Review: Brad King’s :Ultimate Vegan: Wild Greens

Although I have really been loving the North Coast Naturals Ultimate Daily Greens, I decided it was time to switch it up. I can be a bit of a supplement junkie, though my tastes and criteria have becoming more discerning over the years and I try to keep it a lot more simple. (Or, I can no longer afford to purchase a shelf full of supplements, or else I probably would try all sorts of other products… I’m a health food store junkie.)

I would not have developed my new love for the North Coast Naturals had it not been on sale… and today Brad King’s Ultimate Vegan Wild Greens was on sale. It says on the label that it is 100% Raw and Wild. The only sweet-ish ingredient listed is “Organic Flavours” which online I found out “comes from Elderberry”. There is no stevia in this formula, which is pretty much guaranteed to show up in most other greens powder mixes.

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I was wary to try it straight up – acutally I’m always wary to taste a new one because some have been gag-worthy. I decided this morning to mix the 2 scoop serving with 2 cups of cold water and blend it up with 2 ripe bananas. Lemon would have been really nice.

It has a powerful green, almost bitter note to it. But I can see that I will quickly adapt to the taste, it blended very nicely – there was no grittiness, no aftertaste, no clumps of dry powder. It wasn’t immediately delicious, most likely as I have been accustomed to the North Coast Naturals blend with stevia.. and Genuine Health’s Greens+ formulas, which I also love, come with a heavy handed addition of stevia.

This would be really nice in a fresh citrus juice (orange, grapefruit, lime), I’ll be trying that next. And I think really nice in a raw cacao concoction, or thick and sweet hemp or cashew milk.

I am very intruiged by the addition of all the mushrooms: Cordyceps, Reishi, Nin-chang-chih, Himematsutake, Lion’s Mane, and Maitake. I haven’t gotten into using medicinal mushrooms much yet.

Will I buy this again? I’m really not sure… we’ll see how I feel after consuming it daily for a few weeks.

 

***UPDATE***

I just cannot get over something about the taste of this greens powder. And I haven’t begun ‘craving’ it daily as I have in the past with other green drinks. Usually after 4 days or so my body seems to ask for it and I relish drinking a tall glass. Not so with the Wild Greens. I’m struggling to think of ways to use it up, I really don’t like it. And this is one I won’t be buying again.

Not Rice Crispies

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These reminded me a lot of the flavours and texture of rice crispie squares. There’s a buttery and sweet thing happening with the crisp, light crunch of soaked and dehydrated sunflower seeds. I had no salt so used light miso in the honey and it worked beautifully.

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Spiced Strawberry Banana Granola

Living sans dehydrator, and feeling the raw itch, (I haven’t been eating raw or vegan for awhile now but I inevitably find my way back time and time again.. to raw that is. The non-vegan thing was really something else entirely)… so I’ve been led to experimenting with the whole “low-temperature-oven-baking-with-the-door-ajar” method. The lowest setting on my oven is 170 degrees F. Successfully made a batch of juice pulp crackers that lasted less than 24 hours so the next obvious one was to do a pan of buckwheat granola.

There’s obviously a title for this recipe with a better ring to it that Spiced Strawberry Banana Granola. Recipe naming is not my strong suit. My strong suit is more along the lines of taste testing the recipe and eating the recipe.

Strawberry Banana Buckwheat Granola

1 cup raw buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked 6 hours, sprouted 24+ hours

3 tbsp. hemp seed

2 tbsp. chia seed

1 small apple, finely diced

4 large strawberries, finely diced

2-6 tbsp. goji berries

In a food processor or blender, puree the following:

6 large medjool dates, pitted, soaked overnight

1 very ripe banana

4 large strawberries

1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. vanilla

2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. chinese 5 spice

*1/3 tsp. quality salt

* 1-2 tbsp. agave or coconut nectar *Optional ingredients*

Pour the wet mixture into a large bowl and mix well to coat the buckwheat, hemp, chia, diced fruit and goji berries. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. (If you have a dehydrator, go to town. It’ll be fully raw and delightfully ready to eat in 18-24 hours).

With your oven at 170 degrees and the door propped ajar, it’ll take 3-4 hours before it’s dry enough to flip and another 2-4 hours until it’s crispy. This is something you’ll make when you are home all day.

