Category Archives: Health/Nutrition

What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 23

When you're in the mood for sparkling wine -- but not its effects -- grab a bottle of Joyus.
When you’re in the mood for sparkling wine — but not its effects — grab a bottle of Joyus.

Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine

It looks like sparkling wine or Champagne. It’s packaged in an elegant bottle complete with a cork, cage and foil. And it’s beautifully effervescent in a glass.

But Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine is indeed non-alcoholic. It’s made like wine, but with the alcohol removed to become “dealcoholized.”

Launched during the pandemic, it’s the creation of Seattle’s Jessica Selander who proudly has 17 years of sobriety.

This is no cloying Martinelli’s trying to stand in for wine, as I happily found when trying a sample. Instead, this wine is a balanced blend of varietals, mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and other whites, Selander noted in an interview with Sip Magazine.

It even won bronze at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

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Heat-And-Serve, Plant-Based Latin Eats

Casa Verde's ready-to-eat Garbanzos Al Pastor (front) and Red Bean Pozole (back).
Casa Verde’s ready-to-eat Garbanzos Al Pastor (front) and Red Bean Pozole (back).

Indulging in vegan, Latin-flavored dishes just got easier with Casa Verde.

Made by Ilinel Food Co. founded by Guatemalan-born Harry Lewis, these ready-to-eat pouch entrees need only a minute in the microwave to heat before serving.

I had a chance to try samples of the made-in-Mexico products, which are now available at Raley’s, Lucky’s, Lunardi’s, Draeger’s, and Oliver’s Market.

Four varieties to choose from.
Four varieties to choose from.

Casa Verde’s line includes four products fortified with beans: Garbanzos Al Pastor, Red Bean Posole, Lentil Mole, and Coconut Chowder. Except for the chowder, which is a single serving, the rest are designed to serve two.

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Plant-Based Scrambled Eggs

A scramble that's not quite what you think.
A scramble that’s not quite what you think.

It looks all the world like scrambled eggs.

But in reality, it’s the new Hodo Vegan All-Day Egg Scramble.

It’s the newest product from the Oakland-based purveyor of artisan tofu.

The plant-based product is made with organic soybeans, with turmeric giving it the eggy color.

It boasts as much protein as a real chicken egg and no cholesterol.

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Shake Your Groovies Thang

Turn-Up The Heat plant-based snack made of sorghum, flavored with beets and paprika -- and made for kids.
Turn-Up The Heat plant-based snack made of sorghum, flavored with beets and paprika — and made for kids.

Mom and entrepreneur, Saskia Sorrosa, may have not enticed any sharks to bite when she appeared on TV’s “Shark Tank” in 2019.

But she’s sure shown them now, raising more than $4 million and getting her Fresh Bellies into 4,000 stores nationwide.

Her New York company makes plant-based, allergen-friendly snack foods, especially geared to toddlers, pre-schoolers, and beyond.

The daughter of a banana farmer and agricultural entrepreneur in Ecuador, she wanted to create crunchy snacks with the type of bold flavors she grew up on.

Fresh Bellies' line of plant-based, gluten-free snacks.
Fresh Bellies’ line of plant-based, gluten-free snacks.

Her Groovies are made from sorghum, sunflower oil, and just a handful of other flavoring ingredients such as paprika, onion powder, or dried rosemary. They are vegan, gluten-free, and have no artificial flavors. The sodium count weighs in at 110 to 125mg per 1-ounce serving.

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Watermelon Seeds — Not Just For Spitting

Forca Foods wants you to energize with watermelon seeds.
Forca Foods wants you to energize with watermelon seeds.

If all you’ve ever done with watermelon seeds is pile them off to the side of a plate or spit them with gusto to see how far they’d fly, Forca Foods wants to convince you to do something entirely different: Eat them.

Its Forca Foods Energy Bites are made from watermelon seeds. In fact, they’re the first of only five ingredients used to make these one-bite cubes. The other ingredients are dates, oats, maple syrup, and fruit or coffee, depending on the variety.

Company Founder Guilherme Maia Silva studied plant sciences at the University of California at Davis, where he wondered why we were making snacks out of such water-intensive crops and ingredients as almonds, walnuts, and dairy. It’s a question that’s only gotten more attention now that California is in yet another year of deep drought.

So, a year ago, he launched his snack that’s centered around watermelon seeds, which, he says, use 94 percent less water than pistachios, 78 percent less water than almonds, and 11 percent less water than dairy. Not only that, watermelon seeds also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

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