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  1. Soy has quickly gone from a relatively unknown in Western culture to a highly debated and controversial food. Of course, soy has not been embraced by communities who have been advocating against grain and legume consumption for decades. Even people who eat predominately plant-based diets will campaign against this humble legume. The question is: are these harsh criticisms warranted or does the scientific literature say otherwise? Article Navigation Introduction on Soy Debunking Anti-Soy Claims Soy Allergies What About GMO Soy? Is Soy Environmentally Destructive? What About Lectins? What About Phytates? Soy Beans and Mortality Blue Zones and Long Living Cultures Soy and Estrogenic/Breast Cancer Soy and Feminizing Men Can You Have Too Much Soy? Conclusion on Soy Sources Introduction on Soy A flurry of blog posts, most without any or with limited sources from scientific literature, has emerged attempting to prove once and for all how dangerous soy consumption is for human health. Claims can range anywhere from “soy causes breast cancer and increases estrogen levels” to “phytates in soy leeches nutrients from your body”. In this post, we will closely examine common objections against soy. We will explore the truths many online resources got right and the falsehoods that many got wrong. We will dive deep into the actual scientific research behind soy consumption and ultimately be able to conclude soy, when consumed in any reasonable amount, protects against disease and promotes overall health. **Please note that this article is about whole-foods plant based sources of soy, not soy additives in processed foods. Debunking Anti-Soy Claims Soy Allergies Summary Soy is the least common of all food allergens. You're much more likely to be allergic to fish, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, or peanuts. To start, yes there are some people who shouldn’t eat soy. Some people do have allergies to soy, but it is actually the least common of all the main allergens. A national survey found that 1 in 2,000 people have a soy allergy. For comparison, this is 40 times less likely than dairy, and 10 times less than fish, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, or peanuts. [1] What About GMO Soy? Summary Majority of GMO soy grown is for the purpose of feeding animals. Consuming factory farmed (and even pasture-raised animals in some cases) means you're consuming GMO soy second-hand. The immediate danger comes in the pesticides being sprayed on the soy. Genetic modification needs to be tested long-term and should be labeled. Buying organic soy products is the easiest way to avoid the dangers of GMO soy. Concerning GMOs, there certainly has not been enough testing done on the long-term effects of these foods, and they should be, at-best, labelled so each consumer has the right to know what they’re eating. The main issue with GMO soy may not necessarily be the modification, but the actual Roundup being sprayed in large doses on these crops. This substance has been proven to product toxic and hormonal effects at even lower concentrations than what’s used on crops.[2] Organic or conventional Non-Gmo soy has no Roundup of course, and less pesticide residues overall than GMO-soy. [3] More Details on GMO Soy by NutritionFacts.org If you’ve been avoiding soy because you think it’s either unhealthy, GMO, or similar, there is an unfortunate dilemma. 90% of the soy production in the world goes to animal feed and given to cows, chickens, and pigs. If you’re eating any of these animals and fearful of the dangers of soy, you’re still consuming it second-hand. [4] The main soy used for for humans manufacturers use Non-GMO soy, but we recommend buying organic soy products just to be safe. Is Soy Environmentally Destructive? Summary Most soy is grown to feed animals for slaughter, not humans. Livestock systems are far more unsustainable than growing soy to feed humans. By consuming factory farmed animal products, you're indirectly consuming GMO-soy in much greater quantities. Grass-fed animal products may still be fed soy/grain and are much more unsustainable. Organic soy products are an environmentally safe option. Soy gets a lot of flak for being a crop that is environmentally destructive. However, the brunt of this issue falls upon consumers of animal products and the animal agriculture industry, not soy itself. As stated above, the majority of GMO soy is grown for the sole purpose of feeding animals. Of course, there are the grass-fed free, range animal options, which may not be fed with soy. Even "grass-fed" options, though, may be fed grain during a portion of the year during the end of their lives to fatten them up before slaughter . It’s also completely unsustainable for the environment. Livestock systems already cover 45% of the earth’s total landmass and cattle ranching is responsible for 91% of Amazonian rainforest destruction. [5][6] These are huge numbers, and our limited land resources will only decrease as the demand for grass-fed meat increases. One grass-fed cow takes 9 acres of land to raise, whereas a grain-fed cow takes 3 acres. We simply don’t have enough land for everyone to eat grass-fed animals. [7] With the majority of GMO-soy feed going to animals and the already massive occupancy of land used for animal agriculture, trying to avoid GMO-soy while still consuming animal products is quite counter-intuitive. By consuming most factory farmed animals, you're consuming GMO-soy indirectly and in much greater quantities. Not to mention you are increasing demand for this GMO soy, which leads to more destructive land-clearing. Again, the healthiest, more environmentally friendly, and less cruel option would be to purchase organic soy products, which are by law non-GMO. However, many people still have concerns over some of the actual proteins and chemicals inside soy. What About Lectins? Summary Lectins aren't only in soy, but present in many of foods. Separating lectins from their original food source isn't a viable way to study them for human consumption. Cooking lectins removes any negative consequences they may have. "High lectin" legume based diets are staples for the longest living populations and are undoubtably associated with positive health outcomes. Another main talking-point against soy is the fact they are high in lectins. Lectins are proteins present in plants, dairy, yeast, eggs, and seafood. They can bind to other molecules, notably sugar and carbohydrate molecules, that are present both in foods, and in the membranes of our cells. A case made by anti-grain authorities is that binding of lectins from plant foods to our cells is a major cause of ill health and nutrition malabsorption. They claim high-lectin foods like beans, grains, potatoes, tomatoes, and peanuts should be avoided for this reason. This claim doesn't add up when you look at the actual research on lectin-containing foods. First off, experimentation on lectins is often done in high concentrations and separated from it’s actual food source. Isolating lectins make them substantially more effective to bind to our cells compared to if they were consumed in food. Also, by simply cooking your food, most of the lectins are deactivated or bind to other substances. Even a study from 1998, which attempts to frame lectins as a serious problem in the food industry, fails to dance around the point that lectin activity for most beans is deactivated within 10 minutes of boiling. [8] Overconsumption of lectins can cause gastrointenstinal distress, but again, simply cooking your legumes/grains will remove any chance of negative consequences. When we look at the longest living, healthiest populations in the world, known as the Blue Zone groups, “high lectin” legumes were a staple in their diet. Most of these cultures reserved meat for use as a condiment and on special occasions. In fact, the longest living Blue Zoners actually didn’t consume any meat [9][10] Additionally, a Journal of Nutrition review concerning whole grains found that: “Protease inhibitors, phytic acid, phenolic acids, and saponins present in whole grain have also been suggested to lower the risk of certain cancers, such as colon cancer and breast cancer. Phytic acid, lectins, phenolic acids, amylase inhibitors, and saponins have also been shown to lower plasma glucose, insulin, and/or plasma cholesterol and TG levels” [11][12] The fact is, most people who try to write off lectin containing foods, just because they contain lectins, while absolutely ignoring all of the positive research regarding the benefits of lectin-containing foods. This concept is most eloquently stated by Dr. David Katz, founder of the True Health Initiative : The idea that you should renounce many of the foods most decisively and consistently linked to good health outcomes because they contain a compound that can be called a toxin may be the most egregious example of missing the forest for the trees I’ve ever seen, and I’ve spent my career scrutinizing, and repudiating, just that variety of nonsense. For the sake of false promises dangling from one gilded tree, this is a case of burning the forest down. [13] What About Phytates? Summary Studies on human phytate consumption is drastically different than animal studies. High phytate diets have been shown to be protective of bone loss in humans. Phytates must be consumed in the form of whole plant foods to realize the benefits and avoid the potential pitfalls. Phytates, another compound found in soy, have been labelled as a mineral-absorption inhibitor. These phytates can wind up supposedly causing mineral loss leading to calcium deficiency and weak bones. The original concern about phytates on bone health actualy originated from experiments done on puppies in the 1940s. These studies were followed up by research done on rats where they were fed the equivalent of 10 loaves of bread a day. However, actual human research suggests differently. Studies where people are put on high-phytate diets actually wound up with better bone density and stronger bones (heel, spine, hip). Phytates prevented bone dissolution similar to anti-osteoporosis drugs and women with high phytate levels in the blood had a much smaller risk of major bone fractures. [14] Phytates for the Prevention of Osteoporosis by NutritionFacts.org While high phytate diets may appear to be a cause for concern, the health-harming effects of this anti-nutrient ...can be manifested only when large quantities of [phytates] are consumed in combination with a [nutrient-poor] diet. When phytates are consumed in the form of soy and whole plant foods, the result is less heart disease, diabetes, kidney stones, fractures, and possibly cancer. [15] Phytates and Cancer by NutritionFacts.org Soy Beans and Mortality Blue Zones and Long Living Cultures Summary Legume consumption is one of the pillars for long living cultures. Increased legume consumption (including soy) has been shown to be protective against all-cause mortality and a host of chronic diseases. In addition to the Blue Zones study, which showed regular legume consumption as one of the pillars for the longest lived cultures [16], another study analyzed 785 partcipants aged 70 and over. Here were the results [17]: The FHILL longitudinal study shows that a higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless of their ethnicity. The significance of legumes persisted even after controlling for age at enrolment (in 5-year intervals), gender, and smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-lived food cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans). [18] When it comes to raw statistics, the study found that every 20g of legumes consumed daily resulted in an 8% reduction in risk of death. Soy and Estrogenic/Breast Cancer Summary Soy has phytoestrogens which function differently compared to mammalian estrogens. Phytoestrogens can be both pro-estrogenic as well as anti-estrogenic. Misconceptions about hormonal impacts of soy came from research on rats who metabolize soy vastly different than humans. Human studies have shown soy to prevent bone loss and breast cancer. Another major myth about soy is it’s alleged “estrogen-mimicking” chemicals, which some claim can result in breast cancer and other hormonal issues. This is actually misinformation with no substantial evidence to support it. It's actually quite ironic because meat and dairy contain actual animal estrogens, not plant phytoestrogens. The truth is that phytoestrogens act different than real estrogen, and can actually be pro-estrogenic in some parts of the body, but anti-estrogenic in others. Let us examine this further: Phytoestrogens can have simultaneously pro-estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects because there are two types of estrogen receptors: alpha and beta. Soy phytoestrogens, such as genistein, prefer to bind to beta estrogen receptors. Beta receptor activation in the breast has an anti-estrogenic effect, which actually inhibits the growth and cancer-promoting effects of animal estrogen, can be enhance endothial function in post-menopausal women, and protect against other menopausal symptoms. [19][20][21][22] At the same time, soy phytoestrogens can be pro-estrogenic when it comes to protecting post-menopausal women from bone loss. A robust study was done comparing soy milk consumption to progesterone cream (a common hormone therapy for post-menapausal women), and a control group. The control group lost significant bone mineral density in their spine over the two-year study period, the progesterone group lost significantly less, and the two glasses of soy milk a day group wound up preventing bone loss and increasing bone mass. [23][24] Pro-estrogenic and Anti-estrogenic Properties of Soy by NutritionFacts.org This misconception that soy can contribute to breast cancer came from research on rats, who metabolize soy isoflavones (phytoestrogens) quite differently from humans, as distinctly noted in the study itself. The circulating levels of geinstein in the blood in the rats that had an increase in tumor size were 58 times greater than human levels after 1 serving of soy. [25] When soy consumption in humans is put to the test against breast cancer, it has been shown that soy intake during childhood, adolescence, and adult life were all associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer. Those women who ate the most soy in their youth appear to grow up to have less than half the risk. [26] Breast cancer rates are much higher in the USA than in Asia, where there are some of the highest soy consumption rates. But, when Asians migrate to the US and start eating a western diet, their breast cancer rates increase to average American levels. [27] Soy and Feminizing Men Summary Phytoestrogens don't necessarily have pro-estrogenic properties Extremely high doses of soy has been shown to have some feminizing effects in a few rare cases. Once these extremely high doses (3 quarts of soymilk per day) were reduced, the effects were reversed. Nine clinical studies have shown no impact in circulating estrogen levels in men. Everyone has heard about how too much soy consumption can result in feminizing effects in males, but is this claim substantiated? A common reasoning for this is, again, the potential estrogenic affects of isoflavones in soy. As discussed earlier, phytoestrogens are quite different than the estrogens found in meat, and phytoestrogens can have anti-estrogenic properties in some circumstances. Studies have found soy consumption in rat’s ability to produce offspring, but as mentioned earlier, rodent metabolism of soy is completely different, making these studies useless. [28] Many have heard of how consuming too much soy can cause gynecomastia (man boobs), but the only report of this was from men consuming extremely high doses of soy, 3 quarts of soymilk a day in one instance. The feminizing effects of this extraordinary soy habit were reversed once intake was reduced. [29] Finally, the peer-reviewed Fertility & Sterility journal concluded that after reviewing the clinical trials regarding soy intake and feminization there was: “Essentially no evidence from nine identified clinical studies that isoflavone exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men.” [30] Can You Have Too Much Soy? Summary Massive amounts of soy can increase IGF-1 levels. Vegan men eating huge amount of soy had the IGF-1 levels of meat eaters. Stick to 5 servings a day or less of soy to reap the benefits without the downsides. While we’ve demonstrably proven that non-GMO soy is beneficial for our health and protective against disease, can too much soy be bad? The answer is possibly yes. IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor 1, is a growth hormone responsible for turning children into full-grown adults. But if this hormone keeps circulating in the blood, your cells should continue to divide and grow. The more IGF-1 in the bloodstream, the higher our risk for cancer. Those on a plant based diet tend to have lower IGF-1 levels. However, studies have shown that vegan men eating huge amounts of soy, 7 to 18 cups of soy milk worth per day, for an entire year, would up with similar levels of IGF-1 in the body as meat eaters.[31] How Much Soy is Too Much by NutritionFacts.org To be as safe as possible, one shouldn’t consume more than 5 servings of soy a day. [32] Conclusion on Soy Much of the controversy around soy has been the result of misrepresentation. GMO-Soy is certainly a problem and should be labelled properly so consumers can have freedom of choice. However, the overwhelming majority GMO-soy is fed to animals, and attempting to get meat from only grass-fed sources only poses a more unsustainable problem due to limited land resources. The best choice for consuming soy is always organic or non-GMO. Most of the hysteria regarding the negative health risks of soy are based on the potential dangers of certain compounds (such as lectins or phytates) in isolation, but when soy itself is studied on humans, it can be protective against bone loss, breast cancer, and overall mortality. However, to air on the safe side, stick to no more than 5 servings daily. Sources 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17451802 2. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-monsantos-roundup-pesticide-glyphosate-safe/ 3. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-gmos-safe-the-case-of-roundup-ready-soy/ 4. http://anhinternational.org/2010/04/21/europeans-consuming-gm-animal-feed-unknowingly/ 5. https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/10601/IssueBrief3.pdf 6. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/758171468768828889/pdf/277150PAPER0wbwp0no1022.pdf 7.http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2010/12/pass_on_grass.html 8.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/50272913_Assessment_of_Lectin_Inactivation_by_Heat_and_Digestion 9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24210636 10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434797 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079919 12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078018/pdf/nut14101011S.pdf 13. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/do-we-dare-to-eat-lectins_us_5935c6a7e4b0cca4f42d9c83 ​14. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/phytates-for-the-prevention-of-osteoporosis/ 15. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/phytates-for-the-treatment-of-cancer/ 16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24210636 17. https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/01/17/what-do-all-the-blue-zones-have-in-common/ 18. http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/13/2/217.pdf 19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16513288 20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18843590 21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15084758 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9247129 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15309425 24. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-shouldnt-eat-soy/ 25. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/5/1284.long 26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19318430 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8230262 28. http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/content/189/3/565 29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18558591 30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378106 31. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/too-much-soy-may-neutralize-plant-based-benefits/ 32. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/ The post The Truth About Soy – What Does the Science Actually Say? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. 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  2. Barbecue sauce is an American staple. You might know it best when it comes to barbecuing meat – brisket, ribs, and chicken all do well slathered with it – but it’s a delicious addition to any meal. We don’t consider a burger truly done without vegan barbecue sauce – whether it’s a soy burger, bean burger or something else entirely! Quick Navigation Vegan Barbecue Sauce Brands Available Online Vegan Barbecue Sauce Brands You Can Buy In-Stores Three Common Brands You're Likely to Find Making Your Own at Home Luckily, most barbecue sauces tend to be vegan; it’s pretty easy to find vegan products at the supermarket. The main thing you’re going to want to look out for in these sauces is honey*, which many consider not to be vegan. Some brands also include sardines or anchovies in their barbecue sauces, but these are much more rare. *Honey is a controversial topic within the world of veganism - don't sweat it too much if you're still trying to eliminate all other animal products from your diet. Vegan Barbecue Sauce Brands Available Online Since many barbecue sauces are actually already vegan, we chose some of the most popular sauces that also happen to be vegan to list here. There’s plenty to try! Simple Girl Carolina Style BBQ Sauce is a low calorie, sugar free, diabetic-friendly sauce that’s designed for people looking for a “lighter” sauce, or those who are trying not to consume excess calories. Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce is a classic style sauce that has a good balance of all of the typical BBQ sauce flavors: Sweet, Smoke, and Spice. Renowned for a few decades, it’s a classic sauce that you can’t go wrong with – and happens to be vegan! Even though it has Worcestershire sauce, the version they use doesn’t have any anchovies! Capital City’s Mambo Sauce is a sweet, sticky sauce ideal for marinating. One of the most popular brands of barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s, also has a vegan offering: their Original Barbecue Sauce. Kraft also has a couple online; their Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce, Original Barbecue Sauce, and Sweet Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce are all vegan and can all be found on Amazon. Finally, Stonewall Kitchen has two vegan options: their classic Organic Smoky Maple Barbecue Sauce, and a more unusual Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce – perfect if you’re looking for a new flavor. Check any of the links above to read customer reviews and check prices on Amazon. Vegan Barbecue Sauce Brands You Can Buy In-Stores There are few brands of specifically vegan barbecue sauce, probably because there are so many accidentally vegan options. Most common brands are primarily vegan, and it’s usually only their honey-flavored options that aren’t. You also need to look out for Worcestershire sauce on labels. Three Common Brands You're Likely to Find Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce is all vegan except for their Tennessee Honey sauce (which is clearly indicated on their website). Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue range is all vegan except for Honey and Honey Chipotle. Kraft is all vegan except their Sweet Honey and Mesquite Smoke options. And Stubb’s much-loved Bar-B-Q sauces are all vegan except Smoky Mesquite and Honey Pecan. These should all be fairly easy to find at any supermarket; they’re some of the most popular sauces for omnivores, too! What About the Sugar in Vegan BBQ Sauce? You may have heard that some sugar may be processed with animal products. We recommend that unless you're buying your own bagged sugar at the store not to worry about this. Odds are, the manufacturer won't be able to trace it and the actual suffering caused to animals is dubious at best. To learn more about this topic, look at our post on sugar. Making Your Own at Home Let's face it - it's always more cost effective to make your own at home in bulk and store it for later. Plus it gives you the opportunity to use the highest quality ingredients should you so choose. It’s pretty easy to make barbecue sauce at home as its just a matter of combining the ingredients, simmering, and waiting for the flavors to develop. The video above is a super simple vegan recipe that shows you exactly how to do so! The post Vegan BBQ Sauce Brands Compilation appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  3. ANSWER: Yes. The purpose of veganism is to cause the least amount of suffering as possible or practicable with your food choices. Animal crackers aren't real animals of course, nor do the original ones by Stauffer's contain any direct animal ingredients such as milk or eggs. However, there are a few things to be aware of when it comes to confectionery and baked products including animal crackers. Full details below! Article Navigation Vegan Brands of Animal Crackers What Are Animal Cracker's Exactly? What Does the Ingredient Statement Look Like for Animal Crackers? Why Mention Sugar in Animal Crackers*? Vegan Brands of Animal Crackers Animal Crackers with Organic Sugar* Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers Conventional Animal Crackers Stauffer's Original Animal Crackers Barnum's Animal Crackers Use any of the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon! In the chart above, we've listed the most popular vegan brands of animal crackers. Beware of other brands with frosting and double check if they have any milk, eggs, gelatin, or any other animal products. We've separated the organic from the conventional animal crackers as some more experienced vegans may choose to avoid conventional sugar. More on sugar in the final section. What Are Animal Cracker's Exactly? Animal crackers are a bit of a cross between a cracker and a cookie. They are a slightly sweet, but with the texture of a cracker. As the name implies, they are shaped like animals such as horses, giraffes, bears, etc. The Original Animal Crackers by Stauffer's actually contain 13 different shapes according to their website. What Does the Ingredient Statement Look Like for Animal Crackers? Here's the Stauffer's Animal Cracker's ingredient statement (please note that other smaller brands might be different): ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, BAKING SODA (LEAVENING), SOY LECITHIN (AN EMULSIFIER), NATURAL FLAVOR, SPICE. As you can see they are mainly comprised of flour, sugar, and oil. There's no milk, eggs, or anything that can be stated with 100% certainty that it was animal derived. You don't have to feel guilty about eating them, especially if you're new to veganism. Sugar is a controversial ingredient within veganism and there's a chance that if the sugar isn't organic that animal products were involved in the processing of it. Why Mention Sugar in Animal Crackers*? Conventional sugar is sometimes processed with animal bone char, but it is not something that you should put too much thought into, especially if you are having trouble eliminating all labeled animal products from your diet. Veganism is about maximum harm reduction and if you're in the transition phase, you don't want to make things even more confusing. If you want to be super safe stick with the Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers or the Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers. You don’t have to feel guilty if you choose to do otherwise, though. For the full scoop on sugar, check out this article. The post Are Animal Crackers Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  4. ANSWER: Like many sugar-based candies, the small version of Laffy Taffy doesn't contain any blatantly labeled animal products which means that it would be considered Vegan. The big version is Laffy Taffy does however have eggs, making it not vegan. There are a few ingredients (including sugar) in the small version which could potentially involve animal products which we discuss below. However, we don't recommend stressing about trace ingredients. Article Navigation Most Popular Vegan Taffy Candies Laffy Taffy and the Definition of Veganism What About the Sugar in Laffy Taffy? Conclusion on Laffy Taffy Most Popular Vegan Taffy Candies Mini Air Heads Mambas Fruit Chew Mini Laffy Taffy Click any of the links above to check out customer reviews on Amazon! In the chart above, we've compiled the most popular vegan taffy candies we could find online. Many of the smaller taffy brands had egg or milk in them, but the big brands above did not. Please note that different larger versions of any of these given candies may not be vegan (besides Mambas which we found to be all vegan). What About the Sugar in Laffy Taffy? Here's the most up to date Laffy Taffy ingredients we could find: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Palm Oil and Less Than 2% of Mono- and Diglycerides, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Malic Acid, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavors, blue #1, red #40, yellow #5. Contains Soy Ingredients.​ Laffy Taffy is primarily Corn Syrup and Sugar. Conventional (meaning non-organic) sugar has the capacity to be filtered with animal ingredients such as bone char. Laffy Taffy is a huge brand who most likely sources sugar from different places. This means that tracking whether or not any animal derived products (filtering materials in this case) were involved in the making of one specific candy would be nearly impossible. The same applies to any natural colors and flavors in Laffy Taffy. Tracking their origins, especially given the different types of the candy out there would be difficult, but we believe that the same principle applies.​ We've fully detailed our position on sugar being vegan in this post.​ Laffy Taffy and the Definition of Veganism The definition of veganism according to the Vegan Society is as follows: Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. The keywords in this definition is possible and practicable. While this is not an excuse to go out and eat products blatantly made from animals, veganism isn't something to be overthought, especially for someone that's new to it. Veganism is grounded in maximum harm reduction simply because 100% harm reduction is impossible. While one doesn't necessarily need to eat Laffy Taffy in order to survive it is not constructive for a new vegan to over think ingredient statements that aren't blatantly labeled with animals, especially if it means that it makes veganism too complicated for them. A more experienced vegan may opt to give up questionable products as a matter of principle, but the harm reduction to animals isn't going to be anything of impact. Conclusion on Laffy Taffy When it comes to sugary candy including Laffy Taffy, we've boiled it down to one rule of thumb. Check the label for any animal ingredients (including gelatin) that are clearly labeled. If they aren't, you can consider it 99.9% vegan. As you become more experienced on plant-based eating, you may want to consider avoiding anything questionable, but that's your choice. Finally, because candies don't really contain any nutritional value, we recommend sticking as close to whole foods plant based as possible! The post Is Laffy Taffy Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  5. ANSWER: Yes, but with a few caveats. We found many different formulations of sprinkles during our research so it is hard to pin sprinkles down to one ingredient list. Sprinkles containing "confectioners glaze" have the potential to contain insects, so that is an ingredient to be wary of. There's more you might want to know about sprinkles and veganism though - and we've compiled that below! Article Navigation What Vegan Brands of Sprinkles Do you Recommend? What Are Sprinkles Exactly? What To Look Out for In Sprinkles Should Vegans Stress Out About Sprinkles? Conclusion on Sprinkles What Vegan Brands of Sprinkles Do you Recommend? If you want to be 100% sure that you're getting the sprinkles that caused the least amount of suffering possible, getting organic sprinkles is a great choice. This is because organic sugar isn't processed the same way as conventional and doesn't have the potential to have animal products anywhere in the supply chain. A brand we recommend is Let's Do Organic. Check out Let's Do Organic Sprinkelz online! What Are Sprinkles Exactly? Sprinkles are little candies, usually all black or rainbow, that are used on top of cookies and desserts. They're mainly for decoration, texture, and sweetness and wouldn't really be ideal to eat all on your own. They're pretty much 100% nutritionally void, being primary composed of sugar and oil. All this aside, sprinkles are adored by many people across the world and are almost a symbol of celebration - certainly a fun food! What To Look Out for In Sprinkles There are a few things that you should be on the look out for when it comes to sprinkles and a few other details to be aware of. Some red flag ingredients to keep an eye out for going to be: Confectioners Glaze Gelatin The sugar, coloring, and flavors in sprinkles have the potential to have animal products somewhere in the production process, but we don't recommend that you get caught up on it. Tracing the origins of all these products in a given sprinkle brand would be extremely difficult and the reduction on suffering for animals wouldn't account for much. This is why many vegan experts recommend not focusing on trace ingredients. Our article on sugar goes more in-depth into this topic of sugar and trace ingredients should you be interest. Should Vegans Stress Out About Sprinkles? If you have the option of buying vegan sprinkles than we're obviously going to recommend that you do so. However, if one of your relatives made vegan cupcakes especially for you and may have used non-vegan sprinkles by accident, declining to eat them because they aren't vegan may do more harm than good for the animals. Doing this will