Product Review: Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens

Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens in Vanilla - nutritional benefits, low sugar, high protein, vegan, green powders, organic

A key to the success of a healthy lifestyle is making meals and concocting snacks that are tasty and as packed with nutrients as you possible. Making your recipes work for you means you’re nourishing your body and mind without depleting your precious physical and emotional energy. One way to do this is to through smoothies, which is why you see the onslaught of smoothie recipes on this site and in our social feed.

As a nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free practice, we are always on the hunt for vegan protein without nuts or soy that can be integrated into a variety of meals and snacks, like – you guessed it – smoothies!

A veteran dilettante of vegan protein powders, we were thrilled to see the repackaged and re-formulated Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens during a foray of shopping to restock our own inventory!

Raw Protein & Greens Powder? Here’s the scoop #punintended 🙂

  • HIGH PROTEIN: 20 grams of raw organic plant protein from Organic Peas and Sprouted Organic Grains, Seeds and Legumes plus 6 organic greens and veggies
  • POST WORKOUT RECOVERY: Help your muscles recover with a clean nutritional shake powered by organic protein and nutrient-rich organic green energy
  • GREEN SUPERFOOD DRINK: This delicious vanilla protein powder is power-packed with green energy from raw, organic greens and green juices
  • PROTEIN POWDER WITH PROBIOTICS: Tasty, smooth protein shake with 1.5 billion CFU probiotics and 13 non-GMO enzymes for easy digestion
  • VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER: Organic, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, Informed Choice Certified (Trusted by Sport), non-GMO whole food protein

Our Take

The vanilla flavor is subtle and not too sweet. The smell and flavor is almost identical to the Garden of Life Raw Vegan Protein Powder we’ve grown to love with only a subtle earthy smell, attributed to the greens. The relatively high vegan protein content has additional benefits of sprouted greens and grains and is organic, as well, with low sugar (<1 gram). Even with the sprouted grains and legumes, this protein powder is gluten-free and gentle to digest for those with aversions to beans.

It’s a perfect add-in to protein pancakes or to a variety of smoothie flavors/recipes with its low glycemic index (you know how we’re off the sugar wagon!), added greens (like alfalfa, spinach, kale, broccoli, carrot and beet – yay!) and versatile vanilla flavor.

One last note: The probiotic content was not a strong selling point because we supplement gut flora with a high dose of probiotics via capsule. Because of the way we use protein powder, which includes smoothies as well as baked goods, the probiotic power is diminished significantly; even used in a smoothie, we can’t vouch for the healthy bacteria making it to the small intestine intact because we haven’t seen or performed the research. If you’re looking to increase your healthy gut flora through Garden of Life products, try probiotic capsules, like these, or explore fermented foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, or low sugar kombucha.

Let us know how you get more from your smoothies with added greens and protein!

As always, wishing you a week of greens, grace and gluten-free goodness!

S&R’s Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes

Gluten-free pancakes, Gluten free, protein rich, easy pancakes plated on a white plate

My on-the-go go-to’s for easy-peasy nutrition and variety, as is widely known, are salad bowls, rice bowls and smoothies. I fancy myself a mixologist in the kitchen, and these mixed-up menu items are my favorites! I can toss whatever I have together for an easy meal that is nutrient dense and delicious in minutes.

Who doesn’t love that?

The newest member to this roster are Pancakes, specifically S&R Protein Pancakes. (Still working out a wittier name; suggestions welcomed!)

Within five to seven minutes, you can have a healthy, balanced breakfast at your fingertips. This one is also good for kids to help make! (The younger ones will need added supervision with the pan-related tasks, though.)

 

Print

S&R Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup milk (dairy, almond, Ripple, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup gluten free old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (cage free and local, if you can. Same with the egg.)
  • 1 scoop protein powder of your choice, chocolate is best!
  • 1-2 tbl gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your pan on medium-high.

  2. Whip or beat all the ingredients above except the flour.

  3. Once fully mixed, the batter should be runny and evenly colored.

  4. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

  5. Spray pan with cooking spray or drizzle olive oil or ghee to keep pancakes from sticking.

  6. Check the pan to ensure it's sufficiently hot by dripping a few drops of water; if you hear a sizzle, it's time.

  7. Add 1/4 c. of batter for each pancake to the pan, flipping when the side-up face of pancake begins to bubble or look aerated.

The fun really begins when you divert from the basic recipe below and add your favorite mix-in’s, like maca powder, a smidgen of crushed ripe banana, almonds, cacao powder or nibs, chia seeds, etc.

