One look at the shelves at any vitamin-type establishment, from Whole Foods to the Vitamin Shoppe, and there’s no question that people buy protein powders by the bucket load. Have you seen the size of some of those buckets of protein powder? You need hulk-size hands to pick them up.

For some, whey is the way to go. But, there also seems to be a growing number of vegan options coming to the market.

I am beyond picky when it comes to protein powders that I will use. My go-to is generally Vega. Not only does it taste really good – either with water or with almond milk – but it is so clean and so pure.

It’s rare that there is something in this category of foods that meets my standard of what it can/cannot have in the list of ingredients.  

Yesterday I may have found another one that gets my seal of approval. They were sampling it at Whole Foods and, dare I say, it seemed good — and inexpensive!

The brand is PlantFusion and the rep at the sample table explained to me that they recently changed their formulation to use quinoa as the primary source of protein in place of brown rice protein. Quinoa has nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein – which is a claim not a lot of plan proteins can make. That means it gives you the proteins that your body can’t necessarily make itself.

As for the reasoning behind switching from brown rice protein to quinoa, this was based on some controversy in the news about findings of arsenic in rice and brown rice syrup. The problem it seems is that arsenic is in the ground. Rice grows in the ground. Rice is absorbant… you see where I’m going with this? So, not surprisingly, these findings sent shockwaves from people who consume a diet high in rice and rice products, i.e. rice protein and brown rice syrup. The reality is that unless you’re consuming tons of rice, you’re probably ok. But, kudos to PlantFusion for looking for a safer alternative, and, in the process, finding one that’s even higher in protein.

PlantFusion is vegan, soy-free and gluten-free.

It has pea protein, artichoke protein, sprouted quinoa protein and sprouted amarinth protein.

Each serving has 21 grams of protein, but there are 4 grams of sugar, some of which does come from sucrose, although it also includes stevia as a sweetener. One other downside, it is lacking in some of the other ingredients I look for in my protein powders, including greens and probiotics – although it does have a digestive enzymes to make it more tummy-friendly.

And, drumroll, the two best features…
1. it was really tasty! (I tasted the chocolate and the vanilla, Both were good, although I did forget to ask what it was mixed with)
2. it was significantly less expensive than some of the competition.

I would definitely give a thumbs up to PlantFusion!