Prevention’s 2021 Wholesome Meals Awards

Prevention’s 2021 Healthy Food Awards – Top Packaged Foods

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Jun 8, 2021

Each year, truckloads of new food products find their way to shelves near you, but which healthy eats are the keepers? Enter: The Prevention Test Kitchen staff, who gallantly read hundreds of nutrition labels and selflessly tore into over 300 packages with this set of nutritional criteria:

healthy food awards logo

  • Made with real, recognizable ingredients
  • No trans fats or hydrogenated oils
  • Made with minimal amounts of sodium and added sugar

    At the end of all that eating, they came up with 50+ winners that deserve a place in their discerning pantries, refrigerators, and freezers—and yours.

    breakfast foods


    Organic Gluten Free Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola

    Best Granola

    Organic Gluten Free Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola

    While many granolas are loaded with added refined sugars, this gets its light sweetness from freeze-dried fruit and minimally processed coconut sugar.

    Organic Almond Coconut Milk (6-Pack)

    Best Milk Alternative

    Organic Almond Coconut Milk (6-Pack)

    Calling all latte lovers: This dairy-free milk frothed well for morning coffees and serves up 20% of your daily calcium per serving.

    Cinnamon Raisin Bread

    Best Gluten-Free Bread

    Cinnamon Raisin Bread

    Base Culture
    amazon.com

    $8.99

    While gluten-free breads can lack in texture, this loaf was a real winner, especially when toasted. Serve slices with a drizzle of nut butter for a breakfast packed with fiber.

    Blackberry Dairy-Free Drinkable Yogurt

    Best Yogurt

    Blackberry Dairy-Free Drinkable Yogurt

    Forager Project
    amazon.com

    $5.99

    This cashew-based beverage, full of flavor and live active cultures, is dairy-free—so even those with sensitivities can get a delicious digestive boost.

    Mixed Berry & Almond Frozen Mini Waffles

    Best Flavored Waffle

    Mixed Berry & Almond Frozen Mini Waffles

    Evergreen
    eatevergreen.com

    $6.99

    Kid and adult tasters alike devoured these waffles, with little pockets of real-fruit jam that add a nice sweetness. When toasted, their nutty flavor really shines.

    Passion Fruit Bite-Sized Pieces

    Best Frozen Fruit

    Passion Fruit Bite-Sized Pieces

    Pitaya
    amazon.com

    Stock your freezer with these one-ingredient chunks of passion fruit puree to add brightness, and 23% of your daily vitamin C, to morning smoothies. Fresh tip: You can also use as ice cubes to brighten sparkling water.

    Inspired By India Sous Vide Egg Bites

    Best Egg Alternative

    Inspired By India Sous Vide Egg Bites

    JUST Egg
    instacart.com

    $4.00

    Made from mung beans and flavored with curry, coconut milk, and lemongrass, the texture of these bites rivals real eggs. Heat them in a toaster oven for a light, fluffy, and hearty vegan breakfast.

    Banana Nut Breakfast Bars

    Best Breakfast Bar

    Banana Nut Breakfast Bars

    Over Easy
    amazon.com

    $28.00

    These gluten-free bars taste just like banana bread and are a super-filling bite for on-the-go breakfasts.

    Pasture-Raised Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Cheese Egg Bites

    Best Egg

    Pasture-Raised Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Cheese Egg Bites

    Vital Farms
    amazon.com

    Tasters loved the classic combo of tomato, basil, and mozzarella in these on-the-go breakfast bites. Heat in the microwave in only 45 seconds for a protein- and calcium-rich meal.

    Lupini Bean Cashew Ginger Pumpkin Seed Protein Bars

    Best Protein Bar

    Lupini Bean Cashew Ginger Pumpkin Seed Protein Bars

    These 5-ingredient bars are made with lupini beans, which are a complete protein and a great source of fiber. The addition of ground ginger and pumpkin seeds gives them vibrant fall flavor.

    Cold Coffee

    Best Coffee

    Cold Coffee

    Intelligentsia
    mercato.com

    $5.49

    Stash these boxes of ethically sourced coffee in your fridge for a quick morning pick-me-up.

