FOR MOMS, MOMS-TO-BE & Toddlers 2*+
Many people believe that being a vegan means deprivation and giving up foods that they have grown up with. And while meat and milk may not be that hard to take out of our diets, it’s usually the foods that we grew up with that we end up missing the most.
The most common food I hear that people just don’t want to stop eating – cheese. And another food that people don’t realize they are going to miss until the opportunity presents itself – marshmallows.
Fortunately Chicago Vegan Foods has developed some great tasting recipes for both these products, allowing vegans and non-vegans alike to enjoy some healthier options to some of their favorites.
THE PRODUCT: Chicago Vegan Foods was started over a decade ago by [then] teenage friends Ryan Howard and Dan Ziegler, with the goal of merging their love for animals and activism into a business that could help bring awareness to veganism. What better way to build awareness than through great tasting food?
Starting out with a soy-based ice cream line, they wanted to create more products based on some of their all-time favorite comfort foods. Since cheese was the number one ingredient, they began developing “cheese”, minus the dairy – and Teese Vegan Cheese was born.
Focusing on the simple and classic pizza, grilled Teese, mac n’ Teese, and nachos, Chicago Vegan Foods wanted to fill another void in the vegan market: marshmallows.
Most people don’t realize that marshmallows contain gelatin and it’s pretty much impossible to find good air puffed campfire-style marshmallows that are also vegan. Until Dandies Vegan Marshmallows were created.
With their mission being to make delicious, cruelty-free food products with taste and texture similar to their animal-based counterparts, Chicago Vegan Foods is looking forward to continuing to grow their business, all while promising to always put you [the customer] and the animals first.
NUTRITION-WISE: Teese Vegan Cheese is a low-fat, dairy-free cheese alternative that delivers authentic taste, texture, melt and stretch. With their unique take on packaging, Teese is able to maintain a longer shelf life compared to their competitors.
Available in Mozzarella Cheese, Nacho Cheese Sauce, Creamy Cheddar Cheese Sauce, and Cheddar Cheese, Teese has a flavor that is perfect for any of your favorite cheesy-dishes. Plus, it contains no dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, palm oil, soy, wheat, or gluten, making it a great healthy choice for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Chicago Vegan Foods also creates Dandies Vegan Marshmallows: a cruelty-free alternative to the traditional marshmallow. As the first ever marshmallow to be Non-GMO Verified, Dandies are also all-natural, contain no corn syrup or gelatin, and are also free of dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, fat, and corn. Available in regular and mini sizes, Dandies are perfect for roasting over the campfire or adding to your favorite glass of hot cocoa, or even for making vegan brown-rice crispy treats.
*Chicago Vegan Foods has made it their mission to create healthier versions of commonly loved foods. And while this is definitely the case, I still wouldn’t consider “cheese” or marshmallows health foods. Since both lines contain carrageenan (a somewhat controversial ingredient), and there are loads of sugars (~20 grams per serving) in the marshmallows, these aren’t foods I will be giving my children on a regular basis.
However, I still believe these are great alternatives to their traditional counterparts, and feel like they are a healthier option when we want our children, or ourselves for that matter, to indulge.
WHERE TO BUY: Chicago Vegan Foods are available at Whole Foods nationwide, or to find other Retail Locations near you, please visit their Store Locator.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to roast marshmallows over the campfire. In fact, I was so in love with marshmallows that I would also put them directly into the microwave and watch them “grow”, saving the time of “puffing” them over direct heat.
While I haven’t done that for years (since I realized the harmful effects microwaved food can have on our bodies, not to mention the fact that I don’t eat gelatinized-foods anymore), I won’t lie and say I don’t miss having a good old-fashioned roasted marshmallow every now and again.
That’s why I was so happy to have discovered Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. Just like the originals, but without all the additives, I can feel good about giving these to my kids, or enjoying them myself.
And when it comes to cheese, Chicago Vegan Foods’ Teese is pretty great too. With different varieties for all of your favorite cheese-based dishes, including pizza, enchiladas, nachos, grilled cheese, lasagna, or whatever else your stomach is in the mood for, Teese will not only satisfy your cravings, but won’t leave you feeling bloated or overly bogged down like traditional cheese dishes tend to do. Plus, the taste and texture, melt and stretch is strikingly similar to other cheeses, so even those who aren’t willing to “convert” won’t be disappointed with the swap.
Try one or all of Chicago Vegan Foods’ products and see how enjoyable eating vegan foods can be!
And remember, Contact Healthy.Fit.Fab…Moms today to create a personalized plan so you and your family can live a healthy, fit, and fabulous life!