Finding the perfect dairy-free meal replacement for on-the-go, pre- or post-workout, or to supplement dietary needs can be tricky business. You want the perfect ratio of nutrients, it should be free of questionable ingredients, and of course, it should taste good. Perhaps I’ve found the holy grail with the enlightened nutrition of new Sunwarrior Illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal.
Sunwarrior Illumin8 is shining a light on health and nutrition (pun intended!) with “The Core 8” essentials that help to cover all your nutrition bases. The Core 8 includes protein from yellow peas, brown rice, chia, quinoa and more; “good carbs” from whole grains and legumes (no added sugars!); healthy fats from seeds and coconut; an array of essential vitamins (A, B’s, vegan D3, and K) and minerals (calcium, zinc, selenium, and more); fiber from those “good carbs” and even baobab; digestive enzymes to help in absorption, and dairy-free probiotics by the billion!
The ingredients in Sunwarrior Illumin8 read like a superfood list, with kelp, sprouts, herbs, flax, and the aforementioned chia and baobab. I certainly felt no guilt when mixing a scoop into my standard banana smoothie.
As for the flavor, I loved how the Vanilla Bean truly asserted itself, even battling the banana for top billing. The overall consistency and flavor was smooth, yet slightly rustic and earthy – it tastes much more like “real food” than many dairy-free competitors.
But somehow I felt like I was selling this dairy-free meal replacement short by only enjoying it in my simple banana smoothies. I checked out the package to see if they had any recommended recipes, and spotted the Free Smoothie Ebook link.
Quickly hopping online, I signed up, downloaded Superfood Smoothies and was pleasantly surprised by the creative and varied options! It contains 52 recipes, one new sip for each week of the year. So far, I’ve tested three of their recipes using the Vanilla Bean Sunwarrior Illumin8 …
The top smoothie is the Snake Eyes recipe – loved it! In addition to a scoop of the Sunwarrior Meal Replacement Powder it includes carob (I adore carob), banana, avocado, spinach, milk beverage and a date. I made mine extra thick (less milk beverage) and savored every spoonful.
The bottom left smoothie is the Peaches & Cream Muscle Builder. Truth be told, my frozen peaches weren’t very sweet, but with the Vanilla Bean Sunwarrior Illumin8, a touch of orange juice, hemp seeds, and a couple other goodies, the flavor was quite delicious. This recipe really highlighted that warm, bright vanilla flavor.
The bottom right smoothie is the Very Berry Smoothie. Three amazing berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries) with a nice hint of vanilla and some sneaky greens, what’s not to like?
On its own (just in water) I found the touch of stevia in the Vanilla Bean Sunwarrior Illumin8 just a wee strong (I’m a sensitive stevia taster), but in these blends, or even my banana smoothie, it added just the right touch of sweetness without being overly assertive.
Perhaps my new plate, for at least one meal of the day, will be those cute Sunwarrior coasters shown with the Very Berry smoothie above! After all, I still have 49 superfood smoothies left to trial …
This post is sponsored by Sunwarrior, but all of the opinions are my own. Sunwarrior Illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal Replacement also comes in Chocolate Azted and Mocha, but I have only sampled the Vanilla Bean to date.