Check Out The Beet Editors’ Favorite Plant-Based Products of 2020
At The Beet, our editors are always trying out new, innovative plant-based products in order to give our readers the best possible recommendations for how to enjoy the plant-based lifestyle. This year, in particular, has provided us tons of time to discover new products, recipes, and create new healthy habits, as more innovative plant-based and meatless or dairy-free versions of our favorite foods have hit the market.
For our year-end roundup, we wanted to share with you our absolute favorite new discoveries from the past 12 months, whether they be plant-based or simply health and wellness-related. Below are our best-loved products, habits, and findings from all of 2020, from our team of editors: Lucy, Stephanie, Hailey, and Caitlin.
1. JUST Egg Scramble, for the Best Omelets Ever
When summer came around and my grown kids came home my only source of frustration was how do I put food on the table that they would love and that I could eat. Rather than serve them the scrambled eggs of their childhood I whipped up a JUST Egg omelet with some variety of veggies on hand (green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and a little plant-based cheese grated in), and voila! There was a symphony of delight all around. Not only did they gobble it up but so did my husband the game was on: Who could make the best JUST Egg omelet.
We all took turns and it was such a fun exercise in experimentation that when a friend or two (safely) visited they went home raving to their families about how much they loved JUST Egg. Now we are only sad when we have none in the fridge. None of us will ever eat eggs again, and the best part is, we are all doing it for different reasons: My husband and I for our health and our kids for the taste. If you ever want to be happy and ease someone into a healthier, more planet-friendly tradition of plant-based mornings, this is the product you need to have on hand.
2. Vegan or Plant-Based Taco Night! With Gardein Beefless Ground Crumbles
When we do taco night at our house, it's always meatless. Our family and very close friends who have been lucky enough to get invited for meatless taco night never raved so much as when we served up the choices of meatless filling, and we enjoyed tasting the options that are on the market now. But for the fact that the formula is clean and free of chemicals and other things I am trying to avoid, I keep coming back to Gardein, which contains 87 percent less fat than the beef version. I am trying to be healthy, and on the road to eating whole food plant-based meals, this is a nice stop-over for anyone who needs convincing that going plant-based and cutting out meat can be delicious. Just serve them up a little meatless taco Tuesday, any night of the week.
1.Yoga with Adriene, for virtual yoga practice
I have been doing yoga on and off for the better part of my life, but during lockdown was pushed to find a virtual way to workout from the comfort of my home. Although I never sustained what I would consider a yoga 'practice,' opting more for sporadic classes with friends at different studios here and there, Adriene Mishler's YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene (YWA) has helped me solidify a daily yoga practice, which has improved my physical and mental health exponentially. With a well-deserved 8.9 million followers, Adriene serves up free yoga classes for every need and length of practice, such as 'Yoga for Writers' or 'Yoga for Beginners,' as well as 30-Day programs to help ease you into this discipline, which originated in ancient India. Adriene also gives watchers several ways to modify poses depending on what works for them, thus the basis of her tagline "Find What Feels Good."
For anyone new to YWA, I would suggest checking out her '30 Days of Yoga' program which starts with the very basics of form, breath, and poses and ends with you leading your own practice. I can promise that anyone who does even one of Adriene's hundreds of free videos will notice improved mental health, flexibility, strength, and will 100% develop a parasocial relationship with Adriene, who leads so effortlessly and kindly, you cannot help but regard her as a friend. Not to mention, her adorable dog Benji co-stars in the background of every video. Thank you, Adriene, for enriching my 2020 and giving me a way to relax, restore, and connect with my best self every day.
2. GT's Synergy Kombucha, (in my opinion) the supreme kombucha
In the past year, I've tasted tons of brands of delicious, inventive kombucha, but one brand will always reign elite for me: GT's Synergy. I may be biased because I had the joy of interviewing GT Dave, the legendary CEO and founder behind the brand, but to me, nothing quite rivals the taste or quality of GT's raw, unpasteurized brew. Although NYC grocery stores price GT's Living Foods' bottles at a premium, I still spring for a couple of bottles a week, using them to reward myself after running errands or a particularly stressful day.
My favorite flavors are the Cayennade, Rose Berry, Tantric Tumeric, and the Guava Goddess, which I would highly recommend as a beginner flavor if you're new to 'bucha. Sipping on a bottle over the course of a couple of hours makes my stomach feel more settled and gives me energy, not to mention the billions of good-for-you bacteria in just one serving that can help to boost gut health and immunity. After all, there's a reason that this elixir has remained popular since its origin in Ancient China around 220 BCE. If you're still searching for a good New Year's Resolution, drinking more kombucha is sure to make for a healthier 2021.
My go-to kitchen essential that makes eating plant-based so much easier, tastier, and healthier is my Vitamix. If you know of the "starter pack meme" that trends on social media where items are meant to illustrate something, this blender is definitely part of my plant-based starter pack. I love this product so much that I actually travel with it, even though the blender weighs about 15 pounds, I'd rather have my fresh smoothies, juices, soups, pasta sauce, salad dressings, homemade almond milk, than extra clothes and shoes (luckily I've never had to pay a baggage fee).
The Vitamix is an extremely powerful, high-speed blender that will chop up even the toughest vegetables and fruits. When I make soups, I cut an entire carrot in half and throw it in the Vitamix and it turns into liquid in less than 5 seconds. Another perk of a Vitamix is that the blender makes the best juices, so you don't need a juicer, which is messy and not as efficient, in my opinion. When I make juices, I don't cut the skin off of lemons or vegetables and there are no major chopping skills needed. I fill the Vitamix more than half full of water and add fruits or veggies. My go-to recipe is one whole lemon, kale, spinach, sprouts, and one whole red apple for sweetness.
If you don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen or don't consider yourself the best chef, the Vitamix is a very useful tool for fresh, healthy, plant-based meals. My Vitamix routine looks like a green juice first thing in the morning, a fresh soup around lunchtime, a protein smoothie for snack, and a fresh pasta sauce made with local tomatoes and spices blended together for dinner and topped over pasta. If your goal in 2021 is to eat healthier, I recommend buying this product. Vitamix is a smart investment in your health.
2. Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil
Ever since I wrote about the health benefits of sea buckthorn, and learned that the powerful berry contains anti-aging factors that help clear skin and boost collagen, I purchased my newest obsession, which works wonders. The Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil is made with mostly plants and includes main ingredients like sea buckthorn, rosehip, chia seeds, and more. This product comes in a glass bottle with an oily orange liquid that applies to the skin gently and leaves your face looking dewy and hydrated. After I use the oil, I don't have to add a hydrating cream for dryness because the oil is all that in one.
In addition to the product, I am also a big fan of the company, Herbivore Botanicals. The 100% vegan company uses synthetic-free ingredients (which is hard to come by in the skincare industry) and ensures that its products are biocompatible with glass and paper packaging. The brand is on a forward-thinking mission to reduce its carbon footprint and make products that are safe for the environment.
If you're looking for a smoothing oil or hydrating product for dry skin made with synthetic-free plant-based ingredients and powerful compounds, I recommend this product completely.
1. Insight Timer
Mediation can be an intimidating practice to just jump into and sometimes all you need is a little guidance. For me, the Insight Timer app was exactly what I needed to start building a strong foundation for my practice. The first course I tried out was the seven-day beginner course which touches upon all the basics you need when starting out. Now, after six months Insight Timer guided mediations have become a part of my daily morning routine.
Insight Timer has so much to offer including guided meditations, courses to expand your knowledge, playlists to help you sleep better, live yoga classes, and motivational speeches. The best part about this app is it's completely free. Another great feature of Insight Timer is you can set daily reminders and make time to practice. I highly recommend trying out guided mediations by Dora Kamau, Jeremy Lim and Manoj Dias. Whether your new to mediation or are looking to expand your practice, Insight Timer will transform your mediations to new levels.
2. Fresh Nature Food Falafel Cakes
Greek and Mediterranean food has always been my favorite cuisine and luckily my go-to order is vegan: Falafel. As much as I love homemade falafels, it isn't realistic to make homemade falafels every day for lunch or dinner. So, I found the next best thing that tastes just like it's fresh out of the pan. Fresh Nature Food frozen falafel cakes are delicious, protein-packed and great for a quick lunch or dinner. All you have to do is pop the falafels in the oven and you have a gourmet tasting meal. Add vegan tzatziki, such as Kite Hill, to make the falafel taste even more authentic.
The frozen falafel cakes are made out of healthy ingredients: Green garbanzo beans, panko breadcrumbs, onions, water, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sea salt, parsley, cilantro, leek soup base, and other spices. Fresh Nature Falafel cakes can be found at various grocery stores including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Safeway, Fred Meyers, Pavilions and Bristol Farms.<