Sourcing omega-3 as a vegan is tricky. But Wiley’s Finest vegan CatchFree oil proves getting all your nutrition is still as simple with algae and plants.
Fish oil producer Wiley’s Finest is striving to change that. Using a mix of marine algae and British-grown ahiflower, a clean-tasting and aromatic plant that provides “multi-omega” benefits. Its oil contains similar nutritional content to fish oil. It supports the brain, heart, joints, gut, skin and lowers inflammation. The flower additionally contains GLA, unique to any other source of omega-3.
“While giving back more to soil fertility and pollinators than it takes, we support rural farmland biodiversity,” says Andrew Hebard, CEO of ahiflower producers Natures Crop International. The flower is grown exclusively by a network of UK farmers, who have spent decades developing elite cultivars and horticultural practices that make ahiflower’s oil quality so unique.
But how does it taste? And how can we mix it into our everyday diets? The Vegan Review tested the Wiley’s Finest vegan CatchFree Omega 3 in four different ways.
Unlike the classic omega-3 capsule derived from real fish oil, Wiley’s Finest vegan capsules are transparent and less gummy-like in texture. But their size and smell still very much resemble other omega-3 supplements.
While the benefits from these capsules can only be seen over time, and the nutritional boxes can all be ticked, the taste and smell aspects of these capsules are not at all pleasing. For vegans who cannot stomach the taste or smell of fish, it’s probably better to opt for the mango-flavoured omega-3 liquid.
Luckily for me, a big gulp of water was enough to wash this down and forget about the stench of fish.
Chia puddings are a simple and speedy way to incorporate your dose of omega-3 into your meals. Because they are light and sweet, they can serve as your breakfast or dessert, and if you prepare enough servings in advance — they are as easy as taking one bowl out of the fridge and grabbing a spoon.
However, unless you add maple syrup or a dollop of peanut butter — like I did — you will be left with the aftertaste of mango and fish after finishing this omega-3-rich chia pudding. I am not usually the biggest fan of chia puddings, but this unnatural flavour really put me off chia pudding for a while.
My chia pudding included three tablespoons of chia seeds, 125 ml of almond milk and a teaspoon of Wiley’s Finest CatchFree Oil, but I’d highly suggest adding lots of maple syrup or berries to distract your palate from the fishy undertones.
Spicy peanut and rice stir-fry
This was by far my favourite way of sneaking omega-3 into my diet. A simple concoction of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and Wiley’s Finest CatchFree mango-flavoured oil cooked with basmati rice, zucchini, green beans, onion, garlic and lots of chillies made for a deliciously simple Saturday night stir-fry.
It’s a shame I had to include so many other flavours to hide the taste of the vegan omega-3 oil, defeating the point of having a flavoured oil altogether. But this recipe is highly recommended for those who can’t take the smell or look of omega-3 supplements.
You can’t go wrong with avocados. Especially when mashed with red onions, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika. That was the case even when including Wiley’s Finest CatchFree oil. While the chