Over the past two months, the Delicious Living team wrangled more than 950 product nominations for the fourth-annual Best Bite Awards. Although we’re thrilled that so many natural brands submitted products for us to consider, that, dear reader, is a lot of different foods and beverages
to sample—and sample we did.
It took us a full week to sift through all of this year's categories, which run the gamut from Best Pouch to Best Paleo-Friendly Snack. We noshed vegan ice cream for breakfast. We discussed the nuances of veggie burgers and organic yogurt. We swilled numerous fizzy beverages. And the entire time,
we analyzed which products had the best
nutrition, sourcing story and (obviously)
Without further ado, we’re thrilled to present our 33
exemplary winners and finalists. Use this list to help
inform what goes into your cart the next time you're shopping at your local natural store.
We love this conscious company for its commitment to clean up the baking aisle by using entirely USDA Organic ingredients. Get rich, fudgy treats with a cleaner concoction made from evaporated cane juice, unbleached flour and cocoa powder.
Those allergic to nuts, soy and gluten can finally rejoice, thanks to these 60-percent dark-chocolate candies, filled with creamy, sweetened sunflower seed butter. What’s also cool: Free2b is committed to sourcing and using sustainable palm oil.
Sprouted grains, fair-trade coconut, honey, oh my! We can’t get over the phenomenal ingredient list in this decadent-tasting organic cereal, which delivers 6 grams each of fiber and protein and 35 grams of whole grains per serving.
Fried in better-for-you organic coconut oil, these crunchy, salty tortilla chips contain just organic corn and sea salt and provide a prime stage for salsas, guacamole and all the nacho toppings. Or, like us, snack directly from the bag.
This fruity and ultradark chocolate bar is the real deal. At 85 percent cocoa content,
a square of this consciously sourced organic bar is enough to satisfy any craving. Made with just four ingredients: cacao beans, cocoa butter, raw cane sugar and vanilla beans.
This gorgeous beverage delivers a whopping 13,000 mg of USDA Organic turmeric root, sourced from Hawaii and in support of a healthy inflammation response. Also inside: An Ayurvedic-inspired blend of wholesome ingredients, like mango, pineapple, honey, lemon juice, ginger, coconut milk, cinnamon and black pepper.
Who knew the answer to a really good eggless mayonnaise was in the humble chickpea? It turns out the viscous liquid created when chickpeas are cooked (called aquafaba) is the perfect plant-based ingredient to achieve the creamy texture and rich, eggy taste in Sir Kensington’s new vegan, chipotle-spiked mayonnaise.
The wizards at Nutterly somehow alchemize seemingly unimpressive ingredients like cane sugar, hazelnuts, egg whites and salt into a magical grain-free cookie that begs to be submerged into your afternoon tea or latte. One bite, and we were hooked.
These tasty, paleo-friendly and gluten-free crackers feature excellent crunch and texture—rare in a product that doesn’t contain wheat. Made with roots, nuts and seeds, such as cassava, almonds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. Heavily spiced with organic oregano, basil and garlic.
We were skeptical about this vegan, soy-free and gluten-free “cheese” cake. Could this dairy-free alternative really provide a passable substitute to traditional cheesecake’s sweet and creamy filling? The answer is yes. All our tasters—vegans and dairy-lovers alike—were wowed.
Wake up with this cold-pressed USDA Organic beverage, which contains 100 mg of caffeine from responsibly sourced guayusa, an Ecuadorian plant that grows in the Amazon. Also inside: probiotics for digestive support and chlorophyll-rich wheatgrass.
Now you can sip Bhakti Chai’s signature, spicy, gingery blend with a side of bubbles. This new effervescent beverage contains a lip-smacking combo of carbonated, organic, fair-trade tea, ginger juice, cane sugar, lemon and spices. We love how this product also incorporates zero-calorie monk fruit, which lowers the sugar content to a rational 14 grams.
Combat hot summer days with these refreshing ice pops, made with brewed, organic hibiscus and mint tea, fair-trade sugar and lime juice. Each 70-calorie bar delivers a burst of fruity, floral flavor.
It would take hours of work and culinary prowess to replicate this toothsome meal from scratch. Thankfully, you can make a flavorful concoction of chickpeas, bulgur wheat and sweet potatoes in minutes. Bonus: Each serving delivers 10 grams of plant-based protein.
We’re huge fans of One Degree, not only because the company incorporates nutrient-dense additions like sprouted quinoa, oats and coconut palm sugar into this delicious granola, but also because eaters can learn where every single ingredient was grown on the One Degree website.