    Rad Raspberry Power Bites

    Best Bites

    Rad Raspberry Power Bites

    Without a Trace
    withoutatracefoods.com

    $7.29

    We loved the soft texture of these allergen-friendly bites paired with a hint of crunch from chia seeds, a good vegetarian source of omega-3s.

    Sprouted Coconut Sugar & Spice Instant Oatmeal

    Best Oatmeal

    Sprouted Coconut Sugar & Spice Instant Oatmeal

    One Degree Organic Foods
    amazon.com

    $34.99

    Fragrant cardamom and cinnamon add extra warmth to a cozy bowl of these spouted oats (great for nutrient absorption!), which get a caramel-like sweetness from coconut sugar.

    GO Frozen Vanilla Buttermilk Protein Waffles

    Best Plain Waffle

    GO Frozen Vanilla Buttermilk Protein Waffles

    With 13 grams of protein per serving, these whole-grain waffles are an excellent vehicle for any topping, sweet or savory, and have enough flavor to snack on plain.

    Organic Sprouted Power Oat So Lovely Bread

    Best Bread

    Organic Sprouted Power Oat So Lovely Bread

    Silver Hills Bakery
    instacart.com

    $5.99

    With 21 grams of whole grains per slice, this loaf also serves up plenty of nutrients, including selenium, an antioxidant important for immunity support. 

    proteins


    Organic Asian Style Pork & Veggie Meatballs

    Best Meat

    Organic Asian Style Pork & Veggie Meatballs

    Applegate
    instacart.com

    $10.00

    These meatballs, made with humanely raised pork, organic brown rice, and carrots, deliver 1/4 cup of veggies per serving.

    New Zealand King Wood Roasted New Zealand Beech Smoked Salmon

    Best Fish

    New Zealand King Wood Roasted New Zealand Beech Smoked Salmon

    Keep these smoked fillets of sustainably raised salmon on hand to easily add a boost of protein to salads, pastas, grain bowls, and more.

    Plant-Based Thai Style Fish Cakes

    Best Vegan Fish

    Plant-Based Thai Style Fish Cakes

    Good Catch
    instacart.com

    $8.00

    Tasters enjoyed these vegan cakes for their flaky fish-like texture and delicate spice that also serve up a big dose of iron, a mineral important to maintain energy levels. 

    Lemon & Herb Pieces

    Best Vegan Chicken

    Lemon & Herb Pieces

    Daring
    instacart.com

    $8.09

    With 13 g of protein and no cholesterol, these soy-based pieces are perfect to add to stir-fries, sautes, and more.

    Mackerel in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Best Tinned Fish

    Mackerel in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    These very versatile wild-caught fillets are packed with protein and omega-3s. Flake over salads or pasta, or top toast with these fish for a hearty, easy meal. 

    Plant-Based Sausage & Peppers Bing

    Best Prepared Meal

    Plant-Based Sausage & Peppers Bing

    MingsBings
    mingsbings.com

    $69.99

    A bing is a crispy, stuffed crepe-like flatbread; it’s a popular Chinese street food. Find these in the freezer section, filled with a vegan take on the ballpark favorite.

    layout of foods with prevention healthy food awards logo

    Best Meal Makers and Side Dishes


    Hearts of Palm Linguine

    Best Pasta Alternative

    Hearts of Palm Linguine

    Whole Foods
    wholefoodsmarket.com

    $3.79

    Hearts of palm, the core of a palm tree, make for an excellent sub to wheat noodles. Simply rinse and toss with sauce for a simple supper that also serves up calcium, fiber, and potassium.

    Plain Chickpea Pizza Crust

    Best Pizza Crust

    Plain Chickpea Pizza Crust

    BANZA
    amazon.com

    This crust, made of chickpeas, offers a dose of protein that other bases don’t have. Bake with your favorite toppings for a crunchy, fiber-packed, gluten-free pie.

    Southwest Mango Quinoa Blend

    Best Frozen Grain

    Southwest Mango Quinoa Blend

    Path of Life
    instacart.com

    $4.49

    Big pieces of mango give this easy-to-prep grain blend a tropical sweetness, and black beans, corn, and poblano peppers add heartiness.

