It's always a puzzle: What to buy this week to eat that will help us be healthier, yet satisfied with food and drink choices that are delicious plant-based. 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, Caitlin, Spencer, and Max. We only recommend what we love. So here they are:

Lucy Danziger's Favorites

1. Barilla ProtienPLUS, High Protein Pasta. Plant-Based Protein, Fiber and Omega-3

I'm a self-described carb-seeking missile, and for me, these noodles-with-benefits hold all the health-based nutrients I need to make a guilt-free healthy pasta dinner! Made with protein from lentils, chickpeas, and peas, this classic-tasting pasta delivers 17 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and is a great source of Omega-3 ALA essential fatty acid from flaxseed. It is the closest thing to guilt-free pasta you can find and tastes like the kind you grew up with.

When you pair them with a tangy or spicy puttanesca sauce of tomatoes, kalamata olives, onions, garlic, and red peppers, and chili flakes, you have a clean-tasting meal that delivers the powerful antioxidants of the sauce and protein of the noodles. (Add plant-based parmesan for good measure.) You can't make a healthier pasta meal! These come in Angel Hair and all types of shapes, so stock up.

2. Aloha Coconut Chocolate Almond Organic Protein Bar, with Plant-based Protein

When you need a pick-me-up after a workout or a little something with your 4 o'clock coffee, reach for an Aloha Plant-Based Protein Bars. The Coconut-Chocolate flavor packs a chocolaty punch that satisfies for hours and keeps you away from the cookie cabinet. The 14 grams of protein from a blend of brown rice, pumpkin seeds, and almonds will feel replenishing, and with tapioca syrup, coconut, and chocolate chips, you'll feel like you had the joyful taste you need to feel "treated." The solution to your snacking habits: Do snack. Just do it smartly. The best way is to keep a box of these handy and say "Aloha" to plant-based protein in a chocolaty bar.

Stephanie McClain's Favorites

1. Milkadamia Pure Macadamia Oil Spray

For easy cooking, I'm loving Milkadamia's Pure Macadamia Oil Spray right now, which boasts the "highest content healthy monosaturated fat and the lowest percentage of inflammatory omega 6 of any nut or seed oil." While the original spray is perfect for cooking anything in the oven on a sheet pan without adding flavor, I am especially loving the Oh Mommy variety, which gives a delicious umami flavor to anything.

This product is as easy as spraying my pan and then laying down my pieces of pressed tofu for a crispy, non-stick cook. The Oh Mommy adds an incredible, complex, savory flavor to tofu, potatoes, kale chips, and so much more. This is an absolute must-have for me for nonstick cooking. You can purchase online at Milkadamia's website here.


2. The Veggie Doctor QWELL Vegan Algae Omega 3 Supplement

Although you should always consult your doctor before adding a new supplement to your diet, this vegan Omega-3 supplement has fit perfectly into my diet. There are plenty of vegan sources of Omega 3s, like chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and more, but this vitamin harnesses the power of algal oil, without any carrageenan that is often added in other brand's vegan omega 3 pills. Formulated by a doctor, taking two of these supplements per day has been great for supporting my heart, brain, joints, and immune health. This non-GMO Omega-3 supplement is far more sustainable than fish oil, and a super-easy way for me to guarantee I'm getting all the good fatty acids in my day alongside vitamin E. You can purchase these custom-formulated supplements on The Veggie Doctor's website.

Hailey Welch's Favorites

1. Joolies Organic Medjool Dates

Recently, I made The Beet's snickers bar recipe using Joolies Orangic Medjool Dates as part of the middle layer, for a sweet, sticky, and creamy texture, very similar to a caramel sauce in a real candy bar. The best part is when you pull apart the bar and the sticky date mixture stretches like gooey cheese in a panini sandwich. To me, the dates were the icing on the cake. But besides my newest favorite dessert recipe, I'm a big fan of dates for a healthy snack or sweetener substitute for baking. I prefer Joolies Organic Medjool whole dates with the pit because they taste incredibly fresh and every bite feels like a jolt of energy. When you order a package, the dates come in a sustainable paper box, where you can dispose of the pits when you're finished. There's always a better feeling about not having to use or waste plastic, and most other date brands come in a non recycle container.

Joolies Medjool Dates are harvested at the Kohl Family Farm in Coachella Valley, where the Colorado River provides the purest water. When you take a bite of these dates, you taste a little bit of the sunshine mixed with the cleanest of water. Each date is hand-picked in three rounds for complete ripeness. So, you can ensure that there is no technical or mechanical process behind your newest favorite snack. If you're looking for a healthy way to beat your sugar cravings, or simply want to enjoy quality dates, I recommend choosing this brand.

