It's always a puzzle: What to buy this week to snack smarter, and sip our way to a healthier version of ourselves, whether we are choosing plant-based products to strengthen our immune system, avoid disease, have more energy (and sleep better), drop a few pounds or be kinder to the planet. Whatever your motivation, everyone wants to know what to buy in the growing plant-based category that is better for us and the planet? We found 8 new products that are plant-based and vegan-friendly that we are recommending you to "add to cart" when shopping this week. Below are the best-loved products from our team of editors, Lucy, Stephanie, Hailey, and Caitlin. We only recommend what we love. So here they are:

Lucy's Favorites

1. Juroku Cha Traditional Japanese Grain and Botanical Tea

Everyone knows diet soda is bad for you, and when I gave it up for good (because among other things aspartame becomes formaldehyde in the body) I decided to sip only those beverages that are good for me. Enter Juroku Cha, the traditional Japanese Grain and Botanical tea that is unsweetened and full of earthy goodness. Juroku means16 and Cha means simple. It's made of 16  all-natural grains and botanicals–simple enough. For all the amazing benefits of each superfood, check out this handy chart.

As bad-for-you tasting as Diet Coke tastes (though addictive), this tea is good-for-you tasting, and also strangely addictive. When I took my first sip I thought it was like drinking moss juice or earth-soaked rainwater, but throughout the drinking of a full bottle, I never wanted to leave it and instead craved all 16 fluid ounces. The tea has a way of getting under your skin and feeling therapeutic. Every sip tastes like it was strained from a forest stream but in a good way! I want more. As one of the best-selling teas in Japan, this import is super healthy, made from whole grains and botanicals, to give you a flavor that is "unique and uplifting." It's made from barley and brown rice, kelp, and shitake mushrooms, guava leaf and jujube, mulberry leaf and foxtail millet, plus Kibi, a type of Japanese millet. With zero carbs, calories, and sugars, it definitely is healthier for you than a diet soda. Sip and be well!

You can find Jouroku Cha at Amazon, and Juroku Cha is sold at a store near you.


2. Sipp Berry Mint Condition Organic Sparkling Seltzer

Not to be all about me, but when mama gives up Diet Coke it's kind of a big deal around here. The diet chemical drink was my friend and my go-to for... decades. Only now I know how completely terrible it is for you and I am so over you, aspartame (aka formaldehyde in a can). So, not to beat the drum too loudly, but I love the bitter-sweet taste of the organic sparkling seltzer called Sipp, which is refreshingly carbonated and full of natural fruit taste from plant-based ingredients–and at just 40 calories I'll burn that going up and down the stairs from my office to the fridge to get me one of these satisfying, healthy sips. Sipps is organic, low calorie contains the superfruit Camu Camu and for those of you who like a little jolt in the afternoon, it also delivers 50mg of "Nature’s Caffeine." Sipp energizes your values and action towards health and wellness.

Sipp comes in three flavors–Vanilla Spice and Everything Nice, Sweet Ruby Root, and Berry Mint Condition. The company  describes the bittersweet taste of Berry Mint Condition as "Sour meets sweet with grapefruit, honey and rosemary flavors." As someone who loves citrus, I would keep all three on hand, especially if you're about to kick your diet soda habit.

Head over to Amazon for a 12 pack of yours and you may want to hide it since everyone in your household is likely to become addicted. On the other hand, keep it in plain view because it's so much better for them than that chemical-infused stuff they would drink otherwise.


Stephanie's Favorites

1. Amara Organic Smoothie Melts

I'm a big snacker, and anytime I find myself reaching for something between meals I always try to make sure it's relatively unprocessed and made from good-for-you ingredients. That's why I love Amara Organic Smoothie Melts, which are tiny, airy freeze-dried smoothie discs that are free of dairy and added sugars.

I'm pretty sure these smoothie melts are intended for children, and I highly suggest them to any parent looking for a healthy option. While I don't have a baby, I do have a big appetite for any kind of delicious snack, and Amara's Organic, non-GMO Smoothie Melts hit the spot for any age. These bites are available in the flavors Carrot Raspberry, Mango Carrots, and Beets n' Berries, and you can purchase them online here.

2. Colorado Green Chili Sauce, Hot

In my opinion, a good salsa must be three things: Fresh, spicy, and tangy. Colorado Green Chili Sauce is handcrafted in small batches and is vegan, gluten-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients. I love the heat it the 'hot' offering packs, because frequently I find myself buying a brand that boasts a high level of spice, just to be disappointed with more of a mild level of heat. This Colorado Green Chili Sauce, however, is the real deal and delivers big on both heat and freshness, using ingredients like fire-roasted green chile, tomatoes, and habanero papers to find the perfect balance of flavor. It's the perfect salsa for chip-dipping or taco topping, and I love that it's handmade in small batches. You can purchase these handcrafted salsas here, and also choose from a 'mild' offering, or a 'Fire Roasted Autumn' jar, or buy all three together.

