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This is my first “official” vegan product review—-> LILLY’S HUMMUS.
Last week I was contacted by Lilly’s and invited to try a sample pack of hummus.
Who would say no to that? Not me!
In no time flat, a chilled package was waiting at my doorstep. I was expecting “samples,” but it blew me away to see four 12 oz tubs of hummus and some swag!
Before I talk about Lilly’s Hummus, let me tell you about my life experience with hummus. Don’t worry, it’ll only take a minute!
I did not grow up eating hummus. My first experience with hummus happened after I met Eric. His mom made hummus all the time for their family gatherings. She’d serve the creamy dip with carrot sticks, baguette slices, and Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips. (I always looked for the most folded up chips in the bag!) It took me a short while to acquire a taste for hummus, but pretty soon I loved it.
Once I figured out how easy it was to make, I started making my own hummus, using Eric’s mom’s recipe. Of course, I’m not shy with the raw garlic! I also prefer a lot of lemon juice in my hummus.
The point is, I really don’t buy pre-made hummus because it’s so darn easy to make at home. On occasion, I’ve tasted store bought hummus, but they never impressed me. Some are excessively oily.
Now, back to Lilly’s…
I’m told that Lilly’s Hummus was a sponsor of the 2013 Vida Vegan Con that I attended in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, I somehow missed them, in the blur of vegan food booths! (I might have been in a sugar coma from the vegan ice cream.)
Lilly’s Hummus is a Portland, Oregon company. All of their hummus varieties are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and made with organic garbanzo beans, real olive oil, and locally sourced produce. Four tahini-free varieties are available for those allergic to sesame seeds.
Enough talk…LET’S EAT!
Immediately after I photographed my loot (step one for a blogger!), I opened up the Black Bean Hummus and the Cracked Pepper Hummus. I prepared a raw vegetable plate for dipping…
The Black Bean Hummus contains smoked tomatoes, roasted red peppers and roasted jalapeno peppers. Translation: Taste explosion! I love the smokiness.
No, this isn’t your average hummus!
The Cracked Pepper Hummus is perfectly peppery. Delicious! The “crack” in the cracked pepper really comes through, too. It doesn’t taste like “plain” black pepper, if that makes sense. I’m definitely a fan of black pepper, so I’m pleased to taste it in hummus.
Coincidentally…we had plans to visit Eric’s parents just days after receiving the hummus. This was a perfect opportunity to share our Lilly’s Hummus with Eric’s mom– the woman who introduced me to hummus more than 20 years ago.
At Ocean Shores, WA, we opened up the Roasted Garlic Hummus and Smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus.
The Roasted Garlic Hummus is thick, like the Cracked Pepper Hummus. (Both contain tahini.) Since I’m used to having raw garlic in my homemade hummus, it was a yummy change of pace to try hummus with roasted garlic. I love garlic either way. I do always say:
You can never have too much garlic!
The Smoked Tomato & Basil Hummus, like the Black Bean Hummus, is a little bit thinner. (Those 2 flavors do not contain tahini.) Yum. There’s that smokiness again! How many different ways can I say “highly pleasing to the senses”?
I’m definitely going to buy more of Lilly’s Hummus. I noticed that the Sno-Isle Food Co-op in Everett, WA has several flavors. Convenient for me!
YOU can check out Lilly’s Hummus by visiting…
Lilly’s Hummus Facebook page–> facebook.com/lillysnaturalfoods
(“Like” them for chances to win free hummus and swag!)
Lilly’s Hummus on Twitter–> twitter.com/lillyshummus
Lilly’s Hummus on Pinterest–> pinterest.com/lillyshummus
Lilly’s Hummus website–> www.lillyshummus.com
THANK YOU, LILLY’S HUMMUS!
Here is a simple, “back-to-basics” recipe. Herbed quinoa is one of my staple items that I always have in my extra freezer.
I eat this about once a week. I like eating it cold in a salad, soaked in a tangy dressing of fresh squeezed lemon juice and Villa Cappelli olive oil. So refreshing!