To purchase Joolies Organic Medjool Dates, click here.

2. Food For Life Ezekiel Bread

It's safe to say I eat avocado toast at least 8 times a week, I love the taste of the creamy spread with pepper flakes on top of crisp, crunchy toast. However, the one ingredient that completes my favorite meal is the specific bread I use, Ezekiel bread. I keep a loaf in my freezer, let it thaw, and pop it in the toaster for about 40 seconds.

This kind of sprouted bread is made with whole grains and legumes, which gives my toast the perfect crips texture, and doesn't taste like a cake, as most loaves of bread do. This kind of bread is much healthier than any other traditional brand, mainly because it contains no added sugar and is made with organic and natural ingredients like wheat, millet, barley, spelt, soybeans, and lentils.

If there's one bread I don't feel sluggish after eating, it has to be Ezekiel.

To purchase Ezekiel bread click here.

Caitlin Mucerino's Favorites

1. Vega Hello Wellness Blender-Free Smoothie

My afternoon coffee has turned into an afternoon smoothie thanks to Vega's Spring in Your Step smoothie. The blender-free smoothie is packed with protein and caffeine to give me a jolt of energy to tackle the rest of the day. One serving has 100 milligrams of caffeine which is about the same as one cup of coffee. Along with caffeine, this smoothie has 15 grams of protein and 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D.

The best part is it takes less time to make this smoothie than it does to brew a cup of coffee and gives me even more energy. All you have to do is combine one scoop of the powder with one cup of almond milk or plant-based milk of your choice and you have a creamy and energizing smoothie. Plus, the vanilla cappuccino flavor will trick your tastebuds into thinking you're having the real thing.

Vega's Hello Wellness line has two other blender-free smoothies: You've Got Guts, which promotes gut health and It's a No Brainer, which boosts brain health. You can buy Vega Hello Wellness Smoothies here.

2. Blake's Seed-Based Rice Crispy Treat

Blake's Seed Based Rice Crispy Treats are one of a kind for its healthier-for-you ingredients including pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds. I've never had a gluten-free treat that melted in my mouth and tasted so similar to the real thing. The low-sugar snack is not only gluten-free but also free from peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, soy and sesame making it the most-allergy-friendly treat I have ever had. The best part is this treat has only 90 calories!

Blake's rice crispy treats come in two flavors: Strawberry and Chocolate Chip. My personal favorite, the chocolate chip flavor, is the perfect combination of sweet from the dairy-free chocolate and crunchy from the seed mix.

Blake's Seed Based also has snack bars that come in four flavors: Raspberry, Blueberry Lemon, Pineapple and Smores.

Spencer Whaley's Favorite

1. Laird Super-Food Liquid Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Laird’s Super-Food Liquid Vanilla Coffee Creamer has been my greatest asset after deciding it was probably time to give up my $7 daily matcha latte habit. Initially, I switched from my usual drip coffee to a morning matcha so I could still caffeinate sans jitters and an inevitable early afternoon crash. After calculating exactly how much I was spending on lattes each month and after a few failed experts to recreate my matcha latte order at home––almond milk with a bit of vanilla syrup––I knew I had to figure out a DIY way to caffeinate. Enter Laird’s Vanilla Coffee Creamer. After discovering the product in the Whole Foods non-dairy creamer aisle––you can also find it at Sprout’s, Kroger, and on Laird’s website––I’m back to the bean. Now, with the help of the creamer’s functional mushroom blend, I’m jitter and early-afternoon nap-free, and thanks to the creamy coconut-milk base and vanilla taste, my coffee’s never tasted better and my bank account’s never been happier.

Max Rabb's Favorite

Pond Coffee, New Orleans

My editor’s favorite of the week is a plant-based New Orleans coffee spot that stopped using oat milk only as an alternative and made it the singular option. Pond Coffee is a pop-up currently operating in the Small Mart on Chartres Street. Pond sells espresso drinks with a frothed oat milk, and recently jettisoned all dairy products from its menu. The coffee shop features a variety of coffee beans and displays them for any coffee-lovers who want to bring more of their specialty coffees home. The oat-based espresso bar offers a range of favorite drinks, from a Cortado to lattes. So now you can order a coffee without having to ask for a plant-based substitute. Selling espresso from their street window, anyone walking in the neighborhood can stop by to have their favorite espresso drink, buy a bag of coffee, or meet the friendly baristas behind this pop-up. Next time you’re in NO, check out the Pond. (First, check their Instagram since the store hours change, but right now they are  8 am to 2 pm Sunday through Wed and 8 am to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.) and stop by to grab your oat milk espresso drink.

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