Tag Archives: baked goods

Hitting the bars again ;)

Well, after a busy busy holiday season, I’m back and ready for an exciting new year full of vegan deliciousness!  January also marks my two-year anniversary with veganism, and I couldn’t be any happier about that.  You’ve been so good to me, baby.

I had some mouthwateringly fantastic pictures of a dinner at Manchester’s Cafe Momo for a review that I was going to post to kick off the new year.  But then yesterday I went and lost my camera and, naturally, the memory card inside it!  So I guess I will just have to go back to Momo another time to get more pictures.  Just so the suspense doesn’t kill you, here is the gist of my review: AWESOME.   Tasty Nepalese food.  Go!  And don’t miss the deceptively unassuming flatbread.  My sister, a true bread enthusiast if there ever was one, completely adored it.

Actually, I still have all my notes from the Momo dinner, so I could still do a writeup if you guys wouldn’t be too terribly bored reading an all-text review.  Hmm.  I guess I will have to think about that one.  Comment if you have an opinion on this!

For now, though, here are some non-Momo pictures I managed to import prior to yesterday!

Some months ago I mentioned that Apotheca is one of the coolest and most underrated places (EVER) in southern NH.  (This is still true.)  I also mentioned that they carry one of my favorite baked goods (EVER), namely, the “Vegan Delight” bar from Country Life Bakery in Harrisville.  Well, even though I haven’t written about them since May, rest assured I’ve been steadily eating them all that time.  And, as promised, I finally managed to get some glamour shots of one of them in before devouring!

blueberry bar!  sadly, the URL on the label seems to be for a defunct site; go here instead: http://www.newellness.org/bakery.htm

These bars are HUGE and come in all kinds of flavors (some seasonal) including blueberry, raspberry, date, cherry, apple, strawberry, and pumpkin.  I seriously can’t wait for them to be noticed and picked up by other markets so they’d be more accessible across the state — though I’m sure Apotheca doesn’t mind the steady stream of business from me!  Here’s the same bar, unwrapped:

blueberry bar, unwrapped! I have pics of other flavors too but they all look pretty much the same...just slightly different in color of filling.

Oh man.  I can’t stand it.  I’m actually blogging from out of state at the current moment, and these pics are making me consider an early flight home ;) Go get ’em!

Find Country Life Bakery’s “Vegan Delight” squares at Apotheca Flowers and Tea Chest, 24 Main St, Goffstown, NH. http://www.apothecaflowershoppe.com/

 

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HEALTHY. DELICIOUS. VEGAN. CINNAMON. ROLL.

I KNOW.  Sounds impossible, right?  But oh, is it possible!  I have a new obsession…

Our friends at Zen Bakery have done it again!  Well, OK, they’ve presumably been doing it for a while since the cinnamon rolls aren’t a new product, but I’ve just discovered them so they are new to me babe.  And I am making up for lost time by buying bags of them at once.  …And I will tell you to your face that I do not have a problem.

miraculous cinnamon roooooll!

I discovered these things at TJ’s on the West Coast, but back here at home I’ve only been able to locate them at Whole Foods, and not all of them at that.  For example, I know for a fact that they ARE at the WF on River Street in Cambridge, and they are NOT at the WF on Washington in Brighton.  I keep forgetting to check Whole Foods Andover (which is, ironically, the one closest to my house).  In any case, you can find them somewhere near you; and it’s worth it, I promise.

OK, now to extol their virtues.  First, let’s look at the ingredients (there are only nine, and none of them are sugar!): Whole wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, water, white grape juice, raisins, canola oil, yeast, cinnamon, salt.  As if that weren’t good enough, somehow these few ingredients manage to pack in four grams of fiber and SEVEN grams of protein!  Serving size is a whole roll (none of this “1/2 muffin” stuff) and it has less than 9% calories from fat.  Winner in my book already, but if that weren’t enough, they are delicious!

They are also HUGE.  Hello breakfast.

