One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yummy Yummy For My Tummy - Amazing Grass/Amazing Meal

As a vegan, it can be a bit of a pain in the butt to travel especially when you have no car, are living out of a hotel room and only have a short stack of take out menus to choose from. Because I tend to find myself in situations like this more often than not, I've grown accustomed to bringing my own food, no matter how long or short the trip. Anything that can be popped in the microwave, only requires hot water to cook or can be easily mixed in with soy milk (which I also bring) or juice fits the bill.

Lately I've been bringing cups of cereal and soy milk for breakfast or the occasional packets of maple and brown sugar oatmeal. But on my most recent trip I just couldn't bring myself to have one more bowl of cereal or oatmeal. In walks Amazing Grass' Amazing Meal. Its nothing more than a little orange packet but its chocked full of greens, protein, fruits and vegetables. Not only that but it is organic, raw, gluten free, soy free and, of course, vegan.

Each packet is 110 calories, packs 10 grams of protein (from rice and hemp), 6 grams of fiber, and is a natural source of a variety of vitamins and minerals. Its hard t believe so much green happy goodness is packed into a little 29 gram packet but its true. For the greens, they blend wheat grass, kale, barley grass and alfalfa. For protein they use rice and hemp. For the fruit and vegetable blend they use acai, carrot, blueberry, goji berry, rose hips, maca and banana as well as flax seed powder. It also contains negligent amounts of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Amazing Meals comes in chocolate, original and pomegranate mango. It seems like every powder, shake or supplement comes in chocolate so I'm kind of getting sick of it and I didn't want to take a chance on what the "original" flavor was since the list of ingredients didn't seem like it would blend seamless into something my taste buds would enjoy. The appearance of the pomegranate mango flavor intrigued me, and I knew it would take a lot of hard work to make that combination of fruits taste bad together. I enjoyed mine 3 different ways: once stirred into some orange juice, once shaken up with vanilla soy milk or hemp milk as a quick smoothie and once blended into a mango, pineapple, peach smoothie for a little extra nutrient boost. All 3 ways were absolutely divine! I did a little truffle shuffle as I drank it.

Mind you this stuff is a little pricey. With tags like "raw, organic and gluten free" its not surprising that it is. A 10 pack cost me $29.99. And singles are around $2.99 each. In the long run its cheaper and better for you than a lot of the other things available for the morning warrior or the travel mavens like me. It sure beats a bagel and banana and is much more filling. And, when you look at the total cost, is comparably priced to my travel standby of soy milk and cereal cups or oatmeal packets. All in all I'd say if you have a little extra money to spend or if you're on the road and not exactly sure where your next complete meal will be coming from or if its coming at all, I would go for this Amazing Meal. Hands down.

Where to find: Whole Foods has exclusive distribution.

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