Current Whole Foods Favorites

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I regularly shop at a few different grocery stores to get the products I want. I usually alternate between Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Costco on a given week depending on what I need to pick up. Between these three stores, I’m able to buy the kinds of foods I like while also keeping costs at a reasonable level. I already shared my current favorites from Costco and Trader Joe’s, so today I thought I’d round up the products I’m currently loving from Whole Foods. As with my other lists, I didn’t include much in the way of produce here because I’m focusing on items that are unique to Whole Foods (where I live, at least). That said, I do buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables from Whole Foods on a regular basis. Anyway, without further ado, here are the Whole Foods products I’m loving right now:

Current Whole Foods Favorites

  1. Kite Hill Greek-Style Almond Yogurt (Unsweetened): I’ve mentioned my love for this yogurt on the blog before and my obsession is still going strong. This stuff is simply the best and I can’t get enough! Even my very picky toddler gobbles this yogurt down, which I was honestly surprised by given that it’s quite tart. I only buy the unsweetened kind and usually add a bit of my own sweetness by mixing in some fresh berries, but I’ve eaten it totally on its own too. It’s so creamy and satisfying! Other dairy-free yogurts don’t have much to offer in the protein department, but I love that this one provides 11 grams of plant protein along with healthy fat.
  2. Sweet Earth Veggie Burgers: When it comes to veggie burgers, I’m usually not a big fan of the ones that try to mimic real meat. I love veggie burgers that are filled with whole grains and pieces of vegetables and that taste like, well, a veggie burger! I look for options that are as minimally processed as possible and try to avoid ones that contain things like soy protein isolates. One of my absolute favorite brands of veggie burgers is Sweet Earth. I’ve only seen two flavors in the stores near me–Teriyaki and Santa Fe–but they are both delicious. With ingredients like sweet potato, edamame, brown rice, barley, carrots, sesame seeds, and quinoa, they are wholesome and nutritious. They do have some added sugar (cane sugar is listed in the ingredients), but on balance, I think the ingredient list is very good. I’m willing to take a little sugar over some of the other fillers that many veggie burgers have. Another plus to these is that they fill you up! Some veggie burgers are quite low in calories and therefore aren’t very satiating but these have a little over 200 calories along with several grams of fiber, and between 11 and 14 grams of protein, depending on the variety. Along with a side salad or other vegetable, one of these veggie burgers keeps me satisfied for hours.
  3. Califia Farms Dairy Free Creamer: I’m a huge fan of all Califia Farms products but I especially love their unsweetened creamer. I find that regular almond milk in coffee tends to kind of get lost and doesn’t provide much in the way of creaminess. This almond milk and coconut cream creamer solves that issue! Just a little bit adds such a nice creaminess to coffee and it has a lovely nutty flavor to boot. I just love this stuff.  
  4. Allegro Coffee – Mocha Java Flavor: Speaking of coffee, this Mocha Java variety from Whole Foods’ Allegro brand has become my go-to. Although I’m not consuming much of it while pregnant (I do ¼ caf and ¾ decaf), it’s one of my favorite grocery coffees and I can’t wait to enjoy a full mug again soon! For some reason I’ve become much more picky about coffee over the years and unless it’s really good quality, I just don’t like it. This Mocha Java flavor is rich and bold and so satisfying.
  5. 5-lb Bag Organic Carrots: I’m including carrots in the list because Whole Foods is the only place I’ve found that sells whole organic carrots in a five pound bag (I think Costco may sell them in an even larger quantity, but that’s a bit much for me). The five pound bag is perfect for my family because we like to snack on raw carrots and hummus or nut butter throughout the week, but also want to have some carrots left over to throw into soups, sauces, or roasts. With a five pound bag, we have plenty! In case you’re wondering why I don’t buy baby carrots for snacking, I have a couple of reasons. One, it’s way cheaper to buy whole carrots, and two, my mom once pointed out that whole carrots are much more flavorful than baby carrots. I had never thought much about this myself but I compared the two and she was totally right. Whole carrots taste so much better for some reason. It’s a little more effort to peel and chop them, sure, but I find that the effort is worth it. I do it once on Sundays and have a big container ready to go for the week.
  6. Delighted By Dessert Hummus: I did a post recently on homemade chocolate hummus and it was inspired by Delighted By’s Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus. They have a few other flavors too and they are all delish. Along with some fresh fruit or crackers, they satisfy a sweet tooth but are much healthier than downing an ordinary dessert.
  7. 365 Rice Crackers (Black Sesame and Everything Flavors): When I want some crackers to go along with hummus, I usually reach for these rice crackers. They’re not particularly nutritious, as is the case with most crackers, but I like that they are made with very few ingredients and are on the lighter side. The black sesame and everything flavors are my favorite.
  8. Sesame Ginger Dressing: It’s really hard for me to find bottled salad dressing that I think tastes good and also isn’t loaded with junk. I know I should make my own and it’s a goal for this year, but until I can motivate myself to do it, I’m sticking with this fresh Sesame Ginger dressing that Whole Foods makes. I absolutely love it.  It has no oil and instead gets its creamy texture from tahini. If you want to try it out, you can find it in the refrigerated section near the lettuce.
  9. Organic Frozen Pizza Dough: When I’m craving pizza, I much prefer to make it myself because I like having control over the ingredients. The prepared frozen dough that Whole Foods sells makes this super easy. Although the image is of the white crust, I actually prefer the multigrain or whole wheat.
  10. Explore Cuisine Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine: I’ve talked about bean pastas a bit before and Explore Cuisine is one of my favorite bean pasta brands. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but their products are great. The edamame and mung bean fettuccine that they make is particularly good. It’s one of my favorite bean pastas because of the mild flavor and perfect texture. If you’re looking for a bean pasta that rivals real pasta, this is about as close as it gets from what I’ve tried.
  11. Banza Chickpea Pasta: Banza is another brand of bean pasta that I really like. They specialize specifically in chickpea pasta and make all kinds of shapes. I often buy the shells to make for my toddler.
  12. Canned Organic Lentils: Although I always have dry lentils on hand in the house, I like to buy canned lentils as well because they are so nice to have when I’m running short on time. I find lentils to be so versatile and I often find myself grabbing them to add to soups, salads, pasta sauce, you name it. With canned, all I have to do is rinse and drain them and I’m good to go. I can have a meal ready in minutes. For some reason, I’ve found canned lentils extremely hard to find though. Fortunately, Whole Foods carries them so I always stock up there.

Tell me, what are your favorite products from Whole Foods? Is there anything I should try out?

Fudgy Chocolate Hummus Dip (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

A few months ago my sister introduced me to the hummus brand, Delighted By. Have you heard of it? Delighted By makes dessert hummus flavors like Brownie Batter and Snickerdoodle that are absolutely delicious and made with clean ingredients. Dessert hummus? Now why didn’t I think of that?! You probably don’t associate chickpeas with chocolate or anything else sweet for that matter, and it may strike you as gross, but trust me when I tell you that you’d never know chickpeas are the main ingredient in this dip. Seriously, my mind was blown when I first tasted it.

With Easter coming up next week and with so much emphasis on chocolate for the holiday, I wanted to try recreating the Brownie Batter hummus because I think it makes for a perfect sweet treat to serve at any Easter festivities. It tastes rich and decadent, but since it’s made from a short list of healthy and wholesome ingredients, it’s a rather healthy way to indulge! With chickpeas as the base, you get a nice serving of protein and fiber, which isn’t usually a hallmark of a chocolatey dessert.

My creation was a total experiment because I didn’t know how much of each ingredient to use and had to do some educated guessing, but after a little trial and error, I was very happy with the end result. It’s smooth and creamy with a rich chocolate flavor that reminds me of chocolate mousse. It goes great as a dip for sliced fruit, and is equally good spread on crackers. I’ve even had it with celery and carrots and I think it’s delish that way too. You could also just eat it off a spoon, which I have to admit I’ve done on more than one occasion!

Fudgy Chocolate Hummus

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Fudgy Chocolate Hummus

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Fudgy Chocolate Hummus

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk (I used unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Place chickpeas, coconut oil, water, and almond milk in a food processor and pulse until smooth and blended.
  2. Add sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt, and blend again.
  3. Chill and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Fudgy Chocolate Hummus Dip

Creamy Chickpea Salad (Vegan)

I do eat fish on occasion but I haven’t had canned tuna in years. I actually can’t remember the last time I had it and I don’t usually miss it, to be honest. There have been times during this pregnancy that I’ve craved a tuna sandwich though, this week in particular, and I wanted to find a satisfying alternative. Enter chickpea salad! For me, the appeal of tuna salad is less about the tuna and more about the creamy, crunchy, salty combination. Chickpeas can have this consistency too, if combined with the right mix of ingredients.

Continue reading “Creamy Chickpea Salad (Vegan)”

Veggie Tortilla Soup (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Spring is technically a week from now but it snowed here yesterday so soup is still very much in the regular rotation. Rather than make a tried and true soup this week, I decided to try something a little different and I’m so glad I did! I think I’ve found my new favorite soup recipe. If you’re a fan of Mexican tortilla soup, you have to try this one! Most traditional recipes call for chicken, but this version is insanely flavorful and delicious sans meat. It consists simply of black beans, tomatoes, veggies, and spices. I was honestly surprised at how good it was, but I guess I shouldn’t have been because it has lots of fresh cilantro, which I adore. I think the key to the flavor is the cilantro and lime juice. I was in heaven from the aroma of cilantro and lime in my kitchen and I could almost feel summer. There’s just something about that combination that makes me think of fresh guac, margaritas, and sunshine! Continue reading “Veggie Tortilla Soup (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Current Trader Joe’s Favorites

I recently did a post about my favorite products from Costco and wanted to do the same for another one of my go-to stores, Trader Joe’s. Although Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry everything I like to buy, it has all the basics for my normal weekly shopping and much more, at really amazing prices to boot. Trader Joe’s is also always introducing new products, so it’s fun to go and check out what’s new on the shelves. I don’t always love the quality of some of their produce–I find that it tends to go bad sooner than produce from other stores–but over time I’ve learned what holds up well and what’s worth buying elsewhere. On the plus side, they have an impressive selection of organic produce, way more so than the pathetic selection at my local Stop and Shop. All in all, I love Trader Joe’s and would shop there every week if it was more convenient (If any powers that be are reading, open a store in Greenwich pretty please). Continue reading “Current Trader Joe’s Favorites”

Tofu & Vegetable Curry (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Just a few short months ago I posted about our first snow of the season and how magical and exciting it was. That feels like forever ago now and after many snowy days since, I’m officially over winter! We had yet another snowstorm on Wednesday and it caused power outages and school closings across the state and beyond. This is less than a week after another nor’easter took out power lines all over the area. Enough already winter! Can we get a break? Seriously though…. Continue reading “Tofu & Vegetable Curry (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Veggie Fajita Bowl (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Veggie Fajita Bowl

Some weeks I’m good about meal planning. Others, not so much. During those weeks when I haven’t planned out what we’re going to have for dinner each night, I inevitably find myself staring into the refrigerator, trying to come up with a wholesome, balanced meal with whatever food we have left. This was me last night. I’m sure others out there can relate! It can be tempting to order out in situations like this, and when we lived in NYC, we often did (more than I’d like to admit!), but now that we’re living in the suburbs and adhering to a tighter budget, I’m trying to cook at home the majority of the time. Fortunately, it’s usually not very difficult to piece a meal together since I keep lots of veggies and whole grains on hand at all times. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity! And it’s always worth it. Continue reading “Veggie Fajita Bowl (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Current Costco Favorites

CURRENT COSTCO FAVORITES

I don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling majorly uninspired lately. This time of year tends to have that effect on me. After all the excitement of the holidays, the cold and dreary weather starts to get really old and all I long for is warmth and sun. At least the days are getting longer now and we’re starting to get spurts of warm weather. Today it’s going to be over 60 degrees and it’s forecasted to be above 50 most of the week, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

On a different note, today I thought I’d share what I’m currently loving from Costco. I always find it helpful when others share what they like to buy from various stores because sometimes I discover new favorite products that way, so I hope this is equally helpful! It would be great if we could do all our shopping at a single place, but different stores carry different products that suit our needs, so I find it’s worth it to make the trip to multiple stores. We usually hit up Costco about once a month to stock up on our mainstays. Before joining Costco, I was skeptical that they would have enough of the healthy, minimally-processed products I like to buy, but I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much they have to offer. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m loving from Costco right now! Continue reading “Current Costco Favorites”

Heart-Healthy Raspberry Chia Smoothie (Vegan & Gluten Free)

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Good morning and happy Valentine’s Day! Are you doing anything special? Truthfully I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day and I don’t have any plans to celebrate this year, but in honor of the day, I’m sharing a recipe for a yummy heart-healthy smoothie. A smoothie is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but there’s really no better way to show yourself or your family a little love than by making something delicious and nutritious that does the body good. Am I right? Continue reading “Heart-Healthy Raspberry Chia Smoothie (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Bark

Valentine's Day Chocolate Bark

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a recipe for a homemade sweet treat that you can give to loved ones or even enjoy yourself! I don’t know if you can even consider this a recipe because it’s so incredibly easy, but I figured it was worth sharing in case you’re still searching for Valentine’s Day gift ideas last minute. When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, chocolates are always hugely popular, but why buy a generic box when you can so easily make chocolate of your own? Chocolate bark is beyond simple and it’s so much more meaningful than boxed chocolates because you can personalize the bark however you want, depending on what the recipient likes. It looks so pretty too! Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Chocolate Bark”