Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Product Review: VivAgave's Organic Blue Agave Inulin Powder!

When it comes to food products, I am a pretty simple gal. Give me some some good, whole grain mustard, slightly bitter yet salty tahini, coconut butter, and some Vitamineral Green for good measure and that is about the extent of the pre-packaged/bottled/prepared accountrements that I am willing to buy.

Why you ask? Well, because I like knowing how my food was prepared. I like knowing that it hasn't been sitting on a shelf for eons. And mostly, because I think it is absurd to spend money on products that are horrifically expensive for no reason; flax crackers anyone??? (Talk about overpriced! I can make my own for more than half the cost of those dinky 3.7 oz. bags with a much bigger yield.)

However, there are just some products a girl can't make on her own...like VivAgave's Organic Blue Agave Inulin Powder with Organic Vanilla! I mean, there are blue agave plants all over Costa Mesa, HUGE ones in fact. And I suppose with the right equipment I could...no, nope, sorry, way out of my league. Yeah, so, I'm not about to go attempt to cut one down myself and try and make my own agave. I'll leave that one to the pros!

To be honest, I am not a big agave user myself. I used to put it in everything, and then slowly but surely it became very popular to the point where even my local Trader Joe's was carrying it's own brand. Now, some would say, "This is awesome! Bringing the good, healthy stuff to the masses to replace the processed, refined, chemical sugar junk!" Unfortunatley for me, I am a bit more jaded. I've done a lot of reading and watched my fair share of food related documentaries. I know when something avant-garde in the food world becomes that popular it has to mean that the quality was compromised SOMEWHERE. I wish I was wrong about this, but the wheat, corn, and soy industry in America speaks for itself. Not to mention the fact that a good portion of the "organic" companies in this country are owned by the very conglomerates giving us the toxic food that's fueling obsesity, cancer, and heart disease. I'm a skeptic what can I say?

So when I stumbled upon VivAgave's Inulin Powder in my local Whole Foods I was not immediately throwing them in my cart. I will say, what really caught my attention was the promise of an Organic Vanilla flavor that wasn't just vanilla FLAVORING it was actually Organic Vanilla Powder made from REAL vanilla beans. Like the good shopper that I am, I went home and checked out their website. When it comes to products I am unsure about, I like to do some research first before I buy them. First of all, I wanted to know what the heck inulin was, how was this product actually produced, and where were they sourcing their agave from?? (After that whole agave controversy where some companies were watering down their agave to cut cost with high fructose corn syrup, it was important for me to have these questions answered before I purchased VivAgave's powder -- no matter how enticed I was by the yummy vanilla powder aspect.)

Let me tell you, these guys have done their research! On their website, they have two PDF files that answer just about every question you could possibly want to know about this product. Click here and here and yes, here to find out all the nitty gritty nutritional information about VivAgave Inulin. 

So, after looking all this over, I was willing to give their product a try. Back to the store I went! And after a week of using this in my smoothies, on top of some cut up mango and mini-papaya, and in my banana and almond milk cereal bowl, I am hooked!


Taste: Mmmm, DELCIOUS! The agave powder is very light and velvety; it literally dissolves on your tongue. It adds a nice, subtle vanilla flavor to whatever you put it in. Sometimes, vanilla powder can be a little bit over-powering and chemical tasting. Not this stuff! When I put it in my green smoothies it makes them taste like cookies n' cream and who doesn't want that???

Price: I paid $8.99 for 7 oz., but since it works as a sweetener you really don't need that much, maybe a teaspoon. I am not even halfway through the bag and I have been using it everyday. I would say, it is worth the money especially when you consider that most raw vanilla powders go for $12-$14 dollars for a mere 4 oz. It really is a steal!

Commitment to Quality: I like a company who comes forth with this kind of promise and is willing to include all the information they did on their website; they are obviously not trying to hide anything which to me, makes them a very trustworthy establishment. Here is what they say about their product:

  "At VivAgave, we use only all natural and organic ingredients—never any preservatives or artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. All of our organic products are produced under the strictest quality controls to ensure our customers are purchasing only the highest quality items." (http://www.vivagave.com/)

Would I purchase this again: ABSOLUTELY!
Other reasons why I love VivAgave Powder: This Agave powder is a soluable fiber, which means that it works to create healthy, benefical bacteria in the gut. In fact, inulin is what healthy belly bacteria thrives on! They don't really breakdown in the normal digestive process, which means all that enzyme-rich bacteria makes it all the way to your colon! As someone who is working to heal my digestive system, that was a huge selling point for me. Not to mention the fact that inulin apparently works as a pre AND probiotic; another good aspect in my book. It is also low glycemic, so it would be an excellent, safe sugar replacement for anyone suffering from diabeties or those trying to cut down on processed sugars. It also aids in the absorption of calcium! And well, once again, the vanilla powder. It tastes authentic. You can add it to absolutely anything for a sweet, delicate, hint of vanilla-y goodness. Yum!

It also comes in two other flavors Original and Cocoa:

My Whole Foods was only carrying the Original and the Vanilla, so I haven't been able to try the Cocoa one yet. Though, I am sure it is just as good as the Vanilla!

So, if you are a looking for a healthy way to substitute conventional sugar or just crazy about vanilla like moi, get to your local Whole Foods or health food store and ask them to supply VivAgave Organic Blue Agave Inulin Powder!