Hey there!

Firstly, thank you guys so much for your comments on Monday’s goal check in postAs always, I love to hear what you’re up to when it comes to setting new targets for yourselves, and it never fails to inspire me to keep working harder towards my own goals.

1. Recipe of the Week: I teased you guys last week with photos of mini muffins, but didn’t post the recipe because I felt it still needed a little perfecting. After making a couple more batches and tweaks to the ingredients over this past weekend, I’m pleased to announce that we have a winner!

Batter for Carrot Cake Mini Muffins

These Carrot Cake Mini Muffins are made with a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and vanilla whey protein powder, which means they’ve got more protein and fiber than your average muffin. I’ve also added walnuts for a little dose of healthy fats, and stevia and apple sauce to sweeten things up (naturally, of course!

Eat Clean Carrot Cake Mini Muffins 1

One thing I haven’t yet done in my experimenting is use a gluten-free baking mix in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. If you do and have success, I’d love to hear about it. For now, I’m just going to work through the very large number of whole wheat ones sitting in my fridge and freezer!

Eat Clean Carrot Cake Mini Muffins 2

Oh and of course, you could just as easily make these regular-sized muffins instead. I managed to get about 28 out of the batter in the recipe, but this should translate into about 12 regular sized ones.

Eat Clean Carrot Cake Muffins

Click here for the recipe!

Eat Clean Carrot Cake Mini Muffins - Eat Spin Run Repeat

2. North Coast Naturals Raw Hemp Smoothie. You may remember not too long ago I wrote a post about the benefits of adding hemp seed to your diet, which included a recipe for hemp seed hummus. North Coast Naturals was kind enough to send me a massive bag of hemp seeds, and that wasn’t all! The company also makes a range of hemp-based products, including hemp protein powder and their Raw Hemp Smoothie, which comes in chocolate and berry flavours.

NCN Raw Hemp Smoothie

Here’s a quick summary of what it’s all about:

  • It’s made from 100% Canadian hemp protein, which is a complete protein source (meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce themselves). Hemp is also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids – the good fats.
  • Free of animal products.
  • Raw, organic and non-GMO.
  • Provides over 1/3 of your daily fibre.
  • 1 serving of raw hemp smoothie contains the equivalent nutrients-wise of 3 servings of whole food grains/veggies
  • Only 90 calories per serving
  • It’s a highly alkalizing supplement, and eating alkaline foods is a great way to neutralize the harmful effects of acidic foods (like dairy and animal products). 
  • Raw Hemp Smoothie also contains a blend of the following superfood ingredients:
    • Spirulina, the greenest super food on the planet
    • Sprouted broccoli and sprouted chia
    • Dairy free probiotics, which provide beneficial bacteria that improve digestive health

Sounds pretty good, right? But I’ve always been a little skeptical about hemp supplements. With the exception of hemp seeds, the hemp-based products I’ve sampled, especially protein powders, have been gritty, chalky, and very ‘earthy’ in taste. According to North Coast Naturals’ FAQ for this product, the hemp is ‘triple screened’, which removes the grittiness and makes the smoothie more, well, smooth. By contrast, many other hemp powders are only single-screened.

Raw hemp smoothie powders

So, did it actually taste good? My trial was simple – I just mixed a scoop of each with water and stirred them up, as recommended on the package. They looked like this:

NCN Raw Hemp Smoothie comparison

Admittedly not the most appetizing of shakes, but sometimes the ugliest of foods taste good so I wasn’t about to give up. The berry one was first to be taste tested. It took a little while for the powder to dissolve completely, so I transferred each to a shaker cup, gave them a really, really good shake, and poured them back into the glasses shown above. Upon first sip, it reminded me a bit of a Vega Shake’n’Go smoothie. While it tasted a bit green for my liking, it wasn’t super hemp-y, and had a moderate sweetness to it.

NCN Raw Hemp Smoothie - Berry

Then there was chocolate. I anticipated liking this one more because I generally stick to chocolate and vanilla powdered supplements rather than berry ones. (They seem to be more versatile for purposes like making muffins and other baked goods.) This one wasn’t chalky or gritty, and in addition to tasting like chocolate, it also had a bit of a coconutty flavour. This was definitely my favourite of the two, and while it was fine on its own, I think it would taste even better blended into a smoothie with greens and a frozen banana.

NCN Raw Hemp Smoothie - Chocolate

Want to try some for yourself?

The fab folks at North Coast Naturals are letting me give away a prize pack to one lucky reader, and Raw Hemp Smoothie is just one of 6 different products you can choose from! For this giveaway, you’ve got a choice of 4 of the following (click on the links to learn more about each one):

To enter, all you need to do is tell me which of these you’d like to try the most and why. Then I’ll announce the winner (Canadian residents only please) on Monday August 5th and contact you to find out which products you’d like shipped in your prize pack.

(Note: Things seem to be going a little wonky with the comments box on this post. If you see a message that says ‘comments are closed’, please email your entry to eatspinrunrepeat (at) gmail (dot) com. Sorry for the inconvenience!)

Good luck!