The very kind folks over at Vega sent me a sample of their newest product to review. Now if you've been reading here for any length of time, you'll know that I do not use protein powders or "nutritional" supplements. I am a firm believer that the only healthy nutrition comes from whole plant foods, not from pills or powders. Protein powders are not whole foods, they are heavily processed and refined, and I avoid them.
I am regularly offered products to try. Most of them are vegan junk foods full of highly processed soy, so I turn them down. I was willing to try the Vega smoothie because it was formulated by vegan ironman Brendan Brazier, who is a proponent of vegan whole foods. I recieved this simply for review, I make no profit from it. And as I've mentioned in the past, I will not recommend products I do not believe in. I do not like to give bad reviews, but I will not compromise my integrity.
The product arrived in beautiful packaging. As usual, the first thing I did was to read the ingredient list-
organic green pea protein, organic coconut palm nectar, flaxseed, hemp protein, organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic green food blend (alfalfa grass, organic kale leaf, organic spinach leaf, organic broccoli sprout, spirulina), natural flavours, xanthan gum, beet powder, digestive enzyme blend, citric acid, malic acid, dairy-free probiotic blend (L. acidophilus, B. bifidum).
I was happy to see this contained no soy.
I was immediately unhappy about the pea protein, the hemp protein, and the rice protein, as well as the natural flavors. Ground dried peas would have been great. Pea protein is not a whole food. And I discussed how unnatural "natural flavors" really are in this post.
Since I had agreed to try this, I went ahead and mixed up a glass for myself along with one for my son. Per package directions, I added 2 tablespoons to 1 c. of cold water. Very simple.
I was pleased to see that this contained no artificial colors. But it didn't mix well in the water and by the time I carried it to the table, it had all settled to the bottom of the glass. If you use this, it would be best to mix it in a drink bottle that you can shake to keep remixing it, or else guzzle it down as soon as you make it.
The smoothie mix comes in a variety of flavors- tropical fruit, chocolate, vanilla and berry. I was given the berry to review. Neither myself or my son cared for the flavor. It was reminiscent of berries, but quite odd, and the texture was just too thin to be considered a smoothie. It was really just a glass of water with some protein powder mixed in it.
Overall, I am sorry, but I must say I could never recommend this product. It is touted as a whole food product when clearly it is not one. I will stick to my real whole food smoothies, like these kale smoothies and these beet smoothies.