I had been thinking about picking up some protein powder in order to trade my post-workout nut butter and toast for an antioxidant rich smoothie. Obviously, the various whey-loaded powders on the market were out. For some reason, the soy protein powders just weren’t appealing. When I spotted this hemp based protein powder by Nutiva my curiosity was peaked. Until I came across Nutiva, my hemp exposure has been limited to hemp seeds in dense, store bought muffins. But, I really did like those muffins, and as a fan of flaxseeds and all things nutty, hemp seemed like it could be a good match.
Nutiva’s protein powder is made with 100% pure raw, certified organic hemp protein powder. That’s it, not a single other ingredient. I decided to trial a single serve packet in a smoothie made with 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 cup of frozen fruit (peaches and raspberries), and 1/3 a banana (more would have been better, but its all I had left from breakfast). The powder was a not so appealing brown-green color. At first taste, the hemp had taken away too much of the sweetness, so I added just a touch of maple syrup (about ½ teaspoon) to reach flavor perfection.
The taste was excellent. It must have been…I finished the smoothie in three minutes flat and was shaking out the blender for more! The hemp protein did add a powdery taste to the smoothie, and a very slight gritty texture. Though I didn’t find it off-putting in the slightest, little ones and those with “texture” issues might make note of this. On the package, they state that the hemp has a “nutty” flavor. I didn’t really get this from my taste test, but did find it to be a nice neutral base and thickener for a smoothie.
Each serving of the protein powder boasts just 120 calories, 3 g of fat (zero saturated), 0mg of cholesterol, 15mg of sodium, and…get this…14g of fiber! I didn’t read this portion until after I polished off the whole smoothie. Move over oats, fiber bingers will soon be fighting over the hemp products! The powder also carries a good does of magnesium (roughly half the RDA) and zinc, with just a touch of calcium and other vitamins. The package listed an impressive list of amino acids, which apparently help to make this “easily digestible protein.” It was all Greek to me, but looked impressive.
Verdict: I will definitely be adding more hemp protein powder to our cupboards. I like the nutritional profile, and it is a very easy product to add to drinks or meals with out disrupting flavor.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- If you are trying to “hide” the health, use blueberries, blackberries, and/or cherries. These will do a better job of masking the green color of the powder. As you can see, my raspberries and peaches really weren’t a good color combo.
- If you are adding this protein powder to your diet for the first time, but sure to reduce the fiber in your diet by a little bit until your system adjusts, and then gradually add the fiber back in. This will help to avoid intestinal discomfort from fiber loading.
Where to Purchase: I have seen Nutiva in various natural food stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. See their website for a store locator. Though you can purchase direct from Nutiva, the prices are insanely better on Amazon. They actually carry the whole Nutiva line (including their awesome extra-virgin coconut oil and food bars), and they are eligible for free shipping.