Howdy! Thanks for checking out our Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein review. This a unique product from Garden of Life as it’s one of the few vegan protein powders that’s paleo and virtually keto-friendly. In other words, it’s grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free (obviously) and very low in sugar.
USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified, Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is a premium product for those with meticulous standards and an appreciation for good taste. But is it worth the price? And does it actually taste good?
In this review of Garden of Life (Grain-Free) Organic Plant Protein, I dive into the nutritional qualities, taste profile, and overall value of the product. And for the paleo CrossFitters looking for a grain-free vegan protein powder, I’ll fill you on whether it’s adequate for athletic recovery. Let’s get into the review.
Nutrition Review: What are the Ingredients of Garden of Life Organic Grain-Free Plant Protein?
Not only is the protein blend of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein unique, but it’s also very diverse. The brand’s “Certified Organic Protein Blend” contains: organic pea seed, organic flaxseed, organic cranberry seed, organic baobab fruit, organic moringa leaf, organic chia seed, and organic pumpkin seed.
While it would be awesome to have hemp seed protein in the mix (for the amino acids), that could end up compromising the product’s taste. Nonetheless, this is a decent blend that has a respectable amino acid profile. The important thing to mention is that a single serving size (26 gram scoop) is rather small. So you’re only getting 15 grams of protein and modest amount of aminos.
Having mentioned that, if you are to double-up on the serving size, you’d get upwards of 30 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and about 7 grams of essential amino acids (EAAs). In short, that’s fairly average compared to a lot of other vegan protein powders out there.
A few other things to note about Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is that it has essential fatty acids (2 grams of fat), probiotics and enzymes. Most of the flavors are sweetened by organic stevia leaf extract, which can be a deal-breaker for some individuals who would rather have vegan protein powder without stevia. However, of all protein powder brands out there, Garden of Life does the best job at using stevia in tasteful fashion. And I think they achieved a great balance in this product.
Nutritional Review Rating: 4 out of 5
Flavor Review: Does Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Taste Good?
To be succinct, most flavors of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein taste pretty good. The application of stevia is on-point, as the level of sweetness for most flavors is deliciously well-balanced. Without further adieu, below I review each of the five flavors of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Vanilla
Garden of Life’s Organic Plant Protein powders are all fairly consistent with respect to sweetness. While all flavors contain stevia (with the exception of Smooth Unflavored,) it’s a high quality stevia that doesn’t linger or overpower the taste.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Vanilla has a pleasant, nutty vanilla flavor with hints of almond, cashew, and coconut. While it may be a bit sweet for some, it’s a well-rounded vanilla flavor that’s suitable for many different applications.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Coffee
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Coffee has a pleasant mocha java flavor that was a bit chocolatey and mildly earthy. However, I found the texture to be slightly chalkier compared to the other options.
While this one is infused with Organic Marley Coffee for a nice caffeine boost, it was my least favorite option compared to others in the review as it found the taste to be a bit weird overall.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Energy
For those who want the caffeine without the coffee, Smooth Energy combines Guayaki Yerba Mate with a unique-tasting protein powder blend. And it’s probably one of the most unique and delicious options among organic non-GMO vegan protein powders.
I found Garden of Life Organic Plan Protein Smooth Energy to be perfectly sweet with subtle flavors reminiscent to maple and graham cracker. Although the protein powder looks earthy and potentially chalky, this was one of my favorite options in the Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein family. Mark it #1.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Unflavored
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Unflavored is in fact very smooth and transparent. There’s no stevia or sugar, so it’s not sweet at all. So if you want an unflavored vegan protein powder that doesn’t taste like anything, then this one is for you (as it literally has little to no flavor).
Because there’s not much going on this product, the overall experience (including the texture) can be taste bland. As such, I recommend using Smooth Unflavored in more flavorful applications, like a fruit smoothie.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Chocolate
The taste of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Chocolate was similar to that of Smooth Coffee with its mocha-esque notes, but this one packed more robust flavors of rich, dark chocolate. It had pleasant earthy undertones and mildly bitter flavors like that of Dutch Cocoa.
I still tasted some slight chalkiness with this one, so it isn’t perfect, but it’s not a loser either. I personally would stick with Smooth Vanilla or Smooth Energy if I was regularly using Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein.
Given that most of the options for Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein tasted pretty good (but not outstanding), my overall flavor review rating is 3 out of 5.
Flavor Review Rating 3 out of 5
Price Review: How Much Does Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Cost?
Like I mentioned above in the introduction, the cost of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is high compared to other plant-based protein powders. The most common size is a small 9.4 oz package that contains ten servings. And if you recall from the nutritional review, there’s only 15 grams of protein and not a lot of aminos.
Because the price is always in flux (especially if you buy the product on Amazon), I can’t list a specific price tag. But what I can do is tell you that this product is expensive, but of good quality. If you’re an athlete, you’re probably going to want something that has a higher amino acid profile, and at a more affordable price. There are several sport proteins that I personally use regularly, two of which are Garden of Life Organic Sport Protein and Vega Sport Performance Protein.
But if you really like how this product tastes, and cost is not an issue (even if you plan to use two scoops), Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is a fine product to use. Still I have to give it a 3 out of 5 on the price review rating because it’s costly and the serving size is a little weak.
Price Review Rating: 3 out of 5
Have you had Garden of Life Organic Plant Grain-Free Protein? Let me know what your experience was in the comments below. Also check out some of the related plant-based protein powders listed below.
Related Vegan Protein Powder Reviews
Description: Garden of Life Organic Grain-Free Plant Protein review of Smooth Coffee, Smooth Vanilla, Smooth Unflavored, Smooth Energy and Smooth Chocolate, including an in-depth look at the product’s ingredients and overall cost/price value compared to other grain-free vegan protein powders.
Written by: John Hutcherson
Rating: 3.3 out of 5