Thursday, April 27, 2017

7 Fun Things To Do With Postum!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Postum gives you a lot of "bang for your buck" since it yields 75 servings per container! I have been drinking it regularly because it is delicious, but I wanted to find other uses for it too. So here are some recipe, beauty, and other fun ideas. Enjoy!

1. Postum Granola! Make your usual granola recipe but this time, sprinkle some Postum on it to season it! It gives the granola almost a caramelized flavor, which us vegans always appreciate.

2. Postum Beauty Mask! Mix a little Postum with some apple nectar and apply to face. If you don't mix the Postum in as much and leave some granules, you'll even get some light exfoliating action going on when you wash it off your face.

3. Postum Frosting! Add Postum to your frosting, icings and glazes to make your desserts extra special!

4. Postum Art Projects! Instead of using coffee grounds in your arts and crafts, why not use Postum in your DIY projects? Especially important to keep caffeine from coffee grounds away from children and pets, where Postum is safe for most - it is just wheat and molasses.

5. Postumpourri! Add some Postum to your homemade potpourri satchels; the smell of Postum is devine!

6. Postum Topping! Use Postum as a topping for ice cream or granola by taking a very tiny amount and sprinkling it over top. Yum!

7. Postum Baked Goods! By adding Postum to your baked goods, like muffins, pancakes or breads, you get to enjoy such a beautiful flavor. All of your family and friends will be begging you for the secret to your exciting new recipes!

You must really want to try Postum now, huh? You are in luck! I am hosting a Postum giveaway on twitter where you can win a Postum prize pack! There are still a couple more days to enter! Click here to get to the giveaway tweet, then:

That is it! Such an easy giveaway to enter, it literally takes only a few clicks that can be done right from the giveaway tweet! Voila!

Good luck!

This blog post was sponsored by Postum.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Vegan Protein Shake IS GOOOOD!!!

So I got these cool vegan products in the mail from Elite Lifestyle Cuisine and I have to tell you about their vegan protein shake, which is amazing.

First of all, it is only 133 calories and 5g carbs per serving, which is awesome because depending on if I want to make it as a snack or meal replacement, I am adding either water or soy milk with banana, so this protein is perfect for my needs, whichever I'm choosing at the moment.

Super simple to use: just one scoop to 8 ounces of water (or vegan milk) and the scoop is included.

Impressive Amino Acid Profile here. I also love that the protein comes from pea, rice and pumpkin, which opens up this product to those who have soy allergies or sensitivity. Plus I like the taste, since the protein powder is a mixture of pea, rice and pumpkin protein, it is smooth and balanced and you don't get that funny aftertaste that can happen with other proteins that are just one main protein. Plus I really love balance. I'm not a fan of too much of one protein or thing in the diet, so the variety in this protein powder is really perfect actually.

I took a picture of this because when I opened up the container, the scoop was covered in powder and reminded me of a chocolate marshmallow or a marshmallow in cocoa powder and I giggled. Oh, the little things in life. Also, when you open this protein it smells SO FREAKING DELICIOUS! Smells like chocolate brownie or cake mix! I'm planning on using this in recipes too, like protein balls - how exciting!

The prepared protein shake is such a treat too! Amazing flavor and so versatile. I've already made it with banana, with spinach, with vanilla soy milk - all the different ways, it is super yummy! Probably one of my favorite protein shakes right now and I'm definitely enjoying this brand.

ELC also sent me their vegan multivitamin that is in a vegetarian capsule. 

Impressive nutritional breakdown for sure.

The capsule makes it easier to drink down than my regular multivitamin which is actually really difficult to take, but the ELC vitamin is required to be taken as 4 capsules per day and do that twice per day if you are in poor health. I'm more of a fan of a one-and-done vitamin, so I'm not sure if this is a product I'd try again. I felt the same taking it as when I'm taking other multivitamins or when I'm not taking one regularly. I would say it is worth a try if you are one that needs the ease of a vitamin that goes down super effortlessly, also if you are one who likes to break up your vitamin taking to spread it out throughout the day. I would love to do it that way if I had time, but with this product, I can see myself taking them all at once so I don't forget later because of how super busy my schedule is.

