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Category: review (page 1 of 2)

Cocozia Coconut Oil Review

A while back, I reviewed Cocozia’s coconut water. It turns out they also have organic, non-GMO coconut oil AND they were kind enough to send me a jar to try out.

cocozia coconut oil

The Cocozia Coconut Oil is pure white in the jar. When I popped it open the light coconut scent made my mouth water a little. This oil seems to have more of a scent than other coconut oils I’ve used, but it dissipates when you cook with it.

Now, I’m already a fan of coconut oil, so there was no learning curve here. I already cooked with it regularly. So to take it to the next level, I tried to use it as much as possible, and for dishes that normally call for different oils.

This is my standard quick tofu recipe.

fried tofu

Next, I made some BBQ Soy Curls, around 6PM on this plate.

bbq soy curls

Being a typical vegan,  of course there was a tofu scramble.

tofu scramble

We have this Cosmic Kale and Chickpeas regularly, but I admit I always use a little oil.

cosmic kale and chickpeas

This coconut oil performed spectacularly in every one of these dishes and the ones I forgot to take pictures of. I used this oil nearly exclusively until it was gone. If you’re looking for an oil that is USDA Certified 100% Organic, NON-GMO Project Verified, NON Hexane and free of bleach or deodorizers, you should look into Cocozia Coconut Oil.

Vegan Dumplings & more at Gu’s Bistro in Krog Street Market

gu's bistro - home of vegan dumplings

About a week ago, we finally wandered into Krog Street Market for the first time to finally experience the vegan dumplings at Gu’s Bistro. Gu’s is a Szechuan spot that used to have a location up on the international food mecca, Buford Highway. We had already heard so many good things, it was just a matter of remembering to go there rather than default routing to our normal spots.

First, a little about Krog Street Market. It’s right off the Beltline, a fairly new mixed use path in Atlanta, and they are fully prepared. There is a ton of bike parking. And when we went by on a Saturday much of it was in use. Love to see that! As we walked in, it looked like seating could be a problem. But after making a lap to see what was there, we saw that there were seats further in.

Gu’s Bistro is what we decided to get. Of course, the vegan dumplings were going to have to happen. But we were hungry and needed more. We decided to get one tofu dish and one vegetable dish. I had to steal Kevin’s photo of the dishes because mine of the dumplings and green beans were just a blurry smear.

gu's vegan dumplings stringbeans and ma la tofu skin

The dumplings were swimming in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. It’s delicious but it’s also a little oily. File this one under occasional food.

vegan ma la tofu skin

There were a couple of tofu options, but we chose the Ma La Sliced Tofu Skin, a cold dish. When someone says tofu skin to me, I picture Inari, the slightly sweet sushi. But this had a completely different texture. Like noodles but a little more rubbery. Don’t let my poor description put you off. We destroyed these.

We’d heard the lotus root was really good, but I felt like we needed something green, because I’m annoying like that. So we got the string beans. Also tasty. Plus, all this food was very chopstick friendly. I hate it when everything is cut small and you feel like you’re picking up one pea at a time. These dishes enable you to shovel large quantities into your face at a time, even if you aren’t a native chopstick user.

Now, this was not a cheap meal. I think everything you see here came to around $29. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, but it’s definitely some thing to keep in mind. I’m sure the rent in Krog Street Market is out of control. Still, I’m looking forward to going back and trying the other tofu dish and lotus root.

 

Nakd Snack Bars Reviewed

I have an awful sweet tooth. To the point that I can’t really keep sweets in the house or I’ll eat them all. You can imagine what a problem the temptation at the bakery was. I’ll admit that sometimes I didn’t make something just because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from eating it. Mid morning scone? Sure! Cookie with lunch? Why not! I think biking to work was the only thing that kept me from weighing 5,000 pounds.

Now, life is a little different, more sedentary. But I still get those sugar cravings, especially in the middle of the afternoon. I try to keep bars around to help quench that craving. They’re usually only slightly better than eating a cookie, but I kid myself that they’re much healthier.

A couple of months back, I was contacted to see if I’d like to try Eat Nakd Wholefoods bars by a company out of the UK called Natural Balance Foods. After checking to make sure they were vegan, I said sure, I’ll try them.

nakd snack bars variety pack

And when I looked up these Nakd snack bars, I found them not only to be vegan, but unprocessed. They have no added sugar and are sweetened with dates and occasionally other fruit. They are dairy, wheat and gluten-free. The bars are also mostly raw and do use some non-GMO ingredients, but they aren’t 100% fair trade or organic due to sourcing issues. And they’re definitely suitable to those on a wheat free diet plan.
pecan pie nakd snack bar

pecan pie nakd snack bar and cat

The pecan pie bar somehow took those three simple ingredients and gave them that kind of caramel-like flavor that an actual pie has. Dates are kind of magical sometimes. The Nakd snack bars are a little smaller than some other bars, but it was enough to put off the craving.

nakd snack bar rhubarb and custard

So, I’m not sure I’ve ever had rhubarb anything. And if I have, it was likely mixed with strawberries. So the flavor of this bar was unfamiliar to me. I didn’t hate it or think it was gross, but I wouldn’t choose it. But you might like it if you’re into rhubarb.

nakd snack bar cashew cookie

I’m a fan of cashews and love using them to make cheesecakes and cheesy sauces. So of course I liked the cashew cookie bar.