I don’t know what Zen magic they’ve used on the white grape juice to give it such sweetness, but it did the trick!  I usually don’t even miss the icing, though there have been times of serious sugar withdrawal when I’ve made my own to pour on top.  It’s got the texture of a whole-wheat dinner roll (the kind you might get in a classy restaurant’s bread basket), light yet chewy and doughy.  The cinnamon layer is just right too – not cloying or artificial, just plenty of sweetness and cinnamon flavor.  And the whole thing is chock full of raisins.  Also, know how conventional cinnamon rolls taste way better the closer you get to the middle?  None of that nonsense here.  It’s consistently yummy from start to finish.  And they are still peelable, layer by layer, providing just as much fun as the far-less-healthy (yet still somehow vegan?) Pillsbury ones.

The one thing you MUST take note of for proper enjoyment of these cinnamon rolls is that they are NOT to be eaten un-heated!  Please, do yourself a favor and pop them in the toaster oven for a few minutes first.  I’ve had a few bites of cold, untoasted roll and it is basically just cinnamon-raisin bread.  I think the heat brings out the sweetness somehow.  I guess it might still be good if you ate it cold, but it’d be so boring…  Boring is not recommended!  The good news is that these freeze and reheat just fine, so if you live far enough away from WF that you need to buy multiple bags at a time to stock up (*ahem*) that’ll work just fine for me.  Um, I mean you.

So go get some!  Pair with chai tea and a fall day for best results.

Zen Bakery cinnamon rolls can be found at select Whole Foods and (possibly) Trader Joe’s.

(As a disclaimer, I swear I am not a Zen Bakery rep and I did not receive a cent to write this post.  Though… if they wanted to hire me, I’d seriously think about it. ;)  Think of the perks!!)

Healthy cookie option at TJ’s

Can I just say how much I love being in L.A.??  The healthy eating options here are virtually endless, and there is a grocery store with edible food in it around every corner.  Tomorrow I’ll be at a blogger meetup organized by Lynn at The Actor’s Diet and attended by other generally-healthy-type food bloggers around the L.A. area.  The other bloggers have been around the blogosphere longer than I have, to be sure, so I’m hoping to pick up some bloggy tips there as well as having a good time and enjoying the food!

On to other delicious things…

I was in Trader Joe’s a few days ago when a craving for cookies struck me.  Lately I’ve been quashing sweet cravings, when they strike, with Whole Foods’ “Health Starts Here” brownies and chocolate chip cookies, but I was in the mood for something a little less chocolaty and a little more…oaty.  Luckily TJ’s carries just the thing: Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookies!  I’m 99% sure that these are the off-label version of Zen Bakery’s oatmeal-cranberry cookies.  Zen Bakery makes pretty good stuff — a huge variety of vegan, high-fiber, (relatively) low-fat baked goods without refined sugar or Questionable Ingredients.  Zen Bakery stuff is practically omnipresent at health-food stores here in L.A., but we East Coasters can find their stuff in Whole Foods or, like I’m sayin’, off-label at TJ’s.

Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookie from Trader Joe's

Ingredients: Whole wheat flour, rolled oats, white grape juice, cranberries, raisins, canola oil, walnut pieces, sodium bicarbonate, vanilla, spices.

While the cookies are not fat-free (they contain some canola oil and a very small amount of walnuts), they were still low enough for me to buy them (200 calories, 30 from fat = 15%).  The serving size, however, was ridiculous — 1/2 a cookie?  Who eats half a cookie when they are that size?  Of course, I’m not a big fan of 1/2-item servings anyway; I feel like it’s disingenuous labeling.  Granted, they are pretty filling, so maybe if you have more self-control than I do you could get away with just one “serving.”

I think the “cookies” would be more accurately described as “large globs of granola,” or perhaps “very oaty scones.”  They are extremely dense and filling, but super-dry — they easily crumble apart in my hands if I’m not careful.  What I really wanted to do whenever I ate one was dip it in my tea, but it always fell apart too easily and I was afraid of drinking oat chunks (ew).

