Mmm the sweet, sweet smell of laziness…. it’s Sunday.

I’m here to propose a question: what does Sunday mean to you?

For Ryan and I, it means stuffing our faces all day long – whether it’s food from a place we’re already familiar with, such as the regular vendors at Smorgasburg (a Sunday outdoor market with over half a hundred of vegan-friendly food vendors), or it becomes an adventure to travel to different LA neighborhoods to explore the menus of new (to us) restaurants. Sundays are basically our splurge-on-food day.

Okay okay okay, enough about us – back to Ingredient Insights! This week’s post is all about specific ingredients from brands we trust and often use or advise to use in our recipes, such as Swerve, Edward & Sons, Nutiva, Lakanto, and Joseph’s.

And no, this post isn’t sponsored or anything – we simply love using these products and recommend you give them a chance as well.

Let’s get started!


This is our favorite sugar replacement, hands down. Swerve is a sugar alternative brand that focuses on using predominantly erythritol (which is made from natural ingredients found in fruits and starchy vegetables) as their base, followed along with oligossacharides (prebiotic fibers), and natural citrus flavoring (for the right amount of sweetness). You can use it as a 1 to 1 ratio as regular sugar and the best part is that it browns and caramelizes the same way sugar does!

They carry two types of “sugar”: granular and confectioners. We use both religiously. Granular is perfect for adding sweetness to baked goods such as these blueberry muffins and confectioners is perfect for making frostings and glazes with, like this mango and lemon poppy seed upside-down cake where we actually used both granular and confectioners Swerve.

You really can’t go wrong with Swerve, I mean, it’s diabetic-friendly, certified Kosher, certified non-GMO, and it’s waaaaaayyyyy lower in calories than regular sugar. Take a moment to let this absorb into your brain: 1 pound of regular sugar has 1,546 calories whereas 1 pound of Swerve has only 88 calories! It’s ridiculous!

My conclusion: a bit pricy but totally worth it.

You can shop for Swerve online or at many major grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts.

Not-Beef/Not-Chik’n Bouillon Cubes:

A major life-saver.

Whenever you feel like you’re missing that extra umph in your dish, try adding one of these bouillon cubes – your dish will go from 0 to 100 real quick. It’s the perfect vegan replacement for a bowl of Vietnamese pho, where traditionally, it’s made with beef broth. Or as a lighter touch of umami, yet still packing a punch, try adding a Not-Chick’n bouillon cube into a pressure cooker stuffed with barbecue baked beans!

All in all, these cubes makes for wonderful stews, broth, sauces, and soups. They come in relatively small packages, with 8 individually wrapped cubes in each packet – equalling out to 16 servings. [CUE BILLY MAYS VOICE] That’s 16 times you can LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE with these Edward & Sons bouillon cubes! Buy today!!!

Oh, and the best part about these cubes is that they’re non-GMO, Certified Organic, Certified Kosher, and it supports economic prosperity while also encouraging organic production in Switzerland.

Fun fact: Edward & Sons was founded by Joel Dee, who’s father is the creator of the famous candy, Smarties. 

Seriously though, Ryan and I use these, along with other Edward & Sons products (green banana flour, arrowroot starch, coconut milk, jackfruit, and so much more) all the time on the blog because we actually L O V E using their products – we wouldn’t ever recommend you to use ingredients we personally don’t enjoy or trust. Feed your body well.

Nutiva’s Buttery Coconut Oil:

Not to be confused with coconut butter (which we also buy from Nutiva); this stuff is as if butter and coconut oil had a baby. And it’s the best baby in the world. If you’re a fan of butter but can’t have it because you’re vegan, or you can’t have vegan butter because of the Plant Paradox diet, this buttery coconut oil is going to be your new best friend.

The ingredients are simply organic fermented sunflower, organic mint, and organic expeller-pressed refined coconut oil, along with a hint of organic unrefined red palm fruit oil for creating that creamy yellow color. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of products with a small list of ingredients – it just feels more real without the mystery of names of chemicals I can’t pronounce.

Ryan and I use buttery coconut oil in pretty much everything where butter is needed so like in the biscuit dough of this peach cobbler or within the crust of this coconut cream pie. You could also spread it on toast, pour it on popcorn, or use it in your next sauté.

Sugar-Free Maple Syrup:

If you’re a fan of a thinner maple syrup, Lankanto is your guy. But if you’re a fan of thicker pancake syrup like I am, Joseph’s is our guy. There are two brands we personally use and trust when it comes to a sugar-free maple syrup: Lakanto and Joseph’s. Both are different and unique in their own ways and both are winners on a nice hefty stack of pancakes.

Lakanto’s sugar-free maple syrup is made of monk fruit sweetener and maple flavoring, along with other things like water, vegetable fiber, sea salt, vegetable glycerin, and a couple of other ingredients. Whereas Joseph’s sugar-free maple syrup is made with only 3 ingredients: water, maltitol, and maple flavoring. You can smell the bias in my voice – but honestly, both brands are a joy to use. It’s just personal preference.

These sugar-free maple syrups are gluten-free, low in carbs, diabetic-safe, and they taste, smell, and look just like real maple syrup. I’m sure if you served this to your kids, they wouldn’t know the difference.

Like I’ve said previously, Ryan and I are not getting paid to say anything in this post. It’s all unsponsored, although a couple of these companies do help us out in recipe development and we can’t be more grateful for them. Shout out to Swerve and Edward & Sons for their constant support and belief in us!

We honestly love using each of these products and often use them in our recipes along within our new project in the works (it’s coming soon!!!). We would never recommend you using anything we don’t trust or haven’t done research on, promise.


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