Supermarket finds

vegan treats

New World on College Hill is a good place for grocery shopping if you’re in the mood for vegan treats. Here are some things I found today:

  • Patak’s ready-puffed pappadums in a bag (in the chip section). These are great – the only problem is that you have to eat the whole bag once you open it, so they’re really a more-than-one-person treat.
  • FruBay dairy-free fruit dessert. This is a bit like icecream in texture, but light and fruity rather than creamy. I had “banilla” (banana and vanilla), which was delicious. The supermarket also had mango flavour. The FruBay went well with the strawberry and cardamom cake I baked this afternoon:
    strawberry and cardamom cake
  • Organic blueberries. Yum. Also strawberries and nectarines (not pictured).
  • Cathedral Cove macadamia lemon kelp sprinkle, for coating cooked food or sprinkling over salads and such.
  • Organic red quinoa. My sister made quinoa salad for Christmas lunch and I’m keen to start cooking it more often – it’s a good protein source, friendly for gluten-free friends, tasty, and easily cooked.

College Hill New World has previously yielded such vegan treats as dairy-free chocolate spread (in the style of Nutella, except without hazelnuts), spicy roasted chickpeas, and all manner of dried fruit. Lots of these things are probably available from other supermarkets, but New World has a really good range of organic, natural and fancy foods. It’s also right on the Link bus route, and really close to Ecostore, so is handy for refilling your bottles of environmentally-friendly dishwashing liquid and such.

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13 thoughts on “Supermarket finds

  1. Hello again!

    I find that particular New World does generally have a good range of things that are harder to come by elsewhere.

    Also, in the freezer section they often have a selection from the “Fry’s” range of vegan meat substitutes, the schnitzels are a good convenience food, plus I’ve made a successful sausage roll filling combining the mince with various other seasonings and things:
    http://www.frys-special.com/Prod_Select.asp – of course meat substitutes are not for everyone, but I find they can be quite useful.

    Plus the Garden of Eatin’ organic corn chips they have at various supermarkets are good, however I noticed (after purchase unfortunately) that the seasoning on the chilli and lime flavour contains dairy, although most of them don’t. Reading ingredient labels has almost become second nature now. It’d be good if there was a clearer indication of vegan-friendliness than poring over ingredient lists though.

  2. Hello,

    I was lucky enough to have a piece of cardamom and strawberry cake to pack in my lunch-box today. It was super delicious and helped to break up what was a very boring afternoon!

    xx

      1. As mentioned in my comment below:

        FruBay is actually mostly made out of fruit. The ingredients list for the Banilla flavour (plus my commentary):

        * banana puree (39%)
        * water
        * apple puree (19%)
        * 4 different sugars (glucose syrup, sugar, dextrose, fructose)
        * natural vanilla flavouring (1.3%)
        * 2 emulsifiers which are made from unspecified fats (477, 471). The packaging is labelled “suitable for vegetarians”, so these must be derived from plant oils not animal fats.
        * 6 plant-based thickeners (guar gum – 412, carrageenan – 407a, cellulose methylether – 461, locust bean gum – 410, carboxymethylcellulose – 466, pectin – 440)
        * soy protein (this is the very last ingredient, and there must not be a lot of it, as the dessert only contains 0.9g of protein per 100g).

  3. creepingfeature: Thanks for that! I find the idea of Fry’s mystery artificial protein, Protam, a little creepy for some reason. I don’t know why as I’ll happily eat Chinese fake meat on occasion. Maybe I’m just suspicious of recently invented foods. I have heard good things about Fry’s products from other vegans, though. The Garden of Eatin’ corn chips are delicious – I really like the blue corn ones. It’s weird how so many chip flavourings include milk products, it seems really unnecessary.

    Rachel: I’m glad you liked it!

    GirlbecomesVegan: FruBay is actually mostly made out of fruit. The ingredients list for the Banilla flavour (plus my commentary and links):

    * banana puree (39%)
    * water
    * apple puree (19%)
    * 4 different sugars (glucose syrup, sugar, dextrose, fructose)
    * natural vanilla flavouring (1.3%)
    * 2 emulsifiers which are made from unspecified fats (477, 471). The packaging is labelled “suitable for vegetarians”, so these must be derived from plant oils not animal fats.
    * 6 plant-based thickeners (guar gum – 412, carrageenan – 407a, cellulose methylether – 461, locust bean gum – 410, carboxymethylcellulose – 466, pectin – 440)
    * soy protein (this is the very last ingredient, and there must not be a lot of it, as the dessert only contains 0.9g of protein per 100g).

    Corin: thanks!

  4. I think the thing that is weird about some meat substitutes is the attempt to emulate a texture that is fundamentally non-plant-like, which can be a bit creepy. But they can be useful subs in ‘traditional’ meals or for convenience foods.

    Some are better than others, I find protam to be a bit like a spongy sausage (hence the usefulness in creating sausage rolls. It’s debatable whether vegans actually want sausage rolls, but some of my non-veg friends have said they’re better than the real thing). Some seem eerily close (I guess, I’m comparing to what is essentially a remembered texture from over a decade ago, I think there is probably an element of nostalgia in creating certain comfort foods from meat substitutes).

    Not sure if you’ve encountered it, but there is a product called ‘Veat’ which I have seen available at Spice Corner in Royal Oak and the Tofu Shop next to Silver Bell Market on Dominion Rd – the ‘chicken’ pieces are quite versatile, and they also have seasoned varieties such as satay skewers and pandan chicken (‘chicken’ pieces with a spicy coating wrapped in leaves). Not all of their product range is dairy free though, so check the labels.

    Also I’ve found that many of the Buddhist fake meats make for really easy stir fries in conjunction with the Watties ‘wok creations’ frozen vege packets, because the spicy oil marinade is usually all that is needed, as it coats the veges nicely as well once the tvp base is fried.

  5. I think for me, the creepiness inherent in many fake meats is all about their Soylent Green-esque mysteriousness. While there are ingredients on the packet, they’re often a bunch of chemicals that I don’t understand. This is more pronounced with things like Protam which are completely artificial. If I don’t understand what something is, I’m not likely to want to eat it.

    I definitely appreciate that they are useful for all kinds of reasons: weaning people off meat, junk food nostalgia (Rulei’s fake sweet & sour pork is pretty special), making easy versions of traditional recipes, speed of cooking, etc. Some of them just don’t really seem like a healthy thing to be eating regularly, to me. (My perspective on what constitutes healthy food is pretty similar to this essay on nutrition).

    I’ve also tried fake meats that are creepy because of their similarity to meat (the worst being fake fish at the (now-closed) Touch of Nature restaurant in Manukau, complete with fake scales).

    Thanks for the info about local fake meats. I don’t really cook with them so probably won’t blog about them – I’m sure your comment will be useful for other readers.

  6. That’s a very informative article, thanks. I must admit I have a tendency to have substitutes as a convenience thing, but have become more interested in traditional food preparation and preservation of late, and seeking out local produce. I will be especially wary of products with isolate soy protein.

  7. I’m glad it was interesting. Something I got from it was the need to think more about fats & incorporate a range of natural fats like coconut oil.

    On the convenience/ substitutes point – it might be interesting to experiment with tofu & tempeh (which are still pretty convenient, but a bit more whole-foodsy than meat substitutes). I’ve been meaning to use tempeh more often – I really like the flavour.

  8. On the subject of convenience, I have found the Taste of India dhals to be quick to prepare and very tasty, and there’s nothing at all strange in the ingredient list. They’re not all dairy free but it’s marked on the ones that are (Kabuli, Moong, Chana and Punjabi). I’ve seen them at numerous supermarkets, including Victoria Park New World.

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