back roads and mason jars

live country. eat plants. be happy.


trader joe’s

thirsty thursday: holiday edition

watermark-review-coverThis time of year, I look forward to all the indulgent seasonal drinks from eggnog to mulled cider and many more.  I was so excited to find so many vegan eggnog options this year since it is one of my favorite holiday choices.  Whether you like your eggnog topped with some whipped coconut milk or spiked with a shot of Jack, these are sure to make your holidays bright!

Silk Nog Original (Soymilk)

This was very reminiscent of how I remember eggnog tasting last season.  It was a little bit thinner than the traditional eggnog, but most non-dairy milks are thinner and I have been using non-dairy milk exclusively for so long that I don’t really remember what cow milk tastes like anymore (and why should I?!).  The seasoning level is perfect, but you could shave a little extra nutmeg or cinnamon on top when served for an extra kick (or a shot of Jack Daniels for an even bigger kick!).  This version has 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein per 1/2 cup.watermark-eggnog

Rating: 9/10

So Delicious Holiday Nog (Coconut Milk)

This was the perfect replica of the traditional eggnog in my opinion.  What was lacking in the soymilk version in terms of a thicker texture was met here in the coconut version.  I didn’t make any changes to this one at all!  It’s sure to satisfy your holiday cravings!  Like most coconut milk versions, the calories are a little higher at 90 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar and 0 grams of protein per 1/2 cup.


Rating: 10/10

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Peppermint Almond Beverage

This is the holiday version of the fall pumpkin spice beverage which I wasn’t crazy about, but I am always willing to try products at Trader Joe’s!  Let me preface this review by letting you know that I am not a huge chocolate fan.  I tried this product cold and it had the same watery flavor and texture as the fall counterpart.  I much prefer the texture that is present in the eggnog options.  I do think it would be better heated up and topped with some Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows or coconut whipped topping (as shown).  Then it would be the perfect accompaniment for sitting by a fire watching the snow fall.  For the calories, this is the best options with 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 17 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 1 cup.


Rating: 5/10

Bye y’all!


where is the turkey?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day to be thankful.  This year I am thankful for many things – my health, a peaceful home in the woods, moving closer to family this year and having a puppy greet me at the door.  This year there is one big change for me.  This is the first year I will not be eating turkey.  I thought this holiday especially would be a difficult obstacle to overcome, but I haven’t even given it a second thought.  My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast has always been the sides anyway!  There will be turkey on my family’s Thanksgiving table, but I will be bringing my own vegan option.

There are lots of vegan turkey options available on the market today.  I have purchased the traditional Tofurky Veggie Roast and the Gardein Stuffed Turk’y.  I am not sure which one I will be taking yet – I just can’t decide!  I will review which one I use after our delicious feast.  Below I breakdown just a few of the vegan turkey options available for you and your family to celebrate Thanksgiving cruelty free!

Tofurky Veggie Roast

tofurky-holiday-roast-packageTofurky offers 3 sizes of holiday roasts but they are all the same – a turkey roast with a wild rice stuffing.  Some packages include gravy and even brownies!  In terms of nutrition, it offers a very high protein plant based option if that’s something you care about.  One fifth of the small roast (147 grams) is 300 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 6 grams of fiber and 40 grams of protein.

Field Roast Celebration Roast

cr-1lb1-e1443025979840Field Roast is a newer company offering many very realistic meat and cheese replacements including one of my favorite cheeses – Chao Slices.  Their Celebration Roast is a one pound feast stuffed with a sausage, butternut squash, and apple stuffing which is stable enough to cut leftovers for that famous Thanksgiving sandwich.  My favorite feature of Field Roast meat alternatives is that they use so many whole fruits and vegetables in their meats instead of only tofu or vital wheat gluten.  A 4 oz serving has 280 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 6 grams of fiber and 31 grams of protein.

Gardein Holiday Roast & Stuffed Turk’y

gardein_frz_a_holidayroast_usrgbsm-225x135 Gardein offers 2 vegan turkey alternatives – the Holiday Roast and Stuffed Turk’y.  The Holiday Roast is great if you have a larger family, but I actually purchased the smaller Stuffed Turk’y option since I am the only vegetarian in my family.  This package comes with 2 gardein_frz_a_stuffedturky_usrgbsm-225x231turkeys and gravy packets too.  These alternatives are a little different from the ones above since they are breaded unlike the traditional roasted turkey and boast a cranberry stuffing.  The nutrition does vary on these items though.  For one Stuffed Turk’y (150 grams), you’ll get 290 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 3 grams of fiber and 23 grams of protein.  One Eighth (90 grams) of the Holiday Roast, you’ll have 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein.

Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast

Trader Joe’s adds this holiday treat to their already coveted vegan product line during the trader-joes-turkeyholiday season.  I was even on a waiting list to get one last year, but I wasn’t able to score one at all!  With a $9.99 price tag for a 2.5 lb roast and gravy, this is the best priced product by far!  No wonder they keep selling out so fast every year!  This is also a breaded roast like Gardein with a stuffing inside.  For one sixth of the roast, it has 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

a very pumpkin october

I love everything about the month of October.  The sight of the leaves changing, driving down a back road up the mountains to get apples, celebrating my wedding anniversary and all things pumpkin flavored!  I feel like pumpkin or pumpkin spice treats have a love/hate relationship.  I personally love pumpkin spice, but my husband is a full on hater.  At my most recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I found several new-to-me pumpkin items that I had to try.  Here are my reviews of all the pumpkin things!

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bagels

Bagels are a popular vegan breakfast since almost all brands are naturally vegan.  I love to bagel-watermark
toast my bagel and add toppings with a side of fruit.  Some toppings that I commonly use are
vegan Smart Balance Butter or plain cream cheese topped with jelly or a flavored cream cheese like Strawberry Daiya Cream Cheese.  For this review, I chose to top my bagel with plain cream cheese.  I felt like this was the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful fall day.  There are bursts of pumpkin spice in every bite!

Rating: 8/10

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Almond Beverage

I love a pumpkin spice latte (a vegan one, of course!) so I was quick to grab up this almond beverage.  I didn’t even check the ingredients until I got home – good thing it actually was almond-bev-watermarkvegan!  Since I didn’t check the ingredients and it was such an impulse purchase, I was very surprised when I tasted this product.  It didn’t have any coffee in it!  I was not a fan of this since I was anticipating a coffee beverage – maybe it would be better if it was added to your favorite cup of coffee and treated as a coffee creamer alternative.  It reminded me a lot of a holiday egg nog flavored with pumpkin spice instead of the traditional egg nog seasonings.

Rating: 6/10

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Rolls

rolls-watermarkPumpkin rolls – ummmm, yes please!  These were the BEST treat that I purchased in this haul!  I felt they were just as good as any baked cinnamon roll just tweaked with pumpkin style.  They were super easy to bake as well – just open the can, place in a cast iron skillet and in 20 minutes you have a delicious pumpkin treat!  The pumpkin spice icing really makes the rolls pop with pumpkin flavor.  I will definitely be getting more of these before they are gone for the year!

Rating: 10/10

Bye y’all!

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