A walk amongst the Dutch windmills - Part 1


Part 1 : THE IDEA

Not every meal replacement has to taste like oats

With the release of our nuts based vegan flavored shake, I shared a blog post where I explained why we had chosen a not-so-traditional carbohydrate source in our product.

Somehow we got so much positive feedback on this new mix that it made us wonder why. It was not the fact that it was vegan. After asking several of our customers and friends that had tried the product, the answer seemed to be simple: the shake did not have an overpowering soy or oat taste. It tasted nutty and further pretty neutral. 

Taking this feedback into account we decided that it was time to change our recipe; to improve the formula by using ingredients other than soy or/and oats. This change would also differentiate our product from the rest.

While researching for top quality alternatives we stumbled upon buckwheat, and made us realize that using some other uncommon super-grains was also a possibility. To this end we decided to use buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. We would also include the oats. These grains considered by some as superfoods are called pseudo-grains because they are used as grains but actually are seeds. 

This would remove the oaty background and soy taste, while also allowing us to even remove the much-criticized maltodextrin.  

We could perfectly well use several different carbohydrate sources that were suggested as ‘superfoods’ because of their characteristics. This also meant that Powder Matter shakes would have a more varied profile, with nutrients from many different excellent quality sources.

Multiple ingredients for the main energy source ensures a diversity in nutrients

The European Law clearly states that ‘’a varied and balanced diet is a prerequisite for good health and single products have a relative importance in the context of the total diet’’.

The main reason behind this is that even though we currently know a lot about what our body needs, maybe there are things we do not know (and might discover much later): this is the single most used argument by ‘scientists’ that oppose using meal replacements to replace your normal meals completely.

Achieving this complexity is one of the biggest challenges to overcome as a meal replacement developer.

We think that including different sources from completely different kinds of super grains, will provide you with a greater variety of all kinds of nutrients in our meal replacement.

These aforementioned ‘super grains’ do not only provide the carbohydrates, but they also contribute substantially to the fats and proteins. Not to mention the different minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

Buckwheat, Quinoa and Amaranth meals, locally milled superfoods

We ordered small amounts of these super-grains for testing. After testing, we were sure: this would be a great improvement to our current recipe.

We noticed that the buckwheat we bought was coming from a classical windmill. You know… These windmills that ‘Don Quixotefought against? At first we thought buckwheat meal coming from a monumental windmill from the 1700s was a marketing stunt, but a search on google showed indeed they were active and working. Not only this windmill… an amazing few hundreds of them!


The inner workings of the mill

The map above displays an amazing number of windmills in The Netherlands. Active, inactive, watermills, motorized mills.

It is understandable and amazing to see that there were so many windmills, going back to far before the founding of The Netherlands when there was no electricity, and scarce manpower. It is outstanding that despite all the technology we possess these old giants are still active and producing!

So we decided to take a visit to a couple of these windmills that still were functional to see if they were going to be able to provide us with what we needed.

The first trip was on a windy day. Destination: Utrecht (in the middle of the Netherlands). The first windmill we visited was immediately worth all the trouble already: they were able to provide us with bio-grade (organic) milled buckwheat. We thankfully accepted the offer.

The next weekend we took another route and ended up north of Amsterdam where a similar, but bigger windmill was functioning similarly. We got our (organic-bio) amaranth meal from this windmill.

Our final visit was to a windmill close to Rotterdam: for our (organic-bio) quinoa meal. All the windmills were amazing historical pieces of art.

State-Monument sign on one the front door

All meals carry the EU bio sign

Visiting a Dutch windmill almost reminded us of a sailing ship. Why? Visit one… and you will know.

In conclusion

A walk amongst Dutch windmills did provide us with a good amount of perfect quality varied pseudo-grains.

By making these products available to you we do not only feel good about having contributed to the existence of these beautiful monumental machine-buildings, but we also feel good for having brought a product to others that we know will help them live healthier than before.