Our ultrapicky kid testers had no idea these USDA Organic alphabet-shaped cookies contain healthful add-ins like oats, sweet potato, pea protein and even nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
Perfect for making chicken en papillote (cooked in parchment paper), this handy meal helper contains two baking bags and a USDA Organic blend of robust spices, including paprika, chili pepper, cumin, cayenne and garlic. It's like a super-elegant shake and bake.
Of all the meat alternatives out there, we think seitan wins in texture, “meaty” taste and cooking ease. Usually made from just vital wheat gluten (sorry, those with celiac disease, seitan isn’t for you) this USDA Organic option also has red beans, sprouted lentils and savory spices like garlic and cayenne.
We can’t figure out how a bar containing wheatgrass, barley grass and alfalfa can be so yummy, but with 6 grams of protein, a reasonable 10 grams of sugar and 25 percent of your daily value of iron, we don’t really care. Also inside this soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free bar: USDA Organic cashews, chia, acaí powder and sun flower seeds.
Followers of both paleo and vegan diets will gobble these roasted fair-trade cashews with abandon, thanks to their toasty, nearly-identical-to-bacon flavor. Smoked sea salt and natural smoke flavoring (captured from burning apple wood and alder wood) are key to this notable take-along snack.
Your breakfast just got a whole lot fancier. Not only does this pancake mix create fluffy, banana-spiked flapjacks, but each serving also provides a whopping 20 grams of protein from a blend of whey and pea proteins.
This pasta contains just one, high-quality ingredient: organic buckwheat flour, which, despite
its name, is actually 100-percent gluten free. Buckwheat isn’t wheat at all but is closely related to rhubarb. Bonus: This hearty pasta cooks al dente in just five minutes.
Eat a spoonful of this dreamy, organic coconut milk frozen dessert, and you are sure to smile. Each spoonful is packed with hefty chunks of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, made with sprouted brown rice and oat flours, hemp seeds, applesauce, coconut oil and fair-trade dark chocolate. We know ... impressive!
There’s a lot to love about these USDA Organic pouches: They’re filled with a nutritious blend of butternut squash, strawberries, coconut milk, dates and chia. They’re made using High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology, meaning they are fresh and refrigerated and the company lists where the ingredients come from on its website—down to the name of the farm.
This attractive bottle of USDA Organic juice contains just two high-quality ingredients: blackberry purée and chia seeds. It provides 4 grams of fiber per serving, making it a delicious morning alternative to OJ. You’ll love how this beverage is shelf-stable, too—keep it in your pantry until you’re ready to sip (just refrigerate
This filling USDA Organic smoothie packs in functional nutrition, including 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per bottle, and notably, added probiotics. Other ingredients include velvety cashew milk, banana, dates and chia for a thick texture.
We were enamored with this decadent spread—which is entirely nut free. Made with organic soybeans (no GMOs here!), cocoa and evaporated cane juice, this vanilla-scented dip is just what your lunch box needs.
Harvested from wild hives using smoke-free methods, Heavenly Organics works with more than 600 family farmers living in conflict areas to ensure a reliable income. The honey is never heated and is lightly filtered to maintain enzymes.
Three healthful roots—turmeric, licorice and ginger—combine for a golden, earthy-spiced and totally USDA Organic tea.
We love Numi for the brand’s commitment to sourcing fair-trade ingredients and for using innovative package materials that lessen environmental impact.
These grain-free vegetarian burgers feature
a ridiculously cool ingredient list of nutrient- dense foods, including hemp seeds, sweet potato, cauliflower, chia seeds and coconut. All spiced with an interesting, ginger-forward blend of curry spices.
This traditional Japanese vinegar is made from the juice of pickled, pressed umeboshi plums and imparts a complex salty-fruity-sour flavor into everything ranging from fish to kale salads. Ume vinegar can be hard to find in the United States, but Eden’s version is made simply and authentically with ume plums, shiso leaf and sea salt.
It sounds weird to say that a vegetable as reviled as the brussels sprout is addictive, but when it’s coated with savory, flavor-packed ingredients like raw cashews, kale, tamari and coconut nectar, these “Brussel Bytes” become a covetable, raw snack. A USDA Organic certification amps their cool factor.
This full-fat, cream-on-top yogurt sources milk from cows that eat only grass (never grain). Organic, fair-trade vanilla and unrefined cane sugar impart an indulgent flavor that marries well with granola and fresh berries. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Check out the winners of @deliciousliving's 2016 Best Bite Awards—feat. the best new natural food & beverages
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