Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snack Exchange

Hey guys!

My friend (hi Mawi!!) organized a snack exchange for a bunch of her friends. It worked just like Foodie Pen Pals, only this way, we got together in person to exchange parcels instead of having to pay to ship them! Mawi threw a little get-together for us .. But since I wasn't able to attend, I dropped off my parcel for my buddy the day before.

I was paired to buy for someone who was vegan! It was such an interesting experience for me to shop vegan, since I'd never done it before. I didn't know where to begin.

Not having a ton of extra time in my schedule, I wasn't able to venture to many different stores to check out vegan options, but I knew my local Loblaws (smack in between home and work!) had a small vegan section, so that's where I went after work.

So I had a $20 limit and I knew I wanted to buy some snacks and also bake for her.

Normally, when I read the nutrition label of a product, I watch for sodium and sugar content, and I make sure there's no "garbage" ingredients. Now I was also watching for animal products like milk, eggs, butter, etc. It was a totally different experience buying vegan - everything had milk or eggs in it!! (It was also tough finding a recipe to bake that didn't require special ingredients, like almond milk!). Also troublesome was that many of the vegan options at Loblaws needed to be refrigerated, which wouldn't work for the snack exchange. So after (what felt like) hours of wandering through this tiny section, I was able to find a few things within my price limit to give my buddy.

Here's what I came up with:
I really hope she liked what I was able to put together!

- organic, individually-packaged raisins
- a bag of chips, made from sweet-potatoes and beets
- Fruit To Go bites
- a box of organic, whole-grain quinoa

And I made a batch of lemon crisp cookies to go with it all (they turned out really well! I'll share the recipe soon!). I also included a small note explaining what I got her and telling her how much fun it was shopping vegan for the first time.

Mawi was the one buying for me, and she got me SO many amazing things!!

Here's what I got to take home:
So many neat things!!
- Caesar-flavored Snapea Crisps. They're kind of like potato chips, but made with snap peas! I can't wait to try them! I love snap peas and adore Caesar, so they sound like a match made in heaven!

- Delissimo Organic Dark Chocolate Quinoa Pearls. They are absolutely amazing and just perfect for when I'm craving chocolate (which is a lot, apparently!). This bag won't last long!

- King Island Coconut Water. Mawi had heard about my not-so-stellar first experience with coconut water, and this is one she highly recommends!

- Almond Butter!!! I have been wanting to try some for the longest time but it just wasn't in the budget .. I can't tell you how excited I am to try it. My first taste MUST be on an apple!

- Zevia Cola and Ginger Ale. Mawi also knows I'm trying to cut artificial sweeteners from my diet and that I love my sodas .. These are flavored with stevia (an all-natural sweetener) so I don't have to worry about the evils of aspartame. I'm anxious to try them :)

Yeah, I got totally spoiled. My favorite thing in the bag was a hand-written letter :)

She also lent me a book to read, You Are What You Eat, by Dr. Gillian McKeith. While I don't agree with everything she talks about, she does raise a lot of good points and has opened my eyes to a lot!
It's an older book but still worth looking into. She has  a few good pointers for healthy eating!
So that was our snack exchange. Lots of fun!

Have you ever wanted to try something like this?


  1. ohh i want to know where to buy Delissimo Organic Dark Chocolate Quinoa Pearls

  2. I have never tried that type of snack exchange - you will have to explain it to me :) Herb & Spice Shop on Wellington sells Vegan products. There is also Simply Raw (which is a take-out) on Wellington. And Rainbow Natural Foods and Kardish Health Centre which have various locations.

  3. Oh! And I want the recipe for the lemon cookies :)

  4. Almond butter is so yummy!! I tried the grape flavoured zenvia hoping to love it but it was really bad :(. You will have to let me know how the cola one is ?