins
(makes one dozen muffins)
Ingredients: 
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
2/3 cup vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/8 cup cocoa
1/8 cup water
1 TBS matcha green tea powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coffee extract
1/2 sliced almonds or vegan chocolate chips (plus a few more to toss on top!)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, cocoa, matcha green tea powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir in vanilla almond milk, applesauce, water and vanilla extract. Mix together until well blended. Stir in vegan chocolate chips or nuts of your choice.

Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and then fill each individual cup 2/3 full with muffin mix. Sprinkle more nuts or vegan chocolate chips on the top (this will allow them to appear on the top of the muffin after it bakes and gives it a more «full» appearance).

Serve with a class of milk or devour with your morning coffee!

You also might like:

Surrender your shelves to more spices

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a lovely woman on Facebook. Yeah, I’m actually on Facebook doing some fun stuff, you should check it out!

She asked if I could cruise on over to her website and check out the different selections of spices and blends she sold.

I get it. It’s probably not something you think about much on a given day. I mean you’ve already got your salt and your pepper, what else do you need?

I used to be in this line of thinking. I’d just buy some random, cheap salt blend at the store and throw gallons of it on our food that night because that’s how much it took to actually give some flavor.

So when I was asked to sample and review some of the products from Surrender Spices, I was giddy with anticipation. I got to select three and let me tell you something.

I am officially a spice snob. I will never go back to the cheapest, value brand spices again. I selected two blends: Louisiana Fat Tuesday Everyday and Tuscany Bread Seasoning, in addition to the Pink Himalayan Salt. (I know, you’re thinking wow, you could pick three things and you picked a salt?)

I literally never imagined there could be such a difference in salts. The pink himalayan salt was a crisper, fresher flavor than your run-of-the-mill salt. Foods didn’t taste «salty,» they just tasted invigorated. We used it in place of salt in numerous recipes, but the standout was putting it on the homemade corned beef! It was the perfect subtle, smoky saltiness we wanted.

Next, we made an awesome, barbecued, roasted cauliflower and rubbed some of the Fat Tuesday blend on it. It had just the right hint of spicy, but not the kind of hot where you can’t taste anything else. This was the kind of hot that made foods taste better, gave it more of a profile. And the cauliflower was the perfect canvas for it.

And instead of tossing our Tuscany spices into some oil and using as a dip for bread, we sprinkled it on some mushrooms we sauteed with butter. This blend was a step up from the usual Italian one, and made a great addition to veggies and probably would be just as excellent in the oil as the bread dip.

Surrender Spices are vegan, except for one sweet offering they have, For the Love of Honey. A few have names which are designed to be added to a «meaty» dish, but we found them equally enjoyable on our substitutes. Each spice blend is 2 oz and has a list price of $5.

If you haven’t opened up your shelves to a higher-degree of spices yet, I highly suggest you give this kind a whirl. Your food will thank you.

You also might like:
Vegan corned beef
Whole roasted cauliflower in a spicy sauce

How Evanced Games helped advance my preschooler

A few weeks ago I got an email asking me to review an utterly awesome product. While many of the reviews I do are focused on vegan goods, this particular one actually catered to the fact that I’m a mother of a preschooler. With Pearyn’s FOURTH birthday just around the corner (cue me in the corner sobbing) and her first year of preschool half over, we’ve been working hard on things like spelling, cutting out shapes and writing her name. (Seriously, this stuff is hard, I don’t know how homeschooling moms and preschool teachers do it)!

So when I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing three different children’s apps, I was ALL for it. Our little girl is a huge fan of the family’s iPad, so the idea of getting to put something educational on it and tailored to her was exciting.

The apps are created by Evanced Games, and I was lucky enough to review three of their educational apps: Froggy Phonics, Champs of Numeria and Tic-Tac Bananas.

We’ll dive right in and start with Froggy Phonics, which was Pearyn’s (and my) absolute favorite. This app is designed for 4-to-8-year-old kids and focuses on teaching them new words and different letter group sounds. In the bottom corner the app will tell froggy to find a word beginning with a certain letter or letter group. Then the child must guide froggy from lily pad to lily pad in search of the correct match. With over 900 words and different levels and froggy friends to reveal, this game was challenging enough to help Pear learn, but not so over her head that she lost interest. Two weeks later, Pear is still conquering this game all on her own!

The next one we tried out was Tic Tac Bananas! This game is designed for kids ages 4-8 and guides children through identifying letters to words by showing them a comical monkey illustration and then having them pick from a bubble which letter goes with the picture and word. They can do practice mode or two-player mode, which allows them to play a game of tic-tac-toe against a friend, parent or sibling, earning a mark each time they correctly identify the letter that goes with a picture. Pearyn is still in the process of learning different words and what they start with, so we had to do this one with her. Once we helped her identify what the particular word was, she usually had an easy time figuring out the letter. While Pear could play Froggy Phonics on her own, it was kind of nice to have this one to work through her with because we were able to see areas where she needed help. Froggy Phonics also helped her identify some of the letter groups in this game, so I highly recommend downloading these two together if that’s the type of area you’re working on with your children!

