So, I prepared some yams the other day and was looking for something to kick them up a notch. I had my non-dairy spread to put in the mix but was also looking for some additional sweetness.  As I was looking in my kitchen drawer I noticed some unopened Madhava Organic Coconut Sugar sitting all alone towards the back.  After trying to rack my brain about where I got it from (I’m sure some type of goodie bag because I didn’t purchase it) and checking out the expiration date, I decided to give it a go!  Yeah, I’m definitely the adventurous type.

Anyway, I sprinkled just a little in my hand first to make sure I liked it enough in it’s raw state and not ruin the taste of my wonderful yams!  I know I like coconut and I like sugar (organic and in moderation of course), but a woman just never knows.  I like men and kissing too, but that combination doesn’t always work – just sayin’.

Sorry, I digress, the first raw taste test was good!  It just didn’t give me the full effect though, so I sprinkled some on the yams and the taste was still all good!  The yams tasted as though I had added a little bit of brown sugar, so I could definitely see using it as an alternative there. The coconut sugar overall had a very mild taste and I didn’t pick up the taste of coconut.  So, if coconut is not your thing, you could still easily use this sugar and be just fine.  After my successful taste run with the coconut sugar, I did some digging to get some more skinny on this mildly sweet stuff.

I found out that it’s primarily made up of sucrose with smaller amounts of glucose and fructose.  It is classified as a low glycemic food and considered to be a healthier choice over refined white and brown sugar.  It also has a high mineral content containing potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.  It additionally contains vitamins B1, B2, B6.  The coconut sap where the sugar comes from has 16 amino acids!  It is also said to be a safe sugar alternative for those with diabetes.

So, overall, Madhava coconut sugar gets my vote as a great sugar alternative find!  I don’t keep sugar stocked at home, so having this in my kitchen when I need to add some sweetness to a dish will work perfectly!

Now if I could just come across unworn clothes with tags hidden in my closet, I will really be on to something!
For more info or to scoop up your own coconut sugar, visit

Core Defender Meal

Review originally posted on I Eat Grass

Did you hear action movie music in your head while reading the title of this review?  No? Well, while writing it, a tune right out of James Bond started playing.  Anyhoo, as you know I’m not here to talk about a movie review but rather something waaay more important- food!  Yes, one of my favorite subjects!  I scored some samples of Core Foods- Core Defender Meal and of course had to give you the skinny on my thoughts of their defense plan!

For starters, the goods couldn’t have come at a better time because I needed another meal to take with me as I headed out the door one morning.  I’m currently training for a fitness competition and I need to make sure I’m stuffing my face with healthy eats several times throughout the day.  So, the Core Defender Meal was a perfect go-to for me because it does pack a nutritional punch!  It is an organic, raw, gluten-free and high-fiber vegan meal in the form of a bar.  According to their website, they mix 5 fresh organic plants to contain all 13 amino acids, high plant fiber and essential fatty acids for your meal on the go. This meal is about nutrition, so if you’re looking for something that tastes more like a candy bar, you’re barking up the wrong tree.  They have three different flavors and I tried all of them.

The first one I had was the Raw Cacao Cashew.  As I mentioned in a previous review, I am not a fan of cacao, but I went in with an open mind to see if perhaps my taste buds had changed their minds- they have not. However, if you are a fan of cacao, then you will like this flavor because it has a lot of cacao chunks in it.  I actually ended up picking out all of the cacao which was not an easy feat, but I managed to do so and still ate a good portion.  Again, the meal is not sweet, so do not expect it to be.  I found the meals to be very dense and filling and as for the taste, the flavor I liked the most was the Raw Almond Raisin.  I think I am used to a sweeter taste, and the raw almond raisin delivered more of that to me.  I like the fact that the meal is filling and has so many nutritious ingredients.

I will warn you though that it does contain 32% fiber and I could definitely tell and I’ll leave it at that!  Other than that, the meals also have a hefty amount of protein and iron which is great for me as I train!

Core Defender Meals were a good alternative to my usual oats and they get extra points for keeping me full for a good while and being travel friendly.  I would have preferred the taste to be a little sweeter as I mentioned, but that is my personal preference.  If you don’t have a notorious sweet tooth like I do, then the Core Defender Meals may be just be the on-the-go meal you are seeking. I must also give the company extra cool points for following  golden rule principles. All in all, I would give the meals a 3.5 out of 5.