This protein powder is the winner, hands down, and I would definitely get this protein again and again. I love that it is 100% vegan, soy-free for those who care about that, gluten-free, sweetened with Stevia (awesome because I typically add sweetened vegan milk and ripe bananas) and non-GMO. There are protein powders on the market right now (I won't name names but I think you might know) that are awesome nutritionally and protein-wise, but are GMO or non-confirmed GMO-free, so the fact that ELC vegan protein powders are non-GMO is so important to me. This protein is also a whopping 21 grams of protein per serving, so you really can't ask for anything better than this stuff. I think the price is resonable and affordable, especially for those of you who are used to buying supplements and aware of their cost.

Loving this vegan chocolate protein, for reals. Big thank you to the folks at ELC for thinking of me and sending me your wonderful vegan products to try! 

And for now, The Dirty Vegan is signing off - I hope you enjoy lots of health food that tastes like junk-food today too! Muah!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Recipe: Iced Postum Whiskey & a Giveaway!

It was only a matter of time before I made a naughty Postum recipe. Oh yes, I created a Postum cocktail and it is absolutely scrumptious. In fact, this iced "coffee" inspired drink is so delicious and fun that it'll make you want to day drink. Responsibly of course, obviously.

You see, Postum is a beverage alternative to coffee but as I have demonstrated with my cookie recipe, it can be used in baking and so many other recipe types, now including cocktails. Welcome to Postum happy hour! At the end of this post I'll give you all the juicy giveaway details so you can enter to win a Postum prize pack too!

Iced Postum Whiskey
makes 1 drink

2 heaping teaspoons Postum (in Natural Coffee Flavor)
6 ounces hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ounce whiskey
Soy creamer (to taste)
Dollop coconut whipped cream (optional)

Fill a glass with ice and set aside. In a separate mug, mix Postum and hot water (carefully), then dissolve sugar in. Allow to cool. Add whiskey. Pour drink into glass with ice and add creamer to taste. If desired, dollop with coconut or other vegan whipped cream of choice. Enjoy!

What I really love about this coffee-flavored whiskey drink is that you don't get the caffeine side effects that you would if you used coffee. Postum is perfect in coffee-flavored cocktails!

If you'd like to try Postum for yourself, be sure to enter to win a prize pack that will include both flavors and fancy iced cups so you will be prepared to make iced Postum this season! All you have to do to enter to win is RT my giveaway tweet - that's it! To be eligible to win, you must be following both myself and Postum on Twitter. The winner will be randomly chosen on Friday,  April 28th, 2017 and will be announced after that. Good luck!

This blog post was sponsored by Postum.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Random Post: Hair Dye?

I stopped dying my hair around 2010 and the last hair dye that I used was temporary and it washed out after however many showers. It was to bring my color back to brunette after highlights, even it all out. Since then, I've grown and donated my hair several times, at one point a couple years ago cutting my hair super short, in a real micro-bob.

I'm not opposed to hair dying whatsoever. I used to love changing my hair color, but I didn't like the way it made me feel after the excitement wore off. I didn't feel like myself anymore. It always felt like this sigh of relief whenever I was able to get that box of black hair dye and turn myself back into myself. I felt like "me" again. So that is why I stopped dying my hair. I probably will do it again someday, at some point. Probably will do it when I start to get gray hairs because I'm vain. Nothing wrong with gray hair, I think natural aging is beautiful and I admire it so much on others. Women with gray hair are beautiful and gorgeous in their age and salt and pepper haired men like John Slattery are sexy as hell, but for me I like being brunette, the way I was born. I'm sure that will change once I do get a gray hair or two because maybe at that time I will be ready for it, who knows.

Sometimes it looks like I have streaks of gray in my pictures where my shiny hair hits the light, but it is just lighting. I don't like it. My hair has gotten so shiny from my healthy vegan diet that I can skip hair conditioner sometimes after shampooing because my hair is rich with natural oil.

I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of a wig either. Imagine that? Never having to style your hair or throw it back in a messy bun (screaming to the world I AM LAZY TODAY). Then you can color your hair differently every single day with just the change of a wig. I feel like a Marilyn today... bam... blonde bombshell.

