Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunwarrior illumin8 Protein Powder Review! With Recipes!

If you ask me my favorite food, I'll probably say "pizza" or "vegan mac & cheese" or something else carb-y (and possibly deep-fried). But truthfully, on a day to day basis, the favorite thing I consume is actually far healthier. It's protein powder! I'm a little obsessed with pre- and post-workout nutrition, and I've tried all sorts of things before, during, and after workouts to determine what works best to power me through runs and help me recover afterward.

And hands down, for post-workout, nothing works better to ease sore muscles and help me get back out there to run the next day than vegan protein powder. I'm partial to Vega, but I'm always willing to branch out and try others. And I've been known to stock up on whatever brand Whole Foods has on sale. I especially love the little sample-size packs so I can collect multiple flavors. And though I've tried many brands, for some reason, I'd never tried Sunwarrior until the company mailed me a few sample packs of their illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal to review.

These powders are intended as meal replacers, and they contain 19 grams of protein (from peas and brown rice!), organic sprout powder, a vitamin blend, and an enzyme blend. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and gmo-free if you're worried about any that stuff (I'm not, but it's nice when products are inclusive for the whole vegan community).

While you can certainly mix these with water, down them, and call it a day, I much prefer to mix protein powders into smoothies or protein ice cream. Much tastier that way and you get some fruit in your diet!

Some protein powders can be a bit chalky, but these weren't. They blended smoothly and, when combined with frozen banana (a smoothie staple for me), they made for very thick and creamy smoothies. Also, they're stevia-sweetened, so you don't have to worry about sugar or artificial sweeteners. 

I used each of these flavors — Mocha, Vanilla Bean, and Aztec Chocolate — to create new recipes. First, I used the Aztec Chocolate to create a creamy cinnamon-cayenne-spiked chocolate protein ice cream.

Aztec Chocolate Protein Ice Cream
Serves 1

2 frozen bananas
2 Tbsp. almond milk
1 scoop Aztec Chocolate Sunwarrior illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal
1 tsp. maca powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 Tbsp. So Delicious CocoWhip or other vegan whipped topping

Place the frozen bananas in a food processor or blender with the 2 Tbsp. of almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. This can take awhile, and the processor will seem like it's freaking out at first. But just let it go a few minutes, and it'll work itself out. You may need to stop once and scrape down the bowl. When it's done, it'll look and feel like ice cream.

Add the protein powder, maca, cinnamon, and cayenne, and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve with coconut whipped topping.


Blueberry Peach Ginger Smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 scoop Vanilla Bean Sunwarrior illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal

Blend everything together in a blender until smooth and creamy.


Peanut Butter Mocha Protein Smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 Tbsp. powdered peanut butter (such as PB2) or 1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. maca powder
1 scoop Sunwarrior illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.


foodfeud said...

That blueberry peach smoothie sounds so fantastic! And yeah, Sunwarrior makes really nice protein powders. Jarrod actually just bought me a raw chocolate spread that uses Sunwarrior as a base, and I'm excited about it.
Never though to put protein powder in ice cream but that is a great idea.

Jennifer said...

I really like sunwarriror! Their ingredients lists are usually nice and short and like you said, they blend really well.

Unknown said...

How many servings are in one of the packets you got? I saw they have those to order on their website but if one serving is one packet it's crazy expensive