As most of you are probably aware from my ongoing foodie posts and Instagram full of vegan munchies, I am very much a food fan. So when I was asked if I’d like to review some new vegan food products, naturally I jumped at the chance.
Nutree Life make a range of stuff that is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free, and it’s all designed to be packed with protein for people who are working on their fitness, or just concerned about that neverending vegan/veggie interrogation question: “but where do you get your protein from?!”
There are obviously plenty of plant-only sources of protein, as any elephant, gorilla or vegan weightlifter will tell you. But when you need a quick fix and don’t want to stress about doing nutrient maths in the kitchen, being able to grab a protein brownie, or a burger that has more than 17g of protein, is definitely a plus.
Question is, is it possible to turn protein products in something that doesn’t taste like a mouthful of dirt? Because most brands seem to drop the ball right there.
Well, thankfully it looks like the answer is yes! I’d like to say at this point that I’m not being paid to give a good review – just given stuff to try to give honest thoughts. While Nutree Life do make lots of protein powders and protein bars, I’m not really a powders/bars kinda gal – however, I am a chocolate flapjacks and burgers kinda gal. So naturally that’s what I asked to try.
1. Nutree Life Italian Herb Burger Mix
Exhibit A: Italian burger goodness. A serving of this mix gives you more than 17g of protein, and takes just about zero effort to make. It comes as a just-add-water packet mix, which you smoosh together and fry for a few minutes on each side, and I’d recommend planning to use something like a cookie cutter to shape your handiwork.
The serving suggestions given for these are burgers, sausages and meatballs, though I have to say I favour burgers of the three. My attempt at making smaller, chunkier blobs proved difficult to cook through, with the centres tasting a bit grainy even after they’d been in the frying pan for longer than predicted. Burgers, however, were a complete success.
In the name of science, I figured it would be best to sample these done up with all the trimmings as well as solo – it’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. The snap above is one of the patties topped with Violife’s halloumi-style block, and the below image is really just an excuse to show off a fancy bun.
My three totally professional extra samplers all agreed that these were damn tasty treats, though felt it worth mentioning that without all the mod-cons of vegenaise, lettuce etc, the amount of herbs in the mix might be a bit much for some people.
These are super herby, presumably to hide the fact that the massive amount of protein in each serving is, in itself, not such a flavoursome thing. The texture is definitely more veggie burger than faux meat burger, but that isn’t a complaint – they aren’t too soggy or too dry after less than 10 minutes in the frying pan, and hold up well to being squished during consumption.
All in all, I’m looking forward to eating these again and will gladly serve them up next time I’ve got people round.
2.The chocolate protein flapjack squares
Chocolate flapjacks are tasty. Protein powders generally are not. Nutree Life’s chocolate protein flapjacks were thankfully toward the tasty end of the scale – though their inherent protein powderiness means I’d recommend having a drink on hand when you’re munching these down.
The squares are packed with cacao and as someone who is a big fan of bitter dark chocolate I thought these were really tasty, albeit a little too dry in texture. I fed a few to some willing test subjects to get opinions from people with more of a sweet tooth, as well as generally fairer feedback, and the overall consensus was that these are pretty good – but not amazing.
If these were a little less dry they’d be fab, but as they stand they’re at least well-flavoured, which I can’t imagine was an easy feat for something packing this much pea protein.
If you’re wanting a chocolate flapjack just for the hell of it with no regard for nutritional information, these wouldn’t be your first choice anyway. But if you need a fast pre- or post-workout snack, or a general protein top-up during the day, these bite-sized morsels are just the ticket.
There’s more than 5g of protein in each of these and they’re gone in two bites, which makes them a perfect alternative to trying to load up on protein by eating so many beans you feel bloated half to death afterwards.
If you’re keen to try some of Nutree Life’s goodies for yourself, they do offer a taster box with little samples of everything so that you don’t have to commit to a whole bag of something right away. Their vegan burger mixes also come in fajita and piri-piri, and there are a bunch of different protein snacks if flapjacks aren’t your thing. If you’ve tried any of their other products I’d love to know what you think, so please feel free to shout with your own opinions below!