Note: I cook up a double batch every time I cook quinoa. I use 1 medium saucepan for each batch, but you could probably just double the recipe using a large saucepan.
Rinse your measured quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Use 1 cup for a single batch and 2 cups for a double batch.
For every cup of quinoa seed, add 2 cups of water to your saucepan(s). Set the stove to medium heat while you get out your herbs…
Unload your spice rack! Sprinkle anything and everything into the water:
Veggie broth powder (I like Vegebase)
Dried onion flakes
Celery salt/sea salt
Black pepper/lemon pepper
Turmeric (makes it a pretty yellow)
Simmer (covered) on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.
Portion in 1/2 cup glass freezer jam jars. Makes about 6 1/2 servings for a single batch and 13 servings for a double batch. Freeze.
(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)
Interesting facts about QUINOA:
(all were taken directly from Wikipedia)
- As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach, and tumbleweeds.
- The name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah.”
- It originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.
- It was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.
- The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements”.
- Protein content is very high for a pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.
- Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium.
- Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
- Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content. In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout. This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the seeds, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.
- Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited. High levels of oxalic acid in the leaves and stems are found in all species of the Chenopodium genus.
- Due to quinoa’s natural coating of bitter-tasting saponins, the plant is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection during cultivation. After harvest, the seeds are typically processed to remove this coating.
- The toxicity category rating of quinoa saponins treats them as mild eye and respiratory irritants and as a low gastrointestinal irritant. The saponin is a toxic glycoside, a main contributor to its hemolytic effects when combined directly with blood cells. The risks associated with quinoa are minimal, provided it is properly prepared and leaves are not eaten to excess.
- In South America, quinoa saponin has many uses outside of consumption, which includes detergent for clothing and washing, and as an antiseptic for skin injuries.
- Quinoa is grown from coastal regions (Chile) to over 4,000 m (13,120 ft) in the Andes near the equator. Most of the cultivars are grown between 2,500 m and 4,000 m.
- Depending on the variety, quinoa’s optimal growing conditions are in cool climates with temperatures that range from 25°F/−3°C during the night, to near 95°F/35°C during the day. Rainfall conditions are highly variable between the different cultivars, ranging from 300 to 1,000 mm during growing season.
- Quinoa does best in sandy, well-drained soils with a low nutrient content, moderate salinity, and a soil pH of 6 to 8.5.
- Quinoa is usually harvested by hand and rarely by machine, because the extremely variable maturity periods of native quinoas complicates mechanization. Harvest needs to be precisely timed to avoid high seed losses from shattering, and different panicles on the same plant mature at different times. Handling involves threshing the seedheads and winnowing the seed to remove the husk. Before storage, the seeds need to be dried in order to avoid germination.
- Quinoa has become increasingly popular in the United States, Europe, China and Japan where the crop is not typically grown, increasing crop value. Between 2006 and early 2013 quinoa crop prices have tripled.
- The popularity of quinoa in non-indigenous regions has raised concerns over food security. Due to continued widespread poverty in regions where quinoa is produced, and because few other crops are compatible with the soil and climate in these regions, it is suggested that the inflated price of quinoa disrupts local access to food supplies. However, anthropologist Pablo Laguna has noted that farmers tend to save quinoa for personal consumption, and consumption of the grain in nearby cities has been traditionally lower. According to Laguna, the net benefit of increased revenue for farmers outweighs the costs, saying that it is “very good news for small, indigenous farmers”.
- The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa” in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective is to draw the world’s attention on the role that quinoa plays in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication, in support of achieving Millennium Development Goals.
For this batch of dehydrator crackers, I experimented with decreasing the amount of flax. I wanted to see if the crackers would still hold together if the crackers were mostly made from a vegetable. I’m always looking for ways to eat more raw cruciferous veggies, so I decided to try cauliflower.