Gluten free, protein pancakes plated
These easy flapjacks are nutrition goldmines!

We love to hear how you make our recipes your own! Leave a comment below and let us know how you do healthy breakfasts on-the-go!

Berry, Berry Good Smoothie: A New Take on an Old Classic

berry smoothie, recipe, gluten free, gluten free on the go, easy recipe, breakfast smoothie, breakfast, kid friendly

Although summer is drawing to a close, I still have a hankering for berries. What better way to get them than in my morning smoothie! Taking our old favorite, Green Goddess Smoothie, I added a little OJ and some frozen organic berries (found in the freezer section; cheaper than fresh, but with the same maximum nutritional punch). Also, because my energy has been dragging a bit lately (credited to a wee back injury), I tossed in a few tabs of Brewer’s Yeast for extra Niacin and B-vitamins.

The result? A fresh, delish, superfood smoothie that is just, dare I say it, berry berry good! 😉

The Berry, Berry Good Smoothie

Serves 1
1 – 1 1/2 scoops of Garden of Life RAW Protein, Vanilla flavored (seen here)
1/2 banana
Handful of Spinach or Kale (or both!)
1/4 of an avocado
1/4 cup 100% OJ (squeeze your own, or do like I do and get it from the grocery; if you buy it from the store, read the ingredients. We want only OJ in the list!)
1/4 cup milk (hemp, rice, almond, flax, etc.)
1/2 cup H2O
1/2 cup ice
1/2 tsp maca powder (seen here)
1/4 c. berries
4-5 Brewer’s Yeast tablets, or 1 tsp Brewer’s Yeast powder

For a yummy sorbet and kid-friendly dessert, add a few more ice cubes and blend or freeze until almost solid!

 Bon appétit!

 

In the Kitchen: Broccoli & Slaw Salad with Tahini Dressing

Serves 2-4 (depending on if a side item or main dish)

Ingredients:
For the Dressing:
2 tbl Tahini
1/4 c lemon juice
1 tbl water
Optional: 1/2 tbl nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper to taste

For the Salad:
One bag of broccoli slaw (can be found in the produce aisle at the grocery store)
One bag of broccoli florets or one large head of broccoli
Cooking spray or other oil of your choice (olive, coconut, sunflower, etc)
1/2 yellow or white onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1-2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1/8 c. cranberries, raisins or other dried fruits
Optional: walnuts, pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds

To Do:
Mix up the dressing by whisking the ingredients together or whipping them together with a fork. Put aside.

SautĂ© the slaw using oil or cooking spray with the onion, garlic, rosemary and fennel. You want the onions to slightly carmelize, and the colors of the slaw to stay vibrant, but be a wee bit softened to make the digestion easier on your digestive “tubes.”

While keeping your eye on the slaw, pop the broccoli florets in the microwave to blanche. I use a veggie steamer and usually cook them for about 2 minutes. You want the broccoli to maintain its green color and crunch, but be cooked just enough to be easy to digest.
*Helpful hint: if you break off a piece of the floret, it should give you a little bit of resistance. Too much resistance, it’s overcooked; too little, it’s too raw.

Once the veggies are cooked, place into a big bowl and toss with the dressing and the cranberries or other dried fruits. For you nut-friendly folks, feel free to toss in some walnuts or pine nuts for some extra yum! Vegans & Vegetarians, mix some nutritional yeast in to the the dressing to give it a little nuttier or cheesier flavor or throw on some tempeh crumbles for a fun twist! Mmmm!

The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie

Green smoothie, vegan, on-the-go, kid-friendly, vegan protein, raw

Clean, green smoothies & juices are all the rage right now – I know I just can’t get enough! – and rightfully so. They are full of vitamins & nutrients, taste delicious, and are a healthy breakfast or snack, particularly when made at home and taken on-the-go. Not to mention today’s technologies & user-friendly appliances can be found at almost every price point, so it’s becoming easier for just about anyone to whip one up!

Landscape cropped

Not sure where to start? Neither did I!  And let me just tell you, it took a while before I was able to figure out how to concoct a green smoothie that didn’t taste – or look – like some sort of green salsa or something from straight out of the garden trimmings. Holy moly, it was not at all palatable (nor very appealing to look at)! In all honesty, I gave up a few times and completely wrote off the whole “Green Smoothie Thing,” BUT, after experimenting with recipes, getting creative, and realizing that there’s no “wrong way” to making smoothies, I got the hang of it, and I’ve been enjoying a green smoothie every morning for the last two and a half years!

