Back in December 2014 I got contacted by Vegan Cuts to let me know that I’ve been chosen as an ambassador (yay!) and that they’d be sending me a free goodie box to test out and review. Alas, what with a postal strike that went on for months and the backlog that ensued, I only got my box this week! Better late than never, so here’s WIAW and an overview of my goodies (AKA trying to eat as much of it as possible in the space of a day or two!).
Before we delve into WIAW, let’s have a moment to reflect on Vegan Cuts. I’m probably the last donkey on the planet to try it out, but you all know how I love shiny, and this is it! Via online subscription you can get a totally random box of 7 – 10 goodies each month, specially curated by someone different for $19.95 p.m. Shipping is free in the US (lucky so-and-so’s), but considering that so many countries abroad don’t really cater to vegans other than your basic foodstuffs, getting a box of chips, candy, cereals and other business that’s 100% truly makes it worthwhile, even with the price of shipping.As many of you who subscribe to the Vegan Cuts Snack Box know by now, the box I received included the following shiny:
Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips in Pico de Gallo – I shared this with a friend and it was pretty delicious! There are so few chips in SA that I can or actually want to eat, and these were shockingly healthy for what they are. I love beans in everything, so to have them in chips makes for win all round. As with most chips, however, the packet is about three times bigger than the contents, so I was very sad face at how little there was to munch on.
Earnest Eats Hot & Fit Cereal – I must say I was rather amazed to see this huge tin when I opened my package, and as excited I was to try it out this morning, it’s definitely out of my usual comfort zone for breakfast foods. Even though I do eat a portion of fruit and flaxseeds for breakfast, I’m always wary of cereals that include so many nuts and seeds already and don’t allow me to portion out my daily fat intake. I ate it this morning but was so on the dash feeding and medicating all the cats that I didn’t really get to sit down and savour anything (the cereal bowl followed me around the house). It’s at least pretty filling, but in terms of taste it’s not as kapow as I expected. Still, it’s a great alternative to normal oats.Eli’s Earth Bars Treasure Bar – I must say the fat content on the candy bar was pretty shocking, hence why I only ate 1/4 of the thing! It was AMAZING though – I had one little bite and started making inappropriate sighs, so I immediately told Man-thing that he had to share the rest of the bar with me, calories and fat content be damned. Before I knew it, however, the monster had eaten it all himself!! 😡 I must say I was *not* impressed because there are so very few vegan chocolates in South Africa that are that creamy, delicious and delightful, so I’m still trying to resolve my rage on that point. The whole box was worth it just for that bar!
Goody Good Stuff Cola Breeze – The cola bottles are absolutely delicious and relatively “guilt-free”, if I can use such a term, since I rarely every get candy like this to munch in SA where gelatine is pretty much in everything. Yum and yum! If this were in our stores I would have a stash at my computer station for naughty nibbles.
Nutiva O’Coconut Classic – alas I’m allergic to coconut so I gave this one away to a friend, as interesting as it looked!
Bare Snacks Simply Toasted Coconut Chips – again, super allergic, so I had to pass. I cannot express my frustration with coconut being such a versatile ingredient, especially since most vegans have the glorious luxury of easy, two or three ingredient ice-cream thanks to its natural creaminess and all that jazz! Still, the pal I gifted it to seem pretty stoked with the idea of chips, so win-win.
Parma! Seasoning – I tried this with my dinner of homemade sauce and zucchini pasta and maybe I should have used the whole pack but it was pretty tasty but not wow beyond belief. I think I’ll try it tonight over popcorn where it doesn’t have a thousand other flavours competing with it (my pasta sauce was pretty amazing)Vegan Smart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chai – I made this when I got home from the gym and I *love* chai flavour! I was rather sad that it didn’t make a relatively large portion, since I’m so used to smoothies being at least 2+ cups big, but it was filling, super duper tasty, and fuelled my blogilates session. Torie & Howard Hard Candies – Man-thing ate these and said I wouldn’t really like them, but that may just have been an excuse to munch them all.