When I spread the wet mixture onto the dehydrator sheet, I wasn’t sure if I’d end up with a too-crumbly cracker or not. As it turned out, the cracker sheet was very well bonded and actually took a surprising amount of effort to break apart. I determined that the agave nectar provided a bit of “glue.” (Mental note filed!) These are quite spicy, a touch sweet, and definitely cauliflowery!
SPICY THAI CAULIFLOWER DEHYDRATOR CRACKERS
1 3/4 C raw cauliflower, finely chopped with a food processor
1/4 C ground flax
1/3 C water
2 T agave nectar
2 T Thai Kitchen Spicy Thai Chili Sauce & Marinade
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Let mixture sit 1 hour to allow the liquid to absorb into the flax. Spread the mixture about 1/4″ thick onto 1 ParaFlexx non-stick dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4 hours. Flip the cracker sheet over. Continue dehydrating until all moisture is absorbed (8+ hours). Break apart. If you store the crackers in the freezer, the crackers can be immediately eaten and will stay crispy.
For more dehydrator crackers, see this previous blog post.
I always feel a little guilty about “wasting food” when I throw out the pulp after I juice. To use some of my carrot-celery-cucumber-parsley-apple-lemon pulp, I decided to create some raw crackers using my Excalibur Dehydrator.
LEMON PEPPER GARDEN VEGGIE FLAX CRACKERS:
Soak 1 cup flax seeds in 1 1/4 cup water for about an hour…
Divide the mixture in half and spread thinly on 2 dehydrator trays over the ParaFlexx Non Stick Dehydrator Sheets (or parchment)…
Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 8 hours, until completely dry. After 3 hours, flip the partially dehydrated cracker sheets over and score them (if desired) into the size and shape pieces you want. Break apart when they’re done. Raw crackers store well in the freezer.
Here are some other raw crackers I’ve made…
SALSA-FLAX CRACKERS from “Becoming Raw” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina…
My 2011 trip to Kauai wasn’t my first visit to the island, but it was the first time going as a vegan. I was pleased to discover that it’s quite simple to find tasty vegan food all over the island. I had one bad experience, but hopefully it was a learning experience for all involved.
I vacationed at the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club (on Poipu Beach) with my husband and parents (thanks mom & dad!). We ate local fresh fruit every morning and cooked most dinners in the condo. The lunch meal was typically the meal “out.”
I’ll start the tour of Kauai’s vegan eats on the South shore and work my way north…
FARMER’S MARKETS – You can’t beat the fresh fruit of Hawaii. At the beginning of your trip, find out where and when the Farmer’s Markets will be. Only then plan your other activities. Arrive early and bring cash!
LIVING FOODS MARKET – Located in the Kukuiula Village (2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka #24), in Koloa.
We picked up some hummus and tabbouleh to take hiking on the Alakai Swamp Trail.
DA CRACK – Located at 2827 Poipu Road, in Poipu.
“Da Most Bang For Your Buck” is true! This is a “take-out only” Mexican food place. I appreciated that the Veggie Burrito/Veggie Soft Taco are vegan. I didn’t have to say “No cheese, please!”
Puka veggie dogs are made from soy and wheat gluten. The bread is dairy- and egg-free. Have the Lilikoi Mustard and Tropical Relishes (dairy-free), but avoid the other sauces (which contain milk.) (Here is the Puka Dog FAQ page.)
PAPALANI GELATO – Located in the Poipu Shopping Village, in Koloa.
There is a whole section of dairy-free Sorbetto, and the sugar cones are vegan. With so many flavors, you’ll need to keep coming back! Here, I had lime on the bottom and pineapple on top…
ROY’S POIPU BAR & GRILL – Located in the Poipu Shopping Village, in Koloa
Our one bad experience. Here‘s the story…
Walking through the shopping village, I noticed the Roy’s “Vegetarian Menu” and the “Vegan Chocolate Souffle.” I figured that if a vegan dessert was on the menu, then Roy’s could accommodate vegans for dinner, too. The “Vegetarian Menu” looked perfectly acceptable. So, contrary to my usual frugal nature, I decided to splurge on fine dining.
