Giveaways Gone Wild IV: My New Favorite Source of Omega 3’s (and Raw Sweet Potato and Greens Slaw)

[As I mentioned last time, I’m thrilled beyond words that my cookbook, Sweet Freedom, is one of only three cookbooks recommended on Ellen DeGeneres’s new “Going Vegan with Ellen” page!  If you’ve had success with the recipes or if you have the book and like it, please hop over and leave a comment to let Ellen know as well!]

There’s just enough time to squeeze in one more summer giveaway before we all head back to the city from the cottage, back to school from the parks and beaches, back to work from our holidays, or just back to autumn after the long, lazy, delightful days of summer–so how could I resist?  Besides, with autumn in the air in these parts (the mornings are already feeling a wee bit chilly), I needed something to cheer me up!

These days, the importance for Omega 3s, those essential fatty acids (EFAs) that we can only acquire from foods (our body can’t make them) is being emphasized all over the media and the supermarket aisles.  EFAs are even added to foods in which they’d never appear naturally (such as orange juice), in what seems to me a pseudo-GMO fashion.  And everyone is concerned about how to get their fill.

When I was in nutrition school back in the early 2000s, hardly anyone had even heard of Omega 3s.  In class, we learned that the best sources for EFAs were salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.  Our teachers advised us to consume at least 1-2 teaspoons (10 ml) of the stuff a day.  And the product they recommended most often to ensure we achieved our daily quota was fish oil.

For couple of years after school ended, I forced myself to take my fish oil daily, despite the fact that I was entirely unhappy with its source; further, the “lemon flavor” never really tasted like lemon to me, and I had a hard time swallowing it (literally).  I tried mixing it in smoothies, but found that the flavor simply overpowered the smoothie.  Finally, I determined to stop taking it when I cut other animal products out completely, and I turned to walnuts, flax and, later on, chia seeds for my Omega 3s.

Well, imagine my surprise when I learned that there’s a totally vegan Omega 3 oil out there, and one that is derived from plant and algae sources! When I was contacted by Kristine from Ascenta Health to see whether I was interested in reviewing their vegan Omega 3 oil, I was most surprised to discover that the company for which she worked was the same one that made NutraSea!  The product she offered me was a vegan counterpart, called NutraVege.

I agreed to try the oil, making no promises.  The bottle arrived a few days later, and I set up my station by the sink:  open bottle in one hand, teaspoon in the other, full glass of water to drown out the taste on the counter.  I poured; I slid the spoon into my mouth; I swallowed and grabbed the glass.

And then–the strangest thing happened!  There was no need to drink.  No need to mask the flavor at all, in fact, because it was actually extremely pleasant!  The oil is smooth and clear with a subtle citrus note that lingers for a few seconds.  In fact, the taste was so pleasant that I felt I could happily incorporate the oil into my recipes, though honestly, you can eat this stuff entirely on its own.

First I added some to a smoothie (this one has kale, cucumber, lettuce, plum, cinnamon, and coconut water):

As I suspected, it was dee-licious!

Next, I made this fantastic salad based on a recipe from Nava Atlas’s VegKitchen, subbing part of the oil with NutraVege.  The addition of a citrus boost worked beautifully with the lime-based dressing.  (You could also simply use olive oil for the dressing if you don’t have the NutraVege at home, of course). 🙂

Apart from its lovely flavor, NutraVege is also a powerful source of Omega 3s for vegans (with 20 times more DHA than flax, according to their website).  One of the problems with plant-based sources of Omega-3s is that they don’t readily convert to DHA (those with low thyroid function, for instance, have a hard time with flax-based Omega 3s), but since NutraVege is derived from the Echium plantagineum plant (I had never heard of it before, either!), its source is readily converted and so offers a great alternative to fish-based oils.  And the Algal DHA it contains is identical to that found in fish, since it’s actually the source eaten by the fish to provide their own DHA. (The company also provides a neat little chart comparing their oil to flax oil in terms of both cost and effectiveness. Take a look for more info.).

I was so thrilled with the sample, in fact, that I wrote back to Kristine and I asked her if I could give some away to one of you! She graciously agreed and then offered not one, not two, but three prizes to lucky DDD readers!

So if you’d like to win a bottle of Nutra-Vege of your very own, here’s all you have to do:

1) Live in Canada (so sorry, US friends–this is one giveaway restricted to Canada. I promise the next one will be open to everyone!).

2) Leave a Comment on this post telling me why you’d like to try it.

