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louisville vegan jerky

I Triple-Dog Dare You.

Have you ever bought something because it intrigued you so much, but kind of creeped you out and you were scared to try it?  Maybe if someone dared me – that would be my excuse.  Well, I bought a pack of vegan jerky.   Yes, you read that right – VEGAN jerky.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing!  Now I’ve had the occasional beef jerky, buffalo chicken jerky and even venison from friends, but could a vegan jerky be made with the same texture?  That is the #1 thing that I’m suspect about – not that I’m fond of jerky texture or taste even when I did eat meat.  There’s only one way to know – we are triple-dog-daring ourselves to try it!

Let’s talk about the product itself.  I opted for a brand that had pretty decent reviews already – Louisville Vegan Jerky Co.  It does come in a variety of flavors – Smokey Carolina BBQ, Siracha Maple, Smoked Black Pepper, and Smoked Chipotle.  My personal preference for BBQ is Carolina style with lots of vinegar and mustard so naturally that’s the flavor I chose to experiment with in this review.  In reading the history on the creation of vegan jerky, it appears that it was a mistake (a delicious one they claim) when the creator over cooked his tofu in the oven.  The positives are that the bag is a great source of on-the-go plant protein, only 80 calories per serving, non-gmo, gluten free, and they are still made in small batches with lots of care.


So what does it really taste like?  Can soy really taste like beef?  For this review, I had to include my husband who regularly eats jerky since he’s on the road traveling a lot for work.  I haven’t had any in probably 3 years or so.  First off, the storage is a little different.  The product has to be refrigerated after opened, but the package is small so you’d probably eat it in a sitting anyway if you were in a snacky mood.  The jerky isn’t as dry as the traditional counterpart and the evidence of the bold seasoning is left behind on your fingers.  The seasoning was very flavorful and I loved the punch of the vinegar/mustard combo.  My husband felt the texture was pretty close to the traditional, but wasn’t crazy about the flavor.  Maybe a spicier variety would have suited him a little better.  Overall, I think I would purchase this again especially to try other varieties.

Omnivore Rating: 6/10  ~  Wannabe Vegan: 8/10

Bye y’all!

Thriving with Online Shopping

I have seen a lot of information about Thrive Market lately – Facebook ads, YouTube videos and blog reviews.  I finally decided to see what the hype was about it and if it was really worth it.  I mean – I love saving money especially on products that I know are good quality for my family.  You’ll even ship it to my house where I can shop in my pajamas? Sign me up!

The Fine Print

Thrive Market advertises to sell you the same products you currently purchase, but at drastically lower prices.  It is a membership – kind of like Amazon or Sam’s Club.  The annual membership is currently $59.95, but you do have the option to sign up for a FREE 30 day trial membership which you can cancel at anytime.  Thrive Market advertises FREE shipping on all orders over $49 too!  I don’t know about you, but Amazon Prime has totally spoiled me on the actual cost of shipping.  Thrive Market also has a Savings Guarantee on their membership cost versus your dollars in savings.  If you don’t save the whole membership fee throughout the year, Thrive Market will refund you the difference so you really have nothing to lose!

The Website

From the moment I saw the website, I was impressed.  The first click that caught my eye was the option to search by Values.  Thrive Market has already divided up all their product offerings into these Values – Gluten-Free, Moms, Paleo, Raw, Staples, and VEGAN!  No thinking is required.  No reading through every ingredient trying to determine if it’s vegan.  I know that all the products in that value category are indeed vegan.  I can’t tell you the amount of time I’ve wasted in a grocery store trying to decipher ingredient lists and allergen labels to find out if I can buy something.

In addition to the ease of use, the company is centered on good values as a whole.  They give back to families that can’t afford a membership to allow them access to good, quality products.  In their Thrive Gives program, for every membership that is purchased – one is donated to a low-income family where the assistance is needed.  A stipend to spend on groceries is also granted in circumstances that are appropriate.

My Experience

Since this was my first order and experience with Thrive Market, I took my time and looked through every product offering on the Vegan Values.  I had a small list of items that I knew I was running low on in my pantry, but I found so many more products that I wanted to take advantage of especially for future blog postings!  I was really impressed with the selection that they offered from skincare to junk food to baby products and aluminum foil.  The big difference from other websites I’ve used like (which is amazing too!) is that Thrive Market doesn’t appear to carry cold or frozen products.  I submitted my order at night on July 11, it was shipped to me on July 17 and it was on my doorstep on July 18.  Below are photos of all 20 products that I purchased in this order for a total of $79.41 and a savings of $70.15!  Not too bad for my first experience!

Desert Essence Coconut Hand/Body Lotion, Everyday Coconut Body Wash & Everyday Coconut Face Wash
Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed & Herb Crakers
Bragg Nutritional Yeast
Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Rice Noodles
Purple Potato & Brown Rice Ramen and Millet & Brown Rice Ramen
Spectrum Organic Ground Chia Seeds, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed
Vegan White Cheddar Hippeas, Louisville Vegan Smokey Carolina BBQ Jerky, Beanfields Nacho Chips
Upton’s Naturals – Bar-B-Que and Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit
Deva Vitamins – Multivitamin, Cal-Mag Plus, B12


Based on my savings so far, I think that a membership will be extremely beneficial for my family living vegan/vegetarian in a small town.  Some of these products are very hard to find in such a rural area and this will eliminate pricey shipping when I order online in the future or gas to drive to the nearest city for these essentials.  If you would like to give Thrive Market a try as well, use my link below to save 15% on your first order!

Bye y’all!


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