Thursday, July 9, 2009

review: Vega Smoothie Infusions

Hello there.  In case you hadn't noticed...it's summertime (at least around here).  You know what summertime means for a lot of people?  Increased smoothie action.  Yeah that's right.  We all know that smoothies are pretty darned good for you, but there is nothing wrong with adding a little power punch to your morning meal.  In fact...it's an awesome idea.  

Recently, the lovely people at Sequel Naturals contacted me to try and review their Vega Smoothie Infusions.   

These infusions are the power punch I'm talking about here.  They are full of awesome stuff such as protein and fiber and Omega 3s.  They're organic and completely allergen free.  So, uh, you basically have no reason to not add them to your smoothies.  In fact, if I may quote, 'each serving of Vega Smoothie Infusion provides more protein than 2 large eggs, more fiber than 2 slices of whole wheat bread and more Omega 3 than 6 oz of wild salmon.'  Huh.  Take that, omnivores.
my superhero smoothie

Ok, I'll admit, I don't really drink that many smoothies.  It's not that I don't like them, because I do.  I just don't...think about them that often.  And the fruit I buy rarely lends itself to smoothies without being a pain in the butt, like peaches or cherries or pears or whatever.  Actually, that sounds like a delicious combination, now that I'm thinking of it.  Anyway, it's silly because smoothies are so easy to make and so easy to take with you on the go if you're in a hurry and are so awesomely good for you!  Thus, I'm back on the smoothie bandwagon.  The powder provided to me was easily blended up with this combo of banana, peach (no less a pain than usual, mind you), and blueberries and I could barely taste it...though it did have that taste of 'Hey, I'm eating something really healthy.  Cool.'  

But...um...you know what I like about a million thousand times more than smoothies?  
that's right.

Brownies.  So here is the totally rad thing about Vega Smoothie Infusions:  they can be used as a flour substitute for part of the flour in baked goods.  Uh huh.  You read that right.  You can effectively hide the healthy from yourself in a big old batch of brownies, if you so choose.  And if you take that path, I might just say that you are a very wise person.  Since that's what I did.  These brownies were downright amazing.  They weren't too sweet, were super chocolatey, had the best texture of a vegan brownie I've ever had (cakey, but also somehow fudgey...don't ask me how it happened)...  And never have I ever felt so good about eating 3 brownies in one sitting.  I mean...they're healthy.  It just felt right.  It wasn't just me, either.  I made these with my friend Becca and she proclaimed them sufficiently awesome, and I had to basically fend Michael off with a chair to get a freaking picture of them before they all magically disappeared.

And so, I have a recipe for you, in case you already have some of this wonder product.  Oh, and if you don't, I reccommend that you go buy some as soon as possible.  You'd be doing your health a serious favor.  I mean, athletes eat this stuff.  Like, good athletes that are vegan and not into selling you crap like regular athletes are.  Gatorade.  pfffffft.  

Super Brownies a la Jessica  (I adapted their original recipe)

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour, or a gluten free flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
1/2 cup Vega Smoothie Infusion
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.  Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the dry in another, then add to wet ingredients in thirds, making sure to not overblend.  Fold in the chocolate chips, then pour mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly.  Bake for 35 minutes.  The toothpick won't come out totally clean, if you use that trick.  That's fine.  Allow to cool, if you can stand it, and then gobble them up.  These are lovely with a glass of soymilk, by the way.

All in all, I've been very pleased with my Vega Smoothie Infusion experience.  They make healthy food healthier and junk food healthier and me healthier, all in one go.  Visit their website for more product information!

13 comments:

Jes said...

I must admit, I'd grab the brownie before the smoothie (they look delish!)

Sal said...

I'm loving smoothies lately. those brownies look great too!

veggievixen said...

i love smoothies. my favorite combo as of late is strawberry-mango-almond-soymilk. so good! that is so amazing that you can sub some of the flour for the smoothie infusion stuff. sweet!

pixiepine said...

I didn't love the Vega smoothie powder I tried, but I would be so willing to give it another shot in brownie form!

jessy said...

i've got The Thrive Diet book although i've never tried any of the Vega products. don't know why - i really need to! a good smoothie = my fav! hooray for get'n on the smoothie bandwagon, Jessica! mmmmmmmmmm!

those brownies sound freak'n perfect. cakey, fudgey, and chocolaty! damn, so awesome! so going to have to make these, fo 'sho! thanks for the recipe!

hope you & Michael have a rock'n weekend full of fun & deliciousnesses!

shellyfish said...

I wish I could get Vega here in France! Frustrated face...and brownies are always a good idea! Have a great weekend!

shelby said...

Ooo, just look at those brownies! Such a great idea to use it in a dessert!

K.E.N. said...

oh, man, i didn't see that brownie recipe in the booklet, but now i'm going to have to try your recipe out! and here i was, like an idiot, just using the packets in smoothies...

miss v said...

uh, that is some awesome stuff. brownies and smoothies!!! holy cow those brownies look fan-tab!

Jamie Walker said...

I'm obsessed with Brendan Brazier's book Thrive. I love his "pizzas", veg burgers, and smoothies. I am so going to try the brownies. Thnanks for this.

Erin said...

Your brownies look out of this world amazing! What happens if I replace the healthy Vega powder with regular flour? Hmmm...

After being blender-less for way too long and trying to make smoothies in my food processor (which just doesn't work), I'm finally back on the blender bandwagon and will making many smoothies for the rest of the summer. My fave is banana, mango and strawberries with either fresh-squeezed OJ or almond milk.

aTxVegn said...

I love that you can use the mix to make brownies! They look incredible.

Sylvia said...

I think my biggest hang up with smoothies is cleaner the darn blender! Man I hate that! I need one of those portable hand blenders! ha.. yum.
-Sylvia
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