Sunday, July 20, 2008
While wandering through Whole Foods, my husband recently discovered Smooze fruit ice. It is a refreshing and delicious vegan treat and perfect for a quick cool-down during these hot summer days. In its tidy little package, this chilled goody is not as messy as Popsicles, and nutritionally it has only 5o-70 calories and no high fructose corn syrup. This makes Smooze a smart choice for children and calorie-counting adults. Thanks to 100% coconut milk, this fruit ice is sinfully creamy and the tropical flavors (passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and pink guava) will transport you to a balmy beach in the South Pacific. Don't let its small size fool you, it is completely satisfying and full of flavor. I have fallen in love with Smooze and I bet you will too!
In the last couple of years, the humble cupcake, once relegated to home-baked, school birthday party treats, has surpassed cakes, brownies, pies, and pretty much any other pastry, as the dessert du jour. Every bakery in town has a plain and fancy selection. However as a vegan, unless you live near only a handful of vegan bakeries in the country, you will need to drag out the bowls and baking pans and make your own. So what a delightful surprise when my husband and I were walking through Tysons mall and found the Cake Love bakery in the food court with two (!) vegan cupcakes for sale! We bought one each of the yellow and chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting, and the verdict is...yum! The buttercream frosting is wonderful...creamy, buttery, easily melts in your mouth, and has just the right amount of sweetness. The cake portion is not extraordinary, but it is good and I give the cupcakes an enthusiastic thumbs up.
The big story here is not that I've discoverd a really good cupcake, but that a mainstream bakery is progressive enough to offer vegan (and even gluten-free) items. Cake Love is the dream come true of lawyer turned baker Warren Brown; his story is inspiring and a must read on the website. Be sure to check out the information under the Green Label as it includes a great explanation of vegan products and veganism as well as links to goveg.com and veganforlife.com. With two locations in DC, two locations in Virginia, and three in Maryland, if you live in the area, plan a special day that includes stopping in to Cake Love, thanking them for considering us vegans, and enjoying an absolutely lovely treat. If you don't live in the area, well they do ship...you'll have to save your pennies, but no doubt you'll have no regrets.