Ehh, I never looked good as a blonde. Oh yeah, I did the blonde thing before, believe it or not. It was 1999 and I was doing one of those blonde highlight with the holes in the cap and plastic pick things. It went terribly wrong because my thick hair wasn't going thru the holes properly and I panicked since I already had the hair bleach mixed up and sitting in the tray. I just slathered it all over my head then used a comb to kind of even it out. So it was like a frosted look. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I could post the picture right here, but I'm not gonna. That was another one of those times where I truly felt myself again once I took hold of that brunette hair dye and made myself feel old-and-familiar again.

I have no idea what the point of this blog post is. What is the lesson here? I guess, do whatever it is that makes you happy. I don't judge and you shouldn't judge yourself or others either. If you like your hair a certain color, do it. If you want to change your hair color or style like the weather, go for it. If it makes you happy, how can it be bad? Don't worry about the haters or the judges; they aren't happy with themselves that is the only reason they are judging others.

And for now, The Dirty Vegan is signing off. I hope your day is super sunny and colorful! It's gloomy out here in New England right now, but I hope we all see rainbows today - no - double rainbows!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Testing Exciting New Vegan Products: Enjoy Life Foods!

This is such an exciting time for vegan food and I'm so grateful that companies send me care packages to try out the latest products. There are so many amazing new food items just recently released or that will be available very soon, and I am over-the-moon happy about this!

The latest Enjoy Life vegan stuff! Yay!!!

I wanted to talk about the latest three delicious and gluten-free Enjoy Life products added to their line of wonderful vegan offerings and allergy-friendly foods.

The red bag is the Dark Chocolate Regular Size Morsels, which I thought they always had but maybe these are new because they are 69% cacao. Anyways, these are for baking and other recipes but are so good straight from the bag! What?? I didn't eat the whole entire bag before getting a chance to use them for a recipe post. What? There's a recipe using these scrumptious chocolate morsels coming soon...maybe.

Then there's the brand new protein bites, ProBurst Bites that I'm most excited about! They are nut-free, made with sunseed butter (sunflower seed butter), they are completely natural, they pack a 6g of protein punch, but most importantly...they taste more like a dessert than a snack. I was expecting these to taste like the protein balls that I sometimes eat (you know when I'm in workout mode, occasionally) but they actually taste like the best chocolate truffles I've ever eaten! You get 5 servings per (resealable) bag, however that's 3 bites per serving and they are so rich and decadent that I can easily eat one or two and be satisfied. These are a great value and nutritional, but yummy, offering.

And last but certainly not least, the Muffin Mix with Ancient Grains. My favorite aspect of this muffin mix is that the mix has 5g of protein per serving developed with probiotics. I absolutely love when something like muffin mix isn't void of nutritional value. These muffins are coming in at only 170 calories each prepared muffin, and you can make about 10- 12 muffins per box, so if I am in workout mode (haha, yeah right) I won't feel guilty at all eating them...all...eating all the muffins. Damn, they are tasty muffins - don't judge me.

Big thank you to Enjoy Life Foods for sending these new products over to me to try. I am a big fan of this company and they really continue to make vegans lives so much easier with their delish and revolutionary products. Bravo!

Which of the latest Enjoy Life products are you most exciting to try out? 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Goodnight, Spiders Everywhere, Everyone

This. This to everyone, everywhere, in any and every situation. This.

I normally have a lot to say. In fact, it is hard to shut me up, most of the time. But for this post, I wanted to leave it at that, with powerful words that I found circulating the interweb, written by a poet named Rudy Francisco. Food for thought. Goodnight. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Malt Candy Cookie Bites Recipe featuring Postum

I have been really enjoying my morning cup of Postum. I'm sure you guessed that from my Postum review, if you read it. I like to drink a variety of beverages, like many of us do, so I don't limit myself to just coffee or tea. I have added Postum to my daily beverage intake, just like I enjoy water and other drinks throughout the day. What has been perfect about drinking Postum, is that it is ideal for those mornings that I want the taste of coffee or a nice warm drink (and that distinct and comforting flavor of Postum), but don't want the caffeine. I would drink coffee all day if I could, but the caffeine often makes most of us feel jittery, for me even decaf can do that, so enjoying a Postum has been awesome lately! I'll have one in the morning or sometimes if I fancy a coffee first thing, I'll sip a nice cup of warm or iced Postum at night, without worrying that it'll keep me up for hours! I'm loving the Postum product so much that I thought to myself, what else can I do with it? The flavor is amazing and there are so many servings (a whopping 75!) per can. How about experimenting with some recipes?

