Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pines Wheat Grass Product Review & Not-So-Green Monster Muffin Recipe

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When I was offered a sample of Pines Wheat Grass powder, I thought it would be a perfect way to get more green stuff into my kids.  Just 1-1/4 tsp is packed with nutrition.  I thought the simplest thing would be to mix it with a bit of juice, which is a treat for them, and then, at least on days when they've eaten nothing that is plant based, at least I'd know they got some goodness.  If you want to know all about the health benefits of wheat grass, and the value of their products over other on the market, visit the company's website.

Here is the nutritional analysis for 1 serving of their Wheatgrass Powder:

Nutritional Analysis of PINES Wheat Grass

This is not a complete list of the nutrients in PINES Wheat Grass. This analysis simply lists those nutrients shown on our labels. Most whole plant foods, including PINES Wheat Grass, contain hundreds of nutrients, including carotenoids, pigments, trace minerals, and phytonutrients.

NOTE: Percent Daily Value (%DV) amounts are based on a single 3.5 gram serving (1 teaspoon or 7 tablets). An asterisk (*), that means the Daily Value of that nutrient is less than 2%. An “na” means no Daily Value has been determined.

Calories 10 *
Calories from fat 0 *
Total fat 0 g *
Cholesterol 0 g *
Sodium 0 g *
Potassium 105 mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 2 g *
Dietary Fiber 1 g 4%
Sugars <1 font=""> na
Protein 1 g 2%
Vitamin A (100% as Betacarotene) 1250 IU 25%
Vitamin C 7 mg 10%
Calcium 15 mg *
Iron 1 mg 4%
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 35 mcg 8%
Chlorophyll 15 mg na

Unfortunately, things with the girls did not go as planned.  I realized later, this was due to my poor judgement.  Wheat grass, in case you've never had it, does have a distinct taste, and apparently the pure mango nectar I bought them did not make up for it.  Big A drank about 2/3 of her cup, but Little A was only willing to take 2 sips.  Unfortunately, they then decided it was a no go, which I knew would prejudice them against anything else I made in the future with it.  Sigh!

I don't mind the occasional wheat grass shot, but I'm not really in need of much additional green matter.  Seriously, as most people who know me like to tease, I probably eat more fruits and veggies in a day than most people in a whole week!  I also couldn't think of what I might use it in, in terms of baking or cooking.  I know its great for smoothies, but I don't like them.  I also wasn't sure what it would be like in a baked good and was especially nervous about experimenting with anything for the girls.  I figured it would make everything bright green and that alone, would turn them off.  If it didn't, any admission from me that it was in the said product would likely make them refuse to even try it.  I know my girls, and they can be super stubborn and irrational about most kids!

So when Adam expressed muffin envy the other day - because I always bake muffins for myself and the girls but never for him - I thought it would be a good chance to try out baking with the wheat grass.  He's a good guinea pig for such things.  His only specification for me is that it contain chocolate.  Okay, no problem!

To my surprise, 1 tsp of the wheatgrass powder imparted almost no colour, and no flavour to these muffins.  I do believe that I can use a whole lot more next time and now that I know this, I think I'll be adding some to virtually all my baked goods.  Hey, why not?    These turned out incredibly moist and delicious actually.  But being the good wife that I am, I am going to let Adam take them to work.

If you don't like the idea of downing the powder, you can also get it in capsules too!  All Pines products can be purchased online and they have some recipes on their website.

Not-So-Green Monster Muffins (Vegan and Sugar-Free)

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1-1/4 cups non-dairy, plain yogurt
1/2 cup powdered stevia
2 flax eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop (about 32g) stevia-sweetened, vegan protein powder
1 tsp or more wheatgrass powder
2 cups whole spelt, or other whole grain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk together wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in dry ingredients and chips, just until mixed.  Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 350F for about 18 minutes.  Let cool completely before removing from pan.  Makes 14 muffins.

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