Nutraplex: Megaberry Bar #Review #Nutraplex

 

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We are always hunting for new nutrition, energy, supplement……well, you name it type of bars. I like to not only eat bars when I am busy but I actually enjoy eating them when they are done well. That latter part is where many companies seem to forget and it use to be because it was hard to jam real nutrition into bars.  Nowadays, that is not that difficult with so many ingredients coming in powder to liquid form without compromising their nutrition value. You can really amp a bar up without skipping in real nutrition but so many bars out there are what I call fakers! Bars that call themselves nutritional but offer nothing new than being a multi-vitamin disguised in a sugary concoction. I expect more and especially if the company is asking for more price wise.

Nutraplex is a company, which carries a variety of bars that offer energy and nutrition. Their flavors are:

  • Megaberry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Pomegranate Cherry
  • Mango Strawberry

I was sent the Megaberry one to try out. Nutraplex describes their product as a, “balanced macro-nutrient ratio, plenty of omegas and fiber”.

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Ingredients: Dates, Chia Seeds, Cranberry (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Cashews, Pea Protein, Honey, Raisins, Safflower Oil, Blueberries (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Strawberries, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Raspberries, Acai Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, and Citric Acid.

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Let’s Break the above down:
The word “macronutrient” just means nutrition that the body needs in a large dose, so Nutraplex bars give you all your nutritional needs in what is really a small portion, which is a good thing. Feel full and have energy but you don’t need to amp calories and/or portions. The Megaberry has protein, which is derived from peas, so it at least breaks away from the soy enriched world so many bars have become. Once source of fiber comes from dates, which you can see from the picture is what makes up a lot of the bar and the word bar is it’s shape, but not exactly it’s consistency. Think of it more as a “soft bar shaped patty”. You have Chia seeds that are great for energy and also expand when wet, so you do feel full. You have acai in powder form, blueberries and strawberries to fill the antioxidant portion of the bar. Mixed Tocopherols and it’s really just an organic compound that helps preserve the bar and it’s oils. Many seeds and the oils they have tend to oxidize with air and light, so this is just Vitamin E used to help prevent (or at least slow down) this natural occurrence.

Retail Price Point: $2.99 per bar via Nutraplex’s site or $44.85 for a carton of 15 bars. I checked with Amazon and they have a price point of $39.45 for the carton.

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Final Verdict:
Yes, the bar is free of gluten and non-gmo ingredients, but I did not see a non-gmo certification listed on the site. Free of high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy free. You have no dyes or artificial ingredients, plus it’s kosher. The price point is high for ingredients that are not of high value but I am still making the leap that Nutraplex is using higher grades here. Trust me not all Chia seeds are created equal! Even with that in mind, the taste and texture matter. Really matter! You are dealing with simple ingredients and I value that, just not $3 a bar that is not even organic certified. Like I mentioned the bar is in it’s shape and not so much in it’s texture. I opened it and it flops a bit because it’s just ingredients compacted to form a patty…..sort resembles a seed disc for birds. Very soft and chewy and you taste berry seeds but not a burst of berry fruit notes. Think of raspberry seeds, strawberry seeds, the chia seeds and so forth but packed into a date and maybe some raisin batter. I did not find it pleasing and I’m all for the “naked bars” out there. I don’t need a coating of faux chocolate or a oat/granola filling to respect the bar but if you say berry, I expect well a berry slap of flavor. This was too date-y for me and I like dates but when you mush, grind, pulverize and so forth…….the individual flavors start to get muted and I like energy and nutrition, but I still believe you should like what you are eating to some degree other than it’s just good for you. I would walk out with a berry bag of dried (unsweetened) fruit with the same ingredients in cluster form versus the mashed-up form any day. I only tasted the berry one and maybe the other flavors will be better at covering the the date and raisin base. I just think 190 calories (70 from fat) and at only 6 grams of protein, is not worth the exchange or will equate a bunch of energy. You also have 21 grams of sugars and the vitamin content is low with none from vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin C, 10% of calcium and 10% of iron. Sunflower oil is used in the product and with all the fats to choose from in today’s market, I was surprised and again when looking at the list……maybe my idea of “macro-nutrition” means something else because Nutraplex’s bar did not (in my opinion) offer enough macro in their Megaberry bar!  It has nutrition but pretty low for energy and the nutritional facts say it all.  I just don’t understand the price tag when so much is missing.

 

Connect with Nutraplex at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutraplex.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Sari Foods Company: Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Vitamin C from Acerola Cherries and Spirulina Powder #Review

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It’s not just because I told myself in 2014 that in 2015 I want to eat better, a la New Year’s resolution, but I have been looking for ways to add nutrition to my diet via super foods. The only way to know if the “buzz” is real, is to get out there and try it.

Super Foods and what makes them super duper is really in the eye of the beholder, however the general rule is a product that is naturally fortified with an enormous amount of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and/or antioxidants, and so forth. As I ventured down the super foods rabbit hole, I literally realized that I needed to go beyond the Goji and Acai berries I was so comfortable with already eating and drinking. I needed to go old school and give Spirulina powder a try, to the ultimate cherries called Acerolas. Yeast flakes is new to me and when the package stated it tastes like cheese, I know I love cheeses but unsure if a yeast flake had the “moo flavor” I was looking for. Time to get out of my comfort zone!

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Spirulina Powder– Sari Food’s provides you with a 100% purely organic powder, so that is a positive beginning. Spirulina is not new to the world of super foods that even the Aztecs consumed such a gem. The plant grows and thrives in water beds/lakes and is magical on it’s own, where it even creates it’s own feed so it can thrive. I was already intrigued by the idea of something creating nutrients for itself and to me that was like have an endless supply of energy bars in your purse! The protein level is insane when you look at the amount of product that delivers such a high content. Sarii Food’s Spirulina has 6.5 grams of protein for every 10 grams of servings, that equates to one heaping tablespoon, and it does not stop there:

You have Iron and 6.0 mg, which is 33% of your D.V.
Vitamin A 27 mg, so you get 1800% of your D.V. and we are still on 1 tablespoon’s worth.
Vitamin B12 15mcg., giving you 250% of your D.V.
Vitamin B2 comes at 450 mcg., and 28% of your D.V.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is 350 mcg., and provides 25% of your D.V.
Niacin, known as Vitamin B3 is 3 mg and 15% of your D.V,
Magnesium is 48 mg, and 12% of your D.V.
Vitamin K is 40 mg and a generous 50% of your D.V,
Folic Acid is an astonishing 450 mcg, and comes to 113% of your D.V.
Plus, Total Carotenoids at 30 mg
Chlorophyll at 60 mg
Phycocyanin at 800 mg
Gamma-Linolenic Acid
DHA at 70 mg (Docosahexaenoic acid) which helps with brain function and is an Omega-3 fatty acid, comes at 70 mg

Retail Price Point: $23.95 via Amazon for a 16 ounce package, which provides 45 servings .

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That is a lot in just 1 heaping tablespoon. I tried the product by adding it to smoothies and to my morning power breakfast, which is mixed with fruit, yogurt and granola. The taste did not affect my breakfast in a negative way and by week one, I did notice I felt better but I did not stop taking my daily supplements, so Sari Foods’s Spirulina really filled the void that was missing and/or needed in my daily nutrition intake. The protein is plant based and is even rated better than what you get from legumes and without the bloating effects or feeling too full from eating beans. Studies wise I found very little when it came to having a negative impact from Spirulina and because I can’t beat the boost of energy I have been experiencing, I am addicted to feeling better so will continue it’s use.

