Do you enjoy vegan cheese?

Creamy Vegan Cheesecake

Image source: http://kite-hill.com

Then this will make you ecstatic.

According to Live Kindly, General Mills has invested $40 million in the vegan dairy company Kate Hill.

For those who love cheese and milk, but want to avoid the health, environmental, and ethical complications of dairy consumption, Kite Hill fills a space. The company produces a range of plant-based yogurts, in flavors like vanilla, peach, key lime, and strawberry, as well as vegan cream cheese in chive and jalapeño flavors. Kite Hill also offers ravioli, artisanal cheese, and almond milk.

According to the article, Kite Hill will invest in expansion of both its facility as well as its line of products.

Co-founder and Chef Tal Ronnen added that Kite Hill was born out of the desire to craft “first-rate dairy alternatives”that everyone can enjoy. Ronnen said that so far, Kite Hill’s products have exceeded even the team’s expectations. He added, “Now that we are available nationwide, we want to continue to offer people the high quality, innovative products they have come to expect from us at Kite Hill. We are showing consumers just how delicious plant-based foods can be.”

You can check out their offerings at Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, Kroger, and Publix, and more.

Various surveys have noted that dairy products appear to be falling out of favor with many folks and this development will give us some great options when it comes to eating in a more ethical, healthy manner.

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The incredible, edible… Pea?

Oh my, how diverse peas are! First (if memory recalls) Hampton Creek used pea protein for their Just Mayo.

We use frozen peas in our version of guacamole.

Peas add a splash of color as well as an explosion of flavor to nearly every savory dish.

And now (drum roll please), Veg News reports a company called Puris has developed a product made with pea starch designed to replace gelatin in gummy candies.

“Pea starch has an interesting functionality,” PURIS President Tyler Lorenzen told NutraIngredients-USA. “We have shown that it could replace the gelatin in a gummy…now we have shown that we can replace the pectin used in gummies as well.”

How cool, eh? As someone who enjoys an occasional sweet treat, it’ll be fun to give these little gems a whirl!

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Have you tried Beyond Meat?

Beyond Meat burger

Source: Beyond Meat

We haven’t found it around here. That said, everyone over here tends to love our garbanzo burgers, I’ll post the recipe soon.

That said, Beyond Meat appears to be doing pretty well. CNBC reports the company’s preparing to go public.

The plant-based food company has tapped J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to help lead the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. It could not be immediately determined what valuation Beyond Meat will seek in its IPO.

Cool, eh? It’s great whenever a plant based company gets popular enough to do this. I know many dieticians warn about Beyond Meat’s fat content and such, but not everyone’s dealing with heart disease, cancer, and such. For the average person, an occasional Beyond Meat burger is likely a fine thing. The NIH agrees:

The National Institutes of Health published a report in 2012 that said regular red meat consumption could shorten consumers’ lifespan. It suggested that eaters “might help improve their health by substituting other healthy protein sources for some of the red meat they eat.”

Not everyone’s pleased with this development…

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, however, has taken issue with vegetarian companies calling their products meat. The group filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in February requesting official definitions for the terms “beef” and “meat.”

Good grief. Do I sense a few sour grapes? Despite the protest, business seems brisk:

Beyond Meat has sold 25 million of its “Beyond Burgers” since 2016, according to the company. Restaurants, including TGI Friday’s, sell it on its menu. White Castle sells the Impossible Burger, which Eater magazine called “one of the country’s best fast-food burgers, period” in April.

The Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat was founded in 2009 by CEO Ethan Brown. It sells its products in more than 32,000 grocery stores, restaurants and other outlets across the U.S. Whole Foods, Kroger and Target all sell Beyond Meat items.

Doesn’t look like Beyond Meat’s going away any time soon. If I get a chance, I’ll hunt one down and report back. In the meantime, I’d love to read a few real world reviews…

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Truffles!

I suck at photography but oy, these were good!

Basic chocolate cake (from our fabulous Mix cookbook dipped in melted chocolate chips. The soft inner core juxtaposed with the crunchy chocolate shell felt particularily fetching.

I baked a few in my silicone cake pop sheet, others (the square ones) were in the brownie bite pan.

Both were amazing! But, I felt the ratio of cake to chocolate shell seemed a bit more satisfying with the brownie bites combination. But, others may disagree… 🙂

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Plant Based Halo Top?

 dairy-free caramel macchiato pint Be still my heart.

I make a ton of banana ice cream. It’s healthy, low calorie, very adaptable to a million flavors. But every now and then I want to grab a container straight out of the freezer and go after a sweet treat with a spoon.

Enter Halo Top!

It’s low calorie, tasty, and 100 percent plant based. I can’t wait to head to my local grocery store to see if it’s in stock.

More information… 14 flavors!

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Is the term “milk” confusing?

Apparently not. Here’s the deal:

For quite a while, the animal dairy business has been on a campaign to ban the word “milk” from being used for anything beyond the fluid that comes out of the mammary glands of an animal.

Hence terms like “soy milk” or “hemp milk” or “oat milk” would be illegal.

“People get confused!” they claim.

