February 05, 2010

Wayfare Foods review | honest scrap award

The kind folks at Wayfare Foods sent me several samples of their product, We Can't Say It's Cheese. I was pretty excited to hear that this "cheese" is made from oats, and curious to try it. When my kids were young I made a lot more cheesy sauces than I do now, and one of our favorites was from Joanne Stepaniak's "The Uncheese Cookbook," and it was made mainly from oats and nutritional yeast. Also, my favorite soft serve ice cream, OatsCreme, is made from oats so I figured there was great potential here. I received four samples — Cheddar-Style Spread, Cheddar-Style Dip, Mexi-Cheddar-Style Dip and Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread.

Very cute double-dipper with cheese stained clothes.
I tried the Cheddar-Style Dip first, and my initial reaction was that it reminded me a little of Cheez Whiz, though it's been an awfully long time since I've tasted that, so I could be wrong. I liked it but not as much as some of the other reviewers seemed to. I took the Cheddar-Style Dip and another sample — Mexi Cheddar-Style Dip— to a family dinner that included vegans, vegetarians and omnivores. My 2-year-old granddaughter loved the Cheddar-Style Dip, and had to be given her own dip in a bowl. (Even very cute people double-dipping is kind of unsavory.) She used a baby carrot to scoop it up and suck it off, and referred to it as "hummus." Everyone else ate it but to my surprise, no one was extremely enthusiastic, and there was a lot left over. Leftovers are unusual in our family. The Mexi-Cheddar-Style Dip was less well received than the Cheddar-style, and it sat relatively untouched. This is a group of people that LOVES spicy food so I was surprised by their reaction.

Today I tried the hickory smoked spread, and I really liked it. My husband thought it was good, too. I had some plain, and then used some to make a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread. It had a pleasing, smoky-cheddar-y flavor, and the sandwich was good. Because the spread is already soft, it doesn't need to melt — just heat. In addition to spreading on crackers or bread, I can see using this product to conveniently add a cheddary flavor to sauces, baked goods and casseroles. I haven't tried the Cheddar-Style Spread, yet, but assume it's similar to the dip only thicker. I was kind of hoping for a mozzarella flavor but these dips and spreads are pretty dependent on nutritional yeast for their cheesy taste, making them more like cheddar.

Here is the promotional and nutritional information from the company:
Wayfare Foods has created incredible cheese alternative spreads and dips, and we’re just crazy about them! We Can’t Say It’s Cheese is not only absolutely delicious, it’s made only from simple high-quality ingredients, making it our favorite new brand for creamy, spreadable vegan cheese. Made from whole-grain oatmeal (though you’d never know it!), this unique and healthy product is unlike other vegan cheese spreads and dips in that not only does it taste like real dairy cheese, it’s actually good for you and isn’t loaded with artificial ingredients. We think it’s one of the best vegan cheese developments in years, so be sure to try it today and you’ll be a fan, just like we are! We Can’t Say It’s Cheese is available in 4 varieties – Cheddar Spread, Hickory Smoked Cheddar Spread, Cheddar Dip and Mexi-Cheddar Dip. Each 8 oz. (226g) container is $3.49.

Cheddar Spread ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Hickory-Smoked Cheddar Spread ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, natural hickory smoke flavor (water, natural hickory smoke concentrate), calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Cheddar Dip ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Mexi-Cheddar Dip ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice, spices

Spread nutritional information:
Serving size – 2 tbsp. (28g)
Servings per container – 8
Calories per serving – 60
Total fat – 5g (3g saturated, 0g trans fat)
Sodium – 190mg
Total carbohydrate – 3g (1g fiber, 0g sugars)
Protein – 2g

Dip nutritional information:
Serving size – 2 tbsp. (28g)
Servings per container – 8
Calories per serving – 50
Total fat – 4g (0g saturated, 0g trans fat)
Sodium – 180mg
Total carbohydrate – 3g (1g fiber, 0g sugars)
Protein – 2g


disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of this product. I did not have to write a review, nor did I have to write a positive review.

