Sunday, 6 November 2016

Vegan Products November 2016

Here's some products I've found in the last couple of months.

I found Mueller's GF Pasta and it was pretty good and didn't fall apart which is always a bonus! All ingredients were vegan!

I'm in love Ripple pea based milk. It's got a thick texture and tastes very similar to regular milk so it's great as a substitute, especially in my cup of English tea! There a couple of varieties; sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate. Found this in Target.

Found this Pascha chocolate bar, I think at a health store (maybe Native Sun). It was pretty good, nice and creamy. I love dark chocolate but not too dark and I find that anything over 60% is too bitter but a lot of brands under 60% are not vegan, this was!

Got these Hippeas vegan chickpea puffs at Starbucks, so good!!! Only sad part is they some in these tiny little packets!

Can't remember where I got this Lensi chickpea pasta from, probably a health store but it was pretty good and held it's structure well. It was heavy and nutty flavored.

Pure Knead is a vegan/gluten free brand of bread I discovered at a supermarket, I can't remember which one but I want to say Publix or Kroger! Its was pretty good, I mainly use it for toast.

I found these Maya Kaimal Sweet Chili Chickpea Chips at Kroger, they were soooo good!

I'm always on the look out for a good vegan plain yogurt and have yet to find one! I want a Greek yogurt style flavor to make certain dishes with. This So Delicious coconut yogurt was ok, it was a bit too sweet but when I make Raita it works because you normally add sweetness anyway. Pretty sure I found it at Target.

Found these vegan GF soups at Trader Joe's! Organic Split Pea & Organic Lentil Vegetable. They were basic canned soups, neither were anything special but I preferred the lentil.

Trader Joe's seems to have their own brand of vegan sugars which is great! Picked up this vegan powdered/icing sugar.

I found these plant based vegan food dyes at Native Sun made by Color Garden. They work fine but are ridiculous expensive. This pack of four colours was $12 and you can see by the picture how small the packets are - and non-resealable! For one lot of twelve cupcake icing I ended up having to use the orange and the read and yellow just to get a halfway decent orange color. By far the most expensive batch of cupcakes I've ever made!

Finally caved and tried the second vegan Ben & Jerry's flavor Coffee Caramel Fudge that is almost gluten free but not quite. Again it was pretty average compared to some of the other vegan ice creams I've had. It was very creamy but not much flavor. 

My gorgeous BFF found these vegan GF chocolates at Sweet Pete's Candy, Jacksonville FL. SO GOOD!!!!!

Have missed strawberry yogurt but this Almond Dream vegan version found at Target wasn't a good substitue in my opinion. gluggy and flavorless and no strawberries to be seen!

Love Earth Science deodorant and I found these vegan deodorants in TJ Maxx for $4-$5 which is great compared to $8 at the health stores!

Hubby brought home this Olly vegan GF protein powder from Target. It was ok, not a strong flavor so easy to mix with other things.

My BFF got these rice crackers from Trader Joe's good!

Homemade Vegan Baby Food

Making your own baby food is not only much cheaper but it
s super easy and better for your baby because your giving your child the fresh article!
Apparently 0-2 years is the most vulnerable time for pesticides so I only buy organic and with items that are really expensive fresh but reasonably priced frozen (especially items that don't loose a lot of nutritional value frozen such as peas, green beans & berries) I just buy organic frozen. And a lot of them you can steam in the bag so winning!

First time I fed him I let him try to feed himself, it was quite messy lol

I started at 6 months but many people start at 4 months. Start with individual items for a few days to watch for allergic reactions. My baby had an issue with broccoli straight way (horrible gas pain) and quinoa (blotchy red raised rash around bottom as passed in feces and trouble digesting).
Once the baby is ok with certain foods you can combine with one more item and monitor for reactions with the second item. Then you can add a third item etc.
Start with vegetables then add in fruits and then grains. I like brown rice and organic baby multi-grain cereal (which I mix with a little bit of formula and then add to a fruit/veg combination).

He loves peas!

I've got a list of combinations I really like (and that baby likes) at the bottom of the page :)
At the moment my baby at 9 months old loves everything I give him but apparently the fussiness kicks in around the 10th month+ so I will update on that. After 7-8 months depending on baby's progress it's fine to make the purees a little chunkier, especially with items that are easily mashed in the mouth such as bananas and sweet potato.

The easiest way to prepare apples, peas, potato, carrots, squash & spinach is to steam (or boil but retain some of the water - not from spinach though) then once cooled slightly add a bit of water (purified if you like) and blend.
For grains I cook as per instructions then add a small amount of water to puree. I bought a Rival "bullet" which was $10, compared with the Magic Bullet which is $30+ and it works great.
With bananas I usually just use 1/2 a banana and mash by hand.
Once pureed I spoon into ice cube trays and freeze overnight, then transfer into a labeled container.
Never add salt, sugar or seasonings as babies love the natural flavor of food. Variety is key, introducing a wide variety of colors and flavors to give your baby a well rounded palette.

For sweet potato just wash and prick with a fork then bake at 375F for 40-60 minutes turning half way through.

With apples, peel and slice, make sure none of the hard core parts are present before chopping and steaming.

At 9 months I am feeding my baby 3 solid food meals a day (including 3-4oz of breast milk/formula) and 4x 5-6oz bottles of breast milk/formula with rice cereal mixed in.
For the solid meals I usually contain 3 cubes, each cube is around 2 Tbls (so 6Tbls per serve). If I'm serving cereal that is mixed with formula then that counts as 2Tbls so I only use 2 other cubes (or one cube and 1/2 banana).

Roughly the schedule goes;
6:30 am - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
8:30 am - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
10:30 am -Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
12:30 pm - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
2:30 pm - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
4:30 pm - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
6:30 pm - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal

I microwave 1 cube 30 seconds, 2 cubes 45 seconds and 3 cubes 1 minute. That generally works for most foods but some need a little extra. Then I mash with a fork because some items like brown rice can stay solid.

These are the baby cereals I use. The rice is good for bottles because it doesn't get too thick. The multi-grain and oatmeal are good for the solid food. 

L-R: Spinach, Peas, Brown Rice, Potato, Apple, Carrots, Raspberry, Blueberry

Some combinations that baby likes:

For 4-6 months

Apple & Potato
Peas & Carrots
Banana & Cereal
Sweet Potato & Mango
Banana & Avocado

For 6-9 months

Green Beans, Sweet Potato & Apple
Pea, Carrot & Spinach
Sweet Potato, Mango & Carrot
Sweet Potato, Mango & Banana
Sweet Potato, Mango & Brown Rice (or Quinoa)
Apple, Potato & Spinach
Spinach, Pea & Apple
Raspberry, Banana & Cereal (or Brown Rice/Quinoa)
Sweet Potato, Carrot & Mango
Butternut, Apple & Banana
Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot (and a cereal)
Potato, Carrot & Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato, Peas & Green Beans
Apple, Sweet Potato & Cereal
Peas, Carrots & Brown Rice
Apple, Carrot & Cereal
Banana, Blueberries & Cereal

These sites also are great resources;

This PDF from First Steps Nutrition is fantastic for information and recipes for vegan children birth to 5 years.

Ready for the next food stage? Here's my post of toddler foods :)

As they get older introduce soft chunks instead of puree;