Confused over what, I’m not sure.

Turns out I’m not alone. Veg News reports that a whopping 75 percent of consumers understand that plant milks don’t contain animal fluids. They say:

Between August 4 and August 6, 1,000 adults were given a list of products with items such as “whole milk,” “chocolate milk,” “nonfat milk,” “coconut milk,” “rice milk,” and “almond milk,” and given the question, “Of the products below, which do you think contains cow’s milk?” On average, 75 percent of consumers stated that the plant-based milk items on the list did not contain animal milk and a majority correctly identified product names that referred to animal-derived dairy.

How ’bout that? People can read!

A number of dairy lobby groups have urged the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to limit the use of terms such as “milk” to refer only to animal-derived products, citing consumer confusion as the overarching argument for changing labeling standards.

I guess that argument’s toast, eh? Now we wait to see what the FDA thinks of this study…

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Avocados aren’t vegan?

Not according to folks appearing on Qi (BBC):

Huh. How ’bout that? QZ has a few thoughts on that.

Commercial farming of those vegetables, at least in some parts of the world, often involves migratory beekeeping. In places such as California, there are not enough local bees or other pollinating insects to pollinate the massive almond orchards. Bee hives are transported on the back of large trucks between farms—they might go from almond orchards in one part of the US then on to avocado orchards in another, and later to sunflower fields in time for summer.

That’s a rather intriguing thought; quite the tangled ethical web! QZ says:

Another answer might depend on someone’s view about the moral status of insects. Commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees. Transporting bees to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. But some may question whether bees are capable of suffering in the same way as animals, while others may wonder whether bees are self-aware—whether they have a desire to continue to live. If they do not, some philosophers argue that they would not be harmed by being killed (others, such as Gary Francione, would beg to differ).

Near as I can tell, this issue isn’t quite as thorny for Plant Based folks, those who adopt this lifestyle for health reasons, ethical considerations coming in shortly thereafter.

But this issue is certainly an interesting topic. What do you think?

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Is 2050 the beginning of the end?

A very sobering report from the Nature stating 2050 could be quite the watershed year. Via Naked Food:

The human population has reached 7.6 billion and could number 9 billion or 10 billion by midcentury. All those people will need to eat. A report published Wednesday in the journal Nature argues that a sustainable food system that doesn’t ravage the environment is going to require dramatic reforms, including a radical change in dietary habits.

To be specific: Meat is out, and fruits and veggies are in.

Well. That’s not great. Actually, the solution’s pretty awesome because plant based food is fantastic. Trick is, it’s weirdly difficult to persuade some people to try these incredible dishes. But, there’s this:

The 23 authors of the report, hailing from Europe, the United States, Australia and Lebanon, reviewed the many moving parts of the global food system and how they interact with the environment. The authors concluded that the current methods of producing, distributing and consuming food aren’t environmentally sustainable and that damage to the planet could make it less hospitable for human existence.

We’re somewhat surprised this news hasn’t hit all the major news outlets. But then again…

One obvious measure is a change in diets. Researchers say meat production, which includes growing food specifically to feed to livestock, is an environmentally inefficient way to generate calories for human consumption. Moreover, ruminants such as cows are prodigious producers of methane as they digest food, and methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The report says greenhouse-gas emissions from the global food system could be reduced significantly if people reduce red-meat consumption and follow a diet built around fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

(Plus, basing your diet around fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes is exceedingly healthy!)

Going plant based is one of the best decisions you can make to maintain your health, help protect the environment, and be kind to animals. It’s a win for everyone! If you don’t know where to start, be sure to sign up for updates. We’re all about keeping our plant based life simple, tasty, healthy, and sustainable. After all, the best diet is one you can enjoy and maintain forever…

Via WFPB.org

Source: Naked Magazine

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Hasn’t Dr. Esselstyn said this for years?

Science Daily reports a new study from Case Western Reserve University, published in Molecular Cell says:

… heart failure severity could vary based on nitric oxide levels in the body. Low levels could cause GPCRs to primarily activate the arrestin side of their signaling pathways — leaving out the other half that helps the heart respond to stressors. “Without nitric oxide, heart rate and contractility can’t increase, and thus hearts fail,” Stamler said.

Cool, eh?

I remember watching a Caldwell Esselstyn DVD where he spoke at length about the importance of keeping your nitric oxide levels healthy.

Watch any cooking demo by his family and guess what? They talk extensively about those nitric oxide levels.

And how, pray tell, do  we pamper our hearts with this magical nitric oxide levels?

It’s super easy.

Just eat leafy greens like arugula, celery, lettuce, romaine, beets, spinach, watercress and chervil.

Or, how ’bout fruit? Strawberries, melons, raspberries, cherries, bananas, raisins, prunes and figs.

Another fun fact? Dark chocolate. Yup. That’ll do some good, too.

Oy. Plant based living is soooo dull, eh?

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Oat Milk!

This is an oldie but goodie. Apologies for the sound quality… we’re getting better at this. 😛

Super simple recipe. Easy instructions. Even easier clean up. Oh, did I mention this milk costs pennies a quart?

Good luck!

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