make veganism seem complex and not easy to follow. In this example, the person went out of their way to make something vegan and shooting them down in this fashion may discourage them from trying it in the future. Conclusion on Sprinkles If you're a vegan do your best to avoid sprinkles with confectioners glaze and other animal products such as gelatin. Don't stress too much about other dubious trace ingredients like sugar, colors, and flavors, but simply do the best you can. Veganism isn't about perfection and you're better off being 99.9% vegan than 0%. The post Are Sprinkles Vegan? (AKA Jimmies) appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  6. ANSWER: Worcestershire sauce in its original form isn't vegan because it contains anchovies or anchovy paste. Worcestershire sauce has a complex flavor profile and lots of different ingredients, but it is mainly just this one that is the culprit. The good news is that there are plenty of vegan substitutes that taste just like the real thing and it is super easy to make your own if you're so inclined. Article Navigation What Vegan Brands of Worcestershire Sauce Do you Recommend? What is Worcestershire Sauce Exactly? What Does a Worcestershire Sauce Ingredient Statement Look Like? Make Your Own at Home! What Vegan Brands of Worcestershire Sauce Do you Recommend? There are two main Worcestershire sauces that we recommend for Vegans which we've listed below. They taste pretty much exactly the same, and since Worcestershire sauce is usually a small part of a recipe, you're unlikely to notice any difference! Our Favorite Vegan Worcestershire Sauces Annie's Worcestershire Sauce The Wizard's Worcestershire Sauce Click any of the links above to check our customer reviews on Amazon! What is Worcestershire Sauce Exactly? Hard to define flavor-wise because it is so complex, Worcestershire sauce was created by two chemists from Worcester which is how it got its name. The names of these chemists were John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins. If those names look familiar it is because they created the company Lea & Perrin's which is one of the best known and best selling Worcestershire sauces on the market. What Does a Worcestershire Sauce Ingredient Statement Look Like? We've taken the ingredients from the original Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce and displayed it below. It's not simply about the ingredients in this sauce, but the aging of the ingredients which allows the flavors to develop. Ingredients: Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Sugar, Water, Salt, Onions, Anchovies, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract As you can see, anchovies are a staple in one of the biggest brand out there. The Wizard's makes an organic and delicious Worcestershire sauce that is definitely worth trying. Annie's is another brand that makes pretty much the same thing. Either or are going to be great choices for replacing non-veg worcestershire sauce. We've linked to them above so be sure to check them out! Here's the ingredient statement for Annie's: Water, *Apple Cider Vinegar, *Molasses, *Soy Sauce (Water, *Soybean, Salt, *Wheat, *Alcohol), *Cane Sugar, *Tamarind, Sea Salt, *Cornstarch, Xanthan Gum, *Garlic, *Onion, *Clove, *Chili Pepper. *Organic Ingredients. Make Your Own at Home! Although a bit of a lengthy process, you can certainly make your own at home! Remember, the flavor comes from aging so instant gratification isn't going to be possible. If you've got an immediate hankering, your best bet would be to purchase a pre-made sauce to hold you over while you wait for your homemade batch to age. Just our two cents! Enjoy! The post Is Worcestershire Sauce Vegan? Also Our Favorite Vegan Worcestershire Sauce Brands! appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  7. ANSWER: Some Bisquick products are indeed Vegan, however there are variations of it that definitely aren't. For example, they have a Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix which contains both milk and eggs placing it in the non-vegan category. Also, given that the instructions may call for eggs or milk, you'll have to make some easy vegan substitutes when using Bisquick. We've compiled the vegan products and the non-vegan products in the chart below: Article Navigation What Kind of Bisquick Products Are Vegan? How Do I Replace Eggs and Milk in Biquick? Quick Disclaimer on Bisquick and Other Products What Kind of Bisquick Products Are Vegan? Given that there are many forms of Bisquick on the market we've made a convenient list of vegan and non-vegan Bisquicks based on the information from their website. Because ingredient statements change, we recommend checking their ingredient statements for milk and eggs just to make sure. List of Vegan Bisquick Products Bisquick Original Mix Bisquick Heart Smart Mix Bisquick Gluten Free Mix Non-Vegan Bisquick Products: Bisquick Complete Cheese Garlic Butter Biscuit Mix Bisquick Complete Buttermilk Biscuit Mix Bisquick Complete Honey Butter Biscuit Mix Bisquick Complete Three Cheese Biscuit Mix Bisquick Simply Buttermilk with Whole Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix Bisquick Shake and Pour Buttermilk Pancake Mix *Use any of the links above to read customer reviews and check prices on Amazon. All of the non-vegan products contain either eggs, milk, and/or honey (which is a bit more controversial). Here's an example of what a vegan ingredient statement of Bisquick looks like compared to a non-vegan one. ​Vegan Ingredient Statement (original Bisquick) Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Dextrose, Salt. Non-Vegan Ingredient Statement (Buttermilk Shake and Pour) Enriched Flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Sugar, Leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate, calcium acid pyrophosphate), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Defatted Soy Flour, Dried Egg Whites, Dextrose, Tricalcium Phosphate, Buttermilk , Salt, Soy Lecithin. How Do I Replace Eggs and Milk in Biquick? Milk: Milk should be an easier replacement given that there are plenty of plant based milks on the market. Given that soy milk has the highest protein content (most similar to dairy milk) it is going to be the go to replacement. However, almond and coconut milks will also perform for pancakes. Eggs: While there are many egg replacers on the market that will work, making a flax egg is going to be your cheapest. To make 1 egg, simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, mix thoroughly, and let is rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. You'll also get other benefits including more fiber in your pancakes! Quick Disclaimer on Bisquick and Other Products When it comes to a non-whole food with many minor ingredients, it is nearly impossible to trace whether some of them may be animal derived such as Folic Acid. That being said, they are such low percentage the harm to animals from consuming them in these products is virtually nil. If you're transitioning to veganism, we highly recommend to not overthink these things - just avoid foods blatantly labeled with animal products. The post Is Bisquick Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  8. ANSWER: Yes! Sriracha sauce is typically going to be vegan. Most chili pastes in any sort of Asian cuisine are a combination of chili peppers, sugar, vinegar and spices. There are a few things you might want to know about Srirachi's vegan status, though so read on! Quick Navigation What is Sriracha Exactly? What Brands of Sriracha Do you Recommend? What Does the Ingredient Statement Look Like? What About the Sugar in Sriracha? Vegan Recipes with Sriracha What is Sriracha Exactly? Sriracha sauce, mainly recognized as the stuff with the rooster on it is a spicy and semi-sweet chili-pepper based sauce that originated in Thailand. It got its name because it was first spotted in restaurants in a Taiwanese city named Si Racha. With its growing popularity, many people in the West are replacing ketchup with Sriracha sauce on foods that you would never expect. What Brands of Sriracha Do you Recommend? Taste wise, all brands of Sriracha are going to be pretty similar, so there's none that you can really go wrong with. All organic brands will give you the opportunity to avoid preservatives and you'll know for sure that the sugar wasn't processed with any animal products*. Here's what we recommend, though: If you want to check out the Organic Sriracha go with Simply Natural brand. If you want to stick with the conventional go with the Classic Huy Fong Sriracha. What Does the Ingredient Statement Look Like? The most well known brand of Sriracha by Hoy Fong has the following ingredient statement: Ingredients: Chili, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfite as Preservatives, and Xanthan Gum.​ There are also organic Sriracha brands out there with much cleaner ingredient statements and no preservatives. A typical ingredient statement usually looks something like this: Ingredients: Organic red jalapeno pepper puree, water, organic red bell pepper puree, organic sugar, organic white vinegar, organic garlic puree, salt, organic garlic, powdered organic habanero peppers, xanthan gum. What About the Sugar in Sriracha? ​It's true that some sugar in the supply chain isn't 100% vegan due to the processing methods. However, given the complexity of the food supply, we don't recommend worrying about this for products with added sugar, like Sriracha sauce. If you want to be 100% safe you can go with an Organic Sriracha, but it is your choice. Being vegan shouldn't be burdensome or complex - so stressing over dubious or trace ingredients can be counterproductive. See our full position on sugar here. Vegan Recipes with Sriracha Sriracha gives you the opportunity to add unique and complex flavors to veggies which is always a good thing. From noodle dishes, to burgers, or for straight up dipping any veggies, sriracha is awesome! Check out some of our favorites below: Sriracha Vegetable and Ramen Stir Fry Sriracha Chickpea Veggie BowlVeggies and Lentils in Peanut Sauce Enjoy folks! The post Is Sriracha Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  9. ANSWER: Yes - most of it. The majority of boxed pastas by Barilla are Vegan as they only contain Semolina Wheat Flour. However, not all of their pasta products are vegan given that they contain eggs or milk. We went ahead and broke down Barilla's entire product line below so that vegans can learn and shop for Barilla pasta more easily! Quick Navigation A Quick Note About Eggs Barilla Pastas by Vegan Status Barilla Pasta Classic Blue Box Classic Blue Box Ready Pasta Collezione Whole Grain Protein Plus Pronto White Fiber Veggie Organic Academia Barilla A Quick Note About Eggs Many Barilla Pastas are labeled that they may contain eggs. This means that some of the processing equipment that the pastas was made on is shared with that of products that contain eggs. Likely Barilla is just doing this as an extra allergen precaution. No eggs are actually added to the pasta unless it is specifically in the ingredient statement. Worrying about potential trace ingredients isn't necessary to be vegan, so unless you're allergic to eggs don't worry about it. Barilla Pastas by Vegan Status List of Vegan Barilla Pastas Available Online Vegan Barilla Pastas Barilla Classic Blue Box Barilla Ready Pasta Barilla Collezione Pasta (Besides Tortellini) Barilla Whole Grain Pasta Barilla Pronto Pasta Barilla White Fiber Pasta Barilla Veggie Pasta Barilla Organic Pasta Academia Barilla Non-Vegan Pastas