Review: Whole Foods Market – A Vegetarian’s Heaven

If you haven’t experienced the epic-ness that is Whole Foods Market, sort that out quick smart. It is amazing.

With vats of make-your-own nut butters, coffee beans roasting as you watch, pick & mix cereal and grains, tonnes of organic produce, vegetarian and vegan food a-plenty, and the best selection of ready-made lunches around, this place is heaven.

Wholefoods Interior
Wholefoods healthy Pick & Mix!

We headed to the store in Kensington as it’s a massive two-floors of goodness. Running around like a kid in a candy store, I excitedly filled my basket with Weston’s organic cider, vegan sweets from Goody Good Stuff, vegan yoghurt from Coyo, nakd bars and a few other fruit snacks, chips and dip, hot sauces, sushi supplies, and pumpkin gnocchi. I spent a small fortune…

Nakd Bars & Snacks
Snacks for work.

Whole Foods always has several taster stalls to sucker you in and first we tried some dips from The Dip Society, a fairly new company, selling a small but delicious range of dips. I tried three of their four dips (as the fourth had fish in it) and all three were delicious! Kickpea was a sweet and spicy houmous-style dip, Wasapea was a wasabi and chickpea dip, and Sweetbeet was a beetroot, mint and chilli dip. I have been going through a slight beetroot obsession lately, so popped the pink dip in my basket. I’m such an easy sell!

We also sampled dips from a girl spruiking her mum’s range of chilli and strawberry dips. Yep, you read that right – chilli and strawberry! And goodness, they were amazing!  The SIMPLYaddCHILLI dips come in Mild, Wild and Extreme. Being a lover of all things hot, I tried the Extreme first, which I fear may have ruined my tastebuds for the other two but they all tasted pretty good! It’s one of those things where the flavour hits you in rounds. First the flavour of the chilli, then the subtle sweetness of the strawberry and finally the powerful kick of the chilli’s spice comes through! Matt invested in the Wild, which is a sweet but fresh tasting dip and I nabbed the Extreme.

SIMPLYaddCHILLI 'Wild' and 'Extreme' chilli dips with strawberry! And Mexican BBQ sauce.
SIMPLYaddCHILLI ‘Wild’ and ‘Extreme’ chilli dips with strawberry! And some Mexican BBQ sauce.

Vegan restaurant Saf, which I reviewed a little while back, is located right above Whole Foods, so they sell a lot of their goods in the store. Matt bought their selection of cashew ‘cheeses’ and I bought their Vietnamese Roll with smoked tofu, vermicelli, chilli, mixed herbs and miso sambal sauce. It was so fresh and tasty and really made me want to go back to the restaurant!

As spring seems to have finally shown its face in London, we hauled our goods across to Hyde Park for a mini picnic in the sun.

Wholefoods Bag
Lunch in the park.
Saf Vietnamese Roll
Saf smoked tofu Vietnamese roll.
Saf Roll 2
Mmm, tofu!
Pop Chips Dip
Sweet Chilli Popchips with beetroot dip.
Beetroot Dip
Beetroot, mini and chilli dip. Nom.

I plan on making sushi for the first time soon, so I stocked up on sushi supplies. I will blog the results, whether they’re a success or a massive failure so stay tuned!

Sushi Supplies
Sushi supplies for next weekend.

Finally, for dinner, we grabbed some delicious-looking pumpkin ‘gnochetti’ by Biona. I love pumpkin gnocchi but can never find it in London, so this pretty much made my day! We fried the gnochetti in a pan, added garlic and pine nuts, then stirred through some herb cashew ‘cheese’ by Saf. It was SO GOOD!

Gnochetti
Vegan-Friendly: Pumpkin gnochetti with Saf herb cashew ‘cheese’ and pine nuts.

One day, when I’m rich, I will make Whole Foods my regular grocery store.

Happy Earth Day to you all!

17 thoughts on “Review: Whole Foods Market – A Vegetarian’s Heaven

    1. I’ve read so much about Trader Joe’s on other blogs and I MUST go there when I go back to the US. It sounds amazing!

      I’m really excited to make sushi, even if it doesn’t work too well. But my dad used to make it when I was younger and if he can do it, can’t be too hard, right?! ;-)

      1. It is pretty amazing there…I love it!! I’m sure you will kick butt with sushi, I haven’t made it in a while but I think the only thing you really have to perfect is the rice! You get that down pat and you’re golden :)

      2. Haha, thanks but there’s a slight problem… rice is my nemesis! I like to think I’m fairly handy in the kitchen but when it comes to rice, I’m so hit and miss! Maybe sushi rice and I will get along, though. Fingers crossed!

  1. Words can’t even express how much I love Whole Foods! I always make it a point to shop there in the US and Canada. I visited the Kensington one when I was in London too, and one had just opened up in Glasgow, which is much closer to me. Field trip to Whole Foods for me soon!

    1. Haha, I’m not even sure I captured it well enough! I’m glad one has opened up closer to you now – enjoy your field trip! I never want to move back to Australia because there’s no Wholefoods there… ;-)

    1. Wow, can’t believe you found this! But please do share my comments with your mum as we both loved the dips! Can’t wait to use mine – I’m really keen to try the Mango Passion Fruit Salsa from the website. YUM! Lovely to meet you too. =)

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    I like Trader Joes much better. It is smaller and have excellent choices at much better prices. The experience is more personal, like Mom and Pop stores.

    I only go to whole foods for very selected items that I can’t get at TJs.

    Vic

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      We don’t have Trader Joe’s in the UK so I can’t compare. When your only other options are regular chain supermarkets with limited organic, fair trade and veggie-friendly options, it’s so good to have somewhere like Whole Foods to go!

      I will definitely check out a Trader Joe’s if I go back to the US. =)

  3. I love Whole Foods! They’re the reason my husband and I are vegan. We went to a healthy cooking class at a Whole Foods thinking it was going to be about cooking lean meat and fish. We were shocked when the woman who gave the class gave us statistic after statistic about how meat and dairy caused disease. After educating ourselves more, we were convinced and went vegan. I know that you were cutting back on dairy – how’s that going? Celeste :)

    1. Ha, love that Whole Foods converted you! I’d love to go to a class like that.

      The dairy thing is going really well. Haven’t failed a vegan ‘Tofu Tuesday’ (except on my two weeks in Italy), I’ve swapped my dairy yoghurt for soy and I’m addicted to soy smoothies and vegan baking at the moment. And mind-blowing as this may sound, I’ve found that if I don’t buy cheese and put it in the fridge… I don’t eat it! ;-) It’s a treat now, not a staple.

      1. That’s wonderful to hear!! I’m also wondering if you’ve ever tried coconut milk yogurt. I’ve never cared for soy yogurt, but I love coconut milk yogurt. My favorite brand is So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt. Have a great weekend. Celeste :)

      2. Yes! I bought some today, actually (COYO brand)! I like soy yoghurt as it’s not too rich but as a treat, I like a nice, fruity coconut yoghurt. =)

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