Queal Vegan Shakes: Taste Test

Following my last Queal review, Jiska from Queal was kind enough to send me a lovely box of the newly available (in North America) vegan shakes! After a few weeks of sitting in excitement while finishing up my current Queal inventory, it arrived!

Upon opening my box, I found:

  • Vegan Banana Steady Shake
  • Vegan Vanilla Steady Shake
  • Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Happiness
  • Vegan Nuts and Salt bar
  • Awesome Stickers
  • Cute Shaker

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So I loaded my possessions up with Queal stickers and got to tasting…

Texture

The texture of Queal is quite distinct compared to other liquid meals. There is a certain fibrous grain that adds a special level of satisfaction to your meal. Some people who have issues with anything that isn’t absolutely milky smooth (think Hol Food) may not enjoy this- but I am not phased by this, nor is anyone I’ve had try it!  The product is easy to shake up and does not clump nearly as easily as Soylent powder. Personally, I recommend consuming this very cold, so I shake the powder with the recommended water plus two ice cubes.

Taste

The base flavour behind the vegan products vs the non vegan is very subtle. There is a mild pea flavour that is not present in standard Queal Steady shakes, but this is not overwhelming as it is with other pea protein based products like Jake. Of the three flavours I was provided, the pea flavour was most noticeable in the vanilla shake, most likely due to the mildness of the vanilla flavouring. This makes it taste like pancake batter (and with the Queal texture its even closer) in a very good way. The banana flavour is nice and strong and helps mask the pea flavour for those who are looking to avoid noticing it- though in my experience most vegans are friendly with pea protein.

Cost

It costs $11.50 CAD per day to live entirely off of Queal Vegan Shakes. This pricing is fair compared to competitor brands like Jake and JimmyJoy (after JJ shipping costs).

Impact

Queal.com is full of cool information about the impact your dietary decisions make!

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Overall

In summary, Queal is a solid competitor in the meal replacement game, offering astonishing amounts of variety in flavour. The customer service is prompt and the shipping is fast. Compared to other companies I have worked with, Queal shows the fastest response time, one of the highest quality products, and one of the best website dashboards I have ordered on. Though there is a definite texture and this product is not perfect for everyone, I believe many people will enjoy adding Queal to their daily routine!

GO BAR REVIEW COMING SOON


BlenderBottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle, Colors May Vary, 28-Ounce 2-Pack


Queal Standard Steady Shakes: Taste Test

I stumbled upon Queal a few weeks ago, browsing the internet for a lent or liquid diet that would ship to Canada. I was super intrigued by their vast selection of flavours, so I quickly ordered one of each flavour available.

The first awesome thing I noticed was the Queal dashboard after you purchase. They go extensively into the impact that your Queal consumption makes on the environment, health, and your bank account!

These were my impact results from purchasing 8 complete days of food:

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The site also includes reordering reminders and subscription services that can save a few extra bucks.


Cost

My package arrived about a week later and I ended up with:

  • One x (3 servings)  Caffeinated Cola Kick 
  • One x Funky Forest Fruit
  • One x Awesome Apple Pie
  • One x Cool Chocolate
  • One x Super Strawberry
  • One x Banana Mania
  • One x Chocolate Hazelnut Happiness
  • One x Smooth Vanilla
  • One x Nuts and Sea Salt Go Bar was included for FREE 🙂
  • Free Shaker Bottle

Total Cost was $83 USD for Queal and shipping + $15 at customs= $98 or $12.3 USD/DAY

Total Cost was $108 CAD for Queal and shipping + $20 at customs= $128 or $16 CAD/DAY


Texture

I prepared these as per directions by adding 5 (yes, 5) scoops of Queal to 350ml of water.  All of these products have a similar texture so I will dress that as a whole now. The texture is not extremely smooth, but this is not in a bad way at all. There is a definite grit in the drink, but with the delicious flavour it almost adds something satisfying to each meal. About the same thickness as Soylent 2.0, but with the added fibrousness that isn’t for everyone, but I certainly enjoy. Texturally a bit similar to the previous Hol Food chocolate formula, but without any sinking bits like that old formula had, for anyone who had the chance to try that and knows what I mean… This would likely not be the product for you if you seek something ultra smooth like the newer Hol Food or even soylent 2.0, but is certainly for you if you don’t mind texture and seek variety. Now on to the tasting!


