I was asked a while back to do a review for Vegan Cuts Snackbox and I was like "heck ya!" Snacks? A WHOLE BOX? YES! Did I think about what would be in the box before saying yes? NO! You've probably seen these though and maybe you've wondered what you would get if you bought a subscription so I'm here to fill ya in.
Here's my open, honest review!
Let me start off by saying that I am a Plant Strong eater. I explained a little bit of that in this post but basically it means NO animal based products and instead focuses on plant based whole-foods, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and other minimally processed plant foods (so no white flours either.) It totally excludes OILS, vegan margarine and other processed vegan foods. (Why eliminate oils!? READ HERE!!) Of course in my home we are all 100% vegan (well not the cats!) but we are not all always 100% plant strong. Sometimes some more snacky-junky vegan foods slip into our home and that's not something that I freak out about.
This January box is the "Healthy Snacks to start the year off right" box. I was actually kind of worried when my box arrived that I wouldn't be able to eat anything in it. Guess what - I was wrong! A few things fit perfectly into my diet. Some things that didn't were eaten up by my family. (I'll tell you what we trashed too!)
As you can see the Vegan Cuts Snack Box comes with several different products like teas, crackers, nut butters, snacks, seeds, single serving olives and drinks. They vary every month so you won't be getting the stuff in this box but you will be getting a great variety!
Let's start with everything in the box that was great! The Organic African Nectar rooibos tea from Mighty Leaf was incredible! INCREDIBLE! This is my new favorite tea (and I drink a lot of tea at home!) It had so much flavor and fragrance. We've already stocked up our tea cabinet with this stuff.
We also got a small sample bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds! We LOVE these and buy them regularly. I add them to my daughter's food to get some extra calories and omegas in her diet. Oh and we buy these in large bags at Costco usually.
The Bumble Bar was actually pretty tasty and the ingredients weren't horrible. My biggest problem with it was that they have a ton of sugar in them, which I avoid. It is marketed as an energy bar though so I can see taking these on a long hike or something where you will be needing a quick boost (not sitting at an office desk or in your car though.)
Oh you are all going to be shocked, but I had never had Mary's Gone Crackers! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! These are amazing and totally 100% Plant Strong! You can buy them online here if you can't find them in your local store. I've heard you can find them at Costco too so I'm checking that out! My daughter loved them.
She especially loved them with the 3 Nuts Salted Caramel Peanut Butter. It was a delicious nut butter but we probably won't be buying any. Why do I say that if it was delicious?! Well, the second ingredient is agave and I'm not a fan of it. I could see this being used as a dessert topping with how sweet it is but I wouldn't put it on my morning toast! Like I said though, it was tasty.
Next up was the Snack Olives from Mario Foods. As you can see from the photos below my daughter LOVES olives. She was very excited when she saw the package and ripped it right open. The package boasts "Packed Without the Juice!" Yeah, because it's packed in oil instead. Bummer, that's not in line with my lifestyle. I let her eat the rest of them but we will not ever buy these either. Olives have enough natural fat inside them so I don't see why they need to be drenched in more fat. Olives themselves are a good healthy WHOLE FOOD source of fats. We eat them at home but they are packed in brine or the juice that this company is so proud of leaving out.
(Well, she liked them anyway. Olives ARE delicious after all! Plus she's really cute so I just had to include these pictures.)
Drink Chia! was a sugar flavored water with chia seeds and vitamins added. Not impressed. Trashed. Feel free to check out the product and ingredients here for yourself.
The Good Bean are oil roasted chickpeas - which guess what! You don't need oil to have awesome roasted chickpeas!! I make oil free Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas or check out these oil free and AMAZING Buffalo Ranch Chickpeas from Kid Tested Fire Fighter Approved. (Seriously, make those buffalo ranch ones. They are crazy good!)
And then there was the Skratch Labs "daily drink mix" which they say you should drink daily to maintain hydration (they say on their website "This is not a sports drink.") TRASHED. Let me be frank here and tell you that you don't need ANY GARBAGE LIKE THIS. You need water. Just water. Here are the ingredients - cane sugar, dextrose (SUGAR), lemon juice, lime juice, citric acid, calcium citrate, sodium citrate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), potassium citrate, magnesium lactate, salt. You can look up the company yourself if you feel that you need sugar water. Here's what Jeff Novick, MS, RD says about determining if you need sports drinks: "...most all of us who are exercising 1 hour per day or less, water is all we need, period. For those who are exercising over an hour, it all depends on the length of the event, the intensity, the frequency with which you do these and what your overall diet is in general and before these events. If you are such a person, than you should work with someone who is a professional and knowledgeable in the area." But AGAIN, this is marketed as something to drink every day - not as a sports drink. Garbage. Don't buy into it.
So do I recommend Vegan Cuts Snack Box to 100% Plant Strong people? Honestly, No not the box, because you cannot control what comes in it each month - same goes for people with allergies or food sensitivities or picky people. This has nothing to do with the integrity of the company, because I totally support this company in what they stand for. They have a wonderful Marketplace you can browse through and find things like clothing, foods that fit into your lifestyle, bags, jewelry, vegan beauty supplies, etc that are all 100% cruelty free and vegan. They also have a Beauty Box that you can subscribe to for vegan beauty samples - I would totally be into that!
BUT If you have a mixed household or you aren't Plant Strong (yet!) then MAYBE you would enjoy the Snack Box because it still is a really fun way to be introduced to new products. I mean, can you believe I had never had Mary's Gone Crackers before!?!? Those are awesome and fit into my lifestyle 100%!
Disclaimer: I was generously sent this Vegan Cuts Snack Box for free to review it. I believe that I have reviewed it honestly and in line with what I believe in as far as dietary choices go. While it would be nicer (and easier!) to give everything a glowing review because I enjoy this company, I can't. I do not believe that would be fair to people that read my blog and have higher expectations of myself and Fo' Reals Life.