Finally, the white chocolate we’ve all been waiting for (and it’s vegan! bonus!) »
Vegan white chocolate, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, has historically (yes, HISTORICALLY) been nothing more than a magical lie. A goddamned beautiful magical LIE! And if you could get your hands on it, it tasted like overly sweet white chalk, or worse. I don’t know what’s worse than overly sweet white chalk but if you’ve eaten most vegan white chocolates, you would know. And actually, non-vegan white chocolate, for that matter. That stuff can be FUNKY, and NOT funky FRESH. It’s a hard dish to crack, but it’s finally been done, and for that we should all get down on our knees and praise Easter Bunny. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Let’s get to the candy.
Of course it was that genius Melodi from Obsessive Confection Disorder who successfully veganized white chocolate into the tasty candy it deserved to be. She sent me some to try and it. is. like. WHOA.
It is just … it’s otherworldly. It’s sweet, but not insanely sweet, and oh so creamy, and it melts on your tongue. It is the best stuff on Earth. Order it all now before I do because not only do I want to eat it solo, I want to add it to baked goods and melt it on top of berries. It is the nectar of the gods and you NEED IT. Also, you probably need everything else Melodi makes because girlfriend is a vegan candy GODDESS. Make way for the REAL Tooth Fairy, because she has arrived and she is Good.
We totally heart Cocomels: delicious coconut-milk vegan caramels! »
Guys, I’m happily OBSESSED with Cocomels vegan coconut milk caramels. Like, completely OBSESSED. JJ’s Sweets sent me a bunch of free stuff to try and as usual, I shared these goodies with my coworkers. Everyone absolutely loved them and multiple coworkers said these are the best things I’ve ever made them try.
I was never much into caramels but I thought I’d give these a try anyway and boy am I glad I did! They are nothing short of awesome. And totally addictive.
As they are made with coconut milk, some of them have a bit of a coconut flavor. People were comparing the vanilla Cocomels to Samoas Girl Scout cookies. I’ve never had those but that’s what everyone said they tasted like.
The coffee and sea salt have less of a coconut flavor. The coffee is my most very favorite of all the flavors! It tastes like rich coffee, like when you get coffee ice cream—not a subtle cappuccino flavor. The sea salt was my second favorite as you know I love the salty and sweet combo.
Now, don’t die! They also sent me a few of their chocolate-covered varieties!* I gave my mom the chocolate-covered vanilla ones and she pretty much died. These were all good but I actually prefer the straight up caramels. The chocolate seemed a little minty almost? Maybe I’m being cray but that’s what it tasted like to me. Loved the sea salt one of course! Here’s a picture of the chocolate-covered sea salt Cocomel, in all its glory:
Jeez, don’t drool on the computer! OK you can because it’s your computer and you can do whatever you want. Unless you are at the library (NERD), in which case do not drool on your computer and keep it down over there.
Other exciting bits of info:
-I love the packaging design! (Reminds me of the sidewalks in Rio. Why yes, I am fancy. Thanks for noticing.)
-Cocomels are made in copper kettles, all old-school like!
-They are gluten free, organic, non-GMO and corn syrup-free!
-The boxes are made with wind power for freaks sake!
-The chocolate they use is fair trade!
I know, it’s all so exciting! You can buy Cocomels online at their site, Food Fight Grocery, and Abe’s Market. You can also get them at Whole Foods Market stores in the NorCal, SoCal, CO, NM, UT, NY, CT, NJ, TX, LA, AR, OK, KS, NV; Select Sprouts in AZ and CA, Vitamin Cottage, The Fresh Market, New Leaf, and numerous smaller chains, COOPs and independent grocers. I cannot recommend these enough! I want more!
*UPDATE!: Several people have found the chocolate-covered caramels are sold-out on the Cocomels site! JJ’s Sweets just put this note on our FB:
The Chocolate-Covered Cocomels are available in a two pack only in a few select locations right now, but you will be able to order the larger bags of them on the site in the next few days…. making a fresh batch now!
OMG they’re going to make vegan M&Ms and you can help! They’ll have mini vegan marshmallows in the middle instead of peanuts, which actually I think is a terrible idea, but whatever, vegan beggars can’t be vegan choosers, and maybe once these sell 10 billion packages, they’ll listen to my requests and make ones with peanuts or almonds. I know I know, allergies, but can’t we just have all the choices?
But enough complaining, VEGAN M&Ms, people! Go Kickstart that dream right now!
Product Review: Buddha Cups, raw organic dark chocolate almond butter cups! »
Your Vegansaurus loves (vegan, fair trade, organic) chocolate, and your Vegansaurus loves almond butter, so when the lovely people of Buddha Chocolate offered to send us a sample two-pack of their fancy gourmet cups, you know we took them up on it.
I cut one in half to share with whoever else was in the apartment that day, namely one of my roommates, her boyfriend, and my brother, all omnivores.
The results were … mixed. While the chocolate was rich, the almond butter was dry and crumbly. The omnis all said they could “tell” the chocolate was vegan; I haven’t had dairy chocolate in like seven years, so I wasn’t really sure what they were tasting that I wasn’t (or vice versa?).
I suspected user error, though—they’d gone from a hot package in the mail to the fridge, and then right back out to a hot apartment—and the second one I let sit on the counter a while before eating it. Much better. The almond butter was softer, the chocolate melted into it, and it was really satisfying. Not too sweet, so you could totally eat one for breakfast (seriously, the fat and protein? Awesome to start the day) if you didn’t want to wait till dessert.
Buddha Cups are handmade in Brooklyn by a couple of awesome vegans, and are available at select Manhattan and Brooklyn locations, or you can buy them online. They’re like Justin’s, but almondy and harder to get! I recommend them. In fact, I’d eat one right now if I had it.
[Top photo via Buddha Chocolate; second photo by me]
Homemade vegan creme eggs: Can it be done? »
Liza Eckert attempts to make vegan creme eggs chez elle for Persephone, with mixed results. Mainly because her electric mixer gave out before the ingredients of the creamy centers were fully combined, and then she ran into trouble with apportioning the chocolate shells … but, she says, “Nothing, not even weird consistency or uneven chocolate, will stand between me and my creme eggs.”
Have any of you attempted to make creme eggs? I loved the Cadbury’s original more than life itself as a kid, and had an excellent grown-up version at Timeless the other week—creamier centers with a sort of lemony finish to the vanilla, offset by darker chocolate—but I’ve never felt inclined to do them myself. There’s a recipe on VegWeb, though, for the brave!
[photo by Liza Eckert for Persephone Magazine]
Sugary pastel chocolate-filled toadstools from Andie’s Specialty Sweets, coming to you from Dallas, Texas, via etsy! Maybe you saw them in a recent issue of Chickpea magazine? They’re super-cute, probably delicious, and perfect for a fancy vegan Easter basket (very Martha, right?). Andie’s Specialty Sweets isn’t all vegan, but a number of their adorable products are. These toadstools are filled with fair-trade chocolate, too! I love fancy candies.
Valentine’s Day is both nonsense and three weeks away, so let’s order ourselves this box of 24 assorted raw vegan chocolates from Happy Herbivore for … Galentine’s Day? Anna Howard Shaw Day? Because you’re worth it? Who cares, just do it! Choose from 10 different flavors, all of which are organic and two of which are nut-free. Fancy, beautiful, and delicious, three words that also describe our wonderful Vegansaurus readers.
Happy Herbivore has an Etsy shop full of raw vegan chocolates, and sells gift certificates, if two dozen raw vegan chocolates aren’t your thing. (which, why aren’t they your thing?)
Go Max Go debuts vegan Butterfingers! »
The rumors are true: Go Max Go has added a new candy bar to its vegan line! The bar is called Thumbs Up and it’s a vegan version of a Butterfinger. I love Butterfingers, so Go Max Go sent me a free bar to try. Now I will tell you all about it.
Official opinion: AMAZING! Like, so good. I can’t remember exactly what Butterfingers taste like, but to my best recollection, these are an excellent approximation. They are crispy and best of all, peanut-buttery. As soon as I bit in I was like, “hot damn!” I’ve had a few vegan Butterfinger-type things in the past and they were all great, but they were generally a harder consistency than the real thing. Very toffee-like. These are different; they’re much lighter, which I think the real bar is like. Kind of like half-toffee, half-peanut butter wafer.
If you want to get your own Thumbs Up, Go Max Go tells me the bars are going to hit stores this month! They should be showing up in online vegan stores first, so keep an eye out. I for one can’t wait!
Also, dude: BUY ALL THE VEGAN TWIX THINGS THEY LOOK TO BE THE BOMB.
OCD Sweets, if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Or skinny.
Product review: Yummi Bears vitamins are perfect for kids, and the kid in you! »
UPDATE!!!: Turns out, these are NOT vegan. They contain lanolin. However the company says that Yummi Bears Organics Immunity and Yummi Bears Organics Brain Health are both vegan.
When you’re a queer vegan like me, you learn to improvise in situations where inequality is at play. No same-sex marriage in your state? Road trip with your pleather biker fiancé to Northhampton! No vegan gummy vitamins on the market? Squash one of your regular vegan multivitamins and one of those wacky German vegan gummy animals together and chew it down before you taste anything horrible (like the part that isn’t gummy bear)!
The thing is though, times are changing. Rainbow marriage is on the horizon (you heard it here first, folks!) and finally, vegans have an awesome gummy multivitamin to call our very own. Hurray! Yummi Bears Organics Multi-Vitamin is completely vegan, as well as free from allergens, gluten, casein, gelatin, and GMOs, and all natural and organic. Yummi Bears make four varieties of vegan organic vitamins: a multivitamin with 16 essential vitamins and minerals; a Brain Health vitamin with DHA and B-complex; an Immunity Health with rose hips and astragalus (I LOVE ASTRAGALUS); and a Bone Health vitamin to give kids healthy bones, teeth, and gums (you know, when they’re not messing up their dental work with gummy bears).
The company sent me free samples of the Multi-Vitamin and Bone Health. How do they taste? AMAZING. They really taste like candy. Because, you know, they are candy. I felt insta-fortified after trying three of each (that’s the serving size according to the package, don’t hate!) and I know you/your kids would, too.
I really love taking vitamins, and I’m passionate about vitamin accessibility in the vegan community. I once considered living in a co-op near Lake Merritt but decided not to because it didn’t sit right with me that they had a communal condom drawer but didn’t share vitamins. I mean, I get that, but c’mon. Choosing safer household sex over safer household B-12 blood levels? They didn’t have their priorities straight. That’s why I moved to Philadelphia, where people share cigarettes and horror stories about traffic to the Jersey Shore. And now I have these amazing gummy vitamins to share—so far I’ve brought some to a young queer Jews of Philadelphia National Coming Out Day party, and I can confirm that I made exactly 3.5 friends while passing out gummy bears over by the hummus (that’s always where you’ll find me!). A great victory for supplementation proliferation and my heeb social life. Yay!
Get Yummi Bears Organics at Rainbow, Whole Foods, and other health food stores, or online.