3) For extra entries, check out the Ascenta website and tell me one interesting fact you found there; follow @Ascenta_Health on twitter; tweet about the giveaway (using @rickiheller so I see it); “like” Diet, Dessert and Dogs on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall;  follow me on twitter and send me a tweet to @rickiheller; blog about this with a link back to this page; post about it on Facebook and link to Diet, Dessert and Dogs either here or on Facebook.  For each of these, please come back here and leave a separate comment so I know you did so.

I’m really excited to have a healthy, delicious and vegan alternative to fish oils available for a great boost of Omega 3s and 6s.  Now it’s easy to obtain all your essential fatty acids without animal products!

The giveaway will remain open until Friday, August 19th at midnight. I’ll then choose three winners at random and post their names by Monday. Please be sure to come back on Monday and check whether or not you’ve won!  If I don’t hear from the winners within a week of announcing them, I’ll choose new winner(s).

Good luck, everyone!

And if you’d like to try that amazing salad, here ‘s the recipe. 😀

And don’t forget: you can still submit your healthy recipe to this week’s Wellness Weekend, until midnight tomorrow (Monday)!

Last Year at this Time: Fresh Corn Soup with Smoky Garnish (and some very corny jokes) (ACD stage 2 and beyond; gluten free)

Two Years Ago: Nava’s Cool as a Cucumber Soup (ACD stage 2 and beyond; gluten-free)

Three Years Ago: Pre-Blog Entry Blog Entry

© Diet, Dessert and Dogs

 
[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share

Comments

  1. I would be very interested in trying the nutraVege. I have hypothyroidism and had no idea that Because of that I would have a hard time With plant based sources of omega 3’s! I’m always looking to add more nutrition to my diet. Thanks!

  2. I have been encouraged to increase my Omega 3 intake and NutraVeg sounds like the ideal way to do that. Thank you Ricki

  3. oh and I have only just discovered chia seeds – hard to keep up with all your great ideas – I always thought the idea of fish oil was horrid so I am glad there is an alternative – wonder if there are similar foods in Australia

  4. I love the Nutravege! I take it all the time and have since it came out. I can’t wait to try this slaw!

  5. Ok so even though I can’t enter, I just wanted to say how yummy this salad looks!

  6. Lovely! I am loving golden flax right now with my morning oatmeal but this looks great. Your salad looks refreshing, too. I love how 2 years ago you also had a Nava recipe, hehe. 😉

  7. wow, a supplement that not only tastes okay, but can be used in recipes?? genius!

  8. I would love to try the Nutra-vege! I am just starting to transition to a vegan diet (slowly) and am needing a vegan option for Omega 3 after my current is gone!

  9. Yay! A give away for canadians! I was actually recently evaluated on my nutritional deficiencies and omega 3, 6 and 9 were all low. I think I need to find a reliant source

  10. I would love to try this product in my morning smoothie. Some times I can taste the flax oil that I am using and it’s not my favourite taste.

  11. I have been wanting to try NutraVeg, I currently take NutraSea every day, but am trying to eat vegan. This would be a great replacement for the fish oil 🙂

  12. I can’t enter the giveaway because I’m not a Canadian resident, but I may look for this stuff anyway. Sounds like a great, healthy way to boost my Omega 3s! Also, that salad looks great!

  13. I really don’t want to take fish oil either but my naturopath is insisting I need to so it would be so great to try this alternative. Where is it available for purchase? I haven’t seen it in health food stores. Thanks so much!

    • Laurel, where do you live? I’ve seen it in the Toronto area. You can also email the company to ask where it’s available in the US. 🙂

  14. Hi Ricki – I am in Toronto too, so obviously I need to look a little closer 🙂 Thanks!

  15. Hi there – just tweeted!

  16. I’d love to try this. I like that it has no taste, unlike the nasty fishy tasting one I’m taking now.

  17. Went to Ascenta – learned that the conversion ratio is way better than flax and less calories/cost since one bottle of NutraVege equals FOUR bottles of flax oil!

  18. I like you on FB and left a comment there – can you tell I really would like to try this product 🙂

  19. I follow you on twitter – sent you a tweet about the contest 🙂

  20. I already like you on Facebook and now I’ve commented too.

  21. I would love to try the Nutra-vege! I’ve been vegan for 4 years or so now, and not going to lie, as much as I love flax seeds, I’ve been getting kind of tired of it. And now that I live with my boyfriend who happens to be allergic to nuts, walnuts are slightly out of the question as well. This sounds like such a fantastic alternative!

  22. I’m Canadian (and get to send in an entry!) AND I am also entering because this salad sounds so yummy! I was first introduced to raw cashews=salad dressing through The Spunky Coconut, and just LOVE to use it! thanks for the recipes! Chrystal

  23. OMG–congrats Ricki! That is amazing about Ellen’s recommendation! Yay!

    Courtney

  24. i’d love to try a great tasting omega rich oil!

