Chocolate Black Sesame Smoothies

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This shake was a pleasant accident. I was originally had ideas for a new dish stewing around for a few months, but I when I made this shake plans had to put on hold. See, I had leftover black sesame latte that I drank while I did errands around town. Instead of dumping the leftovers in the sink, I saved it to toss in a smoothie. So the next morning I made my shake, tossed in the leftover sesame latte and blended.

The end result was beyond delicious. The sesame flavor was present and seemed to work well with the chocolate. And even more to my surprise was that I could still distinguish the sesame and chocolate flavors even with my daily teaspoon of spirulina.

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I tested the recipe again making modification so my recipe didn’t read “1. make on batch black sesame latte 2. drink one third of it 3 blend all ingredients” Plus I wanted to make sure it still tasted the same. The result was still tasty, and prettier since I omitted the spirulina for the photos. I still stand by that the sesame and chocolate cover the spirulina taste pretty well, which is good news for anyone who doesn’t like it. I personally like spirulina, but somedays I just don’t want to taste it.

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I will point out that some people might not dig this flavor combo as much as I did. If you don’t like tahini or sesame seeds you probably won’t like this shake. The sesame plays a big role in the flavor, and it should distinguishable in the shake.

It should also be noted I used black sesame paste in the recipe. You could use whole black sesame seeds and leave the blender running a little longer. You can use tahini, but those sesame seeds are not roasted and therefore has a different flavor than “sesame pastes.” Sesame pastes are more often used in Asian cooking, and come in black and white sesame seeds. The flavor difference is minimal, but just something to keep in mind.

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Chocolate Black Sesame Smoothies
Serves 1
A yummy smoothie filled with sesame seeds and yummy chocolate
Write a review
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 oz milk of choice
  2. 2 tbsp rolled oats
  3. 2 tsp black sesame paste
  4. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  5. 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder*
  6. 1 tsp spirulina (optional)
  7. 1/4 tsp stevia or 1 tsp agave
  8. 1 banana
  9. 8-10 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. 1 Combine everything in a blender until smooth.
  2. 2 Pour in a glass and drink!
Notes
  1. * Feel free to use 3 tbsp of regular cocoa powder instead of the regular/dark cocoa mix.
One Raw Bite http://one-sonic-bite.com/

Sunday Reading 01-25-15 #20

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This week has been pretty gross. Well weather wise. I love winter. I mean I love everything about it, the snow, the ice, the chilly air, etc. But year is a far cry from the last. It is usually above freezing, which causes lots of gross snowy-rain mix. I really can’t stand that. It is effecting my running too since I draw the line at running in near freezing rain, or icey patches, which happens the next morning.

BUT I have some exciting news- Alexa is coming down today and tomorrow and it is suppose to snow tomorrow. So maybe we will have some super cute photos to share. And maybe we will have a new restaurant review to add to the site.

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Unwavering Love

I love Jenny from She Loves Dresses. I think she is really great at talking about social issues on a platform that normally doesn’t talk about it (I mean how many feminist, socially aware vintage fashion blogs are there?) I think she poses great arguments, and there’s some great dialogue going in the comments.

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The Cult of Positivity

This is another post that made me think “yeah I get where you are coming from.” Kat talks about how positive self-talk is great for helping mental illnesses but isn’t a cure. But there is a big push back where people will claim that if alternative medicine doesn’t cure you, then you aren’t doing it right. I think this concept hits pretty much every movement including eating healthy and veganism. I mean how many times have you heard someone who stopped being vegan due to health reasons be called out for “not trying hard enough” to stay vegan?

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Gochujang Queso Sweet Potato and Kidney Beans

So this week I MIGHT be putting up a page about Gochujang, which was perfect timing with Olives For Dinner’s new recipe. I am thinking about grabbing a few ingredients for a last minute dinner this week. 

