Tag Archives: dense

GoGo Quinoa Review

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GoGo Quinoa

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About GoGo Quinoa:

We started our operations in 2004 with the arrival of a first container of quinoa pasta. Our ambition was to create an ethical business dedicated to the promotion of organic food and fair trade practices. Six years later the GoGo Quinoa™ products line includes over 30 gluten-free, vegan and organic products made from quinoa and amaranth and distributed across Canada.

GoGo Quinoa is a manufacturer specialized in ancient grains and quinoa products. The purpose of GoGo Quinoa has been to provide healthy gluten – free products not only to those with celiac disease, wheat allergies, gluten intolerance or on wheat free diet, but also organic, vegan and delicious tasting products that the whole family will enjoy.

All our products such as our gluten-free cookies chocolate chips, gluten-free pasta with quinoa or amaranth grains, Granissimo blends and Ready to cook Paella, Pilaf, Burger Mix, Pancake mix, Hot cereal mix and many others are made with only highest quality ingredients.

We are headquartered in a twenty thousand square feet facility in Ville St-Laurent, in Montreal and continue to grow our line by developing and manufacturing products that incorporate local ingredients and fulfill our customers tastes and needs.”

Dark Chocolate Cake Mix

About:

“Moist and chocolatey, the cake mix is garnished with dark chocolate chips. Only a few minutes are required to prepare the batter.

Ingredients: 
Organic flour mix (brown rice, kaniwa), organic sugar, evaporated organic cane juice, organic tapioca starch, organic cocoa powder, organic chocolate chips, baking powder (alum free), organic flakes (amaranth, quinoa), baking soda, organic buckwheat porridge, guar gum, pink salt, organic chia seeds.”

Quinoa Crunchies

About:

“Gluten free and organic cinnamon sweet chip like snack.

Ingredients: 
Organic rice flour, organic quinoa flour, unrefined cane sugar and cinnamon. 

Allergy and intolerance information: 
Free of: Sesame seeds, Wheat, Kamut, Spelt or Triticale, Eggs, Milk and Soybeans.”

Vegetarian Paella

About:

“Ready to cook paëlla mix. Very easy and very quick to prepare. A good source of iron and protein.

 Ingredients: 

Organic white rice, organic black and red quinoa royal, red beans and/or pinto beans, tomato powder, organic paprika, carrots, green beans and/or green peas, organic onion, red pepper, salt, organic garlic, and organic turmeric.”

Quinoa Burger

About:

Ingredients: 
Pre-cooked organic quinoa, organic quinoa flakes, organic amaranth flakes, organic quinoa flour, organic quinoa grains, salt, spices (cumin, black pepper, garlic, turmeric, parsley, tomato, onion, green pepper).”

Quinoa Cookies

About:

“Ingredients:

Organic royal quinoa flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, kaniwa (baby quinoa) flour, non-hydrogenated palm fruit oil*, evaporated cane juice, dark chocolate chips (pure dark chocolate also called chocolate liquor, cane juice, natural vanilla essence), brown sugar, quinoa puffed grains, chia seeds, sodium bicarbonate, natural vanilla extract. * From sustainable harvesting.”

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My Thoughts:

I am fascinated by brands that take one healthy food and generate a plethora of products with it as its foundation. GoGo Quinoa makes quinoa-packed goodies that range from vegetarian paella to cake mix.

If you have read any of my prior blog posts, you are aware that ingredients are of the utmost importance to me, regardless of taste. After reading GoGo Quinoa’s ingredient lists, mission, and method behind farming, I feel great about this brand. The ingredient list is chock full of organic ingredients, and their products also boast an Eco Cert Label. This means, from the Eco Cert website:

“Ecocert inspects products on the basis of this specification, and issues organic certification. The products in question must bear the wording ‘Ecocert-certified’. This is the only labeling guaranteeing organic certification for the consumer. The product can consequently be marketed being described as ‘organic.'”

So, in other words, a brand with this certification has been deemed organic, meaning:

“grown avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers or synthetic products, in ground fertilized with organic fertilizers and natural minerals favorable to life within the soil, application of the precautionary principle.”

In regards to taste, these products are very enjoyable. Sometimes, you try a cake mix that contains more healthful ingredients and it just does not taste good. In this case, all of these GoGo Quinoa products are very tasty. You can tell that there is a little something different about them, but it’s not a bad thing. If anything, the use of quinoa and the other grains like amaranth add some earthiness to the dishes.

It’s worth mentioning that I typically avoid grains. I don’t consume them on a regular basis. There are many differing opinions and thoughts on quinoa, but I consider it to be a complete protein and a seed. A few of these products contain rice flour–which I would typically stray from. I try to get my carbohydrate intake from mainly fruit. With all of that rambling, I simply am meaning to say that these products are not a gigantic part of my diet. They are a way to splurge healthfully, sans gluten.

The cookies and the cake were my favorites (can you say sweet tooth?). I could have eaten the whole box of cookies in one sitting. The paella and quinoa burgers are great because they can serve as a delicious alternative for those that do not eat meat. I do consume meat, myself, but I realize that there are many of you out there that are perhaps looking for vegetarian alternatives. Meat eater or not, though, I would recommend GoGo Quinoa products to all of you. Great quality, great flavors and an all around great brand with a thoughtful mission and outlook on producing food.

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Amrita Endurance Bar Review

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Amrita Endurance Bars

Overall Rating: images

About Amrita:

“Arshad grew up in India where eating fresh fruits and vegetables was a way of life. After coming to the United States, Arshad became a serious cyclist but when he took six years off active racing he gave up vegetarianism and gained weight. Meanwhile, Arshad’s son was diagnosed with autism and severe gastrointestinal issues.

In order to get their son on track Arshad and his wife started their son on an aggressive gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition program. The nutritional changes helped heal his gastrointestinal issues, allowing for better nutrition absorption, making it easier for him to focus on the other therapies. Now, Ayaan is in a regular classroom doing well academically.

Based on his son’s nutritionally based autism and gastrointestinal recovery and his own drop in cholesterol and weight by following a similar allergy-friendly diet, Arshad became convinced that plant-based nutrition was the right approach for managing inflammation. The significance of reducing one’s allergen load to help the body recover from daily stresses (such as consumption of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, oils, preservatives, and chemical-containing non-organic foods) became apparent. As a result, he sought to develop snacksfree of these damaging ingredients

During Arshad’s preliminary research of “natural” energy bars on the market, he became concerned about the pervasive use of whey and soy protein, both highly acidic foods. Whey is a byproduct of the cheese-making process and has been shown to cause digestion problems. Soy protein isolate has also been shown to adversely affect thyroids, fertility, hormones, and digestion. Arshad decide to use raw vegan brown rice protein, which boasts a complete amino acid profile exceptionally high in glutamine, argentine, lysine, leucine, and branched-chain amino acids.

Arshad realized that using brown rice protein and dried fruts—such as tropical mangoes, pineapples, and Mejdool dates—together with a rich blend of raw sunflower seeds and sesame seeds would provide essential proteins and fats without the added allergens from nuts, dairy, and soy. As an added bonus, his kids could also take them as part of their peanut-free school lunches!

Arshad launched “Amrita”  in 2012 while working full-time with 3 young kids.  Based on the rapid positive response from farmers markets and stores, Arshad went into Amrita full time in July of 2013.  Amrita in sanskrit means “nectar”.  To really separate Amrita from other energy bars on the market, Arshad packed each bar full of superfoods, such as chia seeds, maca, unsweetened coconut, with delicious hints of vanilla and Himalayan Pink salt for taste and flavor balance.

When making Amrita bars, Arshad ensured ingredients were rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s, with a good dose of fiber and heaps of easily digestible protein. Of course every ingredient is Non-GMO.  Most importantly, they had to taste amazing, which was easy to deliver based on having  3 picky kids in the house and all their peers as test kitchens.

On average, approximately 70% of the ingredients used to make Amrita bars are organic.

Apricot Strawberry

About:

“Tangy moist apricot with sweet chunks of baby strawberries brings your taste buds alive! Yum!

Nutrition: Calorie: 235 (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 36g Carbohydrates + 7g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia Seeds.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

Apple Cinnamon

About:

“As American as it gets –  Big chunks of dried apples, juicy dates and fresh cinnamon.