Taste

Awesome Apple Pie is a great flavour. This was the first one I tried, and I was truly surprised by the sweetness of this flavour. I mean, its apple pie, its supposed to be sweet so I’m not sure what i was expecting but it was a pleasant surprise compared to other less sweetened shakes. The texture of Queal compliments this flavour because the fibrousness gives the implication of a pie crust to the palate. Really good.

Banana Mania was less sweet than the apple pie but still sweeter than other shake brands. The banana flavour is really nice and this honestly just tastes like a bowl of oats with a banana in it. Super tasty, I might blent this one with the Cool Chocolate soon.

Speaking of chocolate, this flavour is alarmingly similar to old school Hol Food, but a bit sweeter, milkier, and generally just a really delicious cocoa taste.

Cola Kick was fun but really weird. Don’t get me confused here, I LOVE it. Its just so unlike anything I have had before. Maybe closest to a Coke float that melted? I don’t even know what to think about this one but it was limited time and now I can’t get more and I’m super bummed out about it.

Smooth Vanilla is your typical plain vanilla flavour. Not much so say about this flavour, I will mix it with other things to add punch.

Super Strawberry and Funky Forest Fruit taste like liquid versions of two flavours of Nutri-grain Bar, with the forest fruit having blueberry and cranberry notes while the strawberry has, well, strawberry notes. The oat flavour really pops in these two.

Chocolate Hazelnut Happiness was also a fun flavour. The cocoa flavour is really really nice and complimented the hazelnut flavour. My only change would be a slightly less artificial hazelnut flavouring as it tastes a bit more on the fake side. Really sweet and again, the texture complimented this one a lot.


Nutrition

Here’s some label shots so you can get a look at the ingredients and nutrients!

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…Essentially this stuff is based on Oats and Milk. Sounds great!

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Shaker Bottle

The Shaker bottle seems to be of great quality. It has a screen rather than a shaker ball. My only complaint is that the top is a screw cap and I 100% guarantee that I am going to lose the top…


The Bar

We also received one free Go Bar.

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The texture is very crunchy and chewy and satisfying, though I was not big on the taste. They weren’t kidding when they said salt. This is a very salty, nutty bar. If that is your thing, you will love this!

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Overall

I have really enjoyed my experience with Queal so far, and I am about to go place another order right now! Really awesome taste, and CRAZY VARIETY, not to mention a wonderful instagram team (shoutout to Jiska). All in all, this is amazing stuff and I think they may have me hooked.

…So how does it rank?

  1. Hol Food (New)
  2. Queal Steady
  3. Soylent 2.0
  4. Hol Food (Old)
  5. Jake Food

You guys need to try this stuff!

Austin (Ooch)


5 Great Vietnamese Food Spots in Toronto

Photo: The Random Foodie on Blogspot

Pho is an amazing Vietnamese soup which is traditionally a breakfast food, though here in Toronto most people have it anytime. I love pho, and I order it off of UberEats all the time! That said, Vietnamese food is way more than Pho, so I will address even spots that are known for other dishes. Now that Vietnamese cuisine is becoming more and more popular all over the world, cities like Toronto are filling up with so many amazing, authentic restaurants to choose from. Here are some of the best.

 

  1. Banh Mi Boys

Banh Mi Boys is located on Queen St W. It serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine and also has on offer delivery options as well. With modern décor,you can easily relax and have some great food. Thebest thing about this place is that theyserve food amazingly fast. This ensures that you are able to have your favorite food within a short period of time. This makes this place worth a try even when you’re short on time. Also, they have the perfect takeaway picking, should you like to get a takeaway. All in all, you can get some great Vietnamese food at a value for money price.

Items to try:

  • Pork Belly
  • Fried Chicken
  • Kimchi tacos

 

  1. Fine Asian Bowl

Fine Asian Bowl serves Vietnamese cuisine along with Chinese as well as general Asian cuisine. It is located on Yonge St. the servers here are quite nice and will surely help you out if you’re new to the Vietnamese cuisine. The menu is pretty extensive which ensures that you will almost always be able to get something which you like. The portion size is on the larger side which ensuresthat you will not have to worry about ordering multiple appetizersor shelling out a huge sum of money. There are vegan friendly and vegetarian choices as well which you can easily go with. All in all, it is a good option if you want to try out the Vietnamese cuisine.

Items to try:

  • Coconut soup
  • Shrimp dumpling
  • Crispy pork chops with the rice and fried egg
  • Vietnamese coffee

 

  1. Pho Tien

Pho Tien Thanh is located on Ossington Ave in Toronto. It is fashioned around the quick service restaurant model. Thus, if you’re looking for gourmet dining, this might not be the perfect option for you. However, when you’re looking for authentic Vietnamese cuisine, this is the restaurant which you should definitely visit. Also, the portion size is huge along with value for money prices which ensures that you can experiment with the Vietnamese cuisine without any problem at all.