I was sitting down with a cup of Postum and a book the other day, and was really stuck on what it had reminded me of, in that one sip, in that moment. Then it struck me! Remember those chocolate malt candies that you get at the movies or they came in a speckled candy coated Easter egg version at this time of year? Those types of candies have been off limits for us vegans but also for people who avoid overly processed foods and candy, and those who prefer to make their own sweets. After countless hours and testing in my kitchen, I perfected the recipe inspired by what I remember, what my childhood memories recall of those chocolate malt candies, but with a healthier twist and in the form of cookie bites! It was all possible because of this wonderful and versatile product, Postum. So here is the recipe! I hope you enjoy them! When you try this recipe, I'd love to see your pictures or hear what you think about it. Feel free to mention or tag me and Postum on Twitter!

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Malt Candy Cookie Bites Recipe featuring Postum
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Cookies Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup Postum (or more for stronger malt flavor), I used Original (Roasted Wheat-bran Molasses) Flavor
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegan milk (use a little more if needed to achieve cookie dough consistency)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Coating Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking-safe parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, mix first five ingredients (dry ingredients) then add in vegan milk and vanilla extract. Drop small balls of dough, about one teaspoon in size, on parchment lined baking sheet, about one inch apart. Bake for 8- 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow cookies to cool. Place cookies in freezer for about 5 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together and blend well. Dip each cookie in chocolate to coat, then place on parchment paper. Freeze cookies for 30 minutes, or until coating is dry, to set then enjoy! Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Coming soon: a Postum prize pack giveaway!!! Keep an eye out for that in my next Postum post!

This blog post was sponsored by Postum.

The New Starbucks Vegan Menu Additions: My Thoughts

Perhaps you have heard the news. Vegans have demanded more cruelty-free food products at Starbucks and the coffee shop giant took notice and appropriate action. They have done an excellent job with the vegan milk variety, with most stores offering three types of non-dairy milk options, and now they are expanding their food menu to include more vegan-friendly offerings, with a focus on a new lunch item.

There's going to be a Mediterranean inspired lunch choice that has vegetables and riced cauliflower or something like that. Very fancy schmancy stuff.

You want to know what I think? I think it is great! A swell idea indeed. Want my prediction? It'll fail like the other vegan lunches they offered, on and off, for the past few years. They are too fancy for a coffee shop.

I (as well as many other vegan people that I talk with about topics like this) would be perfectly happy with packets of nut butter to go on bagels (like they used to have), packets of vegan butter to put on bagels or bread (like they should have - they are a coffee shop after all), or a vegan scone or muffin on the menu.

Why get so sophisticated with these jazzed-up menu items when adding some baked goods, sans eggs or dairy, would do just fine? Or how about a tofu and veggie sausage sandwich on an english muffin or bagel that can be enjoyed during breakfast or lunchtime? These heavy-on-the-vinegar vegetable dishes they keep introducing are okay, but they are just, okay. Veganizing one or more of their existing menu items would not only be cost effective to Starbucks, but would also satisfy their vegan customers so much more than their souped up salads.

I appreciate any vegan offerings that any eatery can offer us, but frankly it is long over due and also I think they have the wrong impression of who most vegans are. We aren't all healthy eaters, all the time, because let's face it, if we were we wouldn't even be drinking coffee. You know what I want to see? A vegan cake pop, for crying out loud. It isn't hard, Starbucks. It'll actually be cheaper to make than your existing cake pops and more shelf stable. I can create the recipe and send it to you if you'd like. Or just take something from my vegan cookbook and call it a day, if it will make you stop with these over-the-top veggie dishes that never go past a few months in existence.

I'm just saying, obviously I say this out of love and respect; I'm a Starbucks fan and get all my beverages from there made with soy milk. I am a longtime customer, I just think we can do better here, not just for the consumers but for your business too. I doubt if these new vegan dishes will last more than a year.

Do you want to eat salad and vegetables with your coffee? I don't.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Postum, the Cure for the Common Beverage

I'm sitting here enjoying my morning Postum. You're probably wondering what that is, aren't you? Postum is a delicious and delightful instant warm beverage made from wheat-bran and molasses that embodies coffee, without the jitters. Think about that. Many of us want to sip coffee or tea, that comforting warm beverage, all day long, but we can't due to the health disturbances we'd feel if we did so; we might get caffeine poison if we did that, who knows! But Postum is naturally caffeine-free!

