I enjoy eating at restaurants but also love to cook and have simple meals at home or on the go. While traveling, it can be hard to find a balance between these options. While in New York, there were days when it seemed crazy to eat at a restaurant. Why bother when there are amazing health food stores like LifeThyme Natural Market and Integral Yoga Natural Foods? Both stores are a great place to shop for quality ingredients, interesting snacks, sweet desserts and takeout meals.
Dr. Cow’s Tree Nut Cheese was the number one thing I went looking for at health food stores in New York. After reading so much about it online, and not being able to get it in Canada, I was very excited to see what all the hype was about. LifeThyme and Integral Yoga both had several varieties in stock but I picked it up at LifeThyme because the price was a bit lower. I paid ~$7.80 USD for the basic cashew cheese. It was the least expensive of the bunch, with some rounds being sold for upwards of $12.00 USD.
I loved it! It smelled, tasted and spread (well, almost) like aged cheese. We enjoyed it on crackers and on it’s own. We had planned to have it on a fancy, ultra gourmet sandwich but couldn’t bring ourselves to save any for later. The tree nut cheese is sold in incredibly small rounds. It’s very expensive but worth it for an extra special treat, maybe a dinner party or romantic evening. There are some really interesting flavours I’d like to try, including aged cashew algae, and macadamia hemp.
LifeThyme has a large hot and cold pay by weight buffet section. The prices are high, even higher than what you’d pay at Whole Foods, but the quality and selection looked good.
There’s also a big display case at the back of the store and several refrigerated shelves with ready to go meals. There are plenty of vegan options, and even some for raw foodies. For liquid meals and snacks, you can check out their juice bar where fresh smoothies and juices are made to order.
Let’s not forget about dessert. The back counter has a huge selection and most things are vegan. There are cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more. We had a piece of cake, it was okay, but not memorable. Actually, I don’t even remember what kind it was. It rare for me to forget the details about any dessert.
The cake may have been a miss but the Rice Dream Mint Pie we picked up at LifeThyme was a nice treat. There’s a real shortage of interesting vegan frozen dessert options in Canada. I’d never seen anything like this and couldn’t resist adding it to our basket. It was a layered dessert, with mint rice dream ice cream, an oatmeal cookie, and chocolate coating. It was really good, but very hard. After leaving the store, we walked around for 30 minutes before unwrapping it. When chowing down, we had to be careful as it was still frozen and a bit hard on the teeth.
LifeThyme Natural Market
410 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011-8416
Integral Yoga Natural foods isn’t very far from LifeThyme and you can easily walk between them. They carry a lot of the same products but Integral Yoga has some unique items in their prepared food section. There’s a beautiful wall of produce to admire and interesting raw goodies and desserts you can buy for takeout. They had some raw vegan mac and cheese crackers I wanted to try but I couldn’t bring myself to shell out $5.00 for the small bag.
The only thing we bought at Integral Yoga was a pack of Field Roast Grain Meat Co sausages for John. These are one of his favourite treats, which he’s happy to enjoy anytime of day. He’s great at finding ways to incorporate them into our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I really like them too and feel the neat flavours, like apple sage, justify the ~$6.00 USD price tag.
Integral Yoga Natural Foods
234 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011-7768
If you’re in NYC, be sure to check out these great health food stores. You’ll have no problem finding some new products and taking a day off from the restaurant scene.