Items to try:

  • Cold Vietnamese tea
  • Pho *** THIS IS MY PERSONAL PHO SPOT
  • Spring Rolls
  • Golden Turtle noodles

 

4. Ginger

Another amazing spot to grab Pho. Great portion sizes and delicious crispy spring rolls. Tat said, whenever they give me herbs its always like 90% stems. Im like, bruh.

Items To Try:

  • Pho
  • Crispy Spring Rolls

 

5. Vietnam Lovely Noodle

Amazing Pho. Great portion sizes and THEIR TAKEOUT PHO COMES IN A PERFECT LITTLE BOWL THIS IS SO GREAT. Something about their hoisin sauce is extra good, too.

Items To Try:

  • Pho

 

When you are looking for Pho restaurants in Toronto, here are 5 which you can frequent. They serve some of the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine which will help you in exploring quite a few Vietnamese recipes.

To get a $5 discount on your first order from UberEats, use promo: eats-p97gpndeue

The Jake Food Starter Box

Last week I found a post about Jake Food and knew I had to order some. I placed an order for a starter box, which comes includes:

1 Oaty Vanilla Shake

1 Forest Fruit Shake

1 Banana Shake

3 Bars

1 shaker bottle

The first thing I noticed is packaging, really great branding all around from the box to the shaker. The shaker seems to be really good quality and I have not used it over 10 times for various brands of shake.

Nutritionally it looks great, with each shake providing exactly 1/3 of your days needs down the chart and 667 calories per shake. The main ingredients are Pea Protein, maltodextrin, and Oats.

That said, I don’t love the actual Jake shake. The first flavour I tried was the Oaty Vanilla… I prepared it according to the directions in the shaker, and the result was a very VERY thick shake with a chemically-sweet-plastic taste reminiscent of old school soylent powder. The texture had noticeable grains, and was certainly the most textured lent I have tried thus far. I didn’t quite finish it, half way through I had to put it away and someone else drank it. They didn’t love it either, comparing it to metallic pancake batter.

The forest fruit flavour is better, sort of tangy cranberry taste. It is supposed to be like blueberry and raspberry, and I can totally see it tasting kinda like that. The weird chemical taste is hidden more in this one, not completely, but enough that I finished the whole thing. The texture was still super thick even though I added 200ml extra water to this one to avoid the thickness. I don’t know if it was the fact that I did this, but I would still like the fruit flavour to be stronger to mask the not nice flavours. Idk what to do about the sandy thick texture…

 

I did not drink the banana flavour, and I don’t intend to until I run out of my other products and really need it. I really wish I could recommend this product because I myself wanted so badly to like it, but I don’t, and I can’t.

Then there are the Vitamin bars, which are better than the shakes but by a very small margin. The texture of both bars is very play- dough like, with flakes of oat throughout providing a texture that is… okay. Not bad. But like I’m not going out of my way to get these things. No sir.

The coffee mocha bar tastes like black liquorice with whispers of coffee and chocolate taste. Mostly it is quite bitter and it is noticeable how much the bar lacks sweetness of any kind.

The forest fruit bar is better but still just not delicious. The pea protein is much more prominent of a flavour in this product, which I didn’t notice in any of the shakes or the coffee bar. After I eat a bar my mouth tastes like I just ate some French Canadian pea soup!

The cost of the Jake Box, all in, was $52.28. Broken down, that’s $34.20 for the box itself at $18.08 at the Canadian Border. In small amounts this is really expensive but after calculating my customs fees plus the cost of larger amounts it seems that it would cost about $470 per month to live completely off Jake, all in.

All in all, Jake is good if you are looking for a shake that is a large portion of your day’s calories and you don’t mind if it tastes not so nice. The bars are better but still, I think there are so many more companies providing tastier products and better prices for the time being. I will order and review again when Jake makes any updates to their recipe.

LENTS RANKED

  1. Hol Food
  2. Soylent
  3. Jake

Coming Soon

  • Huel
  • Ketolent
  • Queal
  • Super Body Fuel
  • Bertrand
  • Biolent

 

New Hol Food Vanilla: Review

This morning it happened. My vanilla Hol Food arrived!

