Tropical Traditions sent me a jar of their Antioxidant Natural Greens powder, a berry-flavoured supplement which includes ingredients such as milk thistle, kelp, beet, aloe vera, flax, chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa, spinach, and several different dairy-free probiotics. The added ingredients that weren’t there for health purposes include: stevia, citric acid, natural flavor (no MSG), cinnamon powder (certified organic), and natural berry flavors.
I’m wary of “greens” in powder-form, because something always makes me think that I should be consuming my nutrients in whole-food form. Still, I jumped at the chance to try this powder. I liked the ingredient list and I’ve been hearing lots about green powders – it was time to try them for myself.
So I gave it a shot. I first tried mixing this into a smoothie, using 1 cup cold water, 1 scoop greens powder, 1/2 frozen banana, and about 60 grams medium firm organic tofu (about 1/6 of a package). It was really yummy! And what’s more, it was both filling and energizing. And I don’t think that was just from the tofu.
I’ve had several of the same smoothies since then (in fact, I drank three of them yesterday!) and I’ve been really enjoying it as my morning breakfast shake. There’s a few reasons why this one is equally as awesome (and in some ways even better) than my old favourite shake (1 cup cold water, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/3 cup frozen blueberries, handful mixed greens, scoop of calcium/magnesium powder, and the contents of a probiotics capsule):
1) This jar of green powder has a long shelf life… lettuce does not. And in the middle of winter, I’m usually not super pumped to eat salads! So there’s a greater chance, at this time of year, that my lettuce could start to wilt in my fridge. With powdered greens I don’t have to worry about that.
2) It’s more filling than my usual green shake. That also might be because of the added protein from the tofu, but I find that this one stays in my stomach a little bit longer.
3) I get a surprising amount of energy from this shake. Tofu has a really good affect on my body, but I’m certain that such a small amount of tofu wouldn’t give me the energy that I have after drinking a shake with the green powder. It makes me feel kind of uncomfortable to admit it because I feel like an infomercial, but every time I drink this shake, it really does provide with me a long-lasting supply of energy.
Now, is a green powder equal to munching on real leafy greens? My verdict is no: you should still eat real leafy greens! There are some added ingredients, such as stevia and “natural flavours”, which aren’t that great in this powder. And most other green powders have lots of nasty added ingredients. But a green powder is a really great way to get in some extra greens when the weather is cold and you aren’t in the mood for eating salads, or if you want to add some greens to your morning smoothie. It’s a supplement to your healthy diet, not a replacement for a healthy diet.
All of the above being said, my final assessment of this product is that it’s awesome and I’ll be adding it on a regular basis to my diet… without letting it replace my usual veggie intake! I recommend that you track down a jar of greens powder for yourself and use my recipe for a morning breakfast shake or a pre- or post- workout snack You’ll be glad that you did it. I think it’s the most nutritious green powder I’ve seen on the market so far.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. The green powder, mixed on its own in water (as instructed on the jar), is disgusting. It truly tastes awful. I took one sip and turned the drink into my green shake recipe because there was no way I was going to drink it straight up. The “berry flavour” is very subtle and the green taste is overwhelming. I’m accustomed to a more bitter drink since I’ve weaned myself off of heavily fruiting and sweetening my shakes, but this green powder is just far too much. Don’t drink it on its own and then think that it’s a crappy product! Instead mix it into a smoothie. I bet it could even be tossed in some oatmeal or added to a baked good (ooh I think I’m going to try that now!), and it would work pretty well.
Because I know that you’re super intrigued and that you’re just dying to try out my crazy awesome recipe, Tropical Traditions is giving away a jar of Antioxidant Natural Greens to a reader! Leave me a comment below describing your thoughts on “green” powders, how you get your greens in the middle of winter, your favourite smoothie recipe, or anything else remotely related to enter to win my green powder giveaway.
The winner will be announced one week from today, on Friday January 28!