We finally got our hands on Wholly Veggie! Cheddar Style Jalapeño Sticks. Here's what we thought of these vegan jalapeño poppers.
This isn't our first time trying Wholly Veggie! products. We had Amy Katz on the pod a couple of months ago to try their ranch cauliflower wings. So, when we saw their Cheddar Style Jalapeño Sticks at Sprouts, we knew we had to try them.
Y'all, the ingredients list for these is not short, and it makes sense that it wouldn't be. There are a lot of components: breading, cheese, seasonings, and a whole separate dipping sauce.
According to the Wholly Veggie! site, these are the full ingredients:
The cheese: Filtered water, Coconut oil, Potato starch, Modified potato starch, Modified tapioca starch, Chickpea protein, Sea salt, Potato protein, Natural flavour (vegan sources), Beta carotene and paprika extracts (colour), Lactic acid.
The coating: Water, Panko bread crumb (rice flour, pea protein, dextrose, baking soda), Rice flour, Modified corn starch, Potato starch, Sunflower oil, Corn flour, Rice starch, Dehydrated cauliflower powder, Sea salt, Yeast extract, Sodium acid pyrophosphate, Baking soda, Spice, Xanthan gum, Garlic powder, Onion powder.
The sauce: Water, Sunflower oil, Jalapeno peppers, Faba bean protein powder, Cane sugar, Vinegar, Salt, Concentrated lime juice, Rice starch, Modified tapioca starch, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Spices, Herbs, Yeast extract, Acacia gum, Sunflower lecithin, Xanthan gum, Lactic acid.
How to cook them
The package lists both oven and air fryer directions. In the oven, you bake them at 425° F for nine to 11 minutes.
Of course, we made these in the air fryer. Surprisingly, my usual 10-12 minutes at 400° F was too long. The first time I made these, they all popped open. They were still totally edible, it was just messy.
The directions say to air fry at 400° F for five to six minutes, but I found that eight minutes made them even more crunchy without them splitting open.
While they bake or air fry, you thaw the sauce by placing the packet into a bowl of hot water. By the time the Cheddar Style Jalapeño Sticks are ready, so is the sauce.
The short review here is that we loved them. Like, we are obsessed, and they will be a new staple in the house.
Like with the cauliflower wings we reviewed from Wholly Veggie!, the crunchy coating on these is utter perfection. Not to thick, not too thin. And so flavorful!
The cheesy, jalapeño filling on these really blew us away. The texture of the cheese was spot on, and the jalapeño and other seasonings made it super flavorful.
The dip, though, we weren't crazy about. I found it too tangy for my taste, but I did like the creamy contrast to the spicy jalapeño. In the future, I think I'll skip the sauce packet and make my vegan ranch for dipping instead.
My only other complaint about these is the amount that you get in a package. A box, at the time of this writing, costs around $7 and says it makes three servings.
Those are very small servings! When Dave and I make these, a box is enough for the two of us to each have the amount we want. Sharing with a third person would feel a bit chintzy.
Truly, thought, I can't recommend these enough. If you're looking for a cheesy, spicy snack to splurge on, prepare to be wowed by these Cheddar Jalapeño Sticks from Wholly Veggie!
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