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Real Fruit Jewelry

I stumbled on this cool etsy shop full of jewelry made from dried foods. I love this current food-fashion culture except I am not big on most of the popular foods used in clothing since they aren’t normally vegan. I mean I love pizza but they are always CHEESE pizzas on leggings. Nor am I a big cupcake or donut fan. So I love seeing fruits and veggies take center stage!

YouTube Interview with President Obama

I am a big Hank Green fan, and I got excited when I heard he would be interviewing President Obama. It was a smart move to try and get younger kids involved with politics. I am firm believer that the more involved the public is involved with politics, the less corruption gets by.

Project 365: Days 17-23

Day 17: Started to flip through my copy of I Could Never Go Vegan. Already made one of the recipes!

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Day 18: Raining day, so I took a photo of my vintage swinger camera.

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Day 19: Took a day trip into Collingswood.

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Day 20: Had a bad photo day. None of my photos came out, and sadly this one was the best one I got.

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Day 21: It was suppose to snow on this day, but not much came down, as you can see from this photo. Major bummer.

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Day 22: I am super excited about this photo. I wasn’t feeling very inspired and was kind-of just taking a photo of something. I ended up with my favorite photo of the week.

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Day 23: I had to place my backpack down to look for my house keys and thought the peeling paint looked pretty cool. 

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Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #10: Let’s Talk About Girl Scout Cookies

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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaI feel so bad saying no to Girl Scouts, so are there any vegan cookies to buy from them?

I swear those sneaky girl scouts! Everyone breaks their diets in order to “help out” the girls scouts and buy lots of cookies. It is so hard to say no when you see a group of girls sitting out in the rain trying to sell cookies, or explain to a little girl about how animals are treated badly for eggs and milk.

Well, there are now lots of options for vegans, but it gets complicated. Not all cookies are available in all regions of the United States. Some cookies have different recipes, so depending on your region it may or may not be vegan! Every year there are new cookies, and some get discontinued, so keep in mind, this list will get outdated. Their website will list if cookies are vegan on their cookies page, but you can always read the ingredients as well. Check for milk being listed as an allergen, then eggs in the ingredients list.

Thin Mints

mtc_thinmint_abcThis is the easiest cookie to grab as a vegan since it is one of the most popular recipe.There are two different factories that make thin mints, but both use a vegan recipe and you should be good wherever you buy. These are the iconic cookie from girl scouts that probably will never go away until girl scouts stop selling cookies and hell freezes over. 

 

Peanut Butter Patties

mtc_pbtag_abcThis is one of those cookies that vary from region to region. If you pick up “Tagalongs” then it will contain dairy, and therefore aren’t vegan. These have always been my favorite as a kid, so it is annoying that nobody seems to sell the “peanut butter patties” near me, just the “tagalongs.” These are another girls scout classic so you will most likely see one of the two variations.

Thanks-A-Lot

mtc_thanks_abcIs it just me but do these cookies seem a little sarcastic? It is sort of like a little reminder as you are eating that you should of bought more and more cookies. I remember finding these cookies and the one with the girl scout logos a little weird. It would be like buying pencil shaped cookies at a school bake sale. Any-who, these are pretty basic, shortbread cookies with chocolate coating on the bottom. Thanks girl scouts for being so creative.

Lemonades

mtc_lemon_abcSpeaking of creativity, they had a chance to capitalize on Thanks-A-Lot theme and name these LemonAIDs. You know, you are AIDING the girl scouts. But they didn’t. Their loss. Now they’ll have to pay me lots of money for the idea. These are kind-of like Thank-A-Lots but with lemon “creme” on the bottom instead of chocolate. Frankly I remember these being disgusting, but clearly people keep buying them. They’ve been around for 10-some-years.

Cranberry Citrus Crisps

mtc_crancc_abcEnter the faux healthy cookies. These cookies boast their healthiness with whole wheat, dried cranberries, and barley malt syrup. Which sounds healthy except it does still have regular processed wheat and regular old sugar in the recipe. The girl scout website doesn’t give their official “vegan” stamp of approval. I am unsure if this was sloppiness, or the possibility of a non-vegan ingredient in the “natural flavors.”