Barilla Collezione Tortellini**Barilla Protein PlusClick any of the links above to be redirected to shop for these pastas on Amazon! Given their wide range of products we decided to break down their entire line below so you can quickly identify which ones are vegan. All ingredient statements pulled from their website. Barilla Pasta Classic Blue Box This classic pasta is completely vegan. The ingredient statement is typical of any generic pasta you might find on the shelf. What flour with fortified vitamins. SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID. Ready Pasta The Ready Pasta is simply the classic with added olive oil and salt that's been precooked. The final product is sold in a pouch, ready to go in only a few minutes. For those on the run, luckily its also vegan. WATER, PASTA [SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR], EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT. Collezione There are various different shapes of the Collezione pasta. Most of them are just the same ingredients as the Classic Blue box. This pasta is great because its shaped in ways that allow for an enhanced texture experience and better sauce absorption. *Please note that the stuffed Tortellini versions of this pasta aren't vegan as they contain cheese. Whole Grain The whole grain pasta is simply made from Whole Wheat Flour no other ingredients. Whole Grain Flour doesn't need to be fortified by regulations, hence why there aren't any vitamins and minerals like with the regular pasta. Protein Plus As mentioned earlier, this is one brand of Barilla that's definitely not Vegan. Egg whites made their way into the formulation, probably to hit a certain protein threshold. Had they held the eggs, this would have been an awesome pasta to try! SEMOLINA (WHEAT), GRAIN AND LEGUME FLOUR BLEND [GRAINS AND LEGUMES (LENTILS, CHICKPEAS, FLAXSEED, BARLEY, OATS, SPELT), EGG WHITES, OAT FIBER], DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.​ Pronto Pronto pastas are meant to be cooked in just a pan without needing to go through the entire process of boiling water. You would think that they would have needed to add all sorts of crazy ingredients to achieve this, but nope! This line of pastas has the same ingredients as the Classic Blue Box. They are able to achieve different cooking times and methods by the way that the pasta is shaped and cut rather than by changing the recipe or formulation. White Fiber The White Fiber pasta line is simply the classic formulation with resistant corn starch added in. This allows the pasta to maintain the typical taste and texture and still have approximetly three times the fiber. The ingredient statement reads: SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, WHOLE DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, RESISTANT CORN STARCH, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID. Veggie There's three different kind of the veggie pasta and they're all vegan! The formula is simply the classic with added vegetable powders. We're including the Rotini below but the others have some different vegetable powder blends. SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, ZUCCHINI PUREE, (ZUCCHINICARROT, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, WATER), SPINACH PUREE, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUSE SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID. Organic The organic pastas are all vegan! Just typical flours and added vitamins: ORGANIC SEMOLINA (WHEAT), ORGANIC DURUM WHEAT FLOUR. VITAMINS/MINERALS: VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN), IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE MONONITRATE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID.​ Academia Barilla The organic pastas are all vegan! Just typical flours and added vitamins. Bon Appetite! The post Is Barilla Pasta Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  10. ANSWER: Some of US versions we found of Takis we found were Vegan while some weren't (covered below). However, the ingredient statements for all of their products were not available on the manufacturer's website so we don't want to say this with 100% certainty in case ingredient statements have changed. In addition, there may be some things you want to look for on your Takis label which will help you identify if its Vegan as well as some other things you might want to know about Takis. Quick Navigation What is Takis Exactly? Vegan Takis Flavors What Does a Typical Takis Ingredient Statement Look Like? What Kind of Takis Might Not Be Vegan? What About All the Trace Ingredients? Are Takis Healthy? What is Takis Exactly? Takis are a corn based crispy snack that is gaining in popularity across the world. There are around six different flavors of Takis - all Tex Mex or Mexican in flavor profile such as Salsa Brava. They're known for being hot, spicy, and having complex flavor profiles. Vegan Takis Flavors The following Takis flavors don't contain any animal products from our research: Takis Fuego Takis Nitro Takis Salsa Brava What Does a Typical Takis Ingredient Statement Look Like? Again, we couldn't locate the full ingredient statement on the manufacturer's website, but we were able to find some on Fooducate.com. The Fuego version has the following ingredient statement: Ingredients: corn flour, hydrogenated soybean and/or canola and/or palm and/or sunflower oil, seasoning [salt, sugar, natural flavor, citric acid, soybean protein, yeast extract, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, sodium diacetate, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial colors (fd&c red no. 40 lake, fd&c yellow no.6 lake), onion powder, chile extract, sodium inosinate and silicon dioxide (no more than 2% as anticaking agent)] and antioxidants (bht and/or tbhq and/or propylene glycol and/or bha). As you probably gathered, Takis probably aren't the healthiest of foods, being mostly empty calories with little to no nutrition. However, that's not what this article is about. The fact that they used ​yeast dictates that they were trying to give this version a slight cheesy flavor, but didn't want to use real cheese for whatever reason. This is a common practice for vegans, we always use Nutritional Yeast to make homemade hard cheese and cheese sauces. Vegan buyer beware, though - not all Takis are dairy free and some even contain eggs - the Salsa Fajita for example: Ingredients: Corn Masa Flour (Processed With Lime), Soybean and/Or Palm and/Or Canola Oil, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Iodized Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Starch, Chili Pepper (Chile), Citric Acid, Artificial and Natural Flavor (Soy, Milk, Egg), Onion Powder, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Spices, Artificial Colors (Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake and Blue 1 Lake), Dextrose, Tricalcium Phosphate, Yeast, Sugar, Gum Arabic, Xylose].​ What Kind of Takis Might Not Be Vegan? Aside from the ones that we've found - all other versions of Takis contained animal products this includes: Xplosion Crunchy Fajitas Guacamole Be sure to check the ingredients on the bag for milk or eggs - which should be labeled in the allergen statement or in clearly marked within the ingredient statement. What About All the Trace Ingredients? We're not going to lie, with all of the trace ingredients in Takis, there lies the possibility that animals were involved at some point in the entire food supply chain. However, many top vegan organizations don't recommend worrying about trace ingredients (as their harm to animals is dubious at best) and neither do we unless there is clearly another option available. Our article on sugar delves further into this position.​ Are Takis Healthy? At Thrive Cuisine, we only recommend Whole Foods Plant Based lifestyles for ideal health. Takis are very clearly removed from a whole food source (even the Vegan ones), so we recommend consuming them in great moderation if at all. The post Are Takis Vegan? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  11. ANSWER: If you're trying to transition to veganism, the simple answer is yes - sugar is vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. If you've been vegan a long time, the brand of sugar maybe something you want to consider, since the possibility exists that the sugar was processed using animal product based filters. We've covered all the nitty gritty details of this topic below. Again, if you're new to veganism and are having trouble with the basic transition of eliminating all labeled animal products then don't let all this information guilt you or stress you out, unless you're personally buying sugar in bagged form. Quick Navigation What's Not Vegan About Sugar? What Kind of Sugar is 100% Vegan? What About Products Made With Sugar? What To Do As a New Vegan? Is Sugar Healthy? What's Not Vegan About Sugar? Simply put, bone char may be used as a whitening filter for certain refined sugars. The reasoning behind this is because companies believed that having a pure, white, and clean sugar product was superior in the eyes of the consumer. This is what made them adopt a process of whitening in the first place and it just so happened that bone char was an effective and economical way to do this. It is easy to identify non-vegan bagged sugars in a store environment, but products that contain sugar are going to be extremely difficult to trace unless stated. For this reason, we recommend that people buy 100% vegan sugar if buying it bagged, but don't stress about it otherwise. Tracing the sugar in a restaurant meal or packaged food can be near impossible and not really necessary. For most, this adds an extra level of neurosis to being vegan, which isn't necessary. What Kind of Sugar is 100% Vegan? Readily Available Bagged Vegan Sugar Here are examples of beet sugar and organic cane sugar you can buy online. The sure fire way to avoid sugar processed with bone char is by getting organic sugar. According to USDA regulations, organic sugar cannot be processed with bone char. Being that organic sugar tends to minimally processed as well, you can see the difference in color and structure when buying it. Another way you can avoid the bone char filtered sugar is to look for beet sugar. It should be quite easy to see as it should be labeled as such. All of these details are laid out really well in this post by the Vegetarian Resource Group. What About Products Made With Sugar? By making the choice to go vegan and eliminating your consumption of animal products, you're having an important impact on the supply chain. Your decision to not buy products with milk, for example, will send a signal to the manufacturer that they should think about changing the way that they formulate their products. Eating something with sugar that may have come from bone char isn't going to have a huge effect on the animal agriculture industry, and can be of more harm than good. Making a fuss over whether sugar was processed with bone char can make veganism seem more difficult than it actually is. Eliminating products labeled with animals will have the biggest impact and sends the clearest signals to these companies. When it comes to products that have sugar in them, e-mailing the manufacturer may get you an answer, but they also might not even know. Manufacturers of products with added sugar are likely purchase both beet sugar and cane sugar considering them to be a single ingredient. The food supply chain is big and complicated and even though being educated about it is important, it shouldn't bog down your daily life. What To