Hailey's Favorites

1. Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, $16.99

On the days when I don't intermittent fast, a big bowl of oatmeal with fresh papaya, sliced avocados, and hemp heart seeds is my go-to breakfast because it makes me satiated and full of energy. I stick to breakfasts that are high in fiber and all-natural. Right now, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal is my go-to choice of oats because the texture is thick, the oats are chewy, and the narrow container is easy to store. Steel-cut oats take about 20-30 minutes to cook unlike quick or rolled out which takes about 5 minutes or fewer. Steel-cut oats are chopped into tiny pieces so they are much smaller in size and shape than rolled oats, which makes them much chewier and fuller. The taste of steel-cut oatmeal is creamy, savory, nutty, and rich with slight notes of honey, vanilla, and almond. While every oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option, steel-cut oats have higher fiber content and a lower glycemic index than rolled oats. The taste of Flahavan’s is more similar to a granola crunch than a silky porridge and I recommend this product for anyone who loves oatmeal, oat cookies, and oat milk.

To purchase Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, click here.

2. TRUFF Black Truffle Infused Hot Sauce, $17.98

The two best flavor profiles are the spice from hot sauce and rich-tasting truffles that melt in your mouth. When you combine the two ingredients, your dish will transform and level up completely. My newest obsession is these two exact powerhouse flavors mixed together in a modern-looking glass bottle called TRUFF. Now, I can't go out to eat without storing a bottle in my purse and drizzling the sauce on every order: Salads, pizzas, rice and beans, tofu, and more. There's no taste like it, and now the regular hot sauce doesn't do justice.

The experience of heat is elevated with the freshness of high-quality ingredients like organic chili peppers which brings the kick, organic agave nectar which adds a natural sweet touch. and the richness of black truffle oil which enhances the sweet flavors but adds a sinful touch to the sauce. The flavor profile is delicate and balanced perfectly between the two flavors. The hot sauce isn't the hottest temperature you will taste but instead this sauce offers a different experience to any dish, almost indescribable. TRUFF sauces come in a sophisticated glass bottle that looks like a decoration in your kitchen. Invite your friends or family over for a social-distance movie night and dive into the popcorn with a drizzle of TRUFF truffle hot sauce, and movie night will be every night. This ingredient also works well as a gift to anyone who loves hot sauce, truffles, both, or enjoys cooking up a restaurant-quality meal.

To purchase TRUFF Black Truffle Infused Hot Sauce, click here.

Caitlin's Favorites

1. Inbru Coffee Flavors

I'll always opt for an iced coffee with some sort of flavorings such as hazelnut or vanilla when ordering at a coffee shop. As delicious as it is, I know it's not the healthiest thing for me and is loaded with sugar and bad-for-you ingredients. Thanks to Inbru coffee flavors, I don't have to give up my go-to coffee order but instead, replace the syrup with its coffee flavor.

Inbru coffee flavors are one of a kind blend to me, made with only rice hulls and natural flavors. Inbru has 23 flavors to choose from including Cinnamon Hazelnut (my favorite), French Vanilla, Vanilla Bean and more. All flavors have 0 calories, no sugar, fat or gluten and the best part is it tastes just like the syrups at a coffee shop but is healthy. Rather than allotting time to grab a coffee before work, I now add one to two scoops of the coffee flavor to the coffee grinds and switch on my coffee pot. In no time, I have a healthier and fresher cup of coffee to start my mornings. Inbru coffee flavors are perfect for anyone who is looking to cut out unhealthy syrups and coffee orders without actually giving it up.

You can buy Inbru coffee flavors here.

2. Jovial Foods Gluten-Free Pasta

Growing up in an Italian house, it can be hard to convince everyone that my gluten-free pasta is just as good as the real thing. My father has yet to like any of the gluten-free choices I've made until he tried Jovial's gluten-free pasta. Usually, gluten-free pasta tends to fall apart but not Jovial pasta: Every shape resembles the texture and consistency of normal pasta.

Jovial gluten-free pasta is also a healthier choice since it is made out of either brown rice or cassava flour. This brand also offers a wide variety of shapes including elbow pasta, farfalle, fettuccine, penne and more. (Note: If you're vegan, the Tagliatelle is made with egg, so opt for a different choice). My favorite sauces to toss with the pasta are Avocado Pesto Sauce, Classic Tomato Sauce and Vegan Alfredo Sauce.

You can buy Jovial gluten-free pasta at major grocery stores such as Whole Foods, ShopRite, Wegmans and Stop & Shop. Check out Jovials store locator here, to find where to buy it near you.

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