The 5 Best Plant-Based Products of the Week from the Editors of The Beet
Happy May. We can't leave April behind without saying kudos to anyone who is making the switch to plant-based eating (or leaning into a plant-based approach) for the planet! Consider this: Just one person switching to a fully plant-based meal, even for just one meal a day saves the same amount of energy every year that it takes to drive from New York to Los Angeles, or 3,000 miles. Going fully plant-based is equal to saving a full tank of gas (emissions wise) per month.
But know this: When it comes to plant-based eating, you always get another swing at bat:
Welcome to... Meatless May! This month try just giving up meat and you'll lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers, studies have shown.
For ideas of how to get started, check out our 7 Day Beginner's Guide, and for recipes, sign up for the new Recipe of the Day Newsletter to get a recipe in your inbox every morning –they're all healthy, plant-based, and delicious!
Try these plant-based products that are easy and delicious
Here, and every week, the editors of The Beet share our favorite products to buy or try, and this week, we're highlighting products that make it easier than ever to ditch meat! Each week, we do the shopping and taste testing, so you can know which items are worth it and which ones are a pass. Check out the fun finds that we swear by, and that make living a plant-based lifestyle a breeze!
Below, we recommend our favorite items (and the ones we often buy ourselves). Some are treats, but they are healthier treats, and others are problem solvers, as in What's for dinner that everyone will love! Plant-based risotto that practically cooks itself! You get to decide for yourself how many or how often to eat the fun foods versus the healthier ones. Get ready to love every plant-based bite, and feel good about the steps you're taking to live healthier!
1.Roland's Porcini Mushroom Risotto
I love mushroom risotto and if truth be told, I made it for my future husband and it was a hit ... years ago, and we are still together all these decades later. (This is a winner of a dish, ladies!) Problem is that you have to stir forever, after properly cooking the onions and garlic to perfection pearly not brown) and then add in the broth and mushroom liquid and not mess it up. Pain in the neck and not always foolproof. Then I went plant-based and started making it from scratch with vegetable broth and it was still darned good. And then one day when I was searching high and low for the mushrooms at a new market I found this. And guess what? It's a game-changer.
Everything is done for you.... all you have to do is add water and stir. I do add my own extra packet of dried porcini mushrooms, and sometimes a little booster shot of fresh chopped mushrooms (they are so good for you and also add some extra texture to the dish) but if what you want is to impress your date or guests, just chuck the box and pretend you made it from scratch. Add a sprinkle of vegan parm and dinner is done! Instant vegan dinner party. No fuss, all taste.
Note: The box warns there might be some cross-contamination with milk but nothing on the ingredients is anything but plant-based so use your judgment. It's not certified vegan but it is plant-based. Enjoy your new favorite meal and secret weapon! Oh, and can we talk price? For a pack of 6 boxes, it's $26.77 or about $4.50 each. Nice! Find it here.
1. All Y'all's Plant-Based Jerky
Meat lovers moving to a plant-based diet may miss the convenience of picking up a jerky snack at the drugstore. Luckily, All Y'all's vegan jerky snacks deliver big on taste. You can show anyone who wonders, "Where do you get your protein on a vegan diet?" All Y'alls nutrition label because this soy-based jerky packs 17-22 grams of protein depending on the variety. From Black Pepper and Sea Salt to Prickly Pear Teriyaki to my personal favorite, the extra-spicy Prickly Pear Chipotle, there's a flavor for everyone's taste buds.
All Y'alls also makes bacony bits that stack up to the real thing – perfect to sprinkle over salads or top creamy pasta dishes with.
Deliciousness aside, my favorite part of this brand is that a portion of every sale goes to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Texas, providing care for cows and empowering ranchers to shift to sustainable agriculture.
To buy All Y'alls, visit the company's site here.
1. Maple Almond Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
Quinn Snacks re-invented the traditional pretzel bites filled with peanut butter I ate almost every day as a kid. Quinns completely upgraded the quality of the snack and created an almond butter-filled pretzel 'nugget,' the most delicious thing I've tasted in a while. The women-founded company mastered the perfect taste and texture component of my childhood snack - the most addicting part.
When I took a bite into the nugget, I first experienced the hard, crunchy exterior shell with bits of pecan-flavored salt. Then came the smooth, flavorful almond butter with hints of warm maple, a delicious taste of sweet, salty, rich, and nutty. This snack is satisfying and filling so I don't feel a need to eat the entire bag and then some. I munch on a few nuggets and get my sweet, savory fix that holds me over for lunch or dinner. This snack is a must-have pantry item.
To purchase Quinn Snacks Maple Almond Butter Nuggets, click here.
1. Tattooed Chef Vegetable Spiral Nests
I love keeping zucchini noodles stocked in my fridge but oftentimes it goes bad faster than I cook them. I no longer run into this problem after discovering Tattooed Chef's frozen Vegetable Spiral Nests.
Tattooed Chef's Vegetable Spirals are a combination of zucchini and yellow squash noodles that come in individually portioned nests. The portioned nests help me make the exact amount needed for meals, avoiding unnecessary food waste. Even though the noodles are frozen, it tastes just as fresh as if you made it yourself with a spiralizer. What I love most about this product is that though it is frozen, there are no fillers or added ingredients just 100% zucchini and yellow squash. A couple of my favorite recipes to make are Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas and Pesto or adding meatless bolognese sauce on top.
Tattooed Chef has a wide variety of vegan options such as Buddha Bowls, Acai Bowls and Buffalo Cauliflower. You can buy a 42-ounce bag at select Sam's Club locations and smaller bags online here.
1. Green Giant Cauliflower Gnocchi
My whole life I've been a die-hard gnocchi lover. The problem is that most gnocchi is made with dairy or egg products, making it unbelievably difficult to find the filling dumpling meal. Green Giant solved this problem in one fell swoop, recently debuting its new cauliflower-based gnocchi product. When I ran into it this month, I realized that this would be the perfect solution to my problem.
The Green Giant Cauliflower Gnocchi is the perfect base for any pasta sauce, providing everything that traditional gnocchi offers. The gnocchi dumpling is 40% cauliflower and is flavored with classic Italian seasoning. This is an extremely cheap, and easy to prepare a meal that can be cooked with any homestyle sauce. My personal suggestion would be to mix the cauliflower gnocchi with some pan-roasted mushrooms and onions and cover with a vegan puttanesca. It will bring all the satisfaction of a classic gnocchi dish without worrying if it's made from dairy or egg products.
Check out Green Giant's new gnocchi here.