**DISCLAIMER: As part of the #SweatPink Fit Approach LLC team of bloggers, we often receive promotional products free of charge in hopes that we can talk about the product and introduce it to our readers. This is one of these products, as I received two single serving packets for free. However, this does not influence my review of the product**
I dig Manitoba Harvest as a brand and for their great product ideas (who else loves Hemp Hearts?), so when I heard they were creating a hemp-based vegan protein powder, I applied to be a taste tester.
Here’s what I love about the product:
- I love hemp – fantastic complete protein that is plant based
- I love that it’s full of omegas (14-15grams per serving)
- It mixes smooth (not chunky like some protein powders)
- It doesn’t have stevia – I am SO sick of protein powders made with stevia, it gives me a headache! This protein is made with coconut sugar, lower on the glycemic index.
- Flavor – it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t leave an aftertaste (thanks to the coconut sugar I think)
- SImple ingredients – here’s the details on that:
VANILLA Ingredients: Hemp protein concentrate, organic coconut sugar, organic vanilla flavor, natural plant extracts.
CHOCOLATE Ingredients: Hemp protein concentrate, organic coconut sugar, organic fair trade cocoa powder, natural plant extracts.
Note: Hemp oil must be refrigerated before and after opening to protect hemp’s precious omegas. Per their website, to extend the freshness of Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powders, it is recommended to store products in the fridge once opened.
Now, here’s where all of the fun begins. Let me tell you why I can’t necessarily recommend this product to celiacs.
Obviously we’d like to make sure that all of the things we eat are gluten free. While we know that hemp and their products are naturally gluten-free, the idea of growing hemp, production and manufacturing come into play into the final product. In a perfect world, we’d like to have everything have a seal of gluten-free approval in the form of a GFCO certification (or CSA seal, NFCA certification, etc.). Now, here’s where Manitoba Harvest comes in on the gluten-free issue.
From their FAQ page: Q.Are Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods products gluten free?
“Hemp seed naturally does not contain gluten. However, only one barley or wheat kernel amongst 50,000 hemp seed can potentially result in a positive test for gluten. As the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer to grow, make and sell our own line of hemp foods, this one seed could inadvertently be introduced at any point. A single wheat or barley kernel could be introduced during harvest, seed cleaning, or even during delivery to our facility. This potential concerns us greatly.
Manitoba Harvest strives to deliver the highest quality hemp foods. With our valued customers in mind, we have worked diligently to provide the most accurate product specifications. We are aggressively looking for processes and methodologies that would provide us with the certainty that our products are indeed gluten free. Until we are able to provide consistent and accurate controls, we are erring on the side of caution. Instead of stating our products are gluten-free (which implies an absolute), you will see the following on our packages instead: “this product is made in a dedicated hemp food facility.”
In conclusion – have I had any issues with their products, no. Does that mean that every celiac should rush out and buy this? Up to your discretion, but I always urge you to err on the side of caution. Do I believe that Manitoba Harvest and HempPro 70 are headed in the right direction? Yes. Do I want them to test their products and earn the Gluten Free Certification Organization seal of celiac approval? Hell yeah! Manitoba Harvest, please take our pleas into consideration and earn the seal on these products! Feel free to tweet @ManitobaHarvest and let them know you’d love to try the HempPro 70 once it is certified gluten-free!
Now, if you are just reading this review because you are plant-based or dairy-free or just want to try a new protein powder, I fully endorse HempPro 70 because it’s a great plant-based protein powder with plenty of protein and omegas! You can get 20% off the Pro70 vanilla and chocolate flavors with the code “sweatpinkpro70” on Manitoba Harvest’s online store!