On the Shelf: Aussielent – putting the powdered meal replacement to the test

I adore food. I love to eat. On occasion, I even enjoy cooking. I’m enamoured with burgers and burritos, and I’m Italian, so my appetite for pizza and pasta is commensurate with my heritage and then some. A terrible roadblock to that problem is that I’m prodigiously lazy. I consider food preparation for breakfast and lunch mundane at best, and I regard cleaning with a casual loathing.

Now we have things like Soylent, the name derived from a food product sci-fi novel Make Room! Make Room!, a powdered meal replacement developed by software engineer Rob Rhinehart. It was designed to be a completely nutritionally compliant source of nourishment. Reinhart perfected his formula, and the nascent Soylent subsequently underwent the biggest food-related crowdfunding project of all time. Soylent has seen enormous growth and development ever since, but sadly the company still don’t ship to Australia.

Enter a new company based in Melbourne, producing what they are calling Aussielent, a powdered meal in a similar vein, using the Australian nutritional references instead of the American FDA requirements as the standard for the composition of the product. It was with great interest that I discovered this Australian version of Soylent – and it was with great excitement that I began my liquid food adventure.

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Aussielent comes in 3 varieties: vanilla, chocolate and “Body”, a blend developed with dairy and soy protein free ingredients, and almost 100% vegan. My first taste was the vanilla variety, which I found pleasantly reminiscent of cake batter, but most of my time was spent with chocolate Aussielent which has quite a mild, malty flavour much like that of a chocolate milkshake. I found “Body” to be a little grainy for my liking, in both taste and texture, but your preference may differ. The protein in Body is derived from brown rice, giving it a stronger, fuller flavour – in my opinion it is best complemented with the addition of blended fruit.

The company suggest the best way to prepare your liquid meal is with the humble protein shaker. While this does work for the most part, provided you get the ratio to water right, it does tend to form little clumps that float around the top. Additionally, if left to stand for a short while the mix will separate and leave a kind of gluggy sediment at the bottom of your shaker or glass, making full consumption of your meal a little difficult.

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The method I gradually sunk into and found the most efficient was blending up ~260g (two meals worth) of the mix with 6 cups of water, drinking half for breakfast and chucking the other half in the fridge for lunch. This ensured a consistent mix with no tiresome shaking required. The company have a premixed bottled version of their product coming out soon – hopefully it will solve this issue completely and make consumption even more efficient.

If what you’re after is a light snack, you can simply mix a tablespoon or two into a glass of water – similar to Nesquik or Milo, except with actual nutrition instead of enough sugar to shut down the human body.

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Aussielent certainly won’t break the bank either, especially if you buy in bulk. The brand stocks single day sampler packs for each flavour at $14 each, but if you purchase a 7 day pack for $84, each meal turns out to be approximately $3.50 apiece. Obviously you wouldn’t replace every meal with Aussielent (as is cautioned on the packaging) but this makes it perfect for replacing breakfasts, lunches or snacks with a cheaper, easier alternative.

If you’re time poor, hate cooking and cleaning or simply looking to economise, (perhaps you just want to drink a nutritious version of a chocolate milkshake all day) then Aussielent is definitely worth a go. After trying it for a week, I feel fuller, more nourished and energised after each meal, and I’ve been able to shed just over a kilo of weight. Affordable, nutritious and easy to prepare and consume, it’s good for what ails you.

For more information on Aussielent and to access their online store head to the official website HERE.