Superfood Mixes: For Those On the Go But Not the Faint of Heart
Image source: Amazing Grass
Recently I sampled several Superfood products from Amazing Grass. Superfood - those green, vitamin-packed food and drinks that look like someone just cut a swatch out of your front lawn, juiced it and served it up to you in a glass. Amazing Grass now offers several handy nutrition bars and mixes to blend in drinks, all claiming to give lots of health benefits with few or no downsides. This holiday season I sat around with a few family members (eco-friendly and not-so-eco-friendly alike) and sampled the items. This is what we had to say:Nutrition Bars
First, Amazing Grass offers several nutrition bars called their Green SuperFood bars. They come as plain and chocolate-covered Whole Food Nutrition Bars. Both bars are vegan friendly, dairy free, fair trade, raw, cold-processed and can help to balance your alkalinity. Both bars are made from almost all organic ingredients and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. But does something this "good" for you also taste good?
The plain Whole Food Energy Bar, oddly enough, smells a little bit like soy sauce and stir fry. Not sure which of the items gives it this scent, but it might be a bit much in terms of smell to stomach first thing in the morning for breakfast. On the other hand, my brother in law enjoyed them so much he said if he was in the desert, he would fight a man to get one. The plain bars are also green, but cover them in a little chocolate and you can't tell the difference between them and any other nutrition bar. Also, they are filled with different grasses and grains, which you can see in a cross-section of the bar, but when you eat them, they are so smooth and don't stick to your teeth like other health bars - my sister said you could even eat them with dentures, but what does she know.
The chocolate bar definitely helped to mask both the smell and the looks, for those who are concerned with either. Only adding one gram of fat with the chocolate layer, the two bars are pretty much the same but the chocolate makes the bar more accessible for those with novice health-food palettes. Overall all taste-testers said that if you are already into eating nutrition bars then you might enjoy it, but neither bar left much of an impression that anyone in the group would go out and buy it again.
Amazing Grass also makes several powder mixes that you can add to your favorite drinks to jump-start your morning or help add a few more vitamins and minerals into your daily diet. We sampled several mixes - the Organic Wheat Grass, the Chocolate Green Superfood, the chocolate Kidz Superfood and the Green Superfood - and here are the results:
The chocolate Kidz Superfood drink was hands down the favorite among everyone. We even mixed it in with soy milk and everyone still drank it and said they would drink it again. It would be a great mix-in for kids if you are trying to get a few more fruits and veggies in, or to get your kids to drink soy milk. Plus the milk only has one gram of sugar - score!
The Organic Wheat Grass was hands down the least favorite in the group. It should be noted that no one in the group takes wheat grass on a daily or regular basis, so someone used to the flavor might have an easier time digesting the drink. The drink recommends that you mix it into 8-12 ounces of your favorite drink or water. That dilutes down the wheatgrass powder and if it doesn't blend in well means that you have a lot of wheatgrass to choke down each morning. We mixed the wheatgrass in 10 ounces of water and were left with a huge lump of wheatgrass at the bottom of the glass. My sister said the taste reminded her of "siphoning off water in a fish tank." Hmm.
If you're already taking wheat grass on a regular basis, then you probably have your own herb garden in your kitchen and won't need packets of mix. But, if you travel a lot and need wheat grass, this is a handy alternative. The mix never really mixed into the water, and even after lots of stirring, once I got to the bottom of the glass, there was a thick amount of wheat grass. I know the recommendation is to mix it in an 8 ounce glass, but it might almost be better to take this as a shot, the way juice stores intended it.
The plain Green SuperFood mix drink, is green in color like other SuperFood drinks, but it's not nearly as sweet. The powder is mixed in with 8-12 ounces of water, and its up to you to find the right proportions - we went with 10 ounces, and it might have been too much water. The drink didn't have much flavor and tended to be rather gritty. Possibly with less water, or a sweeter drink, the mix would have made for a better drink.
The chocolate Green Superfood mix drink was not as good as the Kidz version. It tasted like a chocolate drink, but only if you like that dry, dark chocolate flavor. It didn't really mix in very well with the soy milk and had a powdery flavor. If you're not into sweet drinks, but want something different to go with breakfast, then this might be a good way to pack in a few more benefits. Being chocolate, you can't mix this superfood into too many drinks, but it might be good mixed with water and heated like hot cocoa. Again, watch your proportions to keep from diluting down the mix.
Why Superfood and Wheat Grass?The folks at Amazing Grass have a handy FAQ page answering the why's (b/c they make for some of the most potent and nutritious drinks by combining some of the best green leafy vegetables around and helps to balance and restore your body's normal functions), whether the canisters are BPA free ( yes ) and whether you can eat wheat grass if you are allergic to wheat. The website also has recipes for using the superfood and wheat grass powders in both food and drinks.
Overall, the Superfood bars and drink mixes were not bad. If you enjoy superfood products already, or are looking to pack in a lot of health benefits, then these bars might work. Also, for the adventurous palette, willing to mix and match with different proportions and drink bases, this could be a healthy alternative for those on travel. For those with kids, the Kidz Chocolate drink is a great way to doctor up their favorite drink.
On a side note: Oddly enough, the dog got a few licks in of the superfood drink and she was mellowed out for the rest of the day. Later on she smelled the package and it was all we could do to keep her off of it. So, keep in mind, SuperFood is good for you, just don't let your dog near it. Amazing Grass products are available online and in health food stores, in both canisters and individual packets.:Amazing GrassMore on Health Food DrinksInnocent Drinks - What Makes a Sustainable Smoothie?I Get High With a Little Help from C-IceEarthTalk - Soft Drink SolutionGreen Eyes On: New Non-Dairy Probiotics and the Future of FoodFood and Health Archives