Really Raw? A Whole Food Protein Powder Review

by Elizabeth Gilhuly, Contributor, Health Lifestyle Coach

Raw Foodist Megan Elizabeth in her new YouTube video, "How to Make a Magical Mango Cupcake Smoothie," (Yum, I can't wait to try THAT) used Garden of Life's Organic Plant Protein Smooth Vanilla flavor, saying it actually tastes like cupcakes.  Wait... A protein powder that tastes like CUPCAKES?!  I want some!! 

I flew over to Amazon to look for it and read the ingredients.  Many protein powders turn me off as they contain protein isolates rather than whole foods.  In my heart, I know mechanically-separated isolates are not foods and don't carry the same life energy.  I am a whole foodist.  I'm pleased to report, this particular product actually contains ALL WHOLE FOODS!  I'm hoping it tastes like cupcakes and doesn't join the other meh-tasting protein powders on my shelf.

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein, Smooth Vanilla, Ingredients: Organic pea seed, organic flax seed, organic cranberry seed, organic baobab fruit, organic moringa leaf, organic chia seed, organic pumpkin seed, organic vanilla flavor, organic stevia extract, organic cinnamon + Raw Enzyme Blend + Raw Probiotic Blend

Most of these ingredients you and I will recognize, except maybe baobab fruit and moringa leaf were new to me, and perhaps new to you too...

What is baobab fruit?  I asked. (In case you didn't already know)

I came upon a really informative and funny blog post by an interesting webpage, titled Limitless Good, discussing this fruit... They say "baobab fruit pulp is one of the most nutrient rich fruits on the planet."  Well, THAT'S a bold claim... Further they say this fruit has:

- 6 x Antioxidants of Blueberries
- 6 x Vitamin C of Oranges
- 6 x Potassium of Bananas
- 50% Heart Healthy Fiber Per Serving
- More Magnesium Than Coconut Water
- Twice As Much Calcium as Milk
- And is Ethically and Sustainably Harvested

I need to do a bit more research to compare opinions, but at first glance this fruit seems legit.

And what is moringa leaf?

Moringa leaf contains proteins, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants!  Apparently this leaf is so awesome even WebMD has good things to say about it, quote:

Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition." And they say it has a WIDE range of health benefits. Read that WebMD piece for all those deets.

All in all, I am really excited to taste this protein powder and test it out in Megan Elizabeth's recipe. I will let you know if I taste cupcakes.