VT’s 2009 Foodie Awards
Navigating the aisles of your health food store, supermarket, or cookware department can be exhilarating for any foodie. But when you’re short on timeor doughyou might feel a bit bewildered by the sheer number of choices.
Luckily, here at VT, it’s literally our job to try all those tempting products and to spread the word on the ones we can’t do without.
For this year’s inaugural Foodie Awards, VT editors nominated products in 25 tasty categories. Over five weeks last spring, readers logged on to vegetariantimes.com and cast more than 36,000 votes for their favorites. The result: a shopper’s cheat sheet identifying 125 worthy purchases, plus readers’ top 25 picks. Next time you set out to fill up your shopping cart, don’t leave home without this list!
Devastatingly Drinkable Bottled Beverage
WINNER: Odwalla Blueberry B Monster Vitamin B Fruit Smoothie Blend
- GT’s Synergy Organic and Raw Raspberry Rush Kombucha
- Ito En Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea
- Naked Juice Açai Machine
- Sweet Leaf The Original Sweet Tea
Odwalla Blueberry B Monster Vitamin B Fruit Smoothie Blenda cocktail of blueberries, orange juice, mangoes, bananas, apple juice, grape juice, and B-complex vitaminsis more than just a drink, it’s a nutrient-packed energy booster.
WINNER: Silk Soymilk Plus Fiber
- Manitoba Harvest Chocolate Hemp Bliss Organic Hempmilk
- Organic Valley Original Soy Milk
- Rice Dream Enriched Original Rice Drink
- So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage
Silk Soymilk Plus Fiber offers a mild, creamy taste with 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, and it’s perfect for enjoying with breakfast cereal or for dunking cookies.
Fab Fair-Trade and/or Organic Coffee
WINNER: Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Rain Forest Blend
- Allegro Coffee Organic French Roast
- Equal Exchange Organic Ethiopian
- Groundwork Organic Black Gold
- Yuban Original
We savored each of these roasts, but readers spoke out for Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Rain Forest Blend, a satisfying and smooth brew.
Divine Organic-Grape Wine
WINNER: Organic Wine Works Maverick Merlot 2007
- Agrinatura Organic Italian Red (Rosso)
- Bonterra Vineyards Merlot
- Bonterra Vineyards Syrah
- Girasole Vineyards 2007 Sangiovese
While all these wines are made with organic grapes, readers gave top marks to Organic Wine Works Merlot, which is also processed organically and sans added preservatives.
Glorious Green Tea
WINNER: Tazo Zen Green Tea
- Eden Organic Genmaicha Tea
- Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Dao Ren Tea
- Numi Organic Golden Jasmine Tea
- Rishi Organic Dragon Well Green Tea
Tazo Zen Green Tea offers a gentle, any-time-of-day pick-me-up with a sweet, mild flavor.
Scrumptious Ready-to-Eat Soup
WINNER: Amy’s Kitchen No Chicken Noodle Soup
- Imagine Natural Creations Organic Creamy Acorn Squash & Mango Soup
- Kettle Cuisine Organic Carrot & Coriander
- Muir Glen Organic, Garden Vegetable
- Pacific Natural Foods, Organic Creamy Tomato
About the winner, Amy’s Kitchen No Chicken Noodle Soup, VT reader Kelly Sanders comments, “This stuff makes me feel like I’m back in my mom’s house when she would make me chicken soup for my colds.” All the comfort of a homemade soup, none of the fuss!
WINNER: Eden Organic Wild Rice
- Andean Naturals Organic Royal Quinoa
- Lotus Foods Bhutanese Red Rice
- Lundberg Black Japonica Rice
- Tasty Bite Tandoori Pilaf
If plain brown rice is your only go-to grain, it’s time to branch out. Eden Organic Wild Rice takes first place for its unique, earthy flavors and fabulous texture.
WINNER: Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat
- Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Original
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- Food For Life Baking Co. Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin
- Nature’s Path Heritage Heirloom Whole Grains
Kashi Heart to Heart is fiber-filled, protein-packed, and sog-proof, with adorable heart-shaped pieces mingling with the O’s.
Groovy Gluten-free Pasta
WINNER: Andean Dream Quinoa Spaghetti
- House Foods Tofu Shiratake Spaghetti
- Mrs. Leeper’s Organic Corn Spaghetti
- Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles
- TinkyÃ¡da Organic Brown Rice Spirals
Andean Dream Quinoa Spaghetti is a healthful and delicious alternative to traditional wheat-based pastas.
Fun & Healthful Kid Food
WINNER: Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Graham Friends
- Peas of Mind Carrot Risotto Puffet
- PURE Cherry Cashew Bar
- Revolution Foods Organic Mashups Squeezable Fruit, Grape
- Wallaby Organic Lowfat Yogurt, Banana Vanilla
“My picky 2-year-old would eat a box of these if I let him!” says Jennifer Carson about Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Graham Friends.
Primo Pasta Sauce
WINNER: Prego Organic Tomato & Basil Italian Sauce
- Basiltops Roasted Garlic Pesto
- Lucini Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce
- Mario Batali Marinara Pasta Sauce
- Rao’s Homemade Marina Sauce
Prego Organic Tomato & Basil Italian Sauce hits just the right balance of zesty and sweet.
Spectacular for Sautéing
WINNER: Colavita Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread Made with Olive Oil
- La Tourangelle Delicate Grapeseed Oil
- Pam Organic Canola Oil
- Spectrum Olive Spray Oil
Colavita Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers full-bodied flavor, silky consistency, and organic goodness.
