Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

12
Version:
Organic Vanilla, Organic Chocolate, HempPro Fibre, HempPro 50, HempPro 70, HempPro 70 Vanilla, HempPro 70 Chocolate
Price:
$14.99 to $21.99 per 1-lb container (other sizes available)

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On August 24, 2009
Last modified:June 21, 2016

Summary:

Sometimes it's hard to escape the grit of dairy-free protein powders, but Hemp Pro 70 provides a smooth consistency and more seamless flavor that may be a good fit for the hemp averse. If you like the natural seediness of hemp and want more pure fiber or fatty acids, the other varieties are great options for blending into smoothies or experimenting with in no cook recipes.

Always on the cutting edge of all things hemp, Manitoba Harvest has released the world’s first 100% water soluble hemp protein concentrate. What does this mean? Most hemp protein powders tend to lend a slightly gritty or sandy taste to smoothies. You can’t simply blend them with water for a quick protein boost or recovery drink. But the Hemp Pro 70 hemp protein powders solve this issue.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders (Review) - several varieties, all dairy-free and vegan, some organic and flavored

That isn’t to say there isn’t a place in this world for all of the hemp protein powders. In fact, I had the opportunity to taste-test a range of Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powders, and was quite surprised at the different tastes and virtues they each possessed. They are all pretty basic, made simply from hemp seeds, but as you can see by looking at the pictures, these are completely different products.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

Note that my picture above shows the old packaging, but the product within is still the same.

Manitoba Harvest Pure Hemp Protein Powders

Hemp Pro 70 (70% protein)

The newer kid on the block, this wonder hemp protein concentrate really does perform as advertised. To taste this is the naturally “sweetest” of the three flagship hemp protein powders. I put that in quotes, as this isn’t a sugary protein powder mix, it is just the hemp and natural plant extracts. But it wasn’t bitter, as I had expected. In fact, it had a very mild sweetness that melded nicely in my smoothies rather than overwhelming in any way. Also, it was palatable on its own, just shaken with water.

As for the texture, there is no dominating grit, just a nice smooth powder that really does blend in!  I have been taste-testing quite a few protein powders lately, and this is one of my favorites. It even has a better feel and taste than brown rice protein, which tends to be very thick and powdery.

Beyond smoothies, I found that Hemp Pro 70 works wonderfully as a healthy thickener in salad dressings. It changes the taste slightly, but the consistency is virtually seamless.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

Hemp Pro 50 (50% protein)

Though it is the middle of the pack in terms of protein content, this version was the grittiest of the three primary hemp protein powders. I still didn’t find it off-putting, but it won’t be as soluble in water (or dressings) as the Hemp Pro 70. It was the second in line in sweetness, beginning to taste a bit more like hemp seeds than the Hemp Pro 70. Less protein, rougher texture, not as sweet, you might be wondering “Why choose this one over the Hemp Pro 70?”

As mentioned, each variety has virtues. The Hemp Pro 50 is perfect for those who want a little more balance and don’t have high protein requirements. The lower protein is offset with some extra fiber and a higher quantity of Omega-3’s (1200 mg per serving, compared to 800 mg per serving in the Hemp Pro 70 and 600 mg in the Hemp & Fiber). Plus, Hemp Pro 50 is cold milled; a process which some people may prefer.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

Organic Hemp Pro Fiber

The name of this one pretty much gives away its core benefits: it’s certified organic and higher in fiber (14 grams per serving!). Surprisingly, this protein powder is in the middle ground in terms of texture. It’s finer than the Hemp Pro 50, but just a bit coarser than the Hemp Pro 70. However, of the three base hemp protein powders, it tastes the most genuinely like hemp seeds. Though my taste buds initially preferred the sweeter Hemp Pro 70, there was something comforting about the natural seedy taste of the Fiber Protein Powder.

Again, it is perfect for smoothies. But due to the seedier taste and lack of solubility, it won’t perform as well when simply mixed with water or milk beverage. Nonetheless, it will probably still work nicely as a thickener in things such as salad dressings.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

Keep in mind that these hemp protein powders should be used raw. Heating them may destroy some of those wonderful Omega3 fatty acids. They should be fine when added to your morning hot cereal once cooked. However, avoid adding these hemp protein powders to anything before they head to the stove or oven.

For myself, the Hemp Pro 70 has already proven insanely useful; it is all but gone! However, I am also eager to incorporate more of the Organic Hemp & Fiber; I like that it is organic, a bit closer to its natural state, and well rounded in nutrition.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders (Review) - several varieties, all dairy-free and vegan, some organic and flavored

Manitoba Harvest Flavored Hemp Protein Powders

Thus far, I’ve trialed the Organic Dark Chocolate and Organic Vanilla Hemp Protein Powders, which seem to be made from a base of the Hemp Pro Fiber protein powder. They each contain a nice little dose of fiber (8 grams) along with the protein (10 to 11 grams) and Omega-3’s (600 to 700mg).