NOTE: All photos are taken from the Girl Scout’s website to make it easier for buying cookies. The faster you find your cookies, the faster the girls can sell cookies to other person. See- I am only helping the girl-cookie market!

My Vegan Restaurant: Good Karma, Red Bank, NJ

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Good Karma Cafe

17 East Front Street, Red Bank NJ 07701
website | instagram | facebook

I’ve been wanting to check out this Cafe for a few years now, but every time I went to visit Alexa, the store always seemed to be closed. What a bummer! But we kept being persistent and waited till one day we could go and have it still be opened. Alexa has visited this restaurant on several occasions without me and is quick to note that this place is usually very busy. When we went we came during off hours and had the place pretty much to ourselves. 

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Bahn Mi Sandwich

Good Karma serves a completely vegan and partly raw menu. The set up is more for grab and go cuisine, which keeps the price points cheaper for the meal. They divide the menu by snack/apps, salads, sandwich/wraps, entrees, raw foods, kids, smoothie/juices, and desserts. There is a lot to choose from, but some dishes overlap. For example there is a salad and wrap that both use BBQ tempeh. This keeps prep work to a minimum but gives customers lots of options. 

We sadly, didn’t try any of their juices or smoothies but their juicing machine looked impressive and would deliver a great juice. Important? Yes, I’ve been to many restaurants that have juicers that leave pulpy drinks and charge an arm and a leg. In fact I thought their drink prices are fairly priced considering pre-made juice from Starbucks is pretty much the same price.

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Barbeque Tempeh Wrap

By the time Alexa and I got in we were pretty hungry, so we got a sandwich and a wrap respectively. Alexa got the Bahn Mi sandwich served with seitan instead of beef, pickled veggies, sprouts, and a delicious jalapeno aioli. This was Alexa’s first Bahn Mi sandwich so she couldn’t compare it to anything, but it was delicious regardless.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I loved this sandwich. Everything tasted fresh and the sauce on the seitan was delicious. I’m usually more partial to tempeh but this item seemed too good to pass up. I think the only thing I would do next time is maybe request it on a wrap. This may sound sacrilegious but if there is too much bread then I get distracted from the rest of the food. I also have a very small mouth and cannot fit a real bite in…the bread was really good, but I personally would have preferred it to be all wrapped up together. I also loved the use of the sprouts – which may sound odd, but dishes that I usually happen to order have sprouts as a garnish. Let me tell you, those lil’ guys are a really refreshing addition to this item!

My main go-to dish at Good Karma is the Pineapple Mango Tempeh. It tastes great even as a takeout dish (and I would like to mention that I’ve never had a bad take-out experience with Good Karma), which is normally how Mr. Ian and I get food from here in the first place. That dish is a great mix of savory and sweet and includes coconut crusted tempeh in a pile of brown rice with seasonal veggies. The sauce on this dish is a creamy coconut Thai sauce and it’s almost like a curry. I feel bad because I want to try pretty much everything on their menu but this one just keeps reeling me back in! I also think it’s a good jump-start for anyone who hasn’t had vegan food before. 

I got the BBQ Tempeh Wrap, which had tempeh, lettuce, cabbage and carrots wrapped up with BBQ sauce and a chipotle aioli.  This was an amazing wrap full of flavor and a great protein to veggie ratio. The wrap held together while I ate it so no sauce covered my hands.

Both sandwiches came with a side salad where you can pick your dressing. We both picked the carrot ginger dressing. I personally found the dressing tasty but hard to toss in the salad since it was more like a puree. It probably would of been better pre-tossed, though I understand the reasons why they don’t.