  25. Would love to try a supplement that is easy to use in recipes and would be a nice change from flax seeds all the time!

  26. Also “liked” the facebook page and follow on twitter!! 🙂

  27. I’d love to win. I actually don’t tolerate fish oil, and I don’t know if vegan sources work better for me.

  28. no US people…bummer. hugs for the giveaway anyhow!

  29. eva @5fruitsNveggies says:

    i have struggled with fish oil capsules and the heavy, fishy burps afterwards–wouild love to find an alternative source for my omega 3s

  30. Ricki,

    This is an excellent post for so many reasons! Wish we could sit and have tea (or a omega 3 green smoothie) and talk plant-based omega nutrition! We have so many of the same thoughts on all this. Love, love, love this. And the recipe. Oh, and congrats on the Ellen endorsement! Very cool.

    Melissa

  31. Sounds interesting! I take fish-based omega 3 capsules every day so I’m curious to try a plant based oil instead.

  32. Im low in omega threes and have been looking for something just like this! I have a really hard time taking anything that tastes less than desirable and usually end up living with the not so fun symptoms as a result. Id love to try NutraVeg!

  33. I’d love to give this a try, Im working towards a more healthy and balanced lifestyle and I think this would be a lovely step in that direction.

  34. I realize I can’t enter – but just wanted to chime in that I tried raw sweet potato in a dish for the first time this weekend, and loved it! It was in a raw, vegan “taco” salad and I’m pretty sure I’ll be recreating it at home. I imagine this slaw is just as delicious 🙂

  35. I’m always looking to find new vegan products to keep in my kitchen. Even better when it’s something that will keep me healthy!

  36. I’m following @Ascenta_Health on twitter.

  37. I liked Diet, Dessert and Dogs on Facebook and left a comment on the wall.

  38. Trying to get in lots of omega 3s before we start trying to get preggo!

  39. Liked Diet, Dirt and Dogs on FB!

  40. Started following Ascenta on Twitter!

  41. That salad looks amazing. Creamy dressing and crips veggies. Yum.
    I would love this oil to increase my omega3 intake in my smoothies, dressings and possibly baked goods as cupcakes and vegan donuts. I look for ways to increase my health at every turn.

  42. I love Ascenta! What a great company with great products. I always cook with my NutraVeg (and by cook I mean I top cooked foods and salads with it as to not destroy the heat sensitive omega 3 fatty acids). The lemony flavor is swell.

    *just wanted to point out that my email has been changed from .com to .ca (I typed it in wrong by accident).

  43. I would like to try Nutra-Vege because I’ve been trying to increase my omega 3 but find that I really dislike the fish oil after taste. Sounds like a great alternative. Thanks!

  44. From the Ascenta web site I learned that they source their ingredients from sustainable natural sources. Thanks!

  45. I’m following Ascenta on Twitter (@ennsee).

  46. I have to take a ton of fish oil already (I buy stuff that comes in a bottle really similar to that), but it is soo expensive! The stuff I have is $50 a bottle! So I would love to win this because a) The idea that what I have now comes from fish grosses me out
    b) I’m broke!

  47. Also, I went to the site and saw that Ascenta is part of 1% for the planet, which is an organization I hadn’t heard of until now

  48. Haha- just realized that there is a different Nicole who posted right above me! The last two posts were someone else! Also, I liked you on facebook!

  49. I’ve always had a tough time with raw taters, but this is great motivation to get into them.

  50. Hi Ricki! Finally I’m entering by cell phone because I kept forgetting to do it when I was on the computer so hopefully this works!…. I would so love to try this product. It’s an excellent give-away and I trust your review on it. Just you getting excited about it makes me excited and wanting to try it! 😀

  51. Oh no! 🙁 I just realized you’re going by eastern time! I’m on the west and it says that my comment is waiting to be moderated 🙁

  52. It’s nice they’ve used sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin but as the added vitamin E is extremely likely to be sourced from soy, those of us with off-the-charts soy allergies still won’t be able to partake… I don’t know about Canada but in the U.S., food with micro amounts of soy such as this, can still be legally labeled “soy-free.” Apparently that works for “most” soy-allergics, but unfortunately not for all of us. On the other hand, if the added vitamin E is NOT sourced from soy, please, please, please state as such on the label.

  53. I would love to try this oil, I am pregnant And probably don’t take enough of the omegas. The salad looks tasty:)

  54. Ooo I’ll have to look into this NutraVege! Too bad I missed this giveaway. Your salad looks delicious and flavourful! I never think to use chard in a salad.

  55. i haven’t seen this product but i want/need it! thanks for the great review!

Speak Your Mind

*