I’ve been on the hunt for a new protein powder for a while – since I stopped macro counting a couple of months ago, I’ve been eating noticeably less protein and know that it can help with recovery during the heavy training I’m doing leading into my competition.
I’ve tried a lot of powders – everything from Vega protein powder (made from pea protein), to Cellucor Corfetti whey protein. For me it’s a trade-off either way: whey protein typically gives me an upset stomach (but how can you say no to a molten chocolate protein mug cake?!), and vegan protein is hard to swallow without mixing in a blender with several add-in’s.
They are also loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals that I’m frankly not willing to look past anymore. For example…
Here’s the ingredient list from a whey powder I used to buy on the regular:
Whey Protein Matrix (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate), Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Natural & Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Protease, Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K), Sucralose, Protease A-S, Lactase
So I think it’s pretty obvious why I went on the hunt for a ‘cleaner’ protein powder, that’s convenient and tastes nice, without the added crap. I know, I know… I’m asking a lot.
Google has become my best friend since moving to New Zealand, and has helped me source a lot of cool products that are manufactured here. My latest find was this Clean Paleo range.
Here’s the ingredient list for Clean Paleo Native Vanilla egg white protein powder:
Free range egg white powder, certified organic dried coconut nectar, dried banana powder, ground vanilla beans.
A no-brainer, right?
A 600-gram pouch (20 servings) of Clean Paleo sells for $49.95 NZD. It’s a bit pricy, but I purchased it with hope that the extra cash was worth having the better ingredients.
After a rigorous hunt for CP, I eventually found it at Moore Wilsons – the best place to go if you want to drop a wad of cash in exchange for delicate pastries and fine cheese, not to mention an array of free-range meats and locally sourced seafood. I love that place.
You can also purchase Clean Paleo products online, but (long story short) I don’t trust the postal service these days.
It’s made from eggwhites and without aftificial flavours, so common sense tells me that it will definitely not taste like Cookies & Cream whey – so I won’t bother to compare the two.
Essentially, I want a powder that I can mix with one liquid (for easy convenience and not have to whip out the blender – which I don’t even have by the way) and drink it without gagging. Pretty basic requests.
Here’s how it the Native Vanilla flavor stacked up, with 3 different liquid add-ins:
Protein + Almond Milk
I can’t blame the protein powder for this one – because this almond milk tastes like cardboard (and likely is the reason that almond milk has a bad reputation). I just needed to include it to warn you not to buy this almond milk – even if you see it on sale for a tempting $3.50 like I did. Just don’t.
Protein + Water
This was a foamy mess. I mixed it up one evening to get the protein without extra calories – but trust me, water + egg whites are not your friend. The foam/water separation was pretty awful to look at through my clear water bottle, and in order to save myself from dumping it down the drain, I mixed in some cardboard-y almond milk and that seemed to do the trick. So, water is a no-no with this one.
Protein + Coconut Milk
This was the best combo. Maybe I’m biased because I LOVE this coconut milk (the chocolate flavor is heaven, especially in coffee!). It’s also NZ-made and has a super simple ingredient list (+organic, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. etc.). It’s worth the $6/Litre any day. It’s the best. So I’m sure it’s no surprise that this is my go-to with the egg white powder. And the creaminess helps to keep it well-blended.
Just for fun, I whipped up a batch of protein pancakes and was really impressed with the results. *Note: You cannot expect these to turn out like flour+sugar+milk pancakes from your youth, so keep that in mind if you ever venture into the land of “Protein Treats”. They’re a bit on the “spongy” side, but make a great replacement if you want a high-protein breakfast swap. I topped mine with Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter (the best PB in the world), unsweetened coconut flakes, maple syrup and a side of ripe feijoas (+bacon!).
Taste & Consistency
The powder itself has a slight sweetness from the vanilla bean and banana extract, but not overpowering (you can even see the vanilla bits in the powder!). After the initial protein shake I adjusted easily to the flavor and quite enjoyed it. Despite its inability to mix in water, when combined with a milk substitute, it had a creamier consistency.
*Note: do not over-mix this stuff or you’ll end up with a foamy mess – a brief shake will eliminate clumps.
I’ll definitely be buying Clean Paleo products again. As far as protein powders go, it doesn’t give the initial reaction of “Holyshitthisisdelicious”… BUT… the ingredients are simple, I know where to find it now (and can order it online if desperate) and most importantly, it passes the taste test!
I’ll also be on the lookout for Clean Paleo’s other flavours: Light Chocolate, Mochaccino and Island Mango. And perhaps one day I’ll dish out the money for a blender and give it a whiz with some bananas and ice, which I’m certain would be delicious, too! 😊