WINNER: Maldon Sea Salt
- Awaken Savor Aphrodisiac Banquet (salt-free)
- Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Sea Seasonings Triple Blend Flakes
- Mountain Rose Herbs Curry Leaf
- Simply Organic Get Crackin’ (3-peppercorn blend)
Every cook worth his or her salt has a spice-rack favorite. Like many top chefs, VT readers love the flaky texture and subtle flavor of Maldon Sea Salt.
WINNER: Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard
- Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise
- Frontier Natural Products Co-op Bac’Uns Vegetarian Bits
- San-J Organic Wheat Free Reduced Sodium Tamari Soy Sauce
- The Wizard’s Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, Original
At just 10 calories per serving and 0 grams of fat, Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard is a healthful obsession.
Top Bottled Salad Dressing
WINNER: Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Annie’s Organic Goddess Dressing
- Follow Your Heart Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Galeos Miso Dijonnaise Dressing
- Organicville Sesame Tamari Organic Vinaigrette
Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette is the antidote to salad boredom.
Most Cherished Cookware
WINNER: Le Creuset Oval French Oven, 63/4 qt.
- Aroma 10-Cup Sensor Logic Rice Cooker
- Fagor Splendid Pressure Cooker, 6 qt.
- Lodge Cast Iron Seasoned Skillet, 12-inch
- Shun Ken Onion 8-inch Chef’s Knife
VT Food Editor Mary Margaret Chappell loves that the Le Creuset French Oven lets you sear, sauté, and braise; plus it can go from stove top to oven to table looking beautiful.
Best Kitchen Tool Under 30 Bucks
WINNER: Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender
- Chef’n VeggiChop (hand-powered food processor)
- Microplane Classic Series Premium Zester/Grater, 12-inch
- Preserve Cutting Board, large
- TofuXpress (tofu press)
Noelle Albanese-Levin says the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender “can do anything a full-sized blender can dobut faster and with almost no cleanup!”
FAB FRIDGE & FREEZER FINDS
Tastiest way to get your Probiotics
WINNER: Stonyfield Farm O’Soy Soy Yogurt, Blueberry
- Attune Chewy Chocolate Granola Probiotic Wellness Bar
- Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt, Plain
- GoodBelly Multi, Blueberry Açai
- Wildwood Organics Probiotic Soy Milk Pomegranate
Stonyfield Farm O’Soy is just the right blend of creamy breakfast treat and explosive blueberry yumminess.
Superb Mock Meat
WINNER: Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips
- El Burrito Soyrizo
- Field Roast Deli Slices, Lentil Sage
- Tofurky Italian Sausage with Tomato and Basil
- Yves Jumbo Hot Dogs
Versatile Chik’n Strips brown beautifully when fried and taste great!
Tantalizing Tempeh & Tofu
WINNER: Lightlife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips
- House Foods Tofu Steak Grilled
- Nasoya Silken Style Creations, Chocolate
- Turtle Island Foods Lemon Pepper Marinated Tempeh Strips
- Wildwood Organics SprouTofu Super Firm
“My omnivorous Texan boyfriend actually prefers Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips to bacon!” says Rachel Dean.
Da Bomb Burger
WINNER: Boca Burgers Original Vegan
- Amy’s All American Veggie Burger
- Bahama Rice Burger, Mediterranean
- Gardenburger Veggie Medley
- Just Good Energy Cashew Veggie Burger
For hearty flavor and a meaty texture too, Boca Burgers Original Vegan is top-notch.
Every cookie on our top-five list of finalists qualifies as “can’t-eat-just-one.”
WINNER: Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brent & Sam’s Pure Naturals Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- Crummy Brothers Organic Original Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lady Walton’s Dark Chocolate Mint Butter Wafer Cookies
- Sun Flour Baking Company Lemony Lemon Cookies
Uncle Eddie’s gets the gold medal for melt-in-your mouth chocolate chips and a slightly soft but not-too-soft cookie. These vegan treats can hold a candle to their traditional doppelgangers any day!
Elegant Fair-Trade and/or Organic Chocolate
WINNER: Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate with Organic Blueberries
- Green & Black’s Organic Maya Gold Dark Chocolate
- Newman’s Own Organics Mocha Milk Chocolate
- Seeds of Change Organic Milk Chocolate with Puffed Grains
- Vosges Barcelona Exotic Candy Bar
Endangered Species tastes heavenly, and the company gives back 10 percent of net proceeds to nonprofits such as the African Wildlife Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy. “It’s the perfect combination of chocolate, blueberry, and armchair activism,” says reader Julie Tappe.
Cool, Creamy Treats
WINNER: Blackwell’s Organic Raspberry Sorbetto
- Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge
- PJ Madison’s Organic Gelato Style Ice Cream, Kashmir Cinnamon
- Sambazon Açaí Organic Sorbet, Original Rio-Style
- Three Twins Organic Mocha Difference Ice Cream
With its eye-popping color and jaw-dropping sweet-tart flavor, Blackwell’s Organic Raspberry Sorbetto feels as decadent as any ice cream dessert, and it’s totally fat-free.
WINNER: Garden of Eatin’ Sesame Blues Tortilla Chips
- Arico Cassava Chips, Sea Salt Mist
- Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
- Sesmark Rice Thins Original
- Robert’s American Gourmet Original Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks
Satisfy your next afternoon snack attack with Garden of Eatin’ Sesame Blues, the perfect combo of crunch and good-for-you ingredients, such as organic blue corn and organic sesame seeds.October 2009 p.70
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