We Tried Whole Foods’ Newest (and Healthiest!) Groceries — And Some Alfredo Sauce
While some people wait for their favorite artists to drop new music on Spotify, I wait for Whole Foods to announce their new grocery lineup every month. Literally nothing thrills me more than when I get to the checkout line and the cashier tells me that they can’t wait to try something in my cart. ME NEITHER. What can I say? I’m a nerd.
This August I noticed a theme with the new offerings: The power of plant-based foods is real, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Which is a good thing. Whole Foods is proving that the plant-based movement is more than just a trend; it has serious staying power and American palates are changing for the better. While I did eat a lot of plants, I also tried their new jarred Alfredo sauce. You know, for balance …
Here are the 10 best things I tried from Whole Foods’ latest grocery drop.
1. Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs, $7 for six 1-ounce bags
For those of you who don’t consider cheese puffs to be an acceptable adult snack, might I introduce you to Hippeas? These organic chickpea puffs have already been on shelves for a while, but now Whole Foods has a lunch-worthy pack, which contains six 1-ounce bags. The Vegan White Cheddar flavor is chef’s kiss. Kids will like them, too.
Seriously, how cute are these wholesome little vegan-cheddar-dusted doodles?
2. Lava Plant-Based Yogurt, $2.49 each
Trust me when I say that Lava is unlike any yogurt you’ve ever tried before. It has a thinner consistency than the average yogurt and is made from pili nuts, coconut water, coconut cream, plantains, lime juice, and vegan probiotics. Bonus: Lava only contains 7 grams of sugar per 5-ounce cup. Lava is a bit on the tart side, but because raspberries are supposed to be tart anyway, I recommend starting with that flavor as a gateway into the pili nut yogurt universe.
3. Siggi’s Lactose-Free Yogurt, $5.49 for 24-ounces
If you’re wondering why Siggi’s makes the creamiest yogurt in all the land, it’s because it’s Icelandic skyr (yogurt that is strained until it’s super thick). I was so excited to try their lactose-free version to see if it is just as creamy as their lactose-filled versions. How is dairy yogurt lactose-free? It contains the Lactase enzyme, which helps to break down lactose. My final verdict: It’s so decadent and creamy, I could eat this with frozen berries and call it dessert. I’m curious to hear my lactose-intolerant roommate’s thoughts.
4. SO Delicious Oatmilk Yogurt Alternative, $2 for 5.3 ounces
Okay, so there’s clearly a yogurt theme going on here. This oat milk version from So Delicious is thinner than Lava and contains half the calories, so it’s not the most filling dairy-free breakfast option out there, but I’d say it’s definitely worth trying. With inventive flavors like spiced pear & fig, triple berry, and sweet mango, I’d definitely be game to add this to a morning smoothie routine.
5. JUST Egg, $8 for 12-fluid ounces
This vegan egg substitute is made primarily out of mung beans and cooks up to the consistency of scrambled eggs. I love how it comes in an easy-pour squeeze bottle. It doesn’t taste exactly like eggs, but it’s pretty darn close and the texture is spot-on. Add it to fried rice, use it to make an omelet, or just whip up a big pan of scrambled “eggs” for a brunch crowd.
6. Beyond Meat Beyond Beef, $12 per pound
I was so sad when I couldn’t find Beyond Beef in my neighborhood Whole Foods (it should be in your store soon, if it’s not already!) but then I remembered that I already tasted it at a dinner for the company! As a proud carnivore, I can honestly say that this soy-free, plant-based meat alternative is off-the-charts tasty. When cooked, it has just the right consistency, making it a perfect 1:1 swap for ground beef in all of its wonderful forms (think: meatballs, tacos, Bolognese). To infinity and BEYOND. (Get it?)
7. Purely Elizabeth Collagen Protein Oats, $3 per 1.4-ounce cup
While there is no official consensus on the actual benefits of collagen, I’m definitely convinced it works. I’ve been adding collagen powder to my smoothies and coffee for months and my hair has never grown faster and my nails have never felt stronger. I’m excited about this new way to consume collagen, a la Purely Elizabeth. This vanilla pecan version comes with a handy nut butter pouch from Nutzo for a nice little accoutrement and, let me tell you, it is SO delicious. You can eat it hot like oatmeal or cold like overnight oats — whatever your heart desires.
8. Purely Elizabeth Cauli Hot Cereal, $3 per 1.4 ounce cup
It’s not every day that you can say that you had vegetables for breakfast on the go, but Purely Elizabeth just made that possible with their new Cauli Hot Cereal cups. These contain freeze-dried cauliflower meant to mimic the texture of oats, in addition to almond protein powder, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, hazelnuts, freeze-dried strawberries, chia seeds, and flax seeds, packing your morning with a nutritious punch.
I will admit: When I poured in the boiling water and rehydrated the cup’s contents, I got a slight whiff of cauliflower, which made me nervous. But I’m happy to say that, upon tasting, I was pleasantly surprised at the way all the flavors work together. Just make sure you eat this stuff before it gets gluey, like you would with regular oatmeal.
9. Whole Foods Rosa Alfredo, $4.69 for 14.5 ounces
Alfredo sauce is a bit of an outlier on this decently plant-based list, but I’m not complaining. Whole Foods just launched a line of their own signature jarred Alfredo sauces — including marinated garlic, tomato, and pesto flavors. I boiled up some Banza penne (to bring back the plant-based theme, of course) and paired it with the Rosa Alfredo and I don’t think I ever need to buy another kind of jarred pasta sauce again. Compliments to the chef — oh wait, that’s me.
10. Whole Foods Savory Fig Balsamic Vinegar
If any of you are looking for ways to up your caprese game, build a better/fancier cheese plate, or just simply make everything you touch taste luxurious, get a bottle of this seriously yummy balsamic vinegar of Modena infused with fig. I could eat this stuff with a spoon, but I’ll settle for putting it on my salads. Low-key this would be really good on vanilla ice cream, too.
Which of these are you most excited about?