    Grilled Eggplant

    Best Prepared Vegetable

    Grilled Eggplant

    Green Giant
    walmart.com

    $4.48

    If you don’t have time to prepare fresh veggies, reach for a bag of these convenient charred slices that serve up all the flavor without any added sodium.

    Parmesan & Herb Vegan Sauce & Pasta

    Best Boxed Pasta

    Parmesan & Herb Vegan Sauce & Pasta

    Modern Table
    amazon.com

    $24.99

    In a pinch this vegan pasta, serving up 25% of your daily iron, will satisfy the whole family.

    Curried Riced Cauliflower Cups (6-Pack)

    Best Flavored Vegetable

    Curried Riced Cauliflower Cups (6-Pack)

    CAULIPOWER
    amazon.com

    $49.95

    Cauliflower and seasonings come together in a vitamin C-packed side or dinner starter. Top with a fried egg or sautéed chickpeas for a meal in minutes.

    Best Sauces, Condiments, and Toppers



    Avocado Oil Mayo

    Best Vegan Mayonnaise

    Avocado Oil Mayo

    Primal Kitchen
    amazon.com

    Spread a thin layer of this 6-ingredient condiment onto sandwiches or use as the base of a dressing to add tangy, rich  (and vegan!) flavor.

    Chimichurri

    Best Marinade

    Chimichurri

    Gotham Greens
    instacart.com

    $8.79

    Marinate proteins in this slightly spicy sauce, made with basil, parsley, and fresh jalapeños, for a super fast and flavorful dinner. 

    Chili Crunch

    Best Spicy Condiment

    Chili Crunch

    Momofuku
    momofuku.com

    $12.00

    Even the tiniest of drizzles packs a huge punch of flavor, thanks to three types of chiles, crunchy shallots, and bold garlic. Try on eggs for a low-sodium, high spice boost.

    Thai Coconut Sauce

    Best Simmer Sauce

    Thai Coconut Sauce

    Kevin’s Natural Foods
    amazon.com

    $15.00

    Sauté veggies and a protein (like chicken, beef, or tofu) with this lemongrass, coconut, and lime-scented simmer sauce for a hearty (and speedy!) dinner.

    Spicy Kimchi Relish

    Best Kimchi

    Spicy Kimchi Relish

    Nasoya
    instacart.com

    $10.60

    Add this fermented relish to your dinner routine, on sandwiches, folded into omelets, or on the side of proteins, for a gut-boosting serving of probiotics, which aid digestion. 

    Went To Hong Kong Everything Sauce

    Best Drizzling Sauce

    Went To Hong Kong Everything Sauce

    This Little Goat
    instacart.com

    $8.99

    A balanced combination of soy sauce, ginger, and mustard makes this sauce a savory addition to any dish, from rice to roasted vegetables.

    Falafel Mighty Lil’ Lentils

    Best Salad Topper

    Falafel Mighty Lil’ Lentils

    Seapoint Farms
    amazon.com

    $12.55

    These legumes, seasoned with dried spices and a hint of heat, offer 5 grams each of plant-based protein and fiber per serving. Tasters used them like croutons to top salads and soups for a big hit of crunch.

    Organic Vodka Sauce

    Best Pasta Sauce

    Organic Vodka Sauce

    A mix of ten organic vegetables, like sweet potato, squash, and mushrooms, ensures that this fresh-flavored tomato sauce is packed with nutrients, including 20% of your daily vitamin A. 

    Grillo's Pickle De Gallo, Medium, Thick & Chunky

    Best Sandwich Condiment

    Grillo’s Pickle De Gallo, Medium, Thick & Chunky

    Freshly chopped pickles mixed with habaneros and jalapeños make a lightly spiced relish-meets-salsa great for topping sandwiches or scooping up with tortilla chips.

    snacks


    Red Lentil Sour Cream Onion Crunchions (Pack of 3)

    Best Lentil Snack

    Red Lentil Sour Cream Onion Crunchions (Pack of 3)

    Harvest Snaps
    amazon.com

    $14.99

    Introducing the good-for-you alternative to onion snacks: These baked legume and veggie bites are a source of both iron and calcium.