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Raw Brownies to go

After we ate I picked a dessert to go home with. I picked their raw brownies since I didn’t get a chance to eat any of their raw foods. They were pretty amazing, and well balanced between sweet and bitter chocolate. The brownie also had a nice occasional crunch from the walnuts. It was also nice to bring home a dessert to eat the next day.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I once brought home a raw macaroon from Good Karma and that was really good as well. I am always interested in trying out their baked goods but am always too full after eating and can’t even think of putting anything else into my tum-tum. While they are not normally my favorite desert I would definitely recommend the macaroons as well.

Overall I have to say that Good Karma is great for no-fuss eating. If I lived in the area I probably would order take out often from the place. The prices though, might seem a little high but are probably average for the area. So keep that in mind if you are visiting from out of state. It is also worth noting that I am pretty sure their prices have changed from the menu listed on the website. There might be a change from the drinks they serve as well.

What should you eat when you go? Well here is the list of favorites from Alexa and Jen

  • Raw Brownies
  • Barbeque Tempeh Wrap
  • Bahn Mi
  • Pineapple Mango Tempeh 

Broccoli and Adzuki Bean Noodles

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This dish semi-fails. It fails in the blogging sense that it photographs HORRIBLY! I had a recipe planned out and thought out and when I finally poured the sauce over the noodles it hit me that this would taste great but look fairly bad. So I beg you guys not to judge the appearance of this dish, it really tasty.

So what’s the second failure of the recipe? Well, this dish is inspired by a clip from the Korean show Let’s Eat. One episode had the characters eat a red bean and noodle soup. The dish originally is a sweet red bean soup that has little mochi dumplings in it. At some point in history, someone decided it would taste better with fat noodles in it. Overall it is more sweet than savory, so I wanted to make it more appropriate for dinner. If you want to see the original dish in action, you can watch the show clip here.

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So to make it dinner appropriate I decided to add some broccoli florets and fresh noodles. That way you could boil both at the same time, and have them both cooked perfectly. I also started with un-sweetened adzuki/red beans so I could play with more savory flavors. 

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The end result is tasty but very ugly noodles. And I am fine with that. The dish was so quick to make, so it is ideal for rushed weeknights. I could improve on the recipe, and maybe I will be revisiting it on the blog in the future.

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  Continue reading

Sunday Reading 01-18-15 #19

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Today is definitely a stay inside day, whether I want it to be or not. The morning started out with freezing rain, so I am postponing my grocery shopping until the temperature goes up. And man.. is it painful. I wanted to go running this morning or go for a walk. At least I will be able to on Monday I suppose. But since I am stuck inside, I have a lot of time to read. So enjoy the articles below.

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How A Former Wall Street Trader Solved The Restaurant Industry’s Biggest Problem AND The Latest Restaurant to Abolish Tipping Offers Workers a $35K Salary Instead

Man I hate when I find something interesting but can’t choose between two articles. Recently a Pittsburgh restaurant tried to solve the tipping problem in the American restaurant industry. For anyone who is unfamiliar, usually there is a specific minimum wage for waiters, which can be lower than $3 an hour. This is done assuming that the worker will receive tips to make up the cost. Waiting tables is a very crappy job, but Bar Marco tries to give its workers a salary, vacation, and days off. The funny thing is that I am reading this article and told my husband thinking “WOW! This is great for a waiter” and his response was “THAT’S HORRIBLE! THAT’S A TERRIBLE JOB!” So even with ideal conditions, it seems being a waiter is still a shitty job, which is why I almost always tip 20%.

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Vegan Infographic

Sometimes I just love seeing numbers, which is why I love inforgraphics. And even though I like seeing numbers, I am really good at forgetting numbers. So it was nice to see the stats stacked up again to have a nice visual reminder of why I’m vegan.

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Kick Your Caffeine Habit with These 4 Coffee Substitutes

I was so happy to see this article since I am trying to kick coffee to the curb. I think I am doing pretty well, and creating a semi-structure to live by. My rule? If it isn’t good coffee then don’t drink it. The only exception to the rule would be headaches, of which I rather have coffee in my body than medication with caffeine in it. I would love to give some of these a taste, to feed my desire for a complex nutty and bitter drink. I am a little surprised they didn’t include Crio Bru, cocoa beans that are roasted like coffee.