Nutrition: Calorie: 228 (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 36g Carbohydrates + 7g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia seeds.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

Chocolate Maca

About:

“Big chunks of cacao, with tons of superfood rich raw maca and 15gm of organic brown rice protein

Nutrition: Calorie: 284 (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 30g Carbohydrates + 15g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

Cranberry Raisin

About:

“A perfect blend of tangy cranberries dancing with sweet raisins, chia seeds, and loaded with brown rice protein.

Nutrition: Calorie: 243  (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 38g Carbohydrates + 7g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

Mango Coconut

About:

“Tropical juicy mango with sweet coconut – saving you a trip to Thailand!

Nutrition: Calorie: 219 (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 32g Carbohydrates + 7g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

Pineapple Chia

About:

“Sun ripened sweet pineapple chunks with superfood chia seeds – straight from tropical South America.

Nutrition: Calorie: 235 (50gm/1.8oz) = 7g Fat + 36g C
arbohydrates + 7g Protein. 4g Fiber and 1000mg Chia.

Raw, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free*, Soy-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher.

*Contains Coconut.”

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My Thoughts:

The first thing that stands out to me with these Amrita Endurance bars is how pleasant my interaction has been with the founder, Arshad. He has been very helpful, informative and generous in working with me and R.O.O. I really appreciate that aspect of this brand and it will certainly play a role in driving me to continue to support Amrita.

They bars are pretty darn close to 100% awesome. Since they are 70% organic, I’d say that they are 70% awesome. 🙂 In all seriousness, I truly appreciate the fact that Amrita states that they do not use any GMO ingredients. They are refreshingly transparent in admitting that their bars are 70% organic, whereas some brands tend to throw in a small percentage of organic ingredients and then put “organic” in big fat letters on the label. Amrita has recognizable, easy to follow ingredient lists that clearly state which ingredients are organic. As always, entirely organic is the goal. I feel that Amrita is in a very high percentile when compared to other health bars (in regards to quality). In addition to being 70% organic, these bars boast labels that read “raw, plant-based, dairy free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-gmo, kosher.” I am concerned about nuts being in my bars (in fact, I prefer them) but I think the main advantage of these bars being free of those foods is that it makes them available to individuals and kids who have food allergies or sensitivities.

Speaking of taste, these bars taste REAL. They taste like their are made of whole food ingredients, because they are. You can pick out the flavors here and there as you eat them. Amrita has nailed a few of their flavor combinations in the Mango Coconut, Pineapple Chia and Apricot Strawberry. All of the flavors are very enjoyable, respectively, but those 3 were the ones I enjoyed most. I love that Amrita makes a bar with Maca. Maca is a superfood (in this case, in powder form) that helps balance and improve hormone production in the body. As someone who has suffered with intense periods and hormonal skin breakouts, I am always looking to eat plant based foods that help address that.

These bars are good when you really need a punch of energy and nutrients. Since all of these bars have a relatively high sugar content (from fruits and natural sources), I wouldn’t recommend them to someone trying to minimize their sugar intake. Or, for those individuals, I’d recommend just sticking to eating these bars only after an intense workout, not regularly throughout the day. I’d imagine these bars would appeal most to active individuals who believe in a plant-based, non-gmo, mostly organic approach to fueling up. These are some of the best tasting and highest quality you can buy and their range of flavors is sure to please any palate or list of dietary restrictions.

Get 15% off your order of Amrita Bars using the coupon code “thanks” !

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Review

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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Products

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Manitoba Harvest:

“We heart hemp foods SO much we see no reason to love any other, and that’s why we ONLY manufacture and sell hemp foods.

When it comes to hemp foods, we want to know as much as possible and be involved at every level – from seed to shelf. Luckily we are! We are tremendously proud to be the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer to grow, make and sell our own line of hemp foods.

We are in the fields educating farmers and encouraging more hemp acres.

We are making everything on-site at our world class manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing plant has achieved the highest level of global certification in food safety and quality.

We are proactively spreading the word about hemp foods to all those that will listen. We share over a million sample packages per year to hemp fans young and old all across North America.

Sharing the hemp love is just what we do best.

Our Mission

To manufacture and market the highest quality hemp food products, to educate on the health and environmental benefits of hemp, and to strive for sustainability in all that we do.

Vision Statement 
To be the global leader in hemp food products, promoting health and wellness, and fostering positive change for community and the environment.