Once seated, the waiter brought out edamame to eat while reviewing the menu. We stated that we are vegan, and immediately double-checked that the edamame was not cooked in butter. “No, cooked in oil.”
We ordered the Fresh Seasonal Vegetable Medley (“Chef’s Way”) and said, “That’s vegan, right?” Everything seemed fine, but when the waiter presented our plates, he described a risotto and used the word “butter.”
- “Vegan butter?”
- The waiter went to the kitchen.
- He came back, “It’s cream.” I had to explain that cream is dairy.
- The waiter was flustered. I was annoyed.
- We ate steak fries instead.
- Finally, I ordered the VEGAN Chocolate Souffle. At least it delivered! It was super decadent.
- I typed a complaint on the Roy’s website. I stated that I was drawn in by the Vegan Chocolate Souffle, and that I’d assumed that since Roy’s was offering a vegan dessert, it meant that a vegan could reasonably expect a vegan dinner, too.
A few days later, I received a phone call from the manager of Roy’s, who apologized to me for the debacle. Staff training was underway. She confirmed my suspicions that the appetizer was cooked in butter. Our $85 bill was refunded.
Moral of the story…don’t assume that vegan dessert means vegan dinner. We asked questions and explained our dietary preference, yet we still got into trouble. Hopefully some good came from our experience and the next vegan customer didn’t have to eat unwanted dairy products!
My Recommendation: Save your dinner dollars, but have dessert!
KAUAI EAST SHORE
PAPAYA’S NATURAL FOODS – Located at Kauai Village Shopping Center (4-831 Kuhio Hwy), in Kapa’a
Do your grocery shopping here! You’ll find every-vegan-thing that you need, to stock up your condo timeshare or hotel room. There are plenty of vegan options for a “grab & go” picnic lunch…check out the cafe. We picked up some Daiya Pepperjack Shreds to make nachos with fresh mango salsa…
RAINBOW LIVING FOODS - Located at 4-1384 Kuhio Hwy, in Kapa’a (behind the set of shops on the highway.)
I have a confession to make: I was almost too cheap to dine here. What a mistake that would have been! This Rainbow Veggie Wrap with Creamy Lime Dressing was probably the best meal of my trip (and I ate some good stuff!) I think it cost something like $11, which (for me) is a little pricey for lunch, but guess what? It was totally worth it. Don’t leave Kauai without stopping here.
KAUAI NORTH SHORE
THE HEALTHY HUT NATURAL FOOD STORE – Located at 4270 Kilauea Road, in Kilauea
It’s a small store, but it gets the job done.
KILAUEA BAKERY & PAU HANA PIZZA – Located at Kong Lung Center (2484 Keneke St), in Kilauea
Outstanding vegan cake! I had to try every flavor: Coconut, Banana, Macadamia Mocha, and Chocolate Raspberry. Hopefully they still sell them. I’d check ahead, because otherwise, this place really needs some veganizing!
As of February 2012, according to this website about the Kong Lung Historic Market Center, the bakery is advertising a gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan muffin. I’m not sure that sounds too exciting when on vacation. I hope that’s not their only vegan pastry option!
BANANA JOE’S FRUITSTAND – Located at 5-2719 Kuhio Highway, in Kilauea
Pick up some fresh fruit, but don’t leave until you eat a refreshing banana pineapple “Frosty,” made from 100% frozen fruit pushed through a juicer. This is better than soft-serve ice cream, because it’s naturally vegan. (Banana Joe’s inspired me to make my own homemade Frosties at home, with my Omega Juicer.)
HARVEST MARKET – Located at 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, in Hanalei
This natural food store kicks some butt. Shop for your groceries or grab some food to take to the beach. I bought a scrumptious Tempeh BLT Sandwich and some Uncle Eddie’s Molasses cookies.
Fresh mexican food and seasoned tofu is available! Avocado instead of cheese makes a better taco. It’s cash only, so be prepared! This website has a picture of the walk up window…it’s another “take-out only” restaurant.
Admire the fishes…Don’t eat them.