    Buffalo Ranch Hummus

    Best Dip

    Buffalo Ranch Hummus

    Ithaca Hummus
    target.com

    $4.49

    Smooth, rich, and a touch spicy, this spread reminded tasters of their favorite game-day dip. Serve with sliced veggies and pita chips for a winning snack.

    Plant Based Chesapeake Bay Crisps (Pack of 12)

    Best Chip

    Plant Based Chesapeake Bay Crisps (Pack of 12)

    Snacklins
    amazon.com

    $27.49

    These crunchy, airy crisps, made from yuca, mushrooms, and onions, pack a savory, satisfying  flavor. And with 25 pieces per serving, you can go back for more (and more).

    Heirloom Jalapeno Cheddar Crunchies (Pack of 3)

    Best Corn Snack

    Heirloom Jalapeno Cheddar Crunchies (Pack of 3)

    Pipcorn
    amazon.com

    $14.99

    Pipcorn prides itself on utilizing heirloom corn to make delicious and environmentally-friendly snacks. These baked crisps, with a hint of spice, are the newest to their lineup and serve up 20%  of your daily iron.

    Pineapple Sparkling Water (Pack of 24)

    Best Water

    Pineapple Sparkling Water (Pack of 24)

    Spindrift
    amazon.com

    $35.99

    Made with real fruit juice, this two-ingredient can is the ideal thirst quencher. 

    Golden Goodness Sprouted Almonds (Pack of 2)

    Best Nut

    Golden Goodness Sprouted Almonds (Pack of 2)

    Daily Crunch
    amazon.com

    $14.99

    These coated nuts, tossed in a craveable combo of turmeric, onion powder, and nutritional yeast, are sprouted, giving your body a head start in absorbing key nutrients and antioxidants.

    Synergy Sacred Life Kombucha (6 Pack)

    Best Kombucha

    Synergy Sacred Life Kombucha (6 Pack)

    GTs
    gtslivingfoods.com

    $19.75

    If you’ve never tried kombucha, this bottle is a great place to start: Fresh ginger and blue spirulina (a type of algae) give the probiotic beverage its spiced flavor and vibrant color.

    3-Pepper Chip-Cut Pickle Snack Pack (Pack of 12)

    Best Pickle

    3-Pepper Chip-Cut Pickle Snack Pack (Pack of 12)

    SUCKERPUNCH
    amazon.com

    $36.05

    While many pickles are loaded with added sugars, these slightly spicy slices contain only 2 grams.

    Plant Based Queso Style Dip

    Best Single-Serve Dip

    Plant Based Queso Style Dip

    This single-serve cauliflower-based dip, perfect for lunchboxes, snack time, or picnics, packs a decent dose of fiber and a rich and spicy flavor. Bonus: It’s vegan!

    snacks



    85% Dark Bar

    Best Chocolate

    85% Dark Bar

    jcoco
    seattlechocolate.com

    $3.00

    This antioxidant-rich single-origin bar has a seriously creamy texture and dark, bold, and chocolatey flavor.

    Blueberry Oat Crumble Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

    Best Frozen Dessert

    Blueberry Oat Crumble Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

    Planet Oat
    instacart.com

    $5.19

    Each pint boasts a bright blueberry swirl and chunks of spiced oatmeal streusel that make your taste buds feel like they’re diving into a home-baked treat.

    Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

    Best Cookie

    Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

    At six cookies per serving, these crisp cinnamon-spiced almond-flour and pecan bites with a classic powdered sugar coating are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

    Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treats (3 Boxes)

    Best Bar

    Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treats (3 Boxes)

    Blake’s Seed Based
    amazon.com

    $19.99

    Flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds add crunch and elevate these desserts beyond the nostalgic treats from childhood.

    Lemon Tart Creme Dessert

    Best Creamy Dessert

    Lemon Tart Creme Dessert

    Oui by Yoplait
    instacart.com

    $3.08

    These jars get their tart lemon flavor from citrus puree and serve 8% of your daily calcium per serving. 

    Organic Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Snacking Squares (Pack of 2)

    Best Flavored Chocolate

    Organic Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Snacking Squares (Pack of 2)

    Tasters were satisfied after one square—1/3 of the serving size—of this rich dark chocolate studded with pieces of chewy cherry.

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