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Four Great Products to Try This Year + a Giveaway

One of the best things about my job and what most chefs would probably agree on is that we get to try an amazing array of foods and products as part of our work. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across products simply by visiting restaurants and grocery stores or by connecting with purveyors of quality products who are eager to introduce something to you through this site.  Here’s a list of four products I think you’ll enjoy trying because I’ve found them to be beneficial to use.  There’s also a giveaway at the end!

Coco5 All Natural Coconut Water DrinkCoco5 is an all natural coconut water product I tried last year towards the end of Ramadan. It was great to use during non-fasting hours to stay hydrated naturally- and with so many wonderful flavors, each one tasted great. They’re halal-certified and made with all natural flavors, colors, and sugars. Very important to me, as I’m NOT interested in hydrating drinks with ingredients that are questionable to our health. What’s even better is that the company shared a halal certification with me that you can see here. So, stock up to have during this year’s Ramadan and for your Monday and Thursday fasts if you do those, too. To find Coco5 products, check out their site.  

Sol Cuisine makes really great vegan and vegetarian burgers. I don’t know about you, but although I am an avid cook, that can sometimes be the exact problem I have at home- I’m cooking all the time and just want a break from the enormous spreads I’m always putting out on the table. I’ve made a variety of their burgers for weekend lunch or a quick bite when no one else is at home to create a large meal for- my favorite is the Spicy Black Bean. They’re also non-GMO verified for 17 of their products, AND have halal certification, which is an awesome combination for the conscious consumer. Straight from their website, this is their mission: “Sol Cuisine focuses on organic, Non-GMO, Kosher, Halal, wheat-free, gluten-free, nutritious, delicious, healthy, vegetarian and vegan protein products.”  Be sure to enter the giveaway for their products at the end of this post.

Sol Cuisine

Arganic Virgin Argan Oil

Arganic Virgin Argan Oil is a product we gave away last year in this article about the culinary and cosmetic uses of argan oil. At the time I had really only experienced cosmetic argan oil (which I’m absolutely crazy about) and continue to use it on my dry winter skin. It has a light, nutty smell which reminds me of a stone fruit oil like apricot but it is uniquely all it’s own. Derived from the argan tree in Morocco, founder Dana Elmara takes great care to make sure that her oil is of the highest quality without harming the lives of those Moroccan women who labor to produce it. I love her company’s philosophy “The best dishes are the simple ones, made with the finest ingredients.” Use the Arganic Virgin Argan Oil to lightly saute vegetables, in salads or to top off a great dish like hummus or baba ghanouj. Argan oil is becoming a hit with gourmet chefs around the world who are catching on to the unique and healthy flavors of Moroccan food and its ingredients. Dana even shares some recipes on her blog that incorporate argan oil, showing everyone how it can be used.  Find the recipes here. (photo credit: Arganic)

Grandpa's Pine Tar SoapPine Tar Soap- this is the only non-food item on the list but I like it so much and find it to be a pretty unique find that I just had to share. I used to suffer from very severe eczema until I began going all natural with everything I put on my skin. Apparently, my skin is so sensitive that anything with artificial fragrance will irritate it so much that it breaks out into red leathery patches. It’s painful beyond explanation and it took me a long time to figure out what would help- it’s also something that I have to constantly watch and maintain by only using natural soaps like olive oil, castile and now this pine tar soap which is an all natural and vegetarian soap that can be found on the Grandpa Brands website. Buy in bulk to save- you’ll want to have this on hand, particularly if you or anyone you know suffers from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

About the Sol Cuisine Giveaway:

Sol Cuisine is giving away 10 free product coupons to random winners. Enter by adding a comment at the end of this post by telling me about a product you love, something we should feature or simply giving feedback on the ones mentioned here. Please read our official guidelines before entering, as your comment indicates that you have done so and agree to its terms.  Giveaway ends February 1, 2013.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary products from Coco5, Sol Cuisine and Arganic without payment for any type of review. The opinions expressed about these products are my own.

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17 comments

  1. Great read. Suggestion is to list where they can be purchased.

  2. Yvonne, do you happen to know if the SOL products are soy-based?

    What I’d love to see you post are recipes for healthy “grab & go” meals. For example, recently I’ve been using the South Beach diet & have been cooking Veggie Quiches & Mini Turkey Meatloaves in muffin tins. These are great for portion control as well as cooking ahead, storing, & freezing for future use.

    Btw, can you please send me a link where I can publicly thank you for the wonderful iPhone application gift?

    Blessings…

  3. I would love this, they look so yummy I saw they have a Falafel dish! I am really into MidEast food lately, I’m usually and Indian food lover but loving Cedars Taboulle so yumm, for lunch!

  4. The Sol burger products sound so delicious. Would like to try it out especially during fasts. My husband loves burgers, so it would be nice to try alternatives to the normal .

    It would be good if you did quick and easy meals for weeknights. Short, simple recipes that you can use anything you have at home with.

  5. I’m really excited about these products! I’ve never heard about Argan Oil but will definitely try it out. Also really excited about Sol Products, they look fantastic and can’t wait to try them!

  6. The only vegan burgers I have tried are Boca Burgers. I will definitely try SOL products because they have a Halal certfication.

  7. Gluten free veggie dogs please

  8. I want to try the Sol Cuisine veggie burgers!

  9. the sol veggie burgers are definitely what i want to try!

  10. All of these sound worth a try!

    My mother visited Morocco last year and bought me some Argan Oil (cosmetic) which proved great for my skin. I also enjoyed the nutty scent and the fact that it wasn’t super oily.

    Also, one cannot go wrong with coconut based products, right!

  11. I think id want to try the argan oil and we’ll… everything else as it all looks so good lol

  12. I also suffer from eczema and tried the Pine Tar soap. Smell, ugh. Benefits, great! I can’t stay too long with one product though as I can develop a sensitivity, so now am using Dr. Woods Shea vision, which is a liquid black soup with shea butter.

  13. I’ve read about Aragon oil and its many benefits. Would love to try it!

  14. I just started drinking coconut water and love it, cant wait to try these and can see how great they will be in Ramadan!

  15. I would love to try the spicy black bean burger.

  16. I would like to learn where I can by them!

  17. I love Living Proof Prime style extender. It’s so great and actually weather proofs your hair.