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Penny (A.K.A. Scottish Vegan Homemaker) has given me an award, and I thank her for that, but now I have to share 10 honest things about myself, and present this award to 7 others. I'm particularly bad at choosing favorites, and usually avoid this by not participating, or by choosing everyone. This time I'm doing it — choosing seven blogs that I enjoy reading. Mostly they are blogs I've discovered fairly recently. Of course, the minute I transcribe this list I immediately feel terrible guilt about not picking all the other blogs I read and think are great, and which are equally deserving of recognition, even if it's only from me. On the other hand, I also feel guilty asking people to do what I just had to do. Oh well. If I don't just get on with it I'll never get this post written.

I've had to write 10 things about myself in the past (these honors used to be called memes instead of awards), and I'm thinking there might not be 10 more things to write. (I'm feeling a bit boring lately.) Anyway, since this is a food blog, I'll restrict myself to 10 food-related honest facts.

1. I love peaches. I mean, I really love them. When we lived in Madison we used to buy whole cases of peaches from a fruit and vegetable store. My husband would always ask if I thought we could really use up a whole case, and I'd murmur, "mmhmm." I felt bad about buying all those peaches because they weren't organic, and peaches are always on the "only buy organic" list, but they were so GOOD. All that pesticide residue, though. I won't disclose just how many of those peaches I could eat in a day, but let's just say if I were standing in a garden, all the insects that landed on me would probably die.

2. I really HATE the taste of fennel, anise, black licorice. Sometimes it makes me throw up. Sometimes I just feel very agitated. My husband only added anise to a dish once, and he was sorry.

3. The very first vegetarian dish I made was a vegetable loaf; I used a recipe that was filled with brewers yeast. Actually, I think every recipe in that early vegetarian cookbook was filled with brewers yeast. I pretended to like it even though it was vile because I wanted my husband to like being a vegetarian. And he didn't. (In case you're wondering, brewers yeast is NOT the same thing as nutritional yeast flakes. Not at all.)

4. I was very young when I got married, and I had no idea how to cook. Most of the vegetables I'd eaten were frozen or canned or salad ingredients. I had to ask the farmers at the farmers market what the vegetables were, and how to cook them. It was humiliating but informative.

5. I got to drink the liquid from a branch of cat's claw in the Amazon Rain Forest. Yes, this is true.

6. I once brought carob brownies to a party, and when my friend took a bite of one, he gagged and spit it out. He was upset that it wasn't chocolate, and I was very embarrassed. I would only bring chocolate, now. Only chocolate.

7. I've never been able to eat nuts in things. I like them well enough alone, but not when they mix in with other food. I'm trying to get over this because it's such a bother to pick the darn nuts out. I can eat them in salads and casseroles now, and I recently managed to eat them on TOP of cake. Still can't quite deal with them in baked goods or ice cream unless they are ground up fine.

8. Before I became a vegetarian, at a time when I was seriously considering changing my diet, I said, "I'll never be one of those weird vegetarians who asks, "what's in the soup stock?" Yes, I said that. Out loud. I'll go hide behind a rock now while you throw tofu balls at me. (This is the sort of thing I try to remember when dealing with "clueless" omnivores.)

9. I was macrobiotic for a few years and followed the macrobiotic diet pretty enthusiastically. Because we lived in the Midwest, this meant avoiding tropical fruits and veggies like bananas and mangoes. We avoided members of the nightshade family such as potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. One evening we went out to dinner, and our young son said to the waitress, "I think I'll try the mashed potatoes, I've never had those." The waitress rolled her eyes and snorted, "Where do you keep him, in a closet?" The nasal twang of her voice was not friendly, and it still buzzes in my ear when I think about it. Ouch.