I had recently been really missing the neutral taste of Soylent when I heard that Hol Food was launching a mild vanilla so this was perfect timing. The packaging is the same as the new chocolate, with those shapes that make me think of the old “Somebody That I Used To Know” Gotye music video. Regardless, everything arrived when they said it would all looks well packed as have all other packages.

Now to taste. I scooped out 2 scoops of my vanilla into my beloved shaker bottle and prepared according to the package directions by adding 350ml of water and combining. The Taste is very mild. Less sweet even than the chocolate, providing a very neutral beverage meal. Just a whisper of vanilla and a hint of bitterness/ metallic flavour. The metallic flavour is not present in the new chocolate but it is not bad at all, just noticeable. This stuff actually smells exactly like a slimmfast vanilla milkshake, if anyone has had those. The texture is smoother than any other Lent, and comparable to the texture of the new chocolate formula but perhaps a touch thinner. Less grainy even than Soylent 2.0. I must emphasize that this is actually the smoothest stuff, with zero noticeable grain whatsoever. Really good stuff though.

With all Hol Food products, I find they benefit from being prepared an hour before consumption and left in the refrigerator to become more homogenous and colder.

Nutritionally, here is what we are working with…

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My recent taste test of Jake Food has given me a newfound appreciation for this Hol Food.. Not all Lents are this delicious and definitely not all are this smooth.

OVERALL GREAT, but I prefer the new chocolate.

WATCH THE YOUTUBE VERSION OF THIS REVIEW HERE!


Buy Hol Food Chocolate

 

Buy Hol Food Vanilla


An Introduction To Kefir

Kefir is becoming quite popular in the drinkable ‘yogurt’ market. The problem most people encounter, however, is that they do not know exactly what it is. Who wants to drink this funky mystery water that their friend brewed. Once you are able to find that out, it will become much easier for you to decide whether or not this is the probiotic product for you.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a type of probiotic beverage. The main ingredients of the beverage are  Kefir grains. These grains consist of bacteria as well as yeast. The term grains, is used symbolically. It does not consist of any actual grains, more these firm little clear or yellow gummy bear dudes just floating around in the fermenting tank. Super cute.

If you purchase these grains online, you can easily make your own kefir daily and save a TON. This stuff is usually pretty pricey.

The benefits of this beverage are plentiful. Below is a list of some benefits you can expect from water kefir to get you started with this funky drink.

Nutrition

It is often made from cows milk, coconut milk or almond milk. Since it can be made from non-dairy milk, lactose intolerant people can also have it. Also, obviously milk contains loads of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, magnesium which ensures that you are able to get quite a few nutrients when you’re drinking it. Additionally, it also consists of amino acids which are beneficial for the body.

Probiotics

Kefir is teaming with a variety probiotics which help you in improving your digestive system. Moreover, probiotics reduce inflammation in the body.

Bone Health:

Due to the presence of vitamin K2 in many of the bases used for kefir, bone health is claimed to be improved in long term consumers. This ensures that most of the people consuming it will not suffer from osteoporosis.

Acne

Kefir has been reported by many popular news outlets to have excellent effects on acne, especially in younger consumers.

Allergies

As it reduces inflammation, it also helps you in avoiding allergies altogether. This ensures that you are able to avoid such health problems to a greater extent.

If you want the benefits of Kefir without a dairy or dairy replacement, consider Water Kefir. It is made with sugar water and can be made into a slightly fizzy drink!

Overall, when you’re considering the benefits of Kefir, you will see a vast amount of upsides vs downsides. Consider consuming this beverage, and gain all of these health benefits. Also, since Kefir is naturally made, you can be sure that you will be able to consume it on a regular basis without any problems at all. You can even make it yourself! (Recipe Coming soon) Moreover, you will not be relying on any harmful ingredients in order to improve your health.

Photo Source

-Guest Post

Carnival Style Cinnamon Donuts: Recipe

These little donut bites are just like the ones you can get here at The Ex in Toronto and other fall fairs. So delicious when you serve them piping hot, still a little greasy with cinnamon sugar getting stuck to your fingers. I made these the other night after getting the munchies after downing a whole bottle of wine. It. Was. The. Best.

Enjoy.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg (Optional)
  • 1 Cup of Cinnamon Sugar
  • Oil for frying

 

Method

  1. Preheat oil to 365f or until it looks hot, don’t worry yourself too much about it.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Beat in the milk, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Spoon batter in 1 Tablespoon scoops into the hot oil and fry 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how golden you like your bites.
  4. Immediately roll the donuts in the cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

 

Happy Frying,

OOCH