Reviewing Trader Joe's Two New Vegan Items

Trader Joe’s is a grocery store like no other. With products ranging from Cinnamon Bun Spreads and Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverages to Mac and Cheese Bites there’s something in there to catch everyone’s eye. It’s wide array of unique, novelty products set the supermarket apart from its competitors and attracts all foodies from all over that are looking for new and different dishes to try.

Lucky for us Trader-Joe’s-fans the California-native chain has been expanding in South Florida over the last couple years opening multiple locations from Fort Lauderdale to Pinecrest.

The chain is also widely known for its large selection of vegan-friendly and organic products at an affordable price. Last month Trader Joe’s released two new vegan items that have generated a lot of buzz: Vegan Ranch Dip and an Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative. Being someone who avoids eating dairy but a huge fan of both ranch and yogurt I was instantly intrigued.

Vegan Ranch Dip

Vegan Ranch Dip

Starting off with the ingredients, the dip is made with a base of coconut cream, canola oil, water, red wine vinegar and all the traditional ranch flavors (parsley, garlic, sea salt, shallots, chives, black pepper, and dill). The only ingredient that seemed a little questionable was the xanthan gum which I assume was added in as a thickening agent. However, compared to Hidden Valley Ranch which has ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors, and preservatives; the dairy-free version is clearly a healthier alternative.

Flavor-wise it was fresh, tangy, and delicious. However, it does not taste spot-on like Hidden Valley, but I think it’s just meant to highlight all the herbs and spices that we love in traditional ranch. I had it over salad, put some on my pizza, and dipped some baby carrots in it and it all paired very well. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an excuse to incorporate ranch into their meals everyday (like me).

Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative

Cashew Cream Yogurt

This new yogurt alternative is made from a base of organic cashews mixed with water. It is sweetened with cane sugar and includes other ingredients such as coconut cream and tapioca starch (for thickness) and lemon juice. Impressively, it also contains live and active probiotics in it- the main health benefit of normal yogurt! The only downside is that it only contains 3 grams of protein, whereas plain whole milk yogurt contains 8.5 grams.

The yogurt-alternative is only available in two flavors: strawberry and vanilla bean. I tried the vanilla bean flavor first and I was slightly disappointed. The flavor of the vanilla bean wasn’t strong enough to overpower the cashew taste; however, I think it would give smoothies a great creamy texture if mixed in. The strawberry one was much better and a great dupe for conventional yogurt at an extremely reasonable price for organic, dairy-free yogurt (only $1.69!). 

Bottom line is whether you’re vegan or not these products we’re both pretty delicious and worth trying. I commend Trader Joe’s for continuously coming up with tasty, vegan friendly products and making items like Ranch and Yogurt accessible to not only vegans, but lactose intolerant and dairy-allergic people.