Rating: 4.2 out of 5 –
If you’re looking for a quick and convenient whole grain medley, Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains may come to light. Tasty Bite has multiple product lines with microwavable pouches that are infused with Indian spices and flavors. The all natural entrees, organic entrees, and organic rices are microwavable in 60 to 90 seconds and packed with nutrition and flavor. The all natural entrees (13 varieties) include Bombay Potatoes, Coconut Vegetables, Spinach Dal, Mushroom Masala, and Punjab Eggplant to name a few. The Tasty Bite Organic Entrees (6 varieties) include Chana Masala, Coconut Squash Dal, and Madras Lentils to also name a few. Today, we will be review a product from the Tasty Bite Organic Rice product line (16 varieties), the Organic Ancient Grains with a touch of turmeric.
The Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains initially smells earthy, hearty, and wholesome when tearing open the package. It has a herby spiced aroma, but nothing too strong. Sometimes I notice a strong peppery smell or a particular herb in these mixes, but not in Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains. What’s interesting is the whole grain pilaf is marketed as having a touch of turmeric but the whole grains are not blazing orange, nor are they turmeric smelling (I’ve used a lot of turmeric in my vegan cooking, and it has a distinctive smell).
After heating up the packet in a short 90 seconds, I give it a taste. …. it has a hearty texture filled with a variety of shaped grains and a big dose of whole grain nuttiness from the wheat berries that make up most of the ancient grain pilaf. It’s neutral enough to mix with curries or stir-fries but has enough flavor to serve on its own with sauteed greens and tempeh or something of the sorts. All in all, I think that this is a great vegan whole grain pilaf for those crazy busy weeknight dinners when you really don’t know what to make. I’d also add this into plain brown rice to add even more texture and help serve more if using the vegan whole grains as a bed for a curry or stir fry. The taste is something that even picky eaters will enjoy – as long as they can handle a variety and a hearty whole grain texture. I think that’s the most surprising part of Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains, that the texture is bold and may be a bit too much for someone who is used to eating only white rice. However, if you are looking to add more vegan whole grains to your diet and you don’t have the time to sit around for 45 minutes while these whole grains cook, Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains is a great tasty option. So now let’s see…how does the nutrition stack up..
In each Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains serving, you’ll find 200 calories (350 in the entire pouch) with only 3g of fat (6g of fat in the pouch) and without any saturated or transfat, making this whole grain pilaf heart healthy and lower in calories than some options (or rice/grain options that are loaded with oil and margarine, increasing the caloric content).
Because Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains is vegan and plant-based, it is cholesterol free. There is quite a bit of sodium as it is a convenience product. In each serving, you’ll find 440mg of sodium, or 790mg in the entire pouch. That’s a decent amount considering Americans should aim for 1500-2000mg of sodium per day. As a dietitian, I educate on aiming for the lower end as there’s a really, really good chance you’ll overshoot and then you’ll still be in the guidelines to help promote healthy blood pressure and a healthy heart.
As Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains is a whole grain product, there are 34 grams of carbohydrate per serving with a whopping 8g of fiber per serving! That’s a great amount working towards the goal of 25-35g per day, so 1 cup of Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains has about a third of the fiber you need in a day! That’s fantastic! It should also be mentioned that part of the reason vegan, plant-based diets are a great option is that high fiber diets have been linked to weight control and a decreased risk of many diseases like diabetes, certain cancers, and gastrointestinal disorders. Although this product contains carbohydrate as it’s a natural whole grain mix, there is no added sugar (woo hoo!).
Because Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains is made with wholesome whole grains, there are 6g of protein per serving! That’s the same amount as a medium egg but likely more filling as it contains the fiber.
Whole grains are a natural source of iron and B vitamins and in one serving of Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains, you’ll consume 10% of your iron intake for the day, or 1.7mg. You’ll also consume about 4% of your calcium (yep, that’s right – calcium is in more than fortified dairy/non-dairy products!) and 4% of your potassium needs for the day.
In case you are curious, here is the ingredient list:
Water, Whole Grain Wheat Berries*, Whole Grain Pearl Millet*, Whole Grain Sorghum*, Whole Grain Amaranth*, Whole Grain Finger Millet*, Sunflower Oil*, Dried Onion*, Dried Red Bell Pepper*, Salt, Dried Garlic*, Green Chili Peppers*, Turmeric*, Guar Gum. *Organic Contains: Wheat
You can see that most of the ingredients are whole grains and organic, making Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains a great pantry staple to your vegan or plant-based lifestyle when you need something fast, convenient, but also healthy and filling.
Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains is a hearty, wholesome whole grain mix with wheat berries, millet, sorghum, and other ancient grains that comes in a 90 second microwavable pouch. The vegan whole grain mix is seasoned well but is not overpowering, although Tasty Bite Organic Ancient Grains does contain a decent amount of sodium. The amount of sodium isn’t surprisingly though given that it is a convenience product. I like to mix this pouch into cooked 5 minute brown rice to decrease the sodium but also increase the texture and servings. However, even if you eat the whole grain pouch as it is, you will be consuming a fiber rich, protein rich, wholesome vegan pantry food! I recommend keeping Tasty Bite Entrees and Grain Mixes on hand for those super busy weeknight meals. These packets are still a much healthier (and more economical) option than take-out or going out to eat – or honestly, the whole grains offer more fiber and protein than many cereals (if cereal is your go-to busy weeknight meal like me!).