10. I keep a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom to use as a moisturizer.

I'm forwarding this award to:
The Airy Way
Chow Vegan
The Crafty Kook
Haiku Tofu
Here's What You're Missing
Mitten Machen
Seitan is My Motor

Here are the rules. Do as you see fit:
Thank the person who bestowed the award and link back to their blog. List 10 honest things about yourself, and link to 7 blogs you feel embody the spirit of Honest Scrap, and which you find brilliant in design and/or concept.
(Also, I suggest being very careful how you pronounce the name of this award.)

20 comments:

  1. I am SO jealous you got to try the We Can't Say It's Cheese products (even if you were not crazy about them, lol)! I have been wanting to try them for a while now, but they are not available where I am, unfortunately. I love Oatscream too--it is so good :-) Did you have it in WI? I have not seen it anywhere but the co-ops in MN, but wasn't sure if it was a mid-west thing or a MN thing...

    Courtney

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  2. Congrats on your Honest Scrap (pronounced very carefully) award, Andrea! And thank you so much for forwarding it to me! You are so sweet, you totally made my day! I am glad you think my blog is informative and entertaining! :-)

    That waitress sounds very rude. Maybe she really didn't want to get a good tip! ;-)

    I can't believe your friend spit out the carob brownies. Just eat them and smile, man! :-D

    The cheesy dips look very interesting. They're soy-free too! The more soy-free foods I eat, the more I can splurge on tofu. OK, that makes no sense when I "say" it outloud.

    What a cute little product-tester you have there! :-)

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  3. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by the ingredient lists of those dips, no soy, no carageenan, they look good. And quite an adorable little tester you have:)

    I enjoyed reading the 10 things about you. I can relate to a number of them. When I was a young vegetarian I also used recipes calling for brewer's yeast, along with soy flour, carob and a few other things I now know do not taste good;) And I would include fennel, anise and cilantro on my own vile tasting list.
    Coconut oil is a moisturizer I love too. Congrats on the award, it is well-deserved!!

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  4. Wow! Lucky you, Andrea! These cheese products look and sound fantastic and the little tester is so adorable:) I'm not a big fan of cheese but that hickory smoked spread sounds so tempting, YUM!

    Congrats on the award, you really deserved it! It was so much fun reading your 10 honest things (you really made me laugh the whole time, and I wanted to read more about you). It's funny that I've been using coconut oil as a night cream and keep it in a small tupperware in my bathroom, lol!!!

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  5. COURTNEY- I DID like the smokey one. They are available by mail from Vegan Essentials in Waukesha, near Milwaukee. We used to get soft serve OatsCreme from the Willy St. Coop in Madison. It's the only place I've ever seen it. That stuff doesn't even have added sugar but it tastes so good!

    RIVER- Thank you! I think both pronunciations might apply. :) The dips have a much better nutritional profile than most cheese substitutes and I'm interested to see what they come up with for ice cream.

    JANET- I'm quite taken with my tester - she's very thorough in her evaluations!

    Soy flour wasn't too bad, but brewers yeast could dampen anyone's enthusiasm.

    I'll have to check your blog to see how you use coconut oil. I've been using it straight.

    ORAPHAN- I guess I'm not such a big fan of cheese subs either but the smoked one was good.

    Thanks for your comments about the award and the 10 things. I had fun writing them. What happens to the coconut oil in the summer? Does it melt?

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  6. OMG, what a cool award! Thanks!!!

    And I loved your stories! It's too bad you mistreated and underfed your sons so terribly. I think the evidence is that they are only six feet tall. I think on a diet of meat and potatoes they could have reached seven feet easily.

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  7. Hmmm I am intrigued about the cheese dip - I like the sound of oats being the main ingredient.
    Oh and I'm not a fan of anise or black licorice either and because of that I've never tied fennel.

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  8. Thanks so much for the Honest Scrap Award, that's so nice of you! :-) I love peaches too, especially white peaches.

    What a cute little product tester! That hickory smoked spread on bread looks awesome. Thanks for the detailed review, I'm going to have to track some down now.

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  9. CLAIRE- You're welcome. But you must be thinking of someone else's sons. Mine would LIKE to be six feet tall, but as they come from a height-challenged gene pool, they aren't that tall. The tallest is 5'9" and the shortest 5'8."

