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Vegan meal replacement shakes are all the rage these days. In this review I will take a closer look at the latest meal replacement to pique my interest, the new Gemini plant-based meal replacement solution made by boutique nutrition brand Unico.
I will analyze the ingredients, the flavors (including texture), and offer my opinion on where this product stacks up against others that I have tried.
This product is the first in UNICO’s new “From Afar” product line — a new product set that expands the brands’ offering beyond the sports nutrition products that I had known them for previously.
UNICO reports that Gemini is:
“Designed for individuals seeking whole-food-based, nutrient-dense nourishment for when busy schedules do not allow for a formal meal.”
Given the amount of time that my kids, my blog, and my fitness routine takes, I was intrigued to see if this product could fit into my lifestyle and be a useful part of my regimen.
The product comes in three flavors (Haley’s Vanilla, Cosmic Chocolate, & Wild Berry Dreams), all of which are available through company’s website uniconutrition.com.
So let’s take a deep dive on the product from a technical and nutritional standpoint.
When I get any new meal replacement product I like to begin by turning it immediately over to the supplement facts. This is where you can tell the most important information and really find out if the product is healthy.
What I found upon examining Gemini is that it has an interesting blend of organic proteins. I will share the supplement facts with you below and then walk through my key findings.
3 Different Organic Protein Sources: Many vegan protein products that I have tried use only yellow pea protein (cheapest). Gemini uses 3 organic protein sources, with a nicely balanced combination of all 3 (50% pea, 25% hemp, 25% quinoa) to give the product a more diverse amino acid composition.
Although I was surprised that there are only 16g of protein per serving, the trifecta of sources tells me that UNICO went for quality over quantity.
Healthy, Low-GI Carbs: Another odd thing that I have noticed is that Gemini contains as many carbohydrates as protein. I was not enthused about his because I tend to follow a more low-carb, ketogenic diet, however, Gemini uses a carefully selected combination of fruits, veggies, and other whole foods to provide the carb content (oat, sweet potato, spinach, etc.).
I found this to be a thoughtful approach to the often controversial macronutrient that is the carbohydrate. I would typically not use a meal replacement with this high of a carbohydrate content. But since they are low-GI, whole food sources, I feel comfortable recommending Gemini to anyone who follows a plant-based diet and is looking for a healthy meal replacement drink.
Superfoods & Adaptogens: One of the most interesting things I found with this Gemini meal replacement is that in addition to their carb blend, it also contains a blend of botanicals and adaptogens.
Adaptogens can serve many important functions in the body — ranging from stress relief/cortisol management to cardiovascular health. The most notable ingredients rom this blend are the ashwaghanda, cupuacu, and camu camu. Ashwagandha is known for its ability to lower the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Probiotics: My final callout on Gemini from a formulation standpoint is that this product contains a full 3 billion CFU dosage of ProDura-branded probiotics.
This ingredient promotes healthy gut microflora and supports a balanced microbiome. ProDura is made domestically from vegan materials as opposed to overseas.
While reviewing the nutritional information and ingredients list, it is becoming clearer to me why Gemini seems to be attracting the amount of attention that is has.
This product has a remarkable set of differentiators that set it apart from other products in it’s class. While the carb content still remains my one pain-point, I am very impressed by the thought and technical detail that went into this formulation. Now let’s see how it tastes.
Gemini Meal Replacement Flavor & Texture Analysis
NOTE: The recommended serving size for Gemini is 1-2 scoops. 1 for a small snack and 2 for a full snack. For the purpose of my flavor testing I have used 2 scoops of Cosmic Chocolate mixed into 10 oz of water. I haven’t had a chance to try Wild Berry Dreams and Haley’s Vanilla, so instead, I’ll share what others had to say about them.
Cosmic Chocolate: This flavor features a French cocoa powder that gives it an extremely robust flavor. If you are interested in vegan protein powders with subtle flavor/taste, this one might not be for you.
The chocolate Gemini flavor is rich, sweet, and decadent. Almost like a dessert. My kids and I agree that this might be the best tasting vegan protein product we have ever had.
Wild Berry Dreams: The berry Gemini flavor has large chunks of organic berry in it that makes the texture very unique. Some may not enjoy this added texture, but similar to the chocolate, the berry Gemini flavor has a robust, sweet flavor that really makes it hard to tell that you are drinking a vegan product.
Haley’s Vanilla: Based on what I’ve read, this seems to be the least bold of the Gemini flavors. The vanilla flavor is smoother, and possibly more easy-drinking than the other two more robust flavors, although the more refined notes allow for more of the vegan proteins flavors to come through. If you enjoy a more minimalist flavor, this one may be for you.
A Note on Gemini Texture
I found the texture of this vegan meal replacement to be very distinctive. While it is quite easy-drinking and flavorful, Gemini does have a noticeably dense texture, that varies by flavor.
I would guess that a few of the superfoods, or even the Himalayan salt give a sort of subtly grainy texture to the end of each sip. I did not mind this personally, but I did want to call out that it is not as smooth as some others that I have tried.
Overall I found Gemini to be a highly enjoyable product in regards to taste. All three flavors had tremendous personality and depth of flavor that I have not yet found in a vegan protein or vegan meal replacement of any kind.
I would go as far as to say that Unico’s Gemini is one of the best-tasting vegan meal replacement I have tried.
Combined with the highly detailed formulation and highly aesthetic package design, I am very impressed with this new offering from Unico. I will summarize my findings below to help you visualize some of the pros and cons of the Gemini product:
- Delicious Flavor Options
- Quality Formulation
- Beautiful Packaging
- Hypoallergenic (soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, non-GMO)
- Relatively High Price Point
- Carb Content is Higher than Most
- Low in calories
For me the only noticeable drawbacks to the Gemini product are the low amount of calories and the higher amount of carbohydrates, which make it more challenging to fit into a keto diet. If you decide to use Gemini at home, I’d recommend just adding a few teaspoons of flavorless avocado oil. That significantly increases the fat content and thus the calories.
Unico Gemini – Final Words
Overall I’m impressed with the tasty Gemini flavor and the balanced formulation, which outweigh many of the cons of this product.
If you are interested in trying the Gemini product, you can use my code MK10 for a discounted price.
Michael is a healthy living enthusiast and CrossFit athlete whose goal is to help people achieve optimal health by bridging the gap between ancestral living and the demands of modern society.