 Let's talk a little about the Postum brand before we dive into the product. Postum is one of the world's first health foods, before the days of natural food stores and natural grocery. After switching hands from the Post cereal company and other larger companies, like General Foods and Kraft, the Postum product was sadly forgotten about until the fine folks at all-natural food company, Eliza's Quest Foods revived it! Back in 1895 C.W. Post created this "cereal beverage" and who would have known it would turn into a worldwide phenomenon? I think Mr. Post would be happy to know his product is back with a small family business who cares as much about the product and brand as he did. Postum is made in the USA and as it was from the start, focused on maintaining a quality natural foods product that is safe and healthy to enjoy. Let's talk about this product, I know you are all eager to know about it!

Like I said, I'm sitting here enjoying my cup of Postum. Upon my first Postum experience, I opened up the jar, which was filled to the brim, and my first reaction was to smell it. Oh, what an aroma! Sweet smelling and lightly roasted, almost caramel-like. I wanted to eat it - I'm going to be making plenty of recipes with it, so stay tuned for that! I noticed how much product you get in the jar and how you need very little to make a cup of Postum, only about 1- 2 teaspoons necessary per cup of boiling water, depending on how bold the flavor you'd like. There are about 75 servings per container, which is an amazing value. It lasts a long time, the expiration date is 2019, but I doubt anyone would be able to keep a jar in their cupboard that long without either drinking it or using it in recipes like baking or flavoring with it; I could never let this stuff go to waste.

When you add the granules to boiling water, they blend very well and look just like coffee. There is no grit when I make my Postum and it is completely smooth. I find that I can drink it black and it is very pleasant that way, no acidity or anything like that, but when I added my vanilla flavored soy creamer, it really kicked the experience up a notch. I can see myself drinking Postum black if I'm battling a cold because it has that comforting property to it, almost like how a broth or soup would, but when you add creamer it really is like any other warm beverage like coffee, tea or coffee alternatives. I really like the subtle malt taste, but it mainly tastes like coffee, especially the Natural Coffee Flavor offering, but the original is awesome too. Postum is very easy to enjoy. I'm hooked! And it is only 10 calories, 2 carbs and you get 1 gram of dietary fiber per serving. So you get a little energy from the carbs and adding on to your daily fiber intake is always a good thing. I also think it is a really neat thing to be able to sip this Postum and know that this is the same original recipe that C.W. Post created and sipped on himself. It feels very interesting and historic to be able to do something like that; not many companies have kept the same recipes from when the products were first created. This is from the Postum website:

"You’ll also like what’s NOT in Postum. There’s no caffeine to cause potential sleeplessness, high blood pressure or digestive problems. You won’t find any preservatives, sodium or genetically modified foods, either. Postum is proud to have earned the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the Non-GMO Project.

By keeping to our original 1895 recipe, we’ve maintained a wholesome approach to coffee alternatives from a simpler time."

Also, for all of you history buffs and retro enthusiasts (like me!), check out this section of the wonderful Postum website (scroll to the bottom) that has nostalgic advertisements from the brand over the years. So cool!

Our days of caffeine overload and adrenal fatigue are over folks - we have a safe alternative right in the natural foods world! And it doesn't have to be one or the other. It doesn't have to be coffee vs. Postum. Think of Postum as another beverage to add to the beverages you like to enjoy. Maybe you've had too much coffee and like the coffee taste, but even another cup that's a decaf would overdo it. Enjoy a Postum. Maybe you are tired of the same boring and ordinary beverages and coffee-like products. Postum is the cure for the common beverage.

I'm really excited about this product and I'm so anxious to share recipes, giveaway some Postum prize packs to lucky readers, and dive more into the Postum world. Spoiler alert: I'm currently working on creating recipes (two special ones in particular) with Postum that are game-changers for vegans since they are foods that since turning vegan, are not available without animal products and Postum is the exact product I needed to achieve these dishes! You won't believe these recipes; coming up in one of the next posts, plus I still have so much to say about this amazing product, so stay tuned!

Also, make sure to check out Postum's social media. They share really fun pictures and recipes. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. I hope your day is warm and cozy like a mug of Postum.

This blog post was sponsored by Postum.