Here are some alternative sources for your eating pleasures
At the beginning of last year’s lockdown, my husband and I coped with the stress of lockdown by stocking up on junk food and subsequently eating it all. Our healthy principles of eating went out the window as we were locked in our home for the first major enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Cheetos and chips of all flavors and colors were our comfort as were cookies from several home bakers (all delicious).
As cases continue to surge today, I found myself searching delivery services to bring me chips, cookies, and cakes—to eat my feelings of stress. But after a year of living this way, I have found alternative sources for less guilty pleasures. And unlike last year where we saw no end in sight, this year we are wiser, and know that eating your internal stress isn’t the answer. If you do find yourself peckish for sweet and savory snacks, here are my picks for less guilt treats that deliver.
A good friend sent me a box of Earth Dessert’s cookies and brownies, and I was hooked. Gluten-free treats are available, but all are made without refined sugar. My absolute favorite are the chocolate vegan donuts, available on preorder.
My cousin sent me three boxes of their vegan pizzas and my family couldn’t believe how good they were. A week later, Emman, the owner, sent me a box of gluten-free pizzas that were also vegan. I haven’t had a good gluten-free pizza in Manila, ever, so I was so happy to discover Scorched Pizzas.
I’ve been buying food from Roshni of Wooden Plates for about a year now. Every month she adds something delicious to her menu. The latest was fudgy brownies made of almond flour, and dates as a sweetener, using no more than five ingredients. The best thing about these brownies is that they stayed moist even after two weeks in the fridge! She also has Persian truffles and chocolate pistachio cake, which I have yet to try! Her ingredients are top notch and she doesn’t make use of preservatives or refined sugars.
Christian Valdes is my favorite local chocolatier. Last October, he created a series of vegan chocolates that made use of local vegetables for my book launch. His creativity with flavors and textures result in unusual combinations (the kalabasa gata chocolate praline is my favorite). Best of all, you can order these delicacies for delivery! He delivered chocolate covered strawberries in less than an hour to me, and I’m sure he will do the same for you!
Real Food has been a lifeline for me this last year, it doesn’t hurt that I can walk to one of its branches. They carry an array of snacks, ice creams, chocolates, and, of course, actual real food like wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free pork, free-range chicken. Everything in this store is top notch as all the products are scrutinized by the owners. If you are craving chicharron, try the mushroom chicharron that they carry! Best part is that they deliver!
Right at the start of last year’s lockdown, I found myself buying cold matcha drinks from any store that would deliver. I realized very quickly that these were full of sugar and not great for you. I came across Ujimatcha from a friend’s daughter who posted her matcha almond latte on Instagram. I’ve started making my own matcha lattes with its powders that are of excellent quality. The owners are also very helpful in giving tips on how to create your own lattes!