Thursday, May 26, 2011

Korean Melon, Cheap Produce and some Product reviews

There is a Korean market right across the street from my office.  Since becoming a raw vegan, I have a whole new appreciation for the place ... their produce section is huge, including a significant organic section.  In addition, their prices are unbelievable.  Sunday morning I was able to get a get blackberries for 99 cents a pint, and I got a pineapple for just $1.99!!!   

Monday morning I stopped by before work to get some more blackberries, and wouldn't you know it, they were out.  But yesterday they had blackberries and raspberries 2 for $3.  I got 2 pints of blackberries and 2 pints of raspberries.

I also bought something new.  Korean melon.  It looks like this:

I wish I'd taken some pictures of what it looks like inside. It's actually similar to any other melon, but lighter in color - sort of like an apple. The flesh is also firmer and slightly less sweet than other melons.  Very tasty though!!  I'll definitely buy one again.

I have been super busy lately with gardening projects with the nice weather so I haven't had quite as much time to spend in the kitchen, so I've been keeping things pretty simple but supplementing with some prepared raw food snacks.   I loved the Rawbundant sun-dried tomato flax crackers so much that I picked up the "Two Moms in the Raw" brand sun-dried tomato flax crackers at Whole Foods.  They were okay, but not nearly as flavorful as the Rawbundant variety.

Of all the Rawbundant products I bought, the sun-dried tomato flax crackers were by far my favorite.  I liked the grawnola a lot ... but it still seems so pricey for such a small amount.  I had some for dinner one night this week with almond milk.   I'm not a fan of the Rosemary Raisin Buckwheat crackers at all.  I've had about two of them, and they are not calling my name to finish the bag.  They'll do for a snack in a pinch, but I didn't really care much for them so won't order them again.

I've had two of my sunburgers.  I had the first one on my onion bread with the tomato "ketchup" that I made from my leftover marinara sauce and the second one I added to my lunch salad at work to make it a little more substantial.  The burgers were pretty tasty and I have the last two in my freezer to have later.

I also have tried a couple new products I found at Whole Foods.  I was really surprised (and delighted!) to see two new raw food lines carried at my local Whole Foods.

The first that I tried was Hyacinth's Macaroons.  I believe this is the same Hyacinth that leads the raw food meet-up in Montclair, NJ.   I'm a member of that meet-up but have never gone, but her new product line was mentioned in the last invite.  Anyway, here's a picture of a half empty bag of the chocolate macaroons:

The packaging is really professional - it is actually the same bag that the Two Moms in the Raw snacks are packaged in.  I'm sure of this because I got Two Moms in the Raw crackers the same day. 

Anyway, first thing I noticed is the price is right - they are $9.99 for 9 macaroons.  If you're not a raw foodist, this may seem pricey, but it's actually a pretty good deal.  I think the Rawbundant ones are more like 3 for $4 - so Hyacinth's are a good deal for 9 pieces. 

They are pretty good but the first thing I noticed is they are salty.  I've never had salty macaroons before.  That said, as you can see, the bag is half gone.  I guess I like salty macaroons ... the sweet and salty flavor is a bit remincent of chocolate covered pretzels (one of my favorites ....).    These macaroons do seem a bit drier than ones I've had before.  Not a problem really but they fall apart as you take the last couple of bites. 

The next thing I found were New York Natural's Kale Chips.  Whole Foods had about 30 boxes of these by the express lane - but no price on the shelf so I went to customer service to check.  They were $7.99, same as Brad's Raw chips, but they had a Bombay Ranch flavor.  I've had every variety of Brad's cheesy kale chips, so I decided to go ahead and give thes a try to.  Here's what they looked like:
A couple notes about these.  First they seem to generously pack them.  You get 3.2 ounces.  I think Brad's is 3 ounches.  You can tell when looking at them that there is not any extra space in the packaging like with Brad's.  My box above had already been opened but it was packed tight when I bought it.  That said, the flavor of the Bombay Ranch was really tasty, but there is something I didn't like.  With other Kale Chips I've tried, you don't get stalks.  These had the kale stalks - those thick pieces that when the dry are really hard and pointy like a thin wooden stick.  I've read that Kale Chips shouldn't really include the stalks as they can be dangerous and you could potentially cut yourself on the hard pointy stalk.  I agree with this which is why when I make my own Kale Chips I cut off the stalks.  So while the chips are tasty and packed generously, the process needs to be refined a bit before they'll really be able to compete with Brad's.   I'd buy them again if I were in the mood for that ranch flavoring but I think the Brad's have a slight edge since they don't tend to include the stalks.

It's hard to believe that in less than a week I'll be driving to Martha's Vineyard for the raw Bed and Breakfast.  I've got a lot I want to do this weekend to get ready for the trip so if I don't write anything for a week or so that's why.   I'll definitely post when I get back from Martha's Vineyard.  I can't wait.  :-)

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