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New Additions to Greg’s Vegan Protein Grenades

Posted Sep 19 2011 9:00am

A while back I blogged about the protein grenades I routinely make Greg. Basically, they’re little glass mason jars that have a single serving protein mixture (vegan and mostly raw) in each. I say “single” but there’s more than that in each (typically a few scoops of protein powder and other goodies). However, for Greg, it’s a single serving in that he dumps the contents into his shaker cup, adds filtered water, and drinks it as one of his shakes for the day. He’ll drink anywhere from 2-5 of these a day. It’s a lot of protein, but it’s what he wants for his body in building lean muscle. Plus, he works out, by strength training a 3-day split, regularly. You can read more about his grenades in detail here.

Today, I’m featuring a couple of new items we’ve tried recently in an attempt to further diversify his grenades. One is a new protein powder and the other items are sprouted (dried) ingredients.

Plant Fusion – This is a vegan, non-gmo protein powder.

When they sent me an email requesting that I review their product, they wrote:

We have created a very unique 100% plant based protein powder that is allergy free (no dairy, no soy, no gluten, no animal). We put a ton of time and energy into this product to make it unlike any other plant proteins on the market. PlantFusion has an amino acid profile comparable to Whey protein and also has a perfect PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) of 1.0(100%). It is made from 4 key and rare ingredients:

Pea Protein, Artichoke Protein, Fermented Organic Quinoa Sprout, and Fermented Organic Amaranth Sprout 

Using this new cutting edge formula we’ve found a way to give PlantFusion a delicious, creamy milkshake taste that is unmatched by any competing brand. 

I tried the vanilla, and most of you know I’m not a big vanilla fan. This was pretty good – I wish I had been able to try the chocolate so I could’ve given you a better review in comparing the taste with the other vegan chocolate protein powders I routinely use.

I had a couple of concerns though because there is fructose in it as well as a seemingly high amount of sodium. After inquiring on those topics, here is their response:

Unfortunately sodium is naturally occurring in any pea protein shake. You’ll have trouble finding any pea protein under 300 mg of sodium per serving. If you’re consuming 2000 mg of sodium per day and you drink a PlantFusion shake on top of that, the protein shake is used to displace the less healthy calories. As for the fructose, we use 4g per serving in our flavored Plantfusion, and only 2g per serving for our unflavored product. I hope this helps and although the sodium might be a little higher then we like, it’s only because of the nature of peas.The source of our fructose is from corn an it is non GMO. It is not comparable to table sugar at all.

PlantFusion has certified organic ingredients in our new formula- quinoa, and amaranth. Our other two ingredients (peas and artichokes) do not have an organic source. We get our peas from Europe where the standards are very strictly regulated and monitored.

You might be interested to hear our process for screening PlantFusion for all containments and heavy metals. When PlantFusion first came out our main protein source was derived from rice. Last summer, ConsumerLab.com tested a number of protein shakes for both label claim and contaminants. Interestingly the products that contained rice as a main ingredient tested very high for lead.  Those results were posted online.  A few weeks later, Consumer Reports the national household buyers guide ran their own report on popular protein shakes.  They focused on more prominent national brands like EAS, Muscle Milk, and sports nutrition company BSN.  While these products were made from whey protein and not rice, surprisingly they also tested very high for lead.  Not as high as the rice proteins but way beyond what is generally acceptable.   Just to give you some reference, lead is the leading contaminant responsible for heavy metal poisoning in children.  In fact, the FDA actually established a standard for lead in childrens candy about six years ago at just .1ppm.  Which is basically zero.   And then there is a standard set under California’s Prop 65 legislation which is .5mcg per serving.  As the natural products industry, if we’re not focused on this issue, then who will be? 

So looking at all of that, we then chose to separately test all of the different ingredients we were using …………….from that, we determined that if we took the rice out of the formula and replaced it with the quinoa and amaranth, we would have a formula that could potentially comply with the ultra-stringent Prop 65 and at the same time provide a better overall formula for our customers.  I say, potentially comply because the standard is extremely strict and we still need to compile more results to confirm the Prop 65 compliance so we cannot claim compliance yet.  But I wanted to sort of bring you into the journey with us so you know the background.  Interestingly we also tested many of the other plant based proteins that share the shelves with us and lead content ranged anywhere from double our level (the lowest) to 1000% higher or more. 

Interesting info, huh? It sure pays to be diligent and research. Overall, I’m impressed with the company, the unique blend of plant proteins they use, and I liked how easily it shook up with plain water the few times I tried it on my own. And, I love that there are BCAAs included. Not all protein powders include these, and I love that Plant Fusion does. For more information, visit here .

The other items we tried are from Sprout Living. Specifically, they sent me their Broccoli & Kale Sprout Mix and their 5 Beans Sprout powder mix. I chose to use them in the grenades and in smoothies. These really help amp up the nutrient content of shakes. (You can eat them by the spoonful or sprinkle them on top of your salads, too.) They have an impressive list of ingredients that many raw foodists don’t typically get in their diet on a regular basis, so adding these can help.

Being the questioning consumer, however, I did want to inquire as to the safety of their “sprouted” products. Here is their response:

The sprouts are safe, they are 3rd party tested after production to ensure that. Also, the key to mold and other bacterial prevention is the actual freeze drying which takes away most moisture.

Cool. Here is a link for more information on their products, including some beautiful organic protein powders they offer that I’ve blogged about in the past.

So… have you tried these products? Thoughts?

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