And the last app we had the chance to play was Champs of Numeria. This game was the most advanced for kids (in our opinion). It’s recommended for children ages 4+ and had multiple different modes to appeal to different ages and abilities. We stuck primarily with the «Count the dots and identify the correct numbers» game, which was essentially a large rectangle of numbers, ranging from 1-12, with little bubbles underneath that contained two dice. The child has to count the dots on the dice and then find the number in the game board above. The goal is to get a certain number of blocks in a row. The child can compete against other kids, parents or siblings, or the computer. This game still takes a decent amount of strategy, which Pear Bear wasn’t quite ready for on her own, but with the help of a parent she enjoyed correctly searching for the numbers. The only hang up she had was counting on the dice. If each one had five dots, she’d want to count five twice, rather than 10. So it was a great opportunity to work with her about continuing to count up.

The also have games in Champs of Numeria that work on multiplication and division, but these were far ahead of Pear’s skills so we didn’t test those out!

All and all these were excellent apps. I waited a few weeks to blog about them because I wanted to see how they fared compared to her Barbie Fashionista and Dr. Panda games. I’m happy to say two weeks in she is still (all on her own accord) playing with these games and asking for our help on them. It’s been a great way to use the family iPad and an even better way to further her interest in letters and numbers!

I highly recommend downloading the three apps we recommended, as our almost four-year-old has really been learning and enjoying them. And at only a few dollars a piece, it’s really worth giving them a shot, even if you were on the fence about how much your child will be able to use them!

You also might like:

Om Nom Nom … the best cookies you’ll ever nom nom on

It’s no secret that I’m a self-diagnosed sweets addict. When it comes to sugary deliciousness, I’m ALL over that. So when I got an email from a wonderfully pleasant person with Om Nom Nom cookies asking if I’d be interested in reviewing some of their baked goods, I squealed with delight (and then I replied calmly to the email and said ‘yes, please’).

I was lucky enough to receive a Mix-and-Match sampler pack, which contained six different cookies: orange-zested chocolate chip, chocolate chip, red velvet, spicy mexican snickerdoodle, cranberry walnut oatmeal and ultimate peanut butter. This sampler pack retails at $12 and let me tell you, these cookies were worth every penny of that and MORE.

For starters, each cookie had a different texture, which can be hard to come by in store-bought vegan cookies. The chocolate chips were both softer like you’d want them to be, the red velvet made me feel like I was taking a bite of red velvet cake, meanwhile the snickerdoodle was a little chewy (in the oh-so-perfect cookie way), just like a snickerdoodle should be.

And let me tell you (girl scout’s honor here), I liked every.single.one of these cookies, something which is very hard to come by for me. I’m not normally a fan of cookies with funny nuts and fruits in them, but even the cranberry walnut oatmeal won me over. And I couldn’t keep my daughter’s hands off of these cookies, she wanted to open each one and try them all RIGHT away. Of course I obliged, because who am I to let a good cookie (or six) sit?

Each of these cookies were amazing, but every member of the Chubby Vegan Household had their favorite, and here’s why.

My favorite was the orange-zested chocolate chip. Why? Because it was like a grown-up version of your go-to cookie from childhood. It had the right amount of orange zest so it wasn’t overwhelming, but left a little surprise after you took a bite. After letting the other family members sample small pieces of this, I decided to reserve the majority of this cookie for ME.

Chubby Vegan Dad’s favorite cookie was (surprise, surprise) the cranberry walnut oatmeal. He adores anything with fruit and nuts in it because it reminds him of these delicious little fruitcake loaves his sister used to make for him (one’s that I’ve tried on many occasion to mimic, unsuccessfully). It was a little bit soft, had an awesome texture because of the oatmeal and just a hint of sweetness that reminded you it was a cookie.

 I should mention, the spicy mexican snickerdoodle was a very close second for both Chubby Vegan Dad and I, because it had the perfect hint of «spice» to change the pace of the cookie up a bit, but the awesome flavor of snickerdoodle you’ve come to know and love.

Pearyn’s favorite was the peanut butter cookie. She’s kind of an addict when it comes to anything with peanut butter in it, so the fact that this was put into cookie form with MORE sugar basically made it a ringer if you asked her.

And Braeburn didn’t miss out on any of this cookie fun, either. His favorite was anything we fed him, as he willingly ate every single bite of every single cookie.

If you’re looking to change up your cookie eating habits a bit and are tired of the same ole contenders, I really recommend you check out this awesome little company. Their cookies are all vegan, all the time, and they offer a gluten-free option for the chocolate chip cookie. I really can’t rave about them enough!

If ya couldn’t tell!

You also might like: 

Do you like snacks? Who doesn’t? Then this box of goodies is for you!

Every now and then someone fabulous emails me and showers me with vegan goodies.

It’s a rough life blogging about veganism, parenting and pooping infants.

This month I had the opportunity (I should really say privilege) to receive devour and review the Vegan Cuts snack box!

Not hip to Vegan Cuts? It’s essentially like the world’s greatest thing for vegans, vegetarians or people who like delicious and healthy plant-based goods. Think Groupon meets anything your vegan heart could desire.

Anyway, in addition to some awesome deals, they offer a monthly delivery service for their snack box. The snack box is $19.95 per month with free shipping to the U.S. (but fear not worldwide friends, it’s $8 extra to ship it to Canada and $15 worldwide). So basically, every month a box containing 7-10 kick-butt, vegan goodies will arrive on your doorstop. Not down with gluten? No problem! The company strives to make sure roughly 80% of the snacks included are gluten-free.

It’s like the vegan snack fairy, for reals.

The best part? (Other than the delicious goodies of course). Not knowing what amazingness is going to show up at your house!

The snack box we received at the Chubby Vegan Household contained a plethora of awesome stuff, from sweet, to salty to olivey. Haha, no really!

My favorite thing was the tiniest, cutest jar of Milas Food’s bruschetta blend. I dipped some carrots from our CSA in it and boy did it jazz those bad boys up.

Chubby Vegan Dad couldn’t wait to get his hands on the 22 Days Protein Powder. It was a gluten-free drink mix that he added a banana to for a delicious chocolatey, peanut butter breakfast.

I also had to stop him from tearing into my 22 Days PB & Chocolate Chip Nirvana Bar, because it was that good (and for you!)

Our little girl was all about the sweet potato chips we got from Food Should Taste Good, and I really can’t blame her because after we finished off that bag we actually bought a larger one at our health foods store!

Honestly though, the box was full of such great stuff it’s hard to pick what the absolute best was. .

We had Meow Meow Tweet’s lip balm in Rosemary Eucalyptus (see, it’s not all food and games, it’s vegan products too!), Oloves deli-style snackable olives with a mega-low calorie count, Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tea Bags and some Skinny Pop (guilt-free) popcorn! We were super pumped to find the Skinny Pop at our local Sam’s Club, we got a bag big enough to bathe in.

And I can’t forget about Chicago Vegan Foods Teese! It’s another non-dairy cheese in the vegan market and I was thrilled to finally be able to try it (it’s hard to find around these parts).

Not sure if the snack box is for you?

Quit guessing and just order one. You can cancel at anytime and seriously, it’s hooked us on so many good products that we didn’t even know were out there.

And if you won’t do it for yourself, might I suggest you do it for someone else (or me, whatever, it was delicious)? It would make a superb gift for that picky vegan or healthy eater in your life that you have no idea what to purchase for.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, literally.

You also might like: 

Have you tried Daiya’s new vegan cheese slices? Now you can!

In case you’ve been living under a cruelty-free rock for the last three months or so, you know the infamous vegan company Daiya recently debuted their latest collection of goodies. From pizza and cream cheese to the long-awaited cheese slices, the vegans in my area have long awaited these treats.

And finally, they’re here.

Actually, they’ve been here for about three weeks or so, but I wanted to put them to the test (aka consume mass amounts of them) before I committed to making them my next giveaway.

And guess what, they did not disappoint.

Two or three months ago I read a review from a fellow vegan who had a chance to taste test Daiya’s swiss, provolone and cheddar cheese slices at the natural foods expo. I was less than enthused to read her less than positive review of the new options.

Not to discredit that blogger, but either she ain’t eating what I am or Daiya did some serious recipe twisting.

Because I’m pretty sure I came up with any and every possible way to use those vegan provolone slices.

Between grilled cheeses, vegan breakfast sammiches and even good ole’ apple pie (did you know people put cheddar cheese on apple pie!?), my absolute favorite concoction we created in the Chubby Vegan household was our Daiya provolone toasted bruschetta. (We even reinvented the toppings using green onions, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from our first-ever CSA box.

The problem with Daiya slices? Not everyone has had the opportunity (or availability) to try them.

That’s where I come in.

I’m going to ship (cold, freezer packs and all) one of each kind to a very (VERY) lucky winner. And not just that. Oh no no. I take my vegan cheese very serious. I’m going to throw every variety of vegan shred and vegan wedge Daiya has to offer. That’s close to $75 in products, ya’ll.

How do you win this gem?

It’s easy! For starters, live in the United States (sorry overseas friends, I don’t know how this travels long distances). Just become a fan of Chubby Vegan Mom on this blog, my Chubby Vegan Mom Twitter or my newly-created Chubby Vegan Mom Facebook page and tell me what fabulous cheesy delight you’ll be making if you win. It’s that simple! Feel free to do all of the above if you want more chances to enter!

And, just in case that’s not enough, feel free to share with all your friends that you’re entering this contest and they should too!

Already a fan of all three? Just leave a comment answering what cheesy deliciousness you’ll be cooking  up on any social media platform and share away!

A winner will be chosen by random on Friday, June 7. Please make sure to include an email address if it’s not already connected to your account. (You’d hate to win but not be able to be notified, am I right?)

Congrats to Heather, who is a fan on Facebook and Twitter! She will be making a  bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich with her winnings! I’ll be sending an email to you shortly to gather information.

Don’t worry, we’ve got another awesome giveaway just around the corner! Keep your eyes peeled to Facebook for the next announcement!

Let the cruelty-free, cheese-filled games begin!

You also might like: