Riding the sweetness rollercoaster

Hi all. I’m brand new to Huel after it was recommended by a friend who is using it every day and whose opinion I trust. I’m excited to see if I can lose some weight. (I recently tried calorie-counting for the first time in my life - using an iPhone app - and I was delighted to find it really does come down to balanced nutrition and a daily calorie deficit. But logging everything I ate was hard to sustain after a few weeks, so I’m keen to try something even more straightforward.) If I can keep up the enthusiasm with Huel, I’ll return here to update this journal.

I can’t remember the last time I ever spent more than £40 on the purchase of a single foodstuff, so I was hesitant until my friend told me about the “one meal” £4 sample which also rewards a £4 discount on the first full order. That was a no-brainer and I ordered in moments. (Feedback: I think this offer should be front-and-centre on the site, as I would not have seen it otherwise; it’s right at the bottom of the page and if you’ve already gone to the “Buy” page it’s not clearly advertised.)

Now that I’ve done a fair amount of reading about the product, I feel I “get it” just fine and I’ve got no concerns about purchasing, storing, measuring, mixing, etc. My thoughts now are almost entirely about the flavour, specifically the sweetness. My vanilla sample arrived quickly and the first mouthful was quite alien. By the third or forth gulp my tastebuds understood what I was drinking and by the time half of it was gone I found it hard to stop. By that I just mean that If I had tried to make the drink last over the course of a couple of hours I would have failed, it was already just the right amount of moreish and I could already see myself giving it a proper go. By the end of the day, I had ordered my first week’s supply.

Now, here’s where it’s going to get more complex for me. I though the vanilla was good but a little too sweet for me and left a slightly cloying, sickly aftertaste. The unsweetened version sounded like a good solution, with the benefit of being able to mix in savoury flavours for more variety too. I must admit I did not pay enough attention to the clear warnings about it almost certainly needing sweetener. As soon as I tried it, I realised what a good job the Huel team had done in formulating the regular/vanilla version! Honestly, I slightly regretted getting the unsweetened version. I hope I get used to it.

Since it’s the first day, I’ve only had two full shakers of unsweetened Huel, but I did split one up and experiment with flavouring. I tried it with coffee, with vanilla extract and with chocolate powder. Each blended in just fine and I will use them in future, but each of them also needed sweetner. I drink my coffee black and unsweetened but unsweetened Huel is definitely chalky and REALLY bitter. I’ve found that a small amount of granulated sweetner makes a huge difference. Unfortunately I haven’t got it tasting as good as the regular huel sample was, because it’s more like tasting one bitter taste and one sweet taste at the same time, with the flavours separated (if that even makes any sense).

OK I’ve written enough for now. If you’re still reading, then I think the take-away message is that I found the Vanilla a bit too sweet and the Unsweetened too bitter. This sweetening lark is TRICKY! I can totally understand why @Julian has firmly settled on the vanilla like most people. Anyway, I will continue to experiment with some of the suggested flavourings like cinnamon and fruit and I’ll report back. Right now I’ve got the weird contradiction of enjoying a Saturday evening at home and almost looking forward to Monday morning so I can head out of the door with my Huel breakfast in hand! :smiley:

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I felt like one more experiment before bed, so I tried a banana and cinnamon. The sweetness from the banana seems to blend much better than the granulated sweetener: enough banana successfully kills the bitterness of the Huel. I’m happy with the result! I don’t think I could add banana to the Vanilla version as it would be far too sweet. I’m feeling much better about the Unsweetened Huel already.

Hi - welcome to Huel.

If flavouring the unsweetened unflavoured Huel is an issue, have you seen our flavour pouches?

Yes, thanks. And I’m sure they make lovely “desserts” :smile:
I’m mostly going to be aiming for more savoury / neutral flavours so my goal right now is to figure out the best sweetener - and how much to use - to just neutralise the bitterness. Anything else I consider a bonus. Like I said, I can appreciate it must have been hard to strike a balance for the regular/Vanilla version.
I’m seriously considering the Knorr Flavour Pots suggestion but I think I’ll try a stock cube first.

Tough Sunday morning: chugged on my Huel while my family ate delicious bacon sandwiches. I’m ignoring them :smiley:

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Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Huel made with freshly-brewed coffee. Very nice and will be much-repeated. Needed a bit of sweetener as expected (even though I don’t normally sweeten my coffee).

  • Lunch: Tried a vegetable stock cube. Couldn’t decide if it was nice enough or not but thought it needed a bit of sweetener to take the bitterness away. The stock on its own sweetened it a bit but I felt it could use a bit more help. This was a mistake and made it disgusting. I couldn’t finish it and actually I think the saltiness of the stock was not helping either. Not sure I’ll be trying that again. Abandoned that attempt and went with plain Huel + a couple of stevia tablets.

So far I’m not doing a very good job of flavouring Huel on my own so I’m sure @JamesCollier will be pleased to know I’ve caved in and ordered some flavour pouches :smile:

I’m also playing with the consistency. I like it thick - like a McDonald’s milkshake - you almost have to chew it a bit which makes me feel more like I’m eating rather than drinking. My friend says he likes to add a lot of water to ensure he’s getting more water daily. I thought I’d hate that but actually very thin Huel is fine, more like a flavoured drink. When it’s somewhere in between - neither chewable nor watery - that’s when I don’t like the consistency.

One last point for today: I’m really enjoying the aftertaste of Huel! The taste lingers in my mouth for a long time afterwards, like when you’ve eaten a really delicious meal, and it’s very pleasant. The oaty/chalky flavour turns naturally sweet. I’m guessing this is something to do with the enzymes in saliva, similar to the way a piece of bread turns sweet if you keep it in your mouth a long time… but that depends on starch being broken down into sugars so maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree there. Anyway, the aftertaste is probably the best part of the experience for me and that is what gives it the potential to be moreish, I reckon.

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i think this might explain why you found the vanilla version too sweet. The thicker you make it, the sweeter it is. You can significantly reduce the sweetness by adding more water.

My Rhubarb and Custard / Mocha flavours arrived today (and a my second shaker). Tried the Rhubarb this evening. I can see the novelty wearing off faster than Vanilla but otherwise it does a great job of transforming the Unflavoured & Unsweetened into something more tasty. The ratio of flavour-to-sweetness is just right for U&U Huel I reckon. Looking forward to trying Mocha in the morning.

In other news, my wife is off work at the moment so she is at home cooking dinner ever day, which is rather denting my plans to go 100% Huel! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I like the Mocha flavour a lot and have it every morning. The Rhubarb is decent so I know I’d like the strawberry too. I’ve tried other chocolate drinks powders and they’re not as nice as the Mocha so I can see why it was selected as a good choice. Tomorrow my first full batch of Vanilla arrives and I reckon I’m going to enjoy it more than the U&U variety. Now I’ll have three flavour choices so I’m happy and motivated for the coming week.

If you want to treat yourself, try strawberry with vanilla. Go on, you know you want to! :grinning:

OK I’ve now had Vanilla for a couple of days and I do prefer it. It was good with a shot of coffee in it. I’ll have to use a bit less of the Mocha flavour than I was using with U&U because it’s overwhelmingly sweet otherwise. I do find myself looking forward to my morning Huel in particular.

Vanilla came in four smaller pouches instead of two bigger ones. They are much more manageable. Using a large spoon to get powder from the smaller pouch using digital scales is far less messy than using the scoop.

I’d agree with the comment about a spoon rather than the scoop causes less mess

When you put a shot of coffee in the Huel, did you admit to your water and then mix the Huel or mix it and then add it on top (then mix again)?

I just made my usual cup of (filter) coffee and topped it up to 500ml with cold water, then added the Huel powder as usual. Only one mixing needed.