Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Product Review - Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods: Hemp Protein...

I’m a big fan of hemp, I love it. Hemp Seeds, Hemp Milk, Hemp Oil, even Hemp Clothes. I Love, Love, Love it.  I started off using Hemp seeds in salads, desserts, breakfast cereal, and smoothies for the protein and the omega-3 fatty acids. Then I switched from using olive oil to hemp oil in salad dressings for the same reason. I love the unique flavor of hemp, it’s both nutty and grassy in my opinion, and I love how nutrient dense it is. Hemp is packed with protein. It contains 10 essential amino acids and is really easy for your body to digest and assimilate. It’s also rich in balanced healthful fats like Omega-3 fatty acids, but also GLA - Gamma Linolenic Acid. It contains both short and long chain fatty acids which work together to ensure the body has an effective metabolism. Hemp also contains B vitamins, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphoreus, potassium, chlorophyll and Vitamin E. Now what’s not to love about that?

Now, I’m also a big fan of protein powders, though strangely enough I’m not a fan of using them every day. To me a protein powder is one of those things I use when I need something quick for breakfast or lunch on a busy day when I haven’t the time to make anything else. Sometimes it’s nice to just throw a scoop of this or that into a blender, blend it up and drink without having to think too much about it. Sometimes I just really like the taste of a protein shake, and sometimes I just feel like my body needs an energy and vitamin boost. So while I may not like to use protein powders everyday or even several times a week I do like to have some on hand for those occasions when I need - or want - them.

Imagine my excitement then when I first discovered Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods several months ago. I was actually going to pick up a package of Vega when I saw Manitoba Harvest’s products siting a few shelves below. I’ve heard other people talk about Hemp Protein powder before  - other vegans, some raw foodies - but I’d never seen it. I’d always been curious to try it, and here it was staring me right in the face. I knew I had to get some. There were several flavors available but I decided to go for their dark chocolate version, because chocolate always seem to be my favorite flavor of any protein powder.

Before I get into the flavor aspect I’d like to say that I appreciate Manitoba Harvest’s dedication to Pure, organic, and fair trade hemp. I also love the fact that the co-founders of the company helped to legalese industrial hemp in Canada. Oh did I mention this is a Canadian company? Well they are, incase the name Manitoba Harvest didn’t give it away already they’re based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Now, Winnipeg, Manitoba is a far cry from my home city of Vancouver, way on the other side of the country in fact it’s a lot closer to Chicago then it is to Vancouver but you know, we Canadians like to stick together and so I’m happy to support my fellow countrymen. Manitoba Harvest also happens to be the largest manufacturer of Hemp foods in the world, and I really love that they’re both dedicated to the quality and purity of their product as well as reducing their carbon footprint on the earth.

Anyway, back to the product. Their Dark Chocolate flavor Hemp Protein is freaking amazing! Seriously! The flavor of this powder is really good, it’s sweet but not too sweet, and the chocolate flavor is more mild then overwhelming so I think even chocolate protein powder haters may enjoy it. Like many powders Manitoba Harvest is a little gritty, but that comes with the territory and I pretty much expect it whenever I buy a powder these days. - In fact I kind of like that texture, though I know some don’t.

As far as the ingredients go they’re pretty simple. Hemp Protein, Palm Sugar, and Fair-Trade Cocoa Powder. All ingredients are organic and raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. Per serving the Dark Chocolate flavor has 120 calories, 9 g of fiber, 8g of protein, 4% Iron, 10% Calcium, and 400mg of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. A serving size is listed as 4 Tbsp but honestly I find 2-3 Tbsp per serving to be more then enough. My favorite way to drink this one is with Almond milk, a banana, a Tbsp of peanut or almond butter, and a ½ c of frozen cherries. Seriously yum, and it always keeps me full through the first half of work.

Now because I like to change my powders up, once I ran out of chocolate I decided to give their vanilla flavor a try, since vanilla is typically my second favorite protein powder flavor. Manitoba Harvest’s Vanilla contains Hemp Protein, Vanilla flavor and palm sugar, it’s organic, raw, vegan, GF, SF, and Dairy-free,  with a similar nutritional profile. 130 Calories per serving - 4 Tbsp - 11g of Fiber, 9g of Protein, 400 mg of
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 4% Calcium, and 8% Iron.

I drank the Vanilla Hemp Protein Powder blended into some rice milk, with a banana, and blueberries. It was simple, but I wanted to really taste the flavor of the powder. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite as taken with the vanilla version as I was with the chocolate version. It’s not that I thought it tasted bad exactly, I just didn’t think it tasted very much like vanilla. For a powder that says vanilla I’d like to actually taste some vanilla, but it just tasted bland and hempy. I’ll give it another try, but for now I like the Chocolate version best.

Of course that’s just my opinion, who knows you may hate the chocolate version and love the vanilla or maybe you’ll prefer the original flavor instead. Regardless of what you like best I think Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods I worth trying out. It’s definitely one of the better protein powders I’ve had which is saying a lot.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods or their products you can check them out here... Manitoba Harvest 

*** Note - I just want to make it clear incase it wasn’t already - I don’t see how it wouldn’t be but there are skeptics everywhere - I do not get paid to right reviews of products or restaurants. I do not get asked by any business or company to endorse their products. I get nothing out of this. I right positive reviews for only those products that I actually enjoy, and use in my personal life, and I started writing these reviews in the first place because there are so many great vegan products out there that sometimes it can be overwhelming for newbie vegans. I hope that people find these reviews helpful, and that my opinion or recommendation gives people confidence in buying products they may be interested in but are unsure of. So again, I don’t write reviews for profit or personal gain. I write them to expand knowledge, and I write them because I always appreciate it when others review products.***


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