(Part I: #1-#5)

By contributor Nik Tyler

I am currently on an epic quest to discover new (to me) products that I think you’ll dig as well! When I purchase the products listed below, I know I’m supporting cool companies that are conscious and work hard to produce delicious food that rocks in more ways than one! If you decide to try any of these out, please leave your comments and let me know what you think!

So, here’s Part I of my list featuring 5 out of 10 products I highly recommend in 2010!

1. KOOKIE KARMA

bananacarobchipcarobchocolate chip

Kookie Karma is an awesome vegan company that was created in 2004 by UCLA grad, Juli Novotny. Juli’s raw, vegan, organic, http://gliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/jnovotny.jpggourmet pre-packaged snack line has an array of delicious cookies, chips & granola! One of my favorites is the “Salt & Pepper Crawkers”; made from an array of delicious veggies (kale, celery, parsley, carrots, to name a few), walnuts, flaxseeds, rosemary & garlic. These crunchy and peppery delights are just as addictive as potato chips, but they’re a healthy version! Plus, all of Kookie Karma’s products are free of most common food allergens (gluten, corn, soy, dairy, baking soda/powder, sulfites, preservatives, sugar & wheat). I also dig Kookie Karma’s cookies; their “Raw Banana Bread” is like a slice of banana bread in cookie form; light, moist & subtly sweet, it’s the perfect delicious treat! There are also 7 other flavors: “Cherry Cashew”, “Raw Lemon Fig”, “Holistic Chocolate Chip”, “Holistic Carob Chip” (with a hint of coconut) and “Holistic Choco Lot”, all of which create an awesome roller coaster ride for your tastes buds!! So, I guess it’s obvious that I am a big fan of Juli’s company and I believe that whatever you are doing right now, it would be better if you had a Kookie Karma snack there with you; so don’t waste any time, check out Juli’s terrific site: http://kookiekarma.com/ and get some Kookie Karma in your life!!

2. FOODS ALIVE

Click to enlarge image. Organic Raw Maple & Cinnamon Flax CrackersClick to enlarge image. Organic Raw BBQ Flax Crackers

When I think of healthy, awesome tasting flax crackers and flax & hemp oils, I think of Foods Alive. I wholeheartedly endorse this family owned Organic raw food company! Their products (all Organic, vegan, kosher, gluten free & raw/live) include delicious oils, sensational seeds and crunchy crackers, all as equally scrumptious as they are nutritious! Their flaxseed crackers, which come is several flavors, are a fantastic healthy snack; a great source of fiber, essential fatty acids, lignans and protein! My favorite has to be their “Onion Garlic” Flax Crackers which are the perfect combination of garlicky flavor and crispy crunch. I also dig their “Italian Zest” Flax Crackers, which pack a powerful garlic and oregano punch, and are so authentic that as you take a bite you might feel like you’re visiting Italy. Also, their “Mexican Harvest” Flax Crackers are a fiesta in your mouth; the perfect combination of not too spicy & crispy crunch that are fantastic dipped in salsa or guacamole! When it comes to healthy seeds, Foods Alive has got it goin’ on! Their Hemp Seeds are so light and nutty, they practically melt in your mouth, and their terrific Chia Seeds are an added source of nutritional crunch that are now a part of all my sautes, salads and soups! Last, but certainly not least, their oils are super. I can’t say enough good things about their organic, gourmet “Green Gold Hemp Oil” & “High Lignan Golden Flax Oil”, both of which are delicious ways to get that all important daily dose of healthy oils in your diet! So treat your body and your taste buds by visiting Foods Alive’s website ASAP! On their site you can easily locate a store near you that sells their products, or if you want, simply order straight from them. Feel alive with Foods Alive!! http://foodsalive.com/

3. MAJESTIC GARLIC
Majestic GarlicMajestic Garlic (6x Winner of “America’s Best Food Award”) makes an organic, raw, creamy, vegan garlic spread that will enhance and compliment any dish you create!! I literally can put this stuff on anything and it automatically makes it ten times better!! Use it as a dip for raw veggies, flax crackers, or add it to soups, salads, sautes or udon noodles. Their spreads come in a variety of phenomenal flavors (Basil, Cilantro, Cayenne, Jalapeno and more!) and are made up of Organic raw garlic, Organic flax seed oil/omega 3, Safflower oil, fresh lemon juice and sea salt.
Majestic Garlic is available at several Whole Foods and online: http://www.majesticgarlic.com/

4. LYDIA’S ORGANICS

I am obsessed with Lydia’s Organics raw products, especially her “Green Crackers” made of sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted flax, collards, celery, kale, spinach, garlic, onions, 8 other veggies & Himalayan crystal salt. I also dig her “Sunflower Bread” which is a combination of sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted flax, carrots, celery, parsley, basil, dulse, herbs & Himalayan crystal salt. Both these crackers have a unique and satisfying taste and texture that makes it hard to put the bag down before it’s empty! Try adding some Coconut oil on top, and you’ve got an extraordinary raw, vegan dessert that is nutritious and delicious! You can find Lydia’s amazing organic raw creations at several stores across the country (Whole Foods & Co Op’s for sure!) or you can shop directly on Lydia’s site: http://www.lydiasorganics.com/

5. NUTIVA

Organic Hemp ProteinOrganic Shelled HempSeedsOrganic Hempshake Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp OilOrganic Coconut Oil

If you’re in search of wonderful organic hemp foods and/or coconut oil, you must try Nutiva! This tremendous company provides several fantastic products ranging from Cold-pressed Coconut Oil and Hemp Oil to Hemp Seeds and Hemp Protein, and they definitely have mastered the craft of producing high quality, delicious vegan products! My personal favorite is their slightly sweet and totally velvety Coconut Oil, which I love to cook with and drizzle on practically everything from sauteed veggies to raw kale salads to raw crackers! Also, their Hemp Oil and Hemp Seeds are fantastic; rich, nutty and a great way to get those wonderful, beneficial omega-3 fats! In addition to the superior taste of their products, I really appreciate Nutiva’s mission as a company; Founder, John W. Roulac, states “Nutiva’s vision is to change our country’s over-reliance on corn, soy, and dairy products in favor of healthier hemp and coconut superfoods.” As a corporation, Nutiva donates 1% of sales to public-benefit sustainable agriculture groups. So, not only will you feel great eating Nutiva products, but you’ll be supporting a company with heart! Nutiva is available nationwide, as well as Canada, Mexico & the UK; at more than 6,000 natural food retailers. http://nutiva.com/ So I hope you’ll visit these terrific sites and/or go find these products at your local Health Food Store, Co Op or Whole Foods. Be sure and leave me a comment once you’ve tried them, as I would love to hear what you think.

And be on the lookout for Part II: products #6-#10 of my “10 Vegan Products To Try In 2010” which should be posted in a few weeks. In the meantime, happy vegan grubbing!!