For more information about Core Foods and how to order your own meals, visit:

Pies and Tarts With Heart

Pies and Tarts with Heart is the latest cookbook creation from the lovely Dynise Balcavage of Urban Vegan.  I have to say that one of the reasons I was inspired to start my very first blog (which was called the Tale of Two Vegans) was due to me falling in love with hers! I had the chance to meet her in person at Vida Vegan Con in 2011 and she is just as charming in person as she comes across in her blog!

I have her cookbook Celebrate Vegan which I love, so I had to make sure to get my hands on her newest creation, Pies and Tarts with Hart!  I'm not at all surprised that her latest is just as fabulous as Celebrate Vegan!  She leaves no stone unturned, serving up recipes for the traditional minded, to those that like it raw and of course those who prefer to dance with decadence, just to name a few!  There is something for everybody in this book and it comes just in time for the holiday season!  You will certainly wow folks with these recipe creations at your next soiree or even just at home with the fam!

It was very difficult for me to decide what type of pie or tart that I wanted to dive into. My schedule has been so crazy and all over the place as of late, so I needed something quick to put together and her Tomato Tart fit the bill! This recipe is perfect if you are looking for something light and fluffy with some zing to snack on and definitely great for an appetizer in my opinion! This recipe was quick, easy and absolutely divine! I literally had to stop myself from eating the whole thing in one sitting! To keep myself from doing that, I cut it up and shared it. :-)  Aww..isn't that nice?

I will admit that I did go ahead and take the license that was given to buy some vegan pesto from the store instead of making it homemade… Don't judge me! I was able to find this delicious spicy vegan pesto from Whole Foods and it was! This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes without a shadow of a doubt!  The fluffiness and lightness of the dough, coupled with the robust flavor of the Roma tomatoes and the savory zing of the pesto was ménage a trois of delight for my taste buds!  My only suggestion is that you get in the kitchen and try it and also get your hands on this cookbook pronto! To view the recipe, click here!

The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

I just finished reading Colleen Patrick Goudreau's latest creation "The 30-Day Vegan Challenge"! I was very excited to get my hands on this book and read it, especially because as you know I host a 7 Day Vegan Challenge here! I usually don't like to tell people what to do but, You MUST read this book! 

Colleen Patrick Goudreau's 30-Day Vegan Challenge is a wonderful masterpiece. This book can easily jumpstart anyone considering a vegan lifestyle. Colleen leaves no stone unturned as she expertly weaves nutritional information, delicious recipes and words of encouragement to assist anyone through this 30-day challenge. She provides the reader with the ammunition needed to squelch any doubts one might have of themselves to succeed and how to navigate the doubts of others that may permeate as well.

I have been living a vegan lifestyle for years and found myself learning even more with each turn of a page. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge left me inspired, motivated and ready to recommend it to everyone considering or living this compassionate and healthy lifestyle. You can feel Colleen's sincerity and passion and it feels as though she is truly with you each step of the way through the experience.

This book is a definite triumph and one I will refer to very frequently for myself and others! Colleen sums it up beautifully, "It's up to each one of us to reflect our deepest values in our daily choices and in doing so create the healthful, compassionate world we all imagine. If not you, then who? If not now, then when?"

Pur Gum

I am so excited to introduce you to Pur Gum! I was in the airport not too long ago and I really wanted some gum or mints and every single one I picked up had aspartame in it! I remember being so frustrated and disappointed, but alas, I walked out empty handed and just wasn't as!

In case you aren't aware, aspartame has been the subject of many controversies since it was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974. I have read about the controversies and the many claims about the dangerous side effects of aspartame and choose to stay away from it, I ask that you please educate yourself on this if you haven't already in order to make an educated decision for yourself.

Anyway, I recently discovered Pur Gum! Pur Gum is not only aspartame free and vegan friendly,- it is also gluten free, sugar free, nut free and non-gmo! Wow..right?! The even greater thing I found is that it's not flavor free! I have tried all three flavors which are peppermint, spearmint and pomengranate mint and they are all great and didn't feel like it was missing a thing. It's all I expected out of a gum and what's even better is I could feel good about chewing it from a health standpoint. I highly recommend pur gum for your chewing pleasure!

Pur Gum is available in over 2,000 locations across North American and you can look for it at health food stores such as Whole foods and Freshii. For more information on how you can chew on this, check them out at !

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