Do As a New Vegan? Given the complexity of all this, it shouldn't make veganism complex for newcomers. In contrast, veganism should be an easy thing that people can do to eliminate the most amount of animal suffering they can. So here's our rules of thumb: If you're buying a bag of sugar make sure it is not refined with bone char (organic cane sugar or beet sugar) If you're buying a product with added sugar in it, don't worry about it. Focus on making sure all labeled animal products are eliminated from your diet Check out our Step by Step Guide to going Vegan to learn more. Is Sugar Healthy? Oddly enough, some vegans popular on social media have promoted added sugar as some sort of health food. However, the truth is that added sugar is simply excess empty calories without any real nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. If health is your concern, but you have a sweet tooth, getting sugar from whole foods plant based sources is going to be ideal. The post Is Sugar Vegan? Everything You Need to Know! appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  12. Rice is an indispensable part of Asian cuisine and has become a chief staple food the world over. Rice is cheap, filling and makes a great accompaniment to almost any meal. Using rice cookers is a foolproof way to cook restaurant quality rice, freeing up your time to get on with other tasks. Being a Korean brand - a culture where rice is a major staple - Cuckoo models are a great choice if you're looking for something in the top tier of rice machines. Reviewed Rice Cooker: Cuckoo Electric Heating Rice Cooker CR-0631F Build Quality 5/5 Design 5/5 Power 5/5 Reliability 5/5 Efficiency 5/5 PROS Versatile High quality design and build Reliable Doubles up as a pressure cooker 1 year warranty Easy to clean CONS Expensive Check Pricing on Amazon Our Cuckoo Rice Cooker Review: Key Features Cuckoo is one of the leading names in rice cookers and we’ve picked one of its best selling models to see how it stacks up against other similar devices. Cuckoo is a Korean company that manufactures state of the art rice cookers that tend to gelatinize rice more than their Japanese and Chinese counterparts. While this may be an appealing prospect for some people, it may not be for others. It all depends on the final texture you're looking for in your meals. In addition, the type of rice you use is also going to depend on the final product and how much it gelatinizes. The longer grain of rice tends to equate to less gelatinization. Rice is a delicious addition to any meal and can be enjoyed hot or cold with any type of cuisine. Cuckoo rice cookers tend to be a little more expensive than your average rice cooker but are a well-trusted brand thanks to their sturdy build and unusual yet attractive designs. They are top sellers in Korea, a nation whose cuisine centers around gelatinized rice that has been prepared in a rice cooker (usually a Cuckoo model). Design and Build Quality This Cuckoo Electric Heating Rice Cooker is one of its best sellers thanks to its relatively low cost (compared with other Cuckoo models). It comes in a unique light pink color, making it more attractive than your average rice cooker. Although “good looks” play no part in the reliability of this rice cooker, its appearance makes it a good option for people who are low on cabinet space and need to keep their machines on their counter tops (or for those of you who consider aesthetic appeal an important component in their kitchen equipment). Besides a pink facade, this device also features a Teflon-coated inner pot and turbo cooking functions. It can also cook GABA rice and brown rice and has a wide LCD screen that allows you to easily see what you are doing. This model also features a slow cooking function and doubles up as a pressure cooker making it ideal for one-pot meals, soups and stews. If you like your rice cookers to feature fuzzy logic, this model boasts a state of the art fuzzy logic component that acts like a “personal chef” and cooks fluffy, restaurant-quality rice every time. Check Pricing on Amazon Its six different cooking settings allow you to cook white and brown rice as well as other grains so if you’re looking for a device that is versatile you could do a lot worse than this one. This model cooks up to 6 cups of rice making it a good option for smaller households. It also comes with a one-year warranty so if you decide to buy it you can rest assured that you are getting a model that is excellent value for money. Overall this is an excellent, high-quality rice cooker and it’s easy to see why it remains one of Cuckoo’s best selling models. It is sturdy, robust and reliable and the fact that it’s easy on the eye is just an added bonus. One of the only downsides of this device is that it does not come with a steaming tray like many other rice cookers so this is not a good model to go for if you are looking for something that also steams veggies. That being said, this makes excellent quality sushi rice that sticks together with no problems and doubles up as a slow cooker allowing you to make beans, stews, soups and other one-pot meals. Cleaning This Model One of the best components of this machine is that it is very easy to clean. The inner Teflon lid comes off for easy cleaning. The combination of fuzzy logic and the extended keep warm function (which lasts up to 24 hours) means that you don’t have to worry about rice burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot, which speeds up the cleaning process. If you've ever had rice that got stuck because you left it on the heat so long, you'll know that it can be super annoying to get off and potentially damaging to the unit. It is also dishwasher safe, which is an added bonus and makes clean ups a breeze. Although the lid is detachable it is not dishwasher safe although it is easily cleaned in a kitchen sink with some warm, soapy water. Check Pricing on Amazon Reliability ​This unit comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty which is pretty typical for similar units in the market at this price range. Cuckoo is one of the leading rice cooker brands in Korea, a country that owes much of its culinary legacy to rice. In short –rice is a big deal there and the fact that this brand is so trusted and reputable speaks volumes about how reliable it is. As far as the reliability of this particular model goes, you can buy it and be sure that you’ll be spending your cash on a rice cooker that is sturdy, reliable and delivers on all technical and culinary fronts. How Does it Compare? Cuckoo Electric Heating Pressure Rice Cooker CRP-P1009SB (Brown) This is the perfect rice cooker for households with a lot of mouths to feed or for people who want to batch cook their rice for the week. This is an extremely robust, well-made machine that is worth every penny and comes with a one-year warranty. It comes with an aluminum inner pot and detachable stainless steel cover that are both easy to clean. It even features an auto steam-cleaning feature that facilitates the cleaning process even further. With one push of a button, you can do the majority of your cleaning using the steam cleaner and then wash up any remaining residue by hand. The high-tech 3D warming system means that you can keep your rice warm without it burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. There is also a pressure cooking device, which allows you to control how much pressure you want to use when making stews, soups and other one-pot, beans and slow-cooked meals. The lock checking device is an added safety feature that stops water from splattering onto the kitchen counter, which is one of the most common complaints people have with cheaper rice cookers. This machine also boasts 11 cooking settings and 14 safety features. It uses fuzzy logic and has an automatic keep warm function that can keep rice warm for up to 24 hours. Besides brown, white and sushi rice, it also cooks oats and other grains. It even comes with English, Korean and Chinese voice navigation so you can choose whether you want to control it using your fingers or voice. Like the Cuckoo Electric Heating rice cooker, this model does not come with a steaming tray although both models make excellent pressure cookers. They also make excellent rice and can also be relied on to cook delicious, one-pot meals so choosing between the two really comes down to the amount of rice (or stews/soups etc) that you need to make on a day-to-day basis. This model comes with slightly more advanced features (like voice navigation) and therefore tends to be more pricey (prices vary*). Identifying what features are most important for you will make the process of choosing which one to go for a lot easier. Check Pricing on Amazon Cuckoo CR-0351FR Electric Heating Rice Cooker (Red) Those of you with minimal cooking needs or who are tight on cash could do a lot worse than this sleek, petite model. If you want to buy a Cuckoo rice cooker but are a little weary of the expense, this model is one of Cuckoo’s most budget-friendly options due to its smaller size and cooking capacity. Despite its size, it still boasts all the same features that make Cuckoo such a reliable brand. It comes with a Teflon coated inner pot that can be easily removed for speedy cleanups and has a turbo cooking function that allows you to quickly cook different varieties of rice and grains with the touch of a button. It comes with a detachable steam cap/dew dish that traps the steam as your rice cooks and four safety features such as a tight fitting lid that stops hot water and steam from splattering onto your counter. Like the featured model, it also comes with a detachable inner lid and an auto steam cleaning system, making cleanups easy and hassle free. The inner pot is dishwasher safe to boot. This machine comes with five cooking settings, unlike the featured model that comes with six. This allows you to easily cook glutinous rice (for sushi), white, brown, Arborio and other grains like quinoa and amaranth. Considering this device tends to be less pricey (prices vary*) than the featured model, this makes it tremendous value for money. The preset cooking and reheat function make it ideal for busy lives and it comes with a one-year guarantee making it a great model for people on tight budgets and/or with less mouths to feed. Check Pricing on Amazon Cuckoo Rice Cooker l CRP-FA0610F (White/Silver) This is a lot bulkier than the featured model and not as aesthetically pleasing although it is as robust and reliable as one might expect from a Cuckoo rice cooker. Like the featured model it does not come with a steaming tray although (as usual) it makes a fantastic pressure cooker. It comes with a Teflon coated inner pot that detaches for easy cleanups although it does not have a detachable lid, which makes it a bit more of a hassle if you want to give it a really thorough clean. Despite its bulky size and appearance, this model only cooks up to six cups of rice so it is not ideal if you are tight on space and/or have many mouths to feed. Appearances aside, this is as sturdy, robust and reliable as any Cuckoo rice cooker. Besides being able to cook every variety of rice, it also doubles up as a slow cooker/pressure cooker and can cook beans, stews, soups and one-pot meals. As with the featured model, there is a keep warm and reheat function as well as turbo cooking that gives you the option to cook your grains quickly. This is an excellent rice cooker and is built to the high quality that is typical of Cuckoo. If you’re looking for a no-frills device, then you could do worse than this