Amazing Grass Whole Food Energy Bar

I wanted to like this bar.

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I really, really did. Buuuuuut, no.

Something’s just not quite right. I love Amazing Grass, but not these bars. We bought the chocolate, I figured you can’t go wrong with chocolate. The Green SuperFood powder is AMAZING, just like the name suggests🙂 This bar… the taste was alright… it was close to great but a bit bland for me, and I could have done without the chocolate coating in all honesty – what really did it in was the texture. There was a weird, not pleasant mouth-feel thing going on as I began to chew my first bite. This is why my daughter didn’t like it as well. It was mushy and mealy and flax-y??? I can’t explain it. But yeah, disappointed. And yes, I paid $4.98 for one bar. Steep.

We love and miss the Vega Vibrancy bar. Our favourite was Green Synergy, with Chocolate Decadence a close second.

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The new Whole Food Vibrancy bar in Chocolate sure tastes good, but it’s not nearly as chock full of nutrition and I don’t buy it often for that exact reason. The ingredients are woefully lacklustre. And the Green Synergy is flat out gone completely. Disappointing to lose such a fantastic product, so I had high hopes for another greens powder bar that would taste amazing and have an ingredient list to back it up and make the cost worthwhile.

Maybe I need to try the other flavours of Amazing Grass’s Energy Bar. Chocolate PeanutButter sounds promising… but we will be sticking to Vega for snack products — and working on making our own versions with greens powders added in at home… The Amazing Grass Chocolate SuperFood Powder comes to mind… it’s delicious mixed into soaked oatmeal, I’m sure I can create a scrumptious bar and overcome that texture/taste funk.

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Winter Kale Salad Moment

Necessity is the mother of invention. I didn’t have much ingredient wise, but my body is screaming out for raw freshness after the over extended paleo/low carb, carnivorous experiment. Excuse the salmon comment if you aren’t down with that.

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VEGA Choc-a-lot Fudge

*Must love coconut*

Here’s a sugar-free, plant protein powered, chocolate coconut fudge with Omega-3s and 2 servings of vegetables. Child and adult approved. Who wants fudge for breakfast??

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I make my own coconut butter, after deciding that it was more cost effective than trekking across the city for my $6.99 jars of Nutiva’s Coconut Manna every week or two.

It quickly became an experiment of delightful discoveries such as strawberry (or any other berry) coconut butter, and lots of coconut fudge experiments (walnut, hemp, carob, brazil nut, goji, orange). By the way, definitely make Chef Amber Shea’s Sugar-Free Strawberry Coconut Butter. Or her blueberry-vanilla. Or with raspberries.

A couple days ago I picked up a sampler size pack of Vega’s Energizing Smoothie mix in Chocolate, or Choc-a-lot. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, added-sugar-free. Check out the stats:

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So of course I decided to blend it up with half my melty coconut butter just out of the food processor. That’s all I did. Emptied the packet into the liquid coconut butter and blended it up. Pour into molds. Freeze. Eat. Repeat.

The first batch turned out utterly smooth – like purchased chocolate. This batch which I photographed above is grainy and rough (I was experimenting and it went awry. Still tastes fantastic though.)

One suggested addition, if you aren’t eating vegan – a tablespoon of grass-fed organic butter. Extra creamy and truer fudge flavor. (It’s a long story but I’m not eating vegan at present.)

The mold I have makes 16 pieces, and a rough estimate gives me 58 calories per piece, less than 1g carbohydrate, 5g fat and 1g protein. That’s a very rough estimate.

VEGA Choc-a-lot Coconut Fudge:

~ 1/2 cup melted coconut butter (maybe 3/4 cup shredded dry?) I eyeballed it.

1 packet (28g) Vega Energizing Smoothie Choc-a-lot powder

1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (sort of optional)

1 tbsp. grass-fed organic butter (optional)

Blend smooth. Pour into molds or a small, lined with plastic or parchment pan. Chill.

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Coconut Manna : Manna Drops

I pick up jars of nutiva’s Coconut Manna whenever I’m in the neck of the woods where it is always $6.99/jar. We go through a jar a month, sometimes in 2 weeks. Generally just eating it straight; especially the 2 year old. Loves it.