Trujoy Candy Cane – I’m honestly not a fan of candy canes so this was a bit of a mystery in terms of what I could do with it, and since it was broken I couldn’t gift it to anyone but Man-thing!
Overall impression: This was really such a fun box! I always love getting special treats from overseas, and so many companies have been kind enough to indulge me with freebies galore, so this was no less exciting 😀 I’m glad there was the addition of the protein powder/shake, which we rarely get here (at least vegan versions), and especially for the very intriguing cereal that I would not necessarily have thought to buy or indulge myself in had I been at the shops.
The most I buy when sniffing out for sweets at the shops is usually Turkish Delight, one brand of amazing wheat-free cookies, lite popcorn and 90% dark chocolate, so this box made me realize just how many amazing products there are to be had overseas.
Final verdict: One day when I have an “adult job” (AKA not just part-time stints thanks to our terrible economy!) I will 100% sign up for the monthly subscription, even if it takes forever to get to side of the globe.
Since, as mentioned, South Africa is pretty limited on vegan goodies, it would totally be worth my while to subscribe just to get to see the range of treats available in the US, although I suspect people living there would be more choosy about whether or not to subscribe when they can just pick and choose at leisure at the local store.
Happily the box is also mostly gluten-free so it’s easy to gather a group together to have a taste of everything, although for people with allergies I guess the box is again something of a gamble (there were at least two nut treats in this box off the top of my head).
Still, the best part was being able to share the treats with people and see their reactions to my goodie box, because for non-vegans I’m sure sweets and junk food are as boring and commonplace as can be, but we all spent some time sussing out nutritional value and the like and were overall impressed that I hadn’t been shipped a box of diabetes. 😀
On a side note, I’ve also been following their monthly Beauty Box, which is a collection of cruelty-free beauty products. I’m not usually a make-up kind of gal, but some of those boxes have looked truly amazing, and to know that no creature was harmed for glamour makes it all the better.
Anyway, onto WIAW!
Breakfast: coffee x 2 + mango smoothie bowl: 1/2 cup water, 1 cup all bran flakes, 1 TBSP flax powder, 2 TBSP protein powder, lettuce, 1 tsp prune purée, cucumber + water. Delicious! Also, check out my bowl! I got a set of four with matching mugs from pals that I also volunteer with at the cat shelter. Anything cat-themed is pretty much a guaranteed winner!I just have to share: as we were going out to the car I spotted another two sunflowers that had bloomed – yay!Tea-time snack: 5 water biscuits/crackers, 1/2 cup lentils, 2 thin no-oil slices roasted eggplant, black coffee.
Lunch: steamed green beans, carrots and zucchini + 1 TBSP hummus, 1 slice rye bread + 1 tsp peanut butter (the munchies!). I didn’t end up eating the plum chilling at the back until after work. Alas, phone!photos are really not appetizing!
Post-work and pre-workout: 1 yellow plum + 1 packet Vegan Smart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chai with water, delicious espressoGatsby had an utterly baffled look on his face as he saw me making an ass of myself doing blogilates and crying out in pain all the time.
Dinner: 1/2 cup zucchini pasta + homemade tomato, pumpkin and asparagus sauce + vegan parma with salad. I’m such a monster for nutritional yeast over my salads and dinner these days, so the vegan parma was something else altogether over the “pasta”!
Dessert: I had a bite out of the Earth Bar, as well as 2 Cola Breeze bottles (we ate quite a lot of it the day before). DELICIOUS. AMAZING. WANT MOAR!Pre-bed: 1/2 cup soy milk + 1 TBSP oat fiber + cinnamon plus some tea, 1/3 cup applesauce + 2 slices of frozen banana (not pictured as we had a power failure!).
Have you tried out any new products or ingredients this week?
Disclaimer: Although I was gifted with the goodies from Vegan Cuts all opinions are my very own!