model. Check Pricing on Amazon The post Cuckoo Rice Cooker Review appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  13. Tiger is one of the leading names in rice cookers in Japan, a country that is synonymous with both technological excellence and rice. Tiger machines tend to be a little pricier than your average rice cooker but are worth every penny as they deliver in every way possible. If you're a foodie and want a high end rice cooking machine, this is an excellent choice. Reviewed Rice Cooker: Tiger Corporation Rice Cooker JBV-A10U-W Build Quality 5/5 Design 5/5 Power 5/5 Ease of Cleaning 4/5 Versatility 5/5 PROS Budget friendly for a high end rice cooker Versatile Steams veggies and cooks rice simultaneously Ideal for small or large households Japanese design Keep warm function CONS Lid doesn't detach Check Pricing on Amazon Our Tiger Corporation Micom Rice Cooker (JBV-A10U-W) Review: Key Features Tiger is a Japanese company that produces some of the best-loved and most trusted rice cookers in the world. The Tiger Corporation rice cooker is one of Tiger’s more budget-friendly options, allowing you to enjoy all the perks of owning and using a Tiger rice cooker without having to splash out on one of their pricier models. This machine features a syncro-cooking function (i.e. “tacook”) so that you can cook rice and one other dish (like steamed veggies) at the same time. The one push operation makes it super easy to use and the four cooking menu settings gives you plenty of cooking options. There is a synchrony cooking, plain rice, brown rice and slow cooking button and you can also make one-pot meals, kitchari, beans, soups and stews. Far from being limited to just rice, you can also cook other grains like oats and quinoa. The removable pot is easy to clean and is made from high quality, BPA free non-stick coating. This machine also comes with a non-stick spatula, cooking plate, measuring cup and cookbook that helps you make the most of of the “synchrony-cooking” function. Check Pricing on Amazon Design and Build Quality The multi-functional design allows you to prepare two dishes simultaneously, which you can do using Tiger’s “tacook” synchronized cooking function. This allows you to steam veggies and cook your grains at the same time. The added bonus of having a machine that can “kill two birds with one stone” means that you are not forced to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, toiling over multiple pots and pans. The automatic cooking logic system actively monitors cooking temperatures to create perfect, restaurant quality rice at the push of a button. If you’ve ever had to throw away a burnt pot of rice in frustration, you’ll quickly realize the value of having a rice cooker that automatically does everything for you. One of the most unique features of this rice cooker is that the cooking plate is specially designed so that the flavors from the cooking plate do not affect the flavor and texture of the rice. The inner steam cap detaches for thorough, easy cleanups and the keep warm function lasts up to 12 hours and does not scorch or burn your rice. The overall design and build of this rice cooker is of exceptionally high quality and the low price is an added bonus considering that Tiger rice cookers are generally rather expensive. Depending on the size of your family, there are two different versions of this rice cooker. There is one that cooks 5.5 cups of rice, making it ideal for smaller households while the also manufactures a 10-cup version. Check Pricing on Amazon Is the Tiger Easy to Clean? The detachable inner steam cap and the removable non-stick inner pot are both dishwasher safe making this a very easy machine to clean. The lid does not come off, however, it can easily be wiped down with a non-toxic kitchen wipe or a damp cloth. Rice can be served as the key component of a meal or as a tasty side dish Reliability Tiger is one of the leading rice cooker brands in Japan and this machine is fantastic value for money considering Tiger devices are not known for being budget-friendly. Despite the lower tier price, this machine is every bit as reliable as some of Tiger’s more expensive models. It works beautifully as a rice and grain cooker and also functions just as well as a stand-alone steamer that can steam veggies, tofu and more. How Does it Compare? Tiger JAX-T18U-K 10-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer & Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel Black This 10-cup microcomputer controlled rice cooker and warmer with “tacook” synchro-cooking function is sturdy and reliable and great for large families or people looking to batch cook rice. As with the featured model, this machine also allows you to cook two dishes simultaneously, which makes it super efficient at helping you get your meals ready in record time. It has 10 computerized cooking menu settings, which makes it more versatile than the featured model. As with the Tiger Corporation Micom machine, it can be used for a variety of things besides just cooking different kinds of rice (white, basmati, long grain etc). It is also great at making oats, millet, buckwheat groats and other grains like quinoa and amaranth. As with the featured rice cooker, this machine also comes with a specially designed cooking plate that doesn’t affect the flavor and texture of your rice. The automatic cooking logic system actively monitors cooking temperatures to create your meals so that you never have to worry about burning your rice, even if you are using the “keep warm” function. The 1.8mm thick inner pan keeps your rice well insulated and can be used to keep your food warm once it’s finished cooking. It can also be used as a steamer to steam veggies or tofu. The device is easy to clean and both the inner lid and steam cap are easy to remove and wash. This model includes a cooking plate and cookbook and also features a delay timer. Check Pricing on Amazon Tiger JAZ-A10U-FH 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer with Steam Basket, Floral White Depending on which version you buy, this model can cook 5.5 or 10 cups of rice and is one of Tiger’s best budget-friendly options. It comes with a non-stick cooking pot and a keep-warm function that lasts up to 12 hours. The non-stick pot makes it easy to clean and is dishwasher safe to boot. The inner lid doesn’t come off but can easily be wiped down with warm, soapy water or a non-toxic kitchen wipe. The extended keep warm function makes it a good choice for households with different schedules. This device doesn’t come with lots of whistles and bells and is a good, no-nonsense rice cooker that is as reliable and sturdy as you’d expect from any Tiger device. You don’t ever have to worry about water splattering all over the counter as it cooks your rice, which can be a concern with some cheaper rice cookers. As with the Tiger Corporation Micom device, this one also comes with a steam basket so you can steam veggies although it will not function as a steamer and rice cooker at the same time. As well as cooking perfect rice (all varieties), this device will also tackle quinoa, soups, stews and other grains. The fact that this machine doesn’t multi-task makes the featured model better value in our opinion. If you are looking for a machine that is able to handle more than one task at a time then you may wish to opt for another model. That being said, this is a solid, well-built machine and a great option for people who want a simple, no-frills device that they can rely on to cook rice. Check Pricing on Amazon Tiger JKT-S10U-K IH Rice Cooker with Slow Cooker and Bread Maker Stainless Steel, Black 5.5-Cup Like the Tiger Corporation machine, this rice cooker is manufactured in two different sizes –one that cooks 5.5 cups of rice and one that cooks 10 cups. This machine is a much higher end unit than the featured model because it doubles up as a slow cooker and a bread maker so if you like machines that multi-task this is a great model to go for. If you are looking to maximize on kitchen equipment but want to take up as little space as possible, then look no further than this device. Besides being able to tackle a lot of different kitchen-related tasks like making bread, cooking rice, soup, grains, beans and stews, it is also super easy to clean. Unlike the featured model, it comes with a detachable lid that makes cleanups more practical. The multilayer ceramic-coated inner pan is made from five layer metal and three layer coating, which is ideal for keeping your food well-insulated. As its name suggests, this model doubles up as a high quality bread maker and can be used to make all kinds of artisanal breads. You can make regular wheat-based bread as well as gluten-free options like cornbread, spelt and amaranth breads with the push of a button. The bread-making component makes this an ideal option for people who want to minimize the amount of stuff they have in their kitchens. The slow cooker works a lot like it does in the featured model and makes one-pot meals, stews, beans, lentils and soups. As with the Tiger Corporation rice cooker, it can be used to make two dishes simultaneously and comes with a steam basket that can steam your veggies as your rice cooks. The easy-to-read LCD screen is another added bonus as it allows you to see exactly what you are doing and adjust the settings accordingly. Check Pricing on Amazon Conclusion No matter what your needs or budget are, you simply can't go wrong with a Tiger rice machine. The company has something to offer for all needs and most budgets. It's going to be a better pick than any other common household brand typically available at your local department store, so if you want the best tasting and textured rice, we recommend making the investment! The post Tiger Rice Cooker Review appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  14. Jello has been a long time favorite of households for decades. However, it may be troubling to learn that jello is made from gelatin which is a product derived from animal parts. The good news is that there are plenty of options that have the same texture as the traditional jello that doesn't harm any animals. We've selected the available options of vegan jello brands online as well as in stores for your eating pleasure! Vegan Jello Brands You Can Find Online Bakol Jel Dessert is the only brand of Vegan Jello we were able to find online. It is very similar to traditional Jello in the sense that it comes in the familiar square boxes and is pre-flavored. To date, Bakol manufacturers their Jel Desserts in six flavors: Raspberry, Lemon, Strawberry, Cherry, Orange, and Unflavored. All of the flavored ones are made with natural vegan flavors and natural vegan colors such as beet powder. Using Agar Agar to Make Your Own Jello! Even though there are't a large amount of vegan Jello brands out there, it is rather easy to make your own at home. Agar Agar is considered to be the vegetarian version of gelatin and has been used for ages in Asian cultures. This recipe might be a bit complex since it has two layers, but the principles of working with Agar Agar remain the same. Plus you can feel free to only do one layer of this recipe rather than two or simply use whatever kind of fruit juice you'd like. The best part is is that Agar Agar is very easy to find online in whatever quantity you'd like. Just use the previous link to check it out! Vegan Jello Brands You Can Find in Stores If you're not keen to buying online and would rather buy locally we have a few options. Use Bakol's store locator to find where you can buy