    JENI- The weird thing about fennel is if you bake it, it loses that horrible flavor and actually tastes good. I found this out by accidentally eating some, though I probably won't personally bake some to test this out.

    CHOW VEGAN- You're welcome! I'm not the biggest consumer of cheese subs, though the ingredients of this one appeal to me more than most of the others.

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  10. Hi again Andrea,

    I just started the coconut oil night cream this winter because I complained about my dry face and skin at work so my boss gave me a tiny tupperware of coconut oil to try it and I loved it. So after I used it all up, I bought a jar at wholefoods and refill that tupperware:) Does your coconut oil melt in the summer?

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  11. Hi Andrea, thanks for the award! I always enjoy reading your posts--they are like witty stories, with food. I don't know if I have 10 things I want to share! I like being an enigma (ha).

    I will try your coconut oil tip. I have very dry skin, and I love eating coconut. Maybe if I rub the oil into my skin I will start to smell like a coconut? This would make me happy.

    By the way, I LOVE black licorice and jelly beans and fennel, so you can send that stuff my way! More for me, yippee!

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  12. ORAPHAN- I only started using the coconut oil this winter, and I notice it melts instantly when I use it. I looked it up on the Internet and it melts at about 78˚F so I was wondering if I'd have a jar of liquid during hot summer days.

    MARY- You're welcome and thank you. Perhaps you can find 10 enigmatic facts to share. :)

    I don't smell nearly as much like a coconut as I'd hoped. No one's seemed to notice, but perhaps they are just being polite. The coconut oil can be a bit, you know, oily, but it doesn't seem to stain clothing.

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  13. Thank you so much for forwarding the award to me! Maybe you'll change your mind because I love black liquorice and throw nuts into everything? (Just kidding)!
    I wish they would sell those spreads here in Germany. They sound fantastic and the ingredients don't look too shabby.

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  14. Thanks for suggesting the We Can't Say It's Cheese dip. I looks great, and I love new ideas for food and appetizer recipes! Thanks.

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  15. Andrea, thank you for your review! If you or any of your readers have comments, please let us know! As to your comment about the Mexi Cheddar not being spicy, it contains no hot peppers. Some people are unhappy with spicy foods and we want to include them in the delicious range of possibilities for We Can't Say It's Cheese as well. We'd rather be inclusive with our foods than exclusive (which is kind of the whole point of having them be dairy, wheat and soy free). I make a spicy cheese dip by adding sliced jalapenos and minced banana peppers when heating a can of refried beans with a bit of water. I mix the Mexi Cheddar in once the beans have warmed. My burritos aren't complete without this! If you have ideas or recipes for making spicy foods with We Can't Say It's Cheese, please let us know!

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  16. I've never heard of We Can't Say It's Cheese before. That's pretty cool that they're not soy-based though (I'm a little sick of soy-everything at the moment). I'd like to check out the smoky cheddar one sometime, it sounds yummy.

    I liked the 10 food facts. You're not alone, I am a fennel/anise hater too!

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  17. MIHL- You're welcome and there's no way I would change my mind! I agree that the ingredients are so much better than the usual cheese substitutes.

    Levinson & - Thanks for your comment.

    WAYFARE- I can totally see adding the Mexi-Cheddar spread into Mexican dishes to give them a cheesy flavor. I'm planning to do this soon. And I really appreciate the dairy, wheat and soy-free ingredients of your products, and the good nutritional profile — that's why I included all the nutritional information in my review. My favorite is still the Hickory-Smoked Cheddar!

    KIERSTEN- You should check out their website. Wayside is continuing to distribute their products to new markets.

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  18. Aren't these products great? I am so glad you got to try them as well. I loved the hickory smoked one it's delicious.

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  19. Lindsay- The hickory smoked one was my favorite.

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  20. I do not speak English is only slightly...
    But! I love to eat!!
    Every day, I'm writing a diary about the food.
    Please link to this site.
    (URL)http://relish0204.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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