So, here’s the deal: Ever since I’ve been toting this magic potion into the office every morning (or indulging in one as a snack, for example, after a run with friends), people have taken notice & started to ask questions. Some even dare to ask for a sip, and inevitably, they ask for the recipe, so here it is, the recipe for The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie!

Smoothie, green smoothie, vegan, vegan protein, breakfast smoothie, gluten free, dairy free
So vibrant! Lookin’ good already!

The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie
Serves 1
1 – 1 1/2 scoops of Garden of Life RAW Protein, Vanilla flavored (seen here)
1/2 – 1 full bananaHandful of Spinach or Kale (or both!)
1/3 – 1/2 cucumber (about 1/2 cup messily chopped)
1/2 of an avocado
5 drops liquid stevia (start with 5 and add more if needed)
1 Tbl flax seed
1 cup milk (hemp, rice, almond, flax, etc.)
1/2 cup H2O
1/2 cup ice
2-3 sprigs of parsley
1 tsp maca powder (seen here)
1/4 c. berries (frozen or fresh, preferably organic)
1 Tbl Royal Jelly (**NOT Vegan)
1 Tbl chia seeds (added after blended)

A Few Tips
–  Have fun with it! Mix and match your ingredients, and don’t worry about the creating the perfect green smoothie; above all, it should be fun, and there’s nothing fun about worrying!
–  Add enough liquid (milk and/or water) that it covers 3/4 of the contents of your blender; that may mean adding more than the amounts listed above.
– If your blender “stalls,” turn it off, add a little more liquid, stir, put the top back on, and get back to blending!
–  Blend until the consistency looks like “normal” smoothie consistency (usually about 5 minutes).

Green Smoothie, Vegan, vegan protein,
Happy Blending!

The (Teeny Tiny) Superfood of the Week : Chia!

Courtesy of ABC News Travel
photo cred: ABC News

Chia seeds are one of my go-to favorite superfoods & add-in’s for many of my breakfasts and snacks. From smoothies to rice pudding to chia pudding to pancakes to oatmeal, I have a hard time not sprinkling them in!

Here’s the scoop: Chia seeds are an ancient superfood, touted by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. Listen to this: Chia actually means “strength” in the language of the Mayans, and some say, the seeds were considered “running food” because messengers could run all day fueled by these tiny little seeds.  A wee seed for strength and running? Sign me up!

Why is the Chia Seed such a nutritious powerhouse, you ask?

  • One ounce (or 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains only 137 calories, but provides four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber
  • Not only are they packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and ALA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid), but chia seeds are also high in Omega-3’s (higher than even flaxseed)
  • 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This ratio provides the nice balance for anyone looking to supplement Essential Fatty Acids (named as such because they are essential, but our bodies don’t produce them on our own)
  • The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids. (ALA’s have been found to lower risks of cardiovascular disease and reduce levels of anxiety, stress and cortisol, which left at high levels can tax the adrenal glands, throw other hormones outta whack, contribute to belly fat, and encourage other less-than-awesome physical effects on our bodies)
  • Chia seeds are a complete source of protein. They actually have 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain and also help stabilize blood sugar (Ding, ding! Huge benefit for this girl!)
  • Chia seeds are fabulous colon cleansers, bind to toxins, and actually clear out the digestive tract so that you absorb more nutrients and eliminate waste more efficiently.
  • Chia seeds do not need to be ground to be eaten. They are relatively easy-to-digest seeds (compared with its cousin, the flax seeds, which often have to be ground for folks to digest)
  • Chia seeds can be used as an egg-substitute for the vegan crowd
Whole Foods bulk section chia seeds
photo cred: Whole Foods Market

You can find chia seeds packaged similarly to quinoa in your local grocery store, in the bulk section of natural food stores, or even on Amazon.com.

To get these little guys in your diet can be super duper easy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add a scoop to your smoothie – no need to grind! I actually prefer adding the seeds after I finish blending simply for the fun texture … Gentle warning: the seeds develop a gel-like casing after sitting in liquid, which may catch you by surprise if you don’t know it’s coming
  • Sprinkle on your yogurt
  • Whip up some chia seed pudding
  • Add a tablespoon to some water or juice (if you’re a little iffy with textures, this one might not be for you)
  • Add a couple teaspoons to your pancake mix or morning oats
  • Before placing your toast in the oven or toaster oven, spray a little oil or spread a little of your butter-spread on your toast and sprinkle on the chia seeds. The butter spread will keep the chia seeds on the toast; once the bread is toasted, continue on with your usual toppings. *This one is not advised if you’re using a regular toaster; those seeds will likely fall right off!

So, how have you Chia’d today?