By Jennifer & John Burkhart.
When the winter drags on, and you just want to cuddle under a fluffy blanket, what’s the perfect way to chase away the winter blues? Binge-watching shows? Well, yes, but also…comfort food! Hot beverages, indulgent meals and sweet desserts all come to mind. We tested a few easy-to-make comfort food ideas that won’t require you to be on your feet in the kitchen all day.
Annie’s Organic Vegan Mac, Gluten free, USDA Organic
He said: From my experience when I read the words vegan and gluten-free on a label, I assume it means flavor-free too. I was happily surprised that this was not the case with this Annie’s mac & cheese. This was exactly like traditional mac & cheese, other than the noodles having a slightly gummy texture. Our 3-year-old asked for seconds and thirds.
She said: Finding quality products that are both dairy- and gluten-free has been frustratingly tough. Our family had given up our beloved mac & cheese, but this one might do. It passed the kid test, but it’s not for me. It had the best gluten-free noodle texture I’ve tried, but the cheese sauce smelled so strange. It was creamy but tasted nothing like dairy cheese.
Immaculate Baking Company, Refrigerated Flaky Biscuits, USDA Organic
He said: I didn’t know Jen put these in the oven. All of the sudden there was the heavenly smell of baking bread wafting through our house. Once they were out, I realized how dangerously good they are. Light and fluffy with an irresistible buttered bread flavor. I seriously had to restrain myself from eating every single one of these.
She said: Bread that’s flaky, doughy, buttery and slightly sweet – the epitome of comfort food. Eat them straight from the oven for pure deliciousness. Eating three of these was worth the stomach bloat. Handy tip: don’t forget your stretchy pants.
Mighty Leaf Coconut Assam Black Tea, USDA Organic
He said: This tea had an odd assortment of tastes. It started all nice and normal with tart fruit and bitter black tea flavors. From there it got weird. It went floral, a bit soapy, and I swear I tasted dill weed. So yeah, not my cup of tea.
She said: A hot cup of tea on a chilly night sounds cozy, unless you’ve opened this Pandora’s box. It was supposed to be “sweet and nutty” coconut. Ha ha! It smelled like pickles, tasted like bitter pickles, and honey just made it worse. Pickles!? Time for a new taste tester at Mighty Leaf!
GluteNull Coco Moko Shortbread, Gluten-free, Vegan, Non-GMO
He said: Do you ever think to yourself, I have too much saliva in my mouth? You do?! Well, this is the product for you then. These Coco Moko cookies will turn your mouth into an arid desert in seconds. Aside from the cranberries, they were fairly devoid of flavor as well.
She said: The cranberries were the only saving grace in this cookie, and there weren’t enough of them. The bulk of the cookie was bland and slightly grainy, but did have the overall density of shortbread. These would be best with a super sweet coffee or tea on the side.
Pacific Foods White Bean Kale & Millet Soup, USDA Organic
He said: You know I can usually find something I like about every product we review. In fact, it’s very rare to find a product with no redeemable qualities. This is one of those rare times. This “soup” tasted like warm garbage with beans. It was absolutely foul and I’m amazed Whole Foods puts it on the shelf.
She said: This soup is good for two things: keeping a store shelf warm, and preventing a vampire attack. Seriously, there’s not enough mouthwash in the world to tame the salty spoonfuls of intense garlic and kale awfulness. I dislike throwing away food, but I just couldn’t finish this.