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#marginalizED

I am loving this project idea. So I am sharing it in hopes that some see it and check it out to share their story. The idea? To show that eating disorders hit more people than just white middle class cisgender female. 

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7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S.

Culture, it shapes how we view the world. Here is a list of different ideas that are more common outside of the US. I would probably would say the ideas mentioned in the article are available in the US, but don’t have a proper word to convey them. Or would be viewed as being “hippie dippie.”

When You Burn Fat Where Does It Go?

When I first saw the title for this sci show video I had a big “Duh! You break it down for energy.” But I quickly realized how short sighted that thought was. I mean you break the bonds to create energy, the matter doesn’t get destroyed to make it. So what does happen? Well, the answer is pretty poetic, and I LOVE it! Now I will always be thinking about breathing out “energy” when working out.

Project 365: Days 10-16

Day 10: I made a new recipe of red bean and broccoli noodles. They taste great but not so photogenic.

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Day 11: My kombucha culture stained pink from one batch. Then when I started a new green tea batch, which made a beautiful contrast with the pink kombucha mother.

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Day 12: I decided to go crazy and tried out some durian bars. It was actually delicious and creamy.

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Day 13: Toulouse takes a nap on our bed.

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Day 14: I took some photos of my Grandmother’s wedding veil.

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Day 15: The cracked ice caught my attention during my walk into work.

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Day 16: A delicious Vietnamese noodle soup that I made from my new cookbook.

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Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #9: Non-Vegan Relationships?

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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaI’ve been in a relationship with Mr. Boo before going vegan. Now that I am vegan, is it bad that I am vegan and he isn’t?

**NOTE: This question has not been asked by Alexa, she and Mr. Ian are doing well. This is simply a common question I’ve been asked by several friends and co-workers.

Unfortunately there is no clear cut yes or no answer here. The answer is complicated and involves you to do some self-reflecting on your points of view and your relationship. Each answer will vary from person to person. But the general consensus is that it shouldn’t MATTER if your significant other is vegan or not. Why? Because if you are truly “in love” then your interests, morals, and values should be somewhat match your significant other.

Think of it this way, if you and your partner have very different points of view on money, there is probably a good chance your relationship won’t last. If you like to save money long term, and spend minimally, while your partner believes to spend most of the money you earn and racks up debt, there will be fights. Now I am not saying you need to have identical spending patterns to be happy. In fact, your partner’s willingness to spurge for daily indulgences might balance out your rigged spending.

The first step is asking yourself why you are vegan? Is it for your health? Is it for the environment? Is it for the animals? How important is veganism to you? Your beliefs might change as time goes on, but take your answers and see how it matches your partner’s point of view. Let’s say your biggest reason to go vegan is for health, maybe your spouse is really unhealthy and that is what bothers you about their omnivorous ways. Perhaps you are vegan for the animals, and your spouse going hunting bothers you.

When I was dating my current husband, I remember I knew it was all going to be okay. Why? I had to go away for a week to visit family, so I asked my husband to watch my pet hamster. At first he was hesitant and had a hard time getting the hamster to come out of the cage. But slowly the hamster learned to trust him and started to come out of the cage just by seeing his hands. My husbuand grew a connection knowing that the hamster learned to trust him. Fast forward a few months ahead when we get mice in the apartment. We set a few traps and caught one. He asked if I could “empty” the trap, feeling guilty and a connect between the mouse and my pet hamster. This was when I knew my husband respected animals just as much as I did, he just needed his own time to develop feelings about veganism.

But there are times where you should question your relationship and have a really big discussion with your partner. If your significant calls your veganism “selfish” because you are standing between them and their meat, then you are going to have problems. Some might read this and think it is pretty silly, but I’ve seen some situations like this. Your significant other is a full grown adult who should be able to cook for themselves, or eat things they don’t like from time to time.