On the side of the label is a recipe. Manna Drops. After at least 5 jars purchased, I decided today that I would make it. It’s only five ingredients, all of which I had on hand. Lucky me.

I filled a bowl with hot water and let the jar sit at least 10 or 15 minutes, because it was pretty solid. Depending on the temperature in your home (whether it’s summer, where you live, etc.) it might be quite creamy at room temp. Mine wasn’t. Once all stirred into a creamy, dreamy, buttery and pourable spread, it was ready. Now you need 2 minutes and you’re done. Seriously. I timed myself.

In a small bowl, mix 2 parts Coconut Manna, 1 part hemp hearts, 1 part hemp protein powder with 1/2 part liquid sweetener. (Raw honey would be yummy but I used raw agave, as I knew maple syrup would overpower the taste.)

To mine, I added about 1/3 part spirulina powder. It was already pretty green from the hemp protein anyway. The other thing I should note is I used all coconut manna, though the jar recipe calls for coconut oil as well. It’s not necessary at all, they firmed up nicely and as a plus, aren’t overly oily.

Roll into small balls. Chill.

Nutiva’s Coconut Manna Drops with Spirulina

I estimate there are about 15 bites here, about 33 calories per bite if you think about that sort of thing.

These are good. I will definitely be making them again.

The hemp seed and especially hemp protein flavour is pronounced; so if you aren’t a fan of the taste of hemp, chances are good you won’t like these much.

*Note* After eating a few more of these out of the fridge, they are on the sweeter side; maybe it’s the agave. I’ll reduce my sweetener more next batch.

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Just Fruit

I’ve been eating very simply since my last post.

Like this was a meal:

Yeah, bananas. They’re cheap.

Also I ate many pounds of fresh blueberries and a few bags of cherries over the past few days. And a few little tubs of these medjool dates:

Love these medjool dates. They are squishy and squashy and moist and soft and sweet and generally only 1 per tub lets loose a little puff of black dust when being pulled open to depit.

With the Excalibur still blowing cold air, and the juicer dead, and the bank account running on fumes, I’ve had no choice but to eat fruit and whatever nuts or seeds I already had at home. Cashews and almonds gone, hemp hearts are up until I sell some stuff. I did find 3 pennies today though!

 

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Hemp’d Broccoli

I have no idea what to call this. Broccoli Mash didn’t sound appealing. It’s very tasty, tangy and slightly spicy (because I added curry powder). It also has this flavour which comes through that tastes like mayonnaise, at least, the way I remember mayo tasting. I haven’t had it in over a year.

 

In the food processor:

2 crowns of broccoli, without thick stalk (you want at least 1 cup ground up broccoli)

1/3 yellow onion

Pulse and blend until a mealy consistency. Or much smoother if you don’t want texture.

 

Add:

~1/8 tsp. quality salt

~1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

juice of 1/2 lime

splash of apple cider vinegar

Blend again.

 

Add:

1/2 cup hemp seed hearts

Optional:

~1 1/2 tsp. quality curry powder (not pictured)

 

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this – add to blended salads? Wrap in lettuce and nori? Eat off the spoon? (already did that). I bet it would dehydrate like a dream into a veg cracker recipe, but what’s that? Yeah, mine’s busted.

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookie Balls

*Not entirely raw*

In the food processor:

1/3 cup oat flakes

1/16 tsp. organic aluminum free baking powder

1/16 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. quality salt

~ 1 tsp. nutritional yeast

Process to a fine flour. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

 

In the food processor:

2/3 cup raw cashews

1 tbsp. coconut flour

Process to a fine flour. Add to mixing bowl. Combine well.

 

Add to bowl of dry ingredients:

3 tbsp. agave syrup

1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Mix well. Fold in about 1/4 cup chopped chocolate.

Form into balls. Store in fridge or freezer.

Note: This mixture was quite sticky. I rubbed coconut oil on my hands a few times while rolling the balls to keep it from sticking all over the place. Worked great. Lots of online recipes for these cookies call for up to 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, I just don’t think it really needs the extra fats.

Don’t omit the baking powder and baking soda. It’s oddly necessary for a VERY authentic cookie dough taste.

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