A Plant-Based Chef's Best Healthy Food & Wellness Finds Of 2020
Consider this your cheat sheet for some of the healthiest treats and services to bring with you to the new year!
While 2020 slowed us down, many of us focused on our health and wellness. Almost overnight, new food and wellness businesses popped up online. Here are some of my favorite discoveries of 2020! All the establishments mentioned here made it to my list as they offer great quality with even better customer service—something that matters so much these days!
All the fruit and vegetables you want: Graciel is probably my MVP of 2020. She converted their physical store which sold fruits, vegetables and grocery items in Manila to a delivery service during ECQ. While many grocery stores have done this, the unique thing about Grace and Ariel is their ability to find literally fruit, vegetable or grocery item you may need. She’s found my favourite kadyos and kundol ( when in season of course), nutritional yeast, mushroom chicharron, mushroom bagoong, items for making kakanin, as well as customized bayongs. My favourite of her finds is the whole array of mushrooms she is able to source. You can also specify a particular brand of food you are looking for. Contact them at 0927-3212260.
2. Future Fresh
Baby Kale and Savoy Spinach: Once you try the baby kale of Future fresh, you will never want to eat regular kale again. While they have lettuce and other greens, the baby kale and Savoy spinach are what stand out for me. Future Fresh’s produce is grown hydroponically in converted container vans in the Quezon City area and are harvested on the day your order will be delivered. Be sure to reserve the baby kale and baby spinach in advance as this sells out quickly!
3. Herbivore Philippines
Baby Pak Choi and Chrysanthemum: Another business that grows its greens hydroponically, their standout items for me are the baby pak choi and chrysanthemum garland. The baby pak choi is sweet and crispy while the chrysanthemum is a fragrant green to add to your salads. Their latest addition, choysum is a delicious Chinese vegetable that can be stir fried, unlike regular choysum, theirs is sweet and tender.
Vegan Gluten-Free Donuts: One of these donuts is not enough. Vegan non vegan, gluten averse and gluten lovers alike will all love these donuts. The fact that they are somewhat healthier than regular donuts is an afterthought because of how delicious these are.
5. HotPot MNL
Hotpot MNL stood out for me among the other hot pot delivery services as their vegetarian set is amazing and full of variety They always surprise me with new additions to the set—my family’s favorite are their mushroom balls. They are also very understanding of my food allergies and sent versions of the broths—equally delicious—without soy sauce, now that’s service!
Greens for the soul: These are greens not to eat, but to soothe. Plant businesses boomed over quarantine, but Wonderplants has some of the most beautiful plants I’ve seen on Instagram. Founders Giselle Yujuico and Joanne Tengco personally had pick all plants they put up for sale, ensuring you get the best.
Onigiri galore: While Kazunori is famous for their premium fish that is air flown, their selection of healthy onigiri stuffed with konbu, nori and oba leaves make their selection stand out. Order yours the day before, and receive it freshly made by their Japanese chef.
Cool Coffee Mornings: I stopped drinking coffee many years ago due to acid reflux. When my sister showed me a bottle of Type A cold brew, I was afraid my stomach would reel in pain. However, I found that the cold brew process reduces acidity—and in the case of Type A—the flavors come out even more. Their recent release of plant-based Horchata milk to mix with your cold brew will knock your socks off and give you a boost for the long days of Zoom ahead of you.
9. Unicorn Superfoods
Unicorn dreams: I used to stalk the page of Unicorn Superfoods, previously only available in the US and wished I could make their multicolored nice cream bowls. One day a friend of mine posted on her Instagram account that they were now available here, and I was so excited! Their superfood powders come in all colors of the rainbow and boast a host of health benefits. Add them to your smoothies or baked goods to add colors with nutrients to your plate!
10. MaryRuth’s PH
Until recently, I had to order my specialized supplements such as Gluten enzymes ( to combat my celiac disease when I accidentally eat gluten) and Vegan Omega 3’s from abroad. Mary Ruth carries both of those supplements plus more! Their website is easy to navigate and delivery is dispatched the next day! Find your gluten free organic supplements and everything you need to enhance your health at Mary Ruths!
Boosting immunity was the phrase of 2020, and now this can be done from the comfort of your home with Reviv’s mobile van. While they will be opening a clinic at One Bonifacio High Street soon, their vans can come to you. Safety protocols are excellent with Reviv, while the drips are customized to what you need. While other drips can be uncomfortable due to the insertion process, or the mild discomfort the formulations have, Reviv’s process is seamless. Effects are felt almost immediately- more energy, better quality sleep.
High quality health: There are not many places that understand exactly how picky I am with food, but I think I met someone who can read my mind in Roshni of Wooden plates. Roshni’s dishes are first of all, delicious, and second, make use of high quality fresh ingredients. Theirs sliders are hands down the best gluten free, vegan sliders I have had this year. Their almond flaxmeal buns are so soft and delicious that I’ve had to ask several times–are you SURE these are gluten-free and vegan? Because no one can tell the difference! Her wide array of salads and her new coconut labneh will make it easy for you to eat healthy!
Coconuts about this ice cream: The pristine white coconut ice cream from the shores of Boracay landed in Manila during quarantine, and are we glad they did. This is the softest fluffiest coconut ice cream I’ve ever had. My husband and dad can eat a tub each in an afternoon, which make it a rare commodity once it reaches our home.
14. Thrive and Co
Coconut Yogurt: Lots of downtime meant lots of experimenting with new ingredients. Coconut yogurt is a great dairy free alternative to make sauces and dressings with.
15. FRNKS Milk tea
Milk tea madness: I think I got into the milk tea train a little late compared to others, but just in time for me and those who are looking for plant based alternatives. Several of their menu items are gluten-free and have almond and coconut milk teas. If the original menu item uses regular milk, you can request to change it to your favorite plant milk.
16. Espa Fil Market
When ECQ was first announced, the first thing I did was to buy a lot of dried and canned legumes, not knowing if fresh food would be available. Tins of tomato sauce as well as garbanzos are a staple at our home and I remember loading two carts at the grocery on March 14—the day before ECQ was implemented. I soon found out that Espa-Fil, the distributors of Molinera and Capri had gone online and that I didn’t have to fight for my garbanzos while putting myself at risk at the grocery. Ordering is painless and delivery comes in a few days! You can find an amazing array of canned goods here including canned Spanish favorites! Visit them at www.Espa-fil.com
Lead photos via @Earthdesserts @cocomamaboracay @Typea.coffee @gofuturefresh