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Vitamin C powder from Acerola Cherries– Sari Food’s again provides us with a 100% USDA certified, Organic product. The package states that just 1 Acerola Cherry gives you the vitamin C of 65 oranges. Okay, you got my attention! The Acerola cherry tree is found in many regions like Brazil, where so many super foods derive from to California, Florida, Texas and certain regions in South America. The fruit tends to deteriorate quickly once ripe, so cultivation and process is key in making sure you get the most out of every red little gem the tree produces. When I stated quickly deteriorating, think of when you cut into an apple or potato and the Acerola cherry comes near that. Within 4 hours from just harvesting, a negative impact in appearance and in texture is already visible. That is one delicate little cherry but not when it comes to nutrition:

I mentioned the orange versus acerola statement above but to put it into perspective, this cherry juice gives you 13 times more Vitamin C than one glass of O.J.  Sari Food’s has made the impact even better by just 1 teaspoon giving you 500 mg, that is 833% of your D.V. The only other ingredient in their powder is organic and non-gmo Maltodextrin, so nothing gets between you and your Vitamin C!

Retail Price Point: $29.95 via Amazon for a 6 ounce package, which provides you with 58 servings.

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I found many benefits on-line upon reading and we already know what Vitamin C does for the body and protecting our immune system.  Some studies suggested aid with asthma, allergies, regulating blood sugar, shortening colds, helping with the aging impact of free radicals, to reducing cholesterol and heart disease.  The claims were broad and some with clinical back-up and some just anecdotal.  I gave the powder a try for 3.5  weeks and the one thing I was able to attribute to it’s intake, was better skin.  The month of February was the best looking clear skin I have had.  The powder is tart to sour like you would expect from a Vitamin C powder but the package suggested just a touch of coconut sugar would help if that was an issue.  I went with nectarines and once chopped, I added the powder and it actually improved the taste of my fruit versus needing to fix anything with the powder.  I will be taking this when stress is coming my way, which in my world is on a weekly basis!

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Nutritional Yeast FlakesSari Food’s gives you a Vegan product that is Non-GMO and Gluten Free.  Yeast flakes provide everything from Potassium, Iron and a multitude of vitamins and minerals.  You have also a great amount of fiber, so it fills you up without the guilt!  Yeast is consumed for many reasons and used to amp up a dish’s nutritional value to some people who enjoy the flavor the product provides.

Retail Price Point: $12.95 via Amazon for a 8 ounce package, which provides 14 servings.

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The yeast flake product from Sari Food’s in non-fortified, meaning you get a natural product that is nourished from natural sources.  No fake vitamins or anything created in a lab to increase what is derived naturally!  The yeast has a whopping 18 amino acids and everything from Biotin, which helps with hair and nail growth to 352.0% of your D.V. of B5 Vitamin.  You just take 2 heaping tablespoons and add it to “almost” any dish.  I will say the scent of the product really in my opinion is more geared towards savory dishes.  The only yogurt based spread I could think of that would be pleasurable in taste, was when I made Gyros and combined the yeast flakes with Feta cheese.  We liked the change and especially on potatoes.  It really does amp up the protein content to 8.32 grams, which breaks down to 16.6% of your D.V., so I kept this in mind when cooking with proteins.  I know protein and especially clean protein is good for you but I also want only so much of it.  The fiber content makes digesting easy and especially if you are attempting to lose or just maintain a healthy weight.  This product may have limited me towards the savory dishes but then again everything else is geared towards sweetness in the diet and nutrition world, that I found it welcoming to have something I could add with most dinners.  The Yeast flakes in salads was another boost of flavor I was able to enjoy and especially on avocados!

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Get acquainted with the above products and with Sari Foods Company at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sari Foods Company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Swaggable: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate Protein Powder Review #FuelledByHemp

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I have been a fan of the Manitoba Harvest brand and on a few occasions tasted their hemp based products, just to always find a new food to enjoy and this one is no different. They then added chocolate to the mix, so they definitely were making sure we would love it just even more.

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The previous Hemp products were in their whole form, where the Hemp Pro 70 line is finely ground, so you can have more options when incorporating it with other super-foods or just enjoying it as it comes. The Hemp Pro 70 powder is plant based protein, which breaks down like this:

  • A 4 tablespoon serving is only 130 calories
  • 3.5 grams of total fat and only 0.5 is from Saturated and zero Trans fat.
  • Sodium is a modest 25 milligrams
  • The Carbohydrates breakdown to 11 grams per serving, two come from dietary fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
  • Iron breaks down to 21% of your daily value, which is usually based on a 2,000 caloric intake. If you are dieting and consuming less calories, then this would satisfy more of what you should have on a daily basis.
  • You get a nice boost of 14 grams of total protein in each serving, so imagine if you pair it with Greek or Swedish yogurt, which a good brand gives you more of the good stuff and less of the sweet stuff (i.e. sugars).

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You also can’t overlook the omega factors and that is not something you get in plain yogurt, so this is why I feel it pairs up so well with it.

  • Omega-3 you get 667 milligrams
  • Omega-6 you have a generous 2119 milligrams
  • Omega-9 gives you 412 milligrams

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The product’s ingredients are simple as it gets and the shortest list I have seen on any protein powder list: Hemp Protein concentrate, Organic Coconut sugar, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa powder and natural plant extracts.

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Taste Factor:
All because something has chocolate it does not mean it will be pleasant in taste but thankfully Manitoba Harvest hit it perfectly. No fake malt flavors or granule texture left behind when I made my “jungle mix” this morning. My jungle mix bowl was one banana, a mix of nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and almonds. I then have dried cranberries, Goji berries, a few tablespoons of ground Flax seed and a dash of sunflower seeds. I add a dollop of vanilla flavored Swedish yogurt and a drizzle of almond butter. Two tablespoons of the Hemp Pro 70 protein powder and I lightly toss it to incorporate it. It’s the type of breakfast that if it’s even Monday, I’m ready! You can adjust your serving by your needs so even if 4 tablespoons gives me the aforementioned nutrition, I added other ingredients, so that means I can stretch out my protein powder but also have other sources that make up for it. I get to start my morning with a good chocolate taste that is not just good in flavor for being in a protein mix, but it’s so good in taste that I don’t crave a latte or a candy/sweet thing later. Not even Mondays can beat you when you start your day like this!

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Connect with Manitoba Harvest and get your Hemp fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Swaggable and Manitoba Harvest.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Valentia: Even Glow Serum, Antioxidant Skin Treatment – 20% Organic Vitamin C #Review

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I have been wanting to incorporate Vitamin C into my skin care regimen after doing some research. In the following weeks, I will be reviewing products that will focus around brands that deliver to your skin the maximum Vitamin C and hoping to see positive results. You can read my post on my research at- Topical Vitamin C use in Beauty Products Research and Information

My second product to review in my tour de Vitamin C, is a product distributed by Valentia. They have their propitiatory blend that is different from other serums, so this time I get the 20% concentrate Vitamin C boost among other key ingredients.

What does Valentia Even Glow Serum offer:

  • Sea Buckthorn Oil– The oil is derived from the pulp and the seeds, which is rich in fatty acids. The oil has been used topically to treat burns, inflammation and help with recovery of the skin.

 

  • Rose Hip Seed Oil– This oil is derived from wild roses by pressing the seeds. The oil is rich in vitamin C, essential fatty acids and omega-6 and omega-3. This oil has been used in many applications and especially to aid with “turn-over” and promote healing (scar reduction). If you suffer from acne scars, burns, to eczema, Rose hip seed oil can help improve your skin and because it leaves a protective layer, think of it as a prevention method. Great for fine lines too because how well it hydrates.

 

  • Resistem– A patent anti-aging ingredient derived from plant cell cultures. Being natural, the patent states the ingredient helps soothe the skin, reduce redness, improve the evenness of the complexion and restore its natural glow.

 

  • Hylauronic Acid- Think of this ingredient as a lubricant for your skin. Used on the skin for healing wounds, ulcers, burns, scars to just providing moisture. The acid promotes healing and may protect against free radical damage to cells.

 

  • Green Tea– Rich in catechins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Protects the skin by preventing free radicals and reducing inflammation. Topical green tea polyphenols can help slow down the signs of aging, plus the natural occurring caffeine may give a temporary lift to your skin.

 

  • and also Organic Vitamin C– Please refer to aforementioned link for a detailed look into this vitamin.

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Ingredients (as listed on Amazon):
KEY INGREDIENTS – 1.18OZ -MADE IN USA // 20% VITAMIN C, ORGANIC ROSEHIP OIL, ORGANIC SEA BUCKTHORN OIL, RESISTEM (PLANT STEM CELLS), HYALURONIC ACID(BOTANICAL), GREEN TEA EXTRACT

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Usage:
I used the Valentia’s Even Glow for about 3 weeks. Upon first use, this Vitamin C serum had a citrus like color that was followed with a like kind scent. I thought I was just imagining it because the hue of the serum is yellow and almost gold in color, but I did smell orange and lemons even though no fragrance is listed in the ingredients. The serum is thicker than most and almost has a gel like feeling, which I welcomed because that means I’m not chasing after oil droplets. The dropper allowed me to measure the correct amount and about 3 to 4 drops is all I needed for my face and neck.

Retail Price Point: $35.00 on Amazon for a 1.18 ounce glass bottle

Results:
I noticed softer skin within the first week and I did not think my skin could get any smoother with all the other serums I have been using. I got a glow that was not caused by the color of the serum because after washing my face, I just had a natural and healthy glow. My fine lines did not increase or decrease but I had a smoothness in both texture and tone that was just fantastic. I did experience a few break-out on my “t-zone” the first week, however my skin was clear by the 8th day and remained that way. I did in part like that I got a few blemishes because I did notice my skin recovered quickly with Valentia’s Even Glow and I had zero scarring. My skin regenerated quicker and the final product (newer layer of skin) was better than what I had before, so I did not mind the 7 days of having a few small blemishes. I love using Valentia’s Even Glow as a primer because I need less coverage when it comes to foundation/make-up too.  Being happy with your skin means less make-up!

Valentia has a Lifetime Guarantee listed, so it’s a no risk purchase that may be what your skin needs!

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Visit Valentia and see what their products can do for you:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Valentia.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers

Swaggable: Hail Merry Sunflower Seeds

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Another great company that I was introduced to by Swaggable. Hail Merry is a company, which focuses on Superfoods and the Raw food “lifestyle”. I am very much into Superfoods and I do dab here in there when it comes to consuming foods in their raw state, to maximize nutrition and absorption/digestion. I love that a company like Hail Merry carries a simple promise close to their heart and what defines their objective of why they exist and create. Anyone can produce anything but do they do it well and safely is the difference. Like not every calorie is created equally, not every sunflower seed is the same. Their promise is to help people achieve higher health, as stated on their webpage.

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I received the Salt n’ Pepper Sunflower seeds and love that they come ready to eat. I know many of us usually eat them shelled, but this just delivers a salty mess in your mouth and then that shell you need to dispose of. The seeds gets all the flavor, which is light in salt but you get a nice amount of heat and flavor from the crushed black peppercorns. I also like that what you see is what you get. The product is raw, vegan, gluten-free with zero refined sugars. Gets better. Raw oils and rich in Omegas, plus living enzymes. The packet contains one ounce, which is only 150 calories. It take a lot of sunflower seeds to create an ounce and because of the lack of shell…..it’s all pure seeds! I love the ingredient list and it’s simplicity. You have organic sprouted sunflower seeds. Celtic sea salt, cracked black pepper………and that is all! A very pure product indeed.

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But everything good does not always taste good……right?

I love roasted nuts and seeds but have read how the nutrition value is altered through the roasting process. The oils “cook” and you have oxidation and what was really healthy turns to be not so beneficial in the end. I want to maximize what I get out of foods and make it count. For a product that is not roasted, Hail Merry found a way to still make it enjoyable. I like adding pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to salads so the savory seasoning goes perfect with my array of lettuces. The change in texture is enjoyable and because the seed is not roasted, it tends to be softer but still delivered a nice clean flavor. The seeds are not mealy or dry like other seeds I have tasted in the past. I think this clean flavor is also augmented by the soaking process the seeds are given in order to activate the living enzymes, which are known to aid with digestion. The dehydration comes next and as stated on the package, this is done slowly so this why I think the seed is not dry like others. No one likes jerky texture when it comes to seeds! The handling of the seed from cultivation, packaging to until it reaches your palm is thought through and through. I encourage you to visit their site because they go beyond just seeds and nuts. Hail Merry has an array of products from macaroons, miracle tarts, and Grawnolas…..yeah, you got to read about their granola and that was not a misspell :).

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I respect a company that respects their clients and I hope to be able to share in the future more of their products with you!

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hailmerry?fref=ts
On-line: http://www.hailmerry.com/snacks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=hailmerryllc

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I received the above products free of charge from Swaggable. I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with a product, which may differ from yours.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils, Natural Hemp Hearts

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I received a trial size package of Hemp Hearts from Swaggable and I was very curious to try the product, since I have never had it before. Before receiving my sample, I did make sure to look up the seed so I would get an idea about was coming. I did learn that the product is exactly what is called, the heart (middle) portion of the seed and is considered the most nutritious part. The product comes shelled and in it’s raw state. Another notable thing to share, Hemp hearts have more protein than Flax or even Chia seeds. The difference is quite notable at 10.0 grams per three tablespoons, compared to Flax having 5.6 grams and Chia Seeds 6.3 grams. Flax does not contain Omega-6 but Hemp does. Omega-3 is found in Hemp Hearts and you also will find it’s the lowest in Carbs compared to Flax and Chia. A powerful little seed indeed.

The above is all great but the product has to be palatable for it to even be in the running. I know from my experience, Chia Seeds when they plump in liquid (even your own saliva), they tend to get sort of slimy/sticky so that can be a turn off in texture. I have consumed energy bars that contain the Chia Seeds and hours later, I have seedlings stuck in my teeth so now I make sure to rinse after. The Hemp Hearts advertise a nutty flavor and they do deliver it but it’s not intense. Think of how almond slivers taste in their raw state. The company also listed “tender crunch” in their description of the product. I did find a slight hardness but not a crunch at all and this was eating the product as-is, without adding it to any food. I imagine the “crunch” may depreciate once introduced to a wet food like yogurt. The company advertises to sprinkle on salads , cereals and yogurt, however I found it was nice on toast with some preserves (apricot). In this application, I found you get the nutty notes nicely and it goes well with the preserves. The whole tender crunch to slightly hard issue is non-existent because the toast makes up for it. I did like the recipe they included and it was for a Southwest Salad that contained Quinoa and I could easily imagine the flavors blending perfectly. Lastly, I would purchase this product because of it’s health benefits but I would not consume it out of the bag as-is. It’s too “white rice” like for me when it comes to being plain. I need something added to appreciate it.

Other things of note: The product is part of the NON-GMO project so that’s a plus. Vegan and made in Canada. The ingredient’s list does not get more simple: Raw Shelled Hemp seeds (no sugar or salt). I may try baking oatmeal cookies I make with dark chocolate and “amping” up it’s benefits with these seeds. I am curious as to how they bake and if the nutty flavor intensifies. The company, Manitoba Harvest also makes Hemp Oil and other products so I am again curios because I have never tried Hemp Oil 🙂 Visit them at http://www.manitobaharvest.com

I received this product for zero charge from Swaggable.  I am not obligated to provide a negative and/or positive review, my honest opinions are my own based on my experience.  Your opinion may differ from mine

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