The 8 Best Plant-Based Products to Buy This Week to Be Healthier
You stand in the store or scan the selection of plant-based options online and the choices can be daunting: What to try and buy this week to be healthy? The answer gets even more complicated among the vast and growing array of plant-based foods and drinks that are directed at boosting your health, strengthening your immunity, or helping you lose weight fast.
That's where the editors of The Beet can help. Each week we share our favorite snacks, drinks, and ingredients to try next when you're embarking on a plant-based diet for the sake of your health and the planet. Lucy Danziger, Stephanie McClain, Hailey Welch, and Caitlin Mucerino are experts after more than a year of having taste-tested and tried out hundreds of plant-based products (since launching The Beet last January) and we have recommendations to share. Here are our picks:
1. Daily Harvest Frozen Almond Mylk Wedges
Daily Harvest pretty much can't put a foot wrong. When founder Rachel Drori started the company back in 2015 with easy and fresh smoothies, we all jumped into the DH world, since it seemed to promise a healthier way of eating and made it easier than ever to get into the habit of adding more fruits and vegetables to our routine. In chic, simple packaging, DH expanded their offerings to introduce soups, grain bowls, and then low-sugar ice creams, all plant-based and healthier for you and the planet, and we signed on again. All the while, the company that sends ready-to-eat frozen bowls and smoothies straight to your door kept growing and inspiring copycat companies that wanted to get in on the rise of plant-based consumerism.
Then when DH announced it was launching Almond Milk, which they spell "Mylk," in a frozen wedge form, I thought: Okay this one I can skip. I have my milk game figured out and with the choices of almond and oat, hemp and barley, and even banana milk, I'm good.
But... It turns out this milk brings its A-game. Free of gums, emulsifiers, preservatives, added sugars, or carrageenan that is often in other plant milk options the Daily Harvest wedges are super natural and when you head out for the weekend and end up in a house that has no plant-based milk, you being a box of these, stow them in the freezer, and when it's time to whip up your smoothie or have your latte, voila! You are good to go. I'm a freak about waste, so while I like to use up all the almond milk in the house before restocking, that also means I often find myself with none (I can't always remember whether I have it in the fridge) so these wedges have saved the day over and over again. With Daily Harvest Almond Mylk Wedges, I know I am always stocked, never wasting milk, and they taste as good or better than my other favorite brands. You'll also save some money: They sell for $7.99 for 16 wedges, the equivalent of eight cups of Mylk.
2. Cool Beans Plant-Based Gluten-Free Wraps
Whether you eat zero meat and dairy or are just trying to cut back on your animal products, these wraps are a great option to keep in the freezer to heat and eat. Lunch is ready in three minutes. I love the Moroccan Gold flavor and my husband, who likes spicy food, enjoys the Spicy Chipotle (it lives up to its promise), but whichever you prefer, they taste as fresh as if you had made them yourself–but without all the hassle.
The gluten-free tortilla gently holds a super-fresh inner filling of beans, vegetables and grains. The Moroccan Gold contains sweet potato, red kidney beans, golden millet, and tomato. The Spicy Chipotle is made with black-eyed peas, corn, brown rice, and Poblano chili peppers. The Tikka Masala is made of blondne chickpeas, jasmin rice, cauliflower and green peas, with Masala seasoning. Each is minimally-processed and healthy enough that if you served these to a school pod of kids, they would all want to come to your house after sledding or any Saturday activity, every time. Perfect for the parent who doesn't want to serve pizza or pick up fast food, since these wraps are both healthy and delicious–and ready fast!
Find your Cool Beans Plant-Based Wraps here.
