I am always keen to inform you of GREAT VEGAN PRODUCTS that are low fat, sugar free and allergen free. And tasty. ALWAYS tasty. I know being vegan and STAYING vegan is better for planet, animals, health, economy. BUT sometimes people can feel it is a challenge, especially if they feel like they are missing out. No one wants to miss out. Right?! Carrot sticks are great but so are chips!
I am a self-confessed Crunchaholic. It is a vice I have no intention of embarking on a 12-Step programme for. If my day hasn’t had a savoury, culinary crunch..well, it’s a day devoid of teensie weensie bit of joy. Being a health junkie, I am always looking out for an alternative to potato chips, or simple carbohydrate – fat loaded crunch of any kind. And I LOVE me some flavour, so when I heard about BEANS N RICE Chips I was falling over my hessian shopping tote to get some bleeping through the till. Once tasted, then of course, I couldn’t wait to tell you about them!
They have 5 flavours. NACHO. SALT N PEPPER. PICO DE GALLO. SEA SALT. UNSALTED I’ve crunched on them all. I steered clear of the 6 ounce bag (when not in sharing company) as I’d eat them all in one sitting..and got the 1.5 oz, handbag (and man-bag, for you guys) size packet. At only 140 calories, 5g of fat and packing twice as much protein and fibre as most tortilla chips, they get 2 perky thumbs up from me.
They are a bit of a phenomenon too. Both crunchy and delicately mouth-melty all at the same time. The NACHO & PICO DE GALLO (my favourite) are dusty with spices and really flavoursome. One small bag really fills you up. Satiation factor 10!
ALL of the chips are free of the most common food allergens. GMO free.
I chatted with Liza from the family owned company and she told me the company is family run. Founed by Reed Glidden (together with his brother Roy and wife Liza) Reed is a “Persistent Entreprenuer”. He started out making banana splits in his pa’s Freeze Truck. It fostered in him a learning by doing attitude to business. A vegetarian from 18 years old he was working in construction but always held a dream to own a health food business. In his late 30’s he left the construction industry and his dream began, in a way..via a Natural Foods brokerage. It wasn’t until he took early retirement that he realised he wasn’t ready to stop, he hadn’t quite reached his zenith. His wife Liza one day cooked up in their kitchen, the idea of a chip Reed had been tossing around for a while. Excited by what they tasted. His entrepreneurial spirit soared and pretty much there and then, Rice n Beans was formed! I quote Reed..’I’m happy to be in the natural foods industry, helping people love my favorite foods -rice and beans. To me, promoting beans (the most water efficient source of protein on the planet) and helping America find a better way to snack is WAY more fun than being retired’.
The chips are only available in America. Grown here and produced here. Great for the planet, in so many ways. Beans are cheap to store. Requiring no refrigeration. Growing beans is soil friendly too as beans fix all important nitrogen into the soil.
It’s not just me that thinks these chips are life changing and awesome. Voted ‘Best of Show‘ in 2012 at the Natural Products Expo West, by Vegnews.
I love Beans N Rice. Now I am just wondering whether to use the space in my suitcase, when I leave for the UK, for clothes.. or chips!
Chewy bread with oh so satisfying pullapartedness and a oily, crunchy outer layer…I’ve salivated over the memory of it, enjoyed on a Friday night after work, alongside a pizza, way, way back in my butter and wheat eating days. When the after effects of ‘pizza night’ made it loose it’s appeal, I surrendered myself to the reality that I’d just have to go without. Of course, I could have made it myself but, to be honest, back then, I didn’t believe it would come up to scratch so I didn’t bother. Also, back then, I didn’t cook. I was a microwave queen.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Free From food show, and spotted one of the stands handing out small round pizzas to a very excited crowd. The fragrance of caramelised garlic and dough was blowing my mind. I grabbed a slice. I encountered that familiar tug of war between teeth and bread. It was chewy, with a gorgeously flaky crust, infused with garlic and sweet tomato sauce. I was in HEAVEN!
Just who were making this product…and how?! Please take a bow – Venice Bakery UK
The folks from this bakery have recently partnered with the, family owned, original bakery, founded in California back in the 50’s. They made the outstanding decision to share their Coeliac (celiac) UK approved flatbreads and pizzas over here in Blighty. And I am mighty pleased about that.
VEGETARIAN & VEGAN friendly
Their products are also trans fats free, non-GMO, and are free from culinary gums and E numbers. Are you falling in love yet? I am!
They have a long shelf life. If you travel a whole bunch and, like me, pack a little pantry of food in your suitcase to tide you over until you track down the whole foods store, then these are perfect, too. They are vacuum packed and last for 2 months. And longer, if chilled or frozen.
I smothered my pizza base in tomato concentrate, a grinding of black pepper and a few basil leaves. Nothing else. The base is so nicely seasoned and flavoured, it is gorgeous as is, or with minimal adornment. The flatbread I just drizzled in extra virgin olive oil, scrubbed over with a garlic clove, and topped with fresh rosemary.
Ingredients: Rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flakes, potato start, water, evaporated cane sugar, olive oil, fresh yeast & salt.
My only gripe is that the products contain sugar (for those of you who have not yet quit sugar then no need to worry) but according to Rachel of Freshly Baked sugar is not necessary to make bread, it just makes it prove more quickly but she thinks the flavour develops the longer the yeast gets to hang out. I rarely eat sugar. It can knock me off balance. The way I see it is this, on occasion (keep it special) it is ok. The fact that I have found a pizza base that is gluten free, trans fat free and vegan, is a bloody dream come true! Also, now I know it can be done. I will try and replicate it when I get time. But right now I don’t have to as someone has done it for me. This isn’t your typical, ‘make allowances because it’s gluten free’ product. It is top notch.
It is sold to the UK online from Venice Bakery 3 x 5inch bases are £3.39. They have an offer for a sampler pack for £10, saving of just under £5. If you are in the US then you can order it from their Venice Bakery USA store online.
Have you come across any vegan and gluten free products lately, you want to tell us about? Please let us know and click on the post a comment tab below.