As for the taste, which is what really matters anyway, right?: I’ve really been enjoying them.  They’re plainish, not too sweet but with the right amount of dried fruit and spices to give them a pleasant flavor that pairs well with my post-meal tea (usually rooibos chai or chamomile).  Since I wasn’t totally floored by them, and vegan cookie options are so numerous these days, I doubt they’ll be a staple in my pantry — but I don’t regret buying them and I would eat one again if someone were to offer one to me!  :)

Select Zen Bakery items can be found at Whole Foods all over Massachusetts, and may be purchased at TJ’s off-label.

Tea and “vegan delight” at Apotheca

I had an hour to kill on a stormy Sunday afternoon, and as I was in the mood for some tea (surprise!) I decided to mosey on over to Apotheca and get out of the rain. Apotheca is an almost unbearably charming little shop (seriously — check out their pictures!) located in what I guess you’d call the “downtown” area of Goffstown. I’d been to the shop once before but it was over a year ago — and my mom paid — so this was almost like visiting for the first time. The place is primarily marketed as a flower shop, but also offers a full service coffee/tea bar and an eclectic mix of local merchandise – crafts, photos, clothing, and the like.  As this is a food blog, I wasn’t paying appropriate attention to comment on the quality of their flowery merchandise or the oodles of other pretty things they are selling. Regardless, it’s worth a trip just for the eats and ambiance!

I’m a sucker for rooibos and they were offering three varieties that day: “Avalanche,” “Peppermint Pat-Tea” and something called “Shooshy LaLa” (no, for real, it’s from Portsmouth Tea Company, check it out). The barista was nice enough to let me sniff all three varieties and I wound up with Peppermint Pat-Tea, a super-tasty blend of rooibos, cocoa, and mint that was definitely reminiscent of its namesake. I have a mega-sweet tooth and I tested the tea with a little stevia (as well as without), and even for me just one packet of stevia was more than enough. The tea held up just as well a second time around, and when I asked for a refill on the hot water the barista was more than happy to oblige.  +1 for happy baristas.

I wish I had thought to snap a picture of my other purchase at Apotheca, but I didn’t have my camera with me and it didn’t last long enough for me to bring it home!  Apotheca offers salads, sandwiches, and bakery items in addition to their extensive drink menu.  I was in the mood for a bakery item and opted for a cherry bar, a.k.a. “Vegan Delight,” supplied by Country Life Bakery in Harrisville, NH.  Yay for local!  Yay for vegan things even being available locally!  The “Delight” also came in apple, raspberry, or date.  And this thing was HUGE. Probably about the size of two medium-sized pieces of pie put together…and I ate it all!   I don’t think I would have managed to do it if the ingredients list hadn’t seemed so good to me at the time.   It was entirely fruit sweetened, with a filling of whole cherries, dried pineapple, dates and apple juice concentrate, and a crust made from oats and whole wheat flour with a little bit of soybean oil and barley malt.  Absolutely nothing objectionable in any way.  It tasted heavenly, of course: the crust crumbled perfectly and the filling was sweet but not overdone.  I especially liked that whole cherries were used and that they were unspoiled by any syrup.  I will really try to get a picture up here because it was so epically awesome words don’t do it justice.  My one complaint: I found a cherry pit!  If I hadn’t been carefully taking tiny bites of the bar to make it last longer, I could’ve swallowed the pit whole!  Comes with the all-natural, minimally processed territory, I guess.

There were also, as you can imagine, a huge array of non-vegan bakery items.  They were…not important.

Apotheca was a great place to sit and read for an hour by myself, but I think next time I’ll try and bring someone with me.  It’d make a wonderful low-key spot to catch up with a friend over coffee or a light lunch (or a cherry bar).  Rumor has it that on summer days when it isn’t thunderstorming, outdoor seating is available.  Enjoy that sun while it lasts!

Apotheca Flowers & Tea Chest is located at 24 Main Street in Goffstown, across from Ace Hardware.  http://www.apothecaflowershoppe.com/