If your partner is trying hard to convert you back to meat-eating ways then you should question your relationship. If your partner is feeling your veganism is a threat then that might be a sign that your points of view aren’t lining up. That being said, you shouldn’t confuse questioning as trying to change you. Your significant other is just trying to understand where you are coming from. Explaining (calmly) about the animals, the environment, and how maintain your health, you are helping them understand, and perhaps might convince them to change.

That being said, lets backtrack to my story about my husband. Is he vegan? No. He still eats meat, dairy, and eggs on roughly a monthly basis. I don’t think he would of eaten mostly vegan diet if it wasn’t for a few things.

  1. He didn’t feel the gender roles apply to our relationship. What do I mean? He never “demanded” that I make meat for dinner just for him. It worked out that I like to cook and had the time. So whenever we ate dinner, we ate whatever I made. But he was completely open to make his only meat dinner if he chose to.
  2. I was there to educate him about nutrition. We all grow up thinking meat and milk is a necessity. It isn’t, but I had to help him understand how to stay full and on budget with plants.
  3. When he said he wants to transition more away from animal products I stick my neck out for him. Chiming in at restaurants asking questions about meals for him, helping navigate parties, etc. We all need to learn these things.
  4. I never expected him to change. I never pressured him about it, and let him take his time to decide. He had visited animal sanctuaries, dairy farms, and read news articles about animal cruelty, all not forced by me.

I hope this article helped you with your burning question about your relationship. Maybe I gave a little hope to you and your partner.

Vegan Snack Attack #3: The Chocolate Bar Edition

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Santa was quite nice this Christmas season! And by Santa, I just mean my husband. He looked at the back of all the different chocolate bars in the store to find ones that were vegan for me. I then pointed out the little vegan icon, to make shopping a little easier for the future. Best thing about this review? It is just in time to Valentine’s Day, so you know which chocolates to buy your boo.

The first bar I’ll talk about is the Salazone bar. The flavor was Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar, I know it just rolls off the tongue! The Salazone company says that they don’t do a milk chocolate bar, which is funny since this bar tasted so creamy. This bar probably had the most sugar and fat in it, but it well worth it. I found it hard not eat the entire bar at once. The chocolate melts beautifully in your mouth, and gives little bursts of salt in the process. I might have to buy another one soon.

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I’ve tried some of the Endangered Species Chocolate bars, in particular the vegan creme filled line. I found them fairly disappointing, so I was little bummed that this came in my stocking. But I was really surprised by the Almond Butter Creme Filled bar. In the past most of the creme flavors disappear in the chocolate. But the almond butter stands out enough while working with the chocolate flavor. I would honestly buy this flavor again.

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I love Vega’s protein powders, I just wish they weren’t so expensive. They work with lots of different bloggers, and I see their products on social media all the time. So their Maca Chocolate Bar didn’t get past my radar. I love maca, and I love maca paired with chocolate! When I finally saw this on sale in Whole Foods I had to grab it. Out of all the bars this is the most like a “candy bar.” My only complaint is that the bar did have a little bit of grittiness to it. But I would still snatch up another bar if I see it again.

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I think I remember eating the Alter Ego Dark Quinoa in the past and thinking it was too fruity. But that was before I knew the difference between cocoa and cacao. I think there is a little bit of a shock when eating cacao for the first time. It taste so similar to chocolate but there is a clear difference in taste. Now that my taste buds are seasoned, I really enjoyed this bar. The quinoa give a nice puffed crunch to the bar. The chocolate is shiny and have a nice snap to it.

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What about the Dark Mint bar? Well, it is a little bit of a mixed bag. I think the flavor was great, not too minty. But I was put off by their little mint crystals. I think I would of liked big chunks that you would see in peppermint bark. But the minty candy pieces are as small as turbinado sugar, so it tasted more like undissolved sugar.

Overall? I think my least favorite bars were the alter-ego bars. If I am going to spend $3 on a chocolate bar, I would stick to the first three brands as I found them the hardest to ration.