Miami-Based Tio Gazpacho Wins National Beverage Showdown

Courtesy of Tio Gazpacho

Gazpacho is HOT. Well, not literally. But metaphorically speaking, the cold soup is on fire, as proven by the fact that Miami-based Tio Gazpacho cleaned up at the BevNET Live Winter 2014 Conference in Los Angeles last week.

The company, led by founder Austin Allan, took home two titles amidst some stiff competition: Audience Favorite and winner of New Beverage Showdown 8. Plus, they were named Best Smoothie or Meal Replacement in BevNET's annual Best Of awards.

See also: Tio Gazpacho Wants to Make Cold Soup the Next Hummus

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Updated: Veganaroma Holiday Cooking Class Rescheduled for December 20

Courtesy of Veganaroma
The holiday countdown is on, and if you're scrambling for meatless meal ideas that'll impress your omnivorous friends and family, look no further. Veganaroma is hosting a Happy Healthy Holiday Cooking class. Originally scheduled for December 13th, it's been postponed until Saturday, December 20th.

They'll teach you to make a meatless Shepard's pie, an egg-less nog, a white bean and sun-dried tomato pate, and other goodies.

See also: Vegan Pages, Plant-Based Professional Directory, Launches in Miami

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Annu Raw Vegan Serving Up Milkshakes and Cakes on South Beach

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
Nothing's more effective for the health-conscious cause than dessert. If you can eat a plant-based cake that's just as delectable as its alternative, why wouldn't you? Yet most people won't even try it.

Annu Raw Vegan is all about sweets. The shop, a pop-up cake and milkshakery within Emack and Bolio's ice cream emporium on Purdy Avenue, is the effort of brothers Owen and Ian Pearson. Together, they're whipping up tasty, better-for-you treats.

See also: Sweet Spreads Selling Miami-Made, Vegan Coconut Butters

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Sweet Spreads Selling Miami-Made, Vegan Coconut Butters

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
Nutella is delicious. Nobody's going to deny that Italy's super-famous hazelnut spread is anything but a nectar of the Gods. It's good on bananas, on toast, on ice cream. On anything.

But Nutella isn't vegan. And it's loaded with saturated fat and processed sugar. So what's a plant-based eater with a sweet tooth to do? Well, Sweet Spreads is solving the problem with their better-for-you CocoNutter treats.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Vegan Desserts

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Kris Wessel on Oolite's Vegan Dinner: Omnivores "Will Not Believe That Food Can Have So Much Flavor"

Courtesy of Oolite
Kris Wessel is famous for his unique, indigenously-inspired Floridian fare. Menu items like barbecue shrimp, coconut-conch chowder, and "Hialeah-style" palomilla steak mark Oolite's lineup.

But Wessel is the master of more than just animal protein. His Miami Beach eatery offers a wide array of meatless dishes, and this Thursday, they're going fully plant-based for the vegan dinner series Conscious Bite Out.

See also: Chef Paco of Jugofresh Cooks Up Creative Vegan Eats for Conscious Bite Out Dinner

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The Pasta Plant Makes Italian-Inspired, Locally-Sourced Pasta Creations

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
Italian eateries don't (typically) have much in the way of vegan-friendly fare. Butter, cream, and egg tends to be par for the course, key ingredients in the dishes we love so much.

But it is possible to recreate Italian flavors without any animal products, just ask Melanie Bozzo Perez, co-founder of the Pasta Plant. (Available at Farmer's markets listed on its Twitter feed.) The pastas, sauces, and ready-made meals are handmade, locally-sourced, sustainable, GMO free, unprocessed, organic, and, most importantly, delicious.

See also: Jugofresh Offering Vegan Pies for Thanksgiving

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Freshii, Wynwood's First Chain, Is Cranking it Up in South Florida

Courtesy of Freshii
Freshii's Baja Burrito

Despite Wynwood's stance as Miami's hottest neighborhood (and hotbed of new development), the area is still lacking in several key components needed to make it more habitable: quick, easy food being one of them.

But Freshii is aiming to fix all that. The Canadian chain opened its first South Florida location at 2300 NW Second Ave. a couple weeks ago. Since then, salads, wraps and juices have been selling like gangbusters.

See also: Jugofresh Offering Vegan Pies for Thanksgiving

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Study Says Fruits and Veggies May Make You Happier

swine vegetables.jpg

Everyone knows you should eat the rainbow, but it's not always easy to choose tomatoes and kale over cheese and pasta. Comfort foods feel so, well, comfortable.

But as it turns out, the stuff you grow in a garden may actually make you happier than the alternative. A recent study conducted by the University of Warwick's Medical School found both high and low mental wellbeing were consistently associated with fruit and vegetable consumption.

More fruits and veggies may equal happier humans.

See also: Fruits and Veggies Can Help You Stop Smoking, Study Suggests

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Field Roast's Chao Slices the Best Vegan Cheese You'll Ever Have

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
Chao melts like actual cheese. Here's proof.
There's no question that grain-meat maker Field Roast is one of the superstars in the meatless market. The Seattle-based company (with a distribution center in Miami) has made major waves, earning nods from Ellen Degeneres, the New York Times, Saveur, and others.

Its products (sold at Whole Foods, Milam's Market, and elsewhere) run the gamut from sausages to deli slices to hand-formed burgers, and its newest additions are three varieties of Chao Slices -- the company's first retail entry into the cheese-alternative niche. In a marketplace overflowing with dairy-free products, this is the best by far.

See also: Hellmann's Sues Hampton Creek: Is It Still Mayo Without Eggs?

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Temple Kitchen: Try the Curry Favor Hot Pot With Coconut Milk and Edamame

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
From the multicolored walls to the rainbow-hued food, South Miami's Temple Kitchen is a colorful feast for the senses. And their menu, a vibrant, eclectic assortment of plant-strong creations, is everything a health-conscious eater could ask for.

The Curry Favor hot pot ($11), specifically, is a delightfully comforting, creamy alternative to your standard Subway or Jimmy John's midday meal. With eggplant, edamame, and coconut milk, it's fresh and filling.

See also: Temple, a Plant-Based Eatery, Now Open in South Miami

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