Organic Vanilla

Curious, I tasted just a bit of this protein powder straight. It was actually quite pleasant; lightly sweet, nutty, and gently vanilla in flavor.

Manitoba Harvest Vanilla Organic Hemp Protein Powder

I tested it first just mixed with milk beverage. Unfortunately, it failed to mix in well, quickly sinking to the bottom of my beverage after each stir. The flavor was good, but I really couldn’t taste the vanilla as much as I wanted.

On the second go, I went the smoothie route. Jackpot! I blended 1 frozen banana (broken into chunks) with ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk and ¼ cup of the Vanilla protein powder. It was a delicious post-workout reward with a great recovery ration (4 carbs to 1 protein). The banana actually helped to enhance the vanilla flavor and assisted with distributing the hemp powder.

Manitoba Harvest Vanilla Organic Hemp Protein Powder

Organic Dark Chocolate

When tasted straight, the dark chocolate and hemp flavors in this protein powder didn’t quite meld, but in smoothie form, they were excellent. I followed my basic smoothie formula above, but used unsweetened coconut milk beverage instead of almond milk.

Manitoba Harvest Dark Chocolate Organic Hemp Protein Powder

The beverage had a very nice, gentle chocolate flavor that was indeed on the dark chocolate side, but did not overwhelm. It was slightly sweet, but not too sweet, making it an excellent post workout drink. I don’t know about you, but my taste buds tend to be more sensitive after a good bout of exercise. If I were craving a sweeter shake, then I would blend in 1 softened date.

Like the vanilla, there was that slight granular consistency, but it was very mild in the smoothie, and to be expected with natural hemp protein powders. This variety was my husband’s top pick, but it may have helped that he cocoa masked the green color.

Manitoba Harvest Dark Chocolate Organic Hemp Protein Powder

To note, I love that these hemp protein powders use just a bit of coconut sugar instead of stevia. Though I do use a dash of stevia from time to time, I find it overwhelming in most brands of protein powders. Manitoba Harvest provides a nice clean and natural sweetness.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders (Review) - several varieties, all dairy-free and vegan, some organic and flavored

The Facts on Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders

Certifications: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders are Non-GMO Verified and Certified Kosher Parve. Select varieties are Certified Organic.

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powders are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Select varieties are paleo. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

For More Product Information: Visit the Manitoba Harvest website at manitobaharvest.com.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: Top Ten New Dairy-Free Foods in 2009, Countdown: #6 - Go Dairy Free

    • Hi Paulette, I don’t believe it does, but you should check with the company directly. You can use the links in this review to head straight to their site for ingredients and info!

  2. Hi Alisa,
    I am on the lookout for high protein foods/powders (as natural as possible), but always have second thoughts on any sort of powders. I constantly try to eat whole foods (and as natural and fresh as possible). I have been working out for over a year without taking any sort of protein powders, and as a reason I constantly feel like I might be missing an important part of my nutrition. What are your thoughts?
    Is there anyway of knowing details of the process Manitoba Harvest (or anyone else) uses to make their protein powders?

    • Hi Dhruva, are you vegan or vegetarian? I personally don’t have a big need for protein powders, and rarely use them, but many people who read Go Dairy Free depend on them. Each company should be able to tell you more about their processes – don’t hesitate to ask them directly!

  3. I purchased Manitoba Harvest Certified Organic Hemp Protein Vanilla. I love the taste of the smoothies I made with the powder, but it left me bloated with stomach cramps. When I purchased the powder I read the label and didn’t see any gluten in the product, but after two days of using the protein powder, I know that I definitely can’t use it any more. I learned two years ago that I had a gluten sensitivity and have followed a gluten free diet.

  4. Hey Alisa,
    I just wanted to reach out on an important matter which is that as much as I love and support Manitoba Harvest- they are not Gluten Free and have made a public statement as to why that is. Thanks!!

    • Hi Leah, thanks so much for the concern. I will ask Manitoba to comment here directly. Their products are made at a hemp dedicated facility that does NOT process any dairy, soy, nut or gluten products. They do not label as gluten-free out of concern for cross-contamination. At least that is my understanding! We’ll be updating these reviews soon, and the gluten-free will no longer be in the header to help avoid confusion. I really appreciate you being so vigilent with respect to cross-contamination issues! It is great to see people who are taking initiative on understanding where their food comes from!

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