their products near you. Another brand to look for is Lieber's (although we couldn't find their website for a store locator), but they have a kosher unflavored gel that doesn't contain any gelatin. It may be located in the Kosher section. Look for agar agar in health food stores or Asian super markets. It should be readily available in both. Being Vegan doesn't have to mean that you're restricting yourself. Especially in today's day and age, there's more than likely going to be a delicious replacement. If you'd like more info, check out our Step by Step Guide to Going Vegan. The post The Best Vegan Jello Brands (Vegan Gelatin Alternatives) appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  15. Cooking for an army? Want to be able to see what you’re doing while you’re frying? Desperate for an all-purple kitchen? Well, come on up. The Big Boss Oil-Less Fryer is perfect for you if you’d like a large-capacity, effective cooking machine with a great range of temperature options and a host of different colors. If you’re looking for something a little different from the rest of the air fryers on the market, this is a model for you. Reviewed Fryer: Big Boss Air Fryer Build Quality 5/5 Design 3/5 Ease of Cleaning 3/5 Ease of Use 5/5 Capacity 5/5 Other Options Available: This model also comes in blue, copper, purple, red, and white. PROS 16-quart capacity Variable temperature control Six color options 60-minute timer Two trays CONS No pre-programmed settings Check Pricing on Amazon Key Features The Big Boss Oil-Less Air Fryer has a lot of features that set it apart from the competition; it’s a very different model in many ways from any other air fryer out there. As a result, it’s better for a specific kind of person, one who isn’t attracted to the classic air fryer design. The most apparent difference between this model and many others is the capacity. The Big Boss has a whopping 16-quart capacity, which is substantially larger than virtually every other model on the market. If you’re finding the other models a little small – whether you’re going to be cooking for a crowd or you’re sick of your food jostling together when cooking, and so not cooking perfectly – this is a great option for you. Fries are easy to make healthy with an air fryer. There are other design elements to this machine that make it super efficient at what it does. It comes with two trays that you can stack on top of one another to cook two types of food at the same time, which can save you time and allow you to make two different parts of a meal at once. It also has a glass lid, something that isn’t shared by many front-loading air fryers, so that you can see your food while it’s cooking instead of having to pause the machine to look. The Big Boss also advertises ‘triple cooking power’. It’s said to use halogen, convection, and infrared heat to cook the food perfectly in three different ways; convection circulates air quicker for faster cooking, infrared cooks food from the inside out, and halogen heats the food surface for browning, roasting, and flavor. Whether or not this has any actionable effect on the cooking process is up for debate, but it sure sounds good. You have a wide range of variable temperature with this device; it goes over 450°F, which is hotter than most air fryers go, and as a result can cook more things than many of them can. This is very useful if you’re planning to flash-fry something, or you need a blast of heat to seal the outside of something before cooking it longer and slower, but you don’t want to use oil. Finally, this model comes in six different colors – some of the most on the market. This makes it super easy to integrate it into your home, or to buy a specific color as a gift for someone with specific tastes. These six colors – black, blue, grey, purple, red, and white – also can be found at different prices, so if you’re not fussy on aesthetics you can likely find a lesser price on a different color. Big Boss Design and Build Quality The design of this model is quite different to most other air fryers on the market. While many of them are largely upright, with a fryer basket that can be pulled out of the front of the machine, the Big Boss is a much flatter fryer with a lift-off glass lid. This has numerous benefits over the traditional models. One is that the Big Boss is capable of holding much more food than the other models – 16 quarts, to be exact, which is one of the biggest on the market. It also means that the surface area of the frying basket is increased, so there’s greater likelihood of food being exposed to the circulating air and less chance of it being trapped underneath other foods. It also makes it very easy to access your food; the glass lid makes it easy to see exactly what’s happening in the frying basket, and you can quickly just take the lid off to adjust anything. However, because of these features this model is also very large when it comes to countertop space. It’s less likely than the other air fryer models on the market to slot into the corner of your kitchen, and because it’s less attractive than many of them it’s less likely that you’ll want to keep it on display. However, it should be noted that this model comes in six different colors, which is some of the most of any air fryer on the market. These colors are black, blue, grey, purple, red, and white. As a result, it’s much easier to fit this into your kitchen if you have a specific color scheme than many other models; and, since some colors are typically more affordable than others, it means you might be able to net yourself a bargain too. Big Boss Ease of Use This model is an analog machine, which means that it doesn’t have a digital display. Instead, like most other analog models, you change the temperature and timer by turning the dials on the top and front of the machine. This isn’t as useful as a digital interface in some ways, because it gives you much less specificity – important for recipes when you have to be very rigorous with your temperature. However, if you don’t mind an analog interface then this isn’t a massive drawback. Because this model comes with two trays, it’s easier to use than something that may only have one frying basket. You can cook multiple foods in this machine at the same time without them ever coming into contact with one another; so if you want to cook air-fried kale crisps and regular potato crisps at the same time, you can, but be sure to cook the potatoes slow as to not burn the kale! If you love kale chips, they're even easier in an air fryer. The timer on this model is 60 minutes, which is longer than most other air fryers on the market, and is useful if you’re cooking things for longer; your machine won’t automatically cut off after 30 minutes. Cleaning the Big Boss This machine is not advertised as being dishwasher-safe, so it’s likely that it will need to be washed manually. Depending on how many parts need to be washed, this might be an issue for you. The big glass portion likely is dishwasher safe, but it would be super obstructive to fit inside the dishwasher, so it is better to be cleaned manually. Comparing the Big Boss to Other Models Farberware Multi-functional Powerful and Versatile No Oil Smell, No Splatter, No Mess Fast Cooking Air Fryer The Farberware Air Fryer is a more classically-designed air fryer, with a standard pull-out fryer basket and much smaller capacity. It has a 30-minute timer, which is half the time of the Big Boss, and a much narrowed temperature range. Instead of six different color options, the Farberware can only be found in one as far as we could tell: black and silver. It’s hailed as being dishwasher-safe and shouldn't have any trouble fitting, which could be a massive advantage for you. If you’re interested in a more conventional air fryer model, with a smaller countertop footprint, a smaller capacity, and dishwasher-safe parts, the Farberware is a better option for you than the Big Boss. However, if you’d like a larger-capacity machine that you can look inside while it’s cooking, with a bunch of different colors, a longer timer and a greater range of temperatures, stick with the Big Boss. Check Pricing on Amazon Philips XL Airfryer, The Original Airfryer, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black, HD9240/94 The Philips Avance XL Airfryer is a great offering from Philips, with a different range of specs that make it suitable for a very different kind of consumer to the Big Boss. Although it’s marketed as being XL, it’s nowhere near as large as the Big Boss, with only a 2.65lb capacity (although this does, admittedly, outstrip most air fryers on the market). It’s a very powerful machine, with an advertised 2100W motor (found here) that is much stronger than many on the market. It has dishwasher-safe parts and comes with a one-year warranty. Both models have color options; but while the Big Boss has six, the Philips only comes in black and white (availability may vary). Both are advertised as having patented cooking systems; the Big Boss has three types of heating power, while the Philips’ special starfish design is supposed to circulate air better than other models of air fryer, leading to more even cooking. Neither model has pre-programmed settings, although the Philips does have a digital display, which is likely to make it both easier to use and easier to clean. If you’re attracted to a standard air fryer design, and would like a digital display, a recipe book, and dishwasher-safe parts, the Philips is an excellent option on the market right now. If you’d like a substantially bigger machine, with more color options and a different design, the Big Boss is a better pick for you. Check Pricing on Amazon Power Air Fryer XL (5.3 QT, Black) The Power AirFryer XL is another excellent air fryer on the market right now. It’s different from the Big Boss in many conventional ways. It has a smaller capacity – its larger model is 5.3 quarts compared to the Big Boss’s massive 16 quarts – and its variable temperature control only reaches 400°F instead of the Big Boss’s 450°F. It only has two color options – black and red – where the Big Boss has six. However, it also differs in new ways. It comes with pre-programmed settings, which was an innovation introduced later in the development of air fryers that allows them to set their own temperature and timer settings with the push of a button. If you’re planning on cooking the same thing over and over, it’s a great idea to invest in something that’ll take all the work out of the process. It only has a 60-day warranty, which is very short compared to most models on the market. It also has a digital interface, which the Big Boss does not have and which is likely to make it easier to use. Both models have advertised special cooking technology; the Big Boss’s is the aforementioned triple cooking system, while the Power AirFryer XL advertises a ‘rapid air technology’ that means you can roast, bake, steam, saute, and grill all in the same machine. If you’re after a more moderately-sized machine, with pre-programmed settings to make things really easy and a digital display to make them even easier, the Power AirFryer XL may be a better option for you than the all-analog Big Boss. However, the design isn’t as useful – it doesn’t have a transparent cooking basket, for instance, so you can’t see how it’s cooking without pulling it out – and it’s not nearly as big, so your food is likely to jumble together more than in the Big Boss. Check Pricing on Amazon The post Big Boss Oil Less Air Fryer Review appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article