1. Organic India Tulsi Rose Tea
After my deep dive this past summer on adaptogens, I became increasingly aware of adding more of these stress-relieving plants, roots, and herbs into my routine. This Tulsi Rose Tea is the perfect way for me to wind down after a long day and feel calm, in control, and at ease. Tulsi (Holy Basil) is also a great tea to drink for your immune system–it combats respiratory ailments, lowers blood pressure, and is shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
The notes of rose feel sophisticated and comforting. A cup of this tea with a spoonful of agave is a fragrant, sweet way to cap off my night, and it always makes me feel relaxed and ready for bed. I can also see this tea making an excellent iced tea in warmer weather. Purchase on the brand's website here.
2. Enspice Seasonings
Want to add a kick of flavor to your plant-based dishes while doing some good? Enspice is a line of plant-based seasonings that are fortified with 21 vitamins and minerals, packing 50 percent of your FDA-recommended daily value per serving. For every spice bought, the brand feeds a malnourished child around the world in need.
So if you need to stock up on some high-quality cinnamon, seasoned salt, black pepper, chipotle bbq, taco seasoning, or cape cod seasoning, visit the brand’s website so you help Enspice give back to others while you nourish your body with vitamins and minerals.
1. Daiya Foods Cheddar & Mozza Style Blend Cutting Board Shred
If you're looking for a dairy-free cheese that performs just like the real thing, then Daiya's cheddar and mozza style blend is perfect for you. For a quick and not-so-healthy lunch, I make a quesadilla with two flour tortillas, a handful of this cheese, sliced avocado, mushrooms, and hot sauce, and it's my favorite way to indulge in junk food. The cheese has a stretchy and gooey pull just like regular cheese, but this one is made without the cow. Dairy cheese is linked to diseases and certain cancers and should be avoided at all costs. But, if you're slowly making your way to a plant-based lifestyle, I recommend trying this blend for your grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and pizzas, it's the best alternative I've ever tasted so far.
2. Hu Kitchen Grain-Free Everything Crackers
These are my newest addiction, and let me tell you, I can take down the whole box in one sitting. These crunchy, thin, crispy grain-free little chips (as I call them) are delicious and shock me that they're made without grains. They're the perfect little bite-size snack until you eat the entire box and turn your quick fix into an entree. But, the guilt-factor isn't as bad as eating chips, or other processed foods because these cracks contain 9 grams of net carbs--not bad for crackers, 0 grams of added sugar--the winner, no oils, no dairy, and no refined starches, checking every healthy box. I like to eat these crackers with a little bit of Toffuti, vegan cream cheese because it's just like the icing on the cake. If you're looking for a quick snack or something healthy to serve at a cocktail party, and don't want to make a full spread, I recommend serving these on a plate with a little dairy-free cream cheese and fresh fruit.
1. Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa Burger
Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa Burger make eating healthy not only delicious but satisfying. The burger is a blend of quinoa, kale and mixed vegetables but the best part is the puffed quinoa coating around the burger. The puffed quinoa adds a one-of-a-kind flavor and texture that is so different from every other veggie burger out there.
In one patty, there are 160 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. The unique texture and taste makes this burger versatile and allows you to get creative beyond a plain old burger. Plus. the easy preparation makes dinner seamless. All you have to do is take it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. My favorite meals to add the patty to are a veggie grain bowl or Mediterranean-flavored gyro.
Strong Roots is available at major grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Wegmans and Shoprite.
2. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cups
On colder days, all I want is a warm, healthy breakfast that doesn't take much time or effort to make. Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal Cups is just that and has quickly become my go-to breakfast every day. You don't have to prep oats overnight or really put in any effort at all. Boil water and add it to the oatmeal cup. Let it sit for two minutes and in no time you have a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.
The oatmeal has seven grams of protein and seven grams of fiber per cup. The oatmeal cups come in four flavors: Original, Brown Sugar and Maple, Apple Pieces and Cinnamon and Blueberry and Hazelnut. Every flavor also has chia and flax seeds in it, which is another great source of protein and fiber. Add blueberries or bananas on top to add a fresh element to your breakfast.
Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal Cups are available online here or in stores such as Whole Foods, and Wegmans.