Bars are convenient to carry to the coffee shop where I work sometimes. Especially when I’m trying to avoid the vegan zucchini bread and cookies they carry. And they have a long shelf life so they can hang out in my backpack until I need them.

cocoa crunch nakd snack bar

My favorite of the flavors were the chocolate varieties. No one will be surprised by this. The texture reminds me of fudge or a softer Tootsie Roll. And the crunch varieties have little soy crispies in them. I think I actually prefer the crunch to the smooth, but I’m not that picky. I’ll go for either especially if they’re chocolate.

You can get Nakd snack bars on Amazon.com but it looks like it’s a better deal from their site. The site offers free shipping and they’re running a special on the combo pack. So if you’re looking for a new bar to try with clean ingredients, you should give these a shot.

Completely vegan gluten-free cafe in Fort Lauderdale

No, it isn’t hard being vegan. But it’s still challenging to eat out in some place. Now, throw gluten-free into the mix. Again, it’s no problem at home, but on the road it’s nearly impossible. Unless you’re in Fort Lauderdale and you hit up the Green Bar & Kitchen.

Now I’m not gluten free. I eat plenty of it. Probably too much. But I do try to keep it in check. Because the best gluten filled goods are white breads, cakes, and other such naughties full of empty calories.

Vegan Gluten-free Brunch

We were in Fort Lauderdale about to go on a cruise and then again about to fly back home. So we made two stops into Green Bar & Kitchen. The first visit before the cruise, we got there a little before they opened. And a line quickly formed behind us. Because on Sundays they have brunch. Everyone loves brunch!

green bar vegan gluten free cafe

We had to take advantage of brunch. We got the pumpkin french toast and tofu scramble with potatoes. Remember, it’s also gluten-free. But LOOK AT IT! That french toast was not joking around.

vegan gluten free pumpkin french toast

vegan gluten free tofu scramble and potatoes

We’d had bagels earlier, so I was feeling more like having lunch. So I got the curried chick’n salad sandwich (Pea-soy protein, celery, red onion, raisins, cranberries, seasonings & mayo, served on flax & millet bread.) That bread is the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever had. It may be a little more delicate than gluten bread, but it’s so fluffy and perfect and it held up for the sandwich just fine.

vegan gluten free chicken salad sandwich vegan gluten free chicken salad sandwich

Do you like kombucha? They have it on tap! You can sample to see which one you’d like.

kombucha samples

And they have these things called Krunkin which are kind of like donut holes. They were good, but I’ve been fully spoiled by Ronald’s Donuts in Las Vegas. And I’ve never even been to Las Vegas. I’m getting sidetracked. If you’re craving donut like things that are vegan and gluten-free, these are for you.

vegan gluten free donut holes

Vegan Gluten-free Lunch

And here is where I’ve failed you all. We were with Kevin’s parents when we went back to Green Bar and for some dumb reason I didn’t take pictures. Wait! There ARE pictures! They were just hanging out unedited in my Camera+ app.

Kevin had the smoke house burger and I had the buffalo tempeh sandwich. I liked the tempeh sandwich but just wish the tempeh wasn’t so chunky. The burger was really good.

vegan gluten free smoke house burger

vegan gluten free buffalo tempeh

Green Bar also has a ton of raw options. All in all this is exactly the kind of food I want in a warm climate like Fort Lauderdale. They seem to be doing really well, so I hope to visit next time I’m down there. This location is close to the port, so it’s pretty convenient to grab a bite before or after a cruise.

green bar front door

Cocozia coconut water review

At the end of last year, Cocozia contacted me and asked it I’d like to review their coconut water. I like coconut water and theirs is organic and non-GMO so I was definitely interested!

cocozia organic coconut water

First, let’s talk about the benefits of coconut water in general:

  • more potassium than a banana
  • a good source of anti-oxidants
  • also a source of sodium, magnesium and calcium
  • while it might not have enough sodium to be great for you after a strenuous workout, it should be enough to replenish you after a light to moderate workout

Now, coconut water does have some calories. The Cocozia I tried has 70 calories per container. So you probably shouldn’t down these like water. But, I really enjoyed it as an alternative to water cold out of the fridge just after a run. The coconut taste is very light so you might still like it even if coconut isn’t your thing.

About a week ago, I felt like I might be coming down with something. I took oregano oil, echinacea and goldenseal to help my body fight it. And I still had some coconut water so I had a bottle. Thankfully I never came down with that cold. I”m not sure the Cocozia helped any more than drinking water, but at least it was an alternative to the water and tea I’d been drinking, helped mix things up a bit. I haven’t heard of coconut water being particularly good for a cold or flu, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

Right now I’m not drinking a lot of cold smoothies with frozen ingredients, but when the weather is warmer, I’m going to try freezing the Cocozia in ice cube trays to add to my smoothies. I bet that’ll be extra refreshing.

The only weird thing about the Cocozia is the extending straw that comes attached to the box. It doesn’t seem to seal properly so when you use it it’s like using a straw with a hole in it. So I’ve just been pouring it in a glass or  it also has a foil covered spout where you can tear off and drink out of the box. That works fine.

Full disclosure: Cocozia did send me free product to try for this review and I am linking to it with an Amazon associates ID which will give me a few cents if someone buys it through that link.

 

 

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