Core Values

  • Passion
  • Health
  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Fun.”

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Hemp Hearts

Manitoba Harvest’s Description:

“There’s no need to grind the seed as they are ready to eat straight from the bag. Hemp Hearts™ make it easy to add omegas, protein & fiber straight into your diet.

Hemp Hearts, the very best and most nutritious part of the hemp seed, the heart. By shelling the hemp seed, you get only the center, with its raw nutrition, rich nutty flavor and tender crunch. So easy to use, eat them straight out of the package or sprinkle on anything – salad, cereal or yogurt. The only limit is your imagination!

Unlike some other seeds, there is no need to grind Hemp Hearts to get at the incredible nutrition. They are full of protein with 10 grams of complete plant-based protein per 30 gram (3 tablespoons) serving size. Hemp Hearts are also a great way to add omegas or EFAs (essential fatty acids) to your diet. According to the World Health Organization, the ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs is 4:1 and the naturally occurring ratio in Hemp Hearts is 3.75:1. Hemp Hearts contain more protein and Omega-6 & 3 and less carbs than a similar serving of Chia or Flax.

Our farmer partners deliver whole seed directly to our state-of-the-art, globally certified facility. Here we remove the hard outer shell of the hemp seed, leaving just the soft, tasty Hemp Heart, which are tested for quality then sealed in a modified atmosphere, light impermeable package to lock in the freshness.”

My Description & Thoughts:

I have been a fan of the hemp plant for several years now. It’s a nutritionally dense plant and the seeds, or hearts, are incredibly delicious. These hemp hearts by Manitoba Harvest are of the utmost quality, and you can taste it. These are a staple in my pantry–as I use them in baking grain free baked items, sprinkled over bowls of fruit, in salads and ground up in a smoothie. They are so versatile and  they add a yummy, nutty flavor to any dish you put them in.

I’d highly recommend these hemp hearts to anyone! In my opinion, more individuals should be incorporating hemp seeds into their diet. They are an absolute superfood and a delicious addition to your diet.

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Hemp Protein

Manitoba Harvest’s Description:

Hemp Pro 50: 

“The ‘essential’ hemp protein powder.

  • Raw, whole food made with a single ingredient – hemp!
  • Tastes great! Blends well with your favorite smoothie ingredients!
  • A complete plant based protein great for vegan/vegetarian diets.
  • Incredibly nutritious – per 30 gram serving, HempPro 50 contains 15 grams of easy to digest, plant based protein, 7 grams of fibre and 2.6 grams of Omegas.”

Hemp Pro 70:

“The world’s first easy-to-mix hemp protein powder.

  • Water soluble – mixes easily into any delicious drink! Just add to shaker cup and go.
  • Smooth, creamy texture that tastes great!
  • Can also be stirred into yogurt, or hot cereal and is great for baking.
  • Easily digestible, complete, plant-based protein.
  • Incredibly nutritious – per 30 gram serving, HempPro70 contains 20 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of Omegas.”

Hemp Pro Fiber:

“Restore your digestive health with HempPro Fiber.

  • 13g fiber (52% RDI) per 30g serving.
  • 11g protein and 2.7g omegas per 30g serving.
  • Organic, raw whole food.
  • Easy to digest plant-based complete protein.
  • Blend into smoothies or add to baking.”

My Description & Thoughts on the Proteins:

The quality of the ingredients is of the utmost quality to me when I try new products. When I see that a product boasts great ingredients, I am merely sold right there. This is the case for these proteins. They are nutrient powerhouses and deliver a whole lot of plant based protein to your body.

The different in between Manitoba’s three proteins is mainly protein density. The Hemp Pro 50 is 50% protein by weight, Hemp Pro 70 is 70% protein by weight and the Hemp Pro Fiber is hemp protein combined with hemp fiber powder.

Hemp protein tastes a bit earthy, green and a tad nutty. I have yet to find a combination that doesn’t work in using this protein in smoothies. It goes well with any fruit–the flavor of the fruit often times masks the hemp flavor altogether.

You can’t go wrong incorporating these proteins into your diet. I am not vegan nor vegetarian, but these proteins are suitable for individuals who are, as they are 100% plant derived. Go hemp! These are fantastic products and absolutely have my stamp of approval.

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.