Vegan. Gluten free. Macrobiotic. High protein. With healthy, conscientious buzz words like that, how could you go wrong?
Easily. But not this time.
GoMacro MacroBars aren’t the usual good-for-you snack bars that so often taste like a block of unappetizing sludge at their worst and pressed cardboard at their best. I tried their Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bar, and it not only filled me up, it tasted quite good! For a slim bar, it’s loaded with energy, and I had the added satisfaction of knowing I wasn’t consuming yet another overly-processed, enriched product that would leave me feeling uncomfortably full and regretting my choice.
In addition, as the site says: “The bars are sweetened with grain-based sweeteners. These sweeteners take longer to digest, thus avoiding the blood-sugar spikes associated with refined sugars. The fats in GoMacro bars are healthy fats derived from nuts and seeds containing omega3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. […] These are slow-burning carbs that boost energy levels throughout the day. Protein comes from brown rice protein – a great high protein alternative to animal products and soy.”
So there you have it. If you don’t want soy, these don’t have it. If you need to avoid gluten like the plague, here’s one answer. If you’re trying to follow a macrobiotic program and find yourself side-stepping it a lot (*raises hand*), get a handful of these to tide you over during moments of starvation between meals.
Lactose intolerance gets my goat. In fact, it BITES.
It especially bites when I get a macaroni and cheese craving and have nowhere to turn. I’ve tried fake cheese brands that tasted like a lesser grade of particle board where even the “cheese” refuses to stick around. I’ve tried melting Vegan Rella “cheddar” on durum semolina noodles—once. I’ve succumbed to real, albeit organic, macaroni and cheese and regretted it.
The trouble is I really want the Kraft brand from the late 80s that was the color and taste of neon orange. I know, timewarp. It probably wasn’t good for me then, certainly isn’t now, but that’s what I think of when I get hit with the craving.
So what’s a macrobiotic jonesing for mac’n’cheese to do? Get past the “chreeze” brands and fall upon Namaste Foods like the savior it is. They don’t even call their take on it “macaroni and cheese,” being far too crafty (pun not intended); the bag states it is a “delicious non-dairy cheese pasta dish.”
“Say Cheez” is gluten free and made in a facility free of soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and casein. This leaves room for a whole lot of flavor from other sources. The pasta is brown rice and boils to the same tender consistency of its enriched cousins, and the non-dairy cheddar is enhanced by paprika, tumeric, garic and onion.
Now the surprising part to me is that I took to this like a duck on a bug, because it doesn’t actually taste anything like the neon Kraft mac’n’cheese. In fact it’s not “traditional” mac’n’cheese at all, and I warn you, if you don’t like your pasta speckled with bits of flavor as well as coated, you won’t appreciate this. I wasn’t sure about it until I tried it. I’m so glad I did. I can’t wait to see what else Namaste Foods has to offer.
Because dairy’n’me don’t mix anymore, I try to stay away from having an excess amount of it. In other words, I try not to hoover it up in the name of taste bud satisfaction.
This doesn’t always work so well with cheese (extra-sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, Camembert…), but it does on yogurt.
My faithful Super Lactase Enzyme is wonderful when I want to indulge, but something about taking a pill to enjoy yogurt just rubs me the wrong way. Yogurt is full of all the GOOD bacteria, after all. Arrgh!
I’ve tried a soy brand before, but whether it was because I mistakenly expected it to taste like real yogurt or because the blend wasn’t tasty in the first place, it just wasn’t for me, so that was it as far as fake!yogurt was concerned. And as I can get all that beneficial bacteria through other means, so why should I complain?
Then I stumbled on So Delicious yesterday. There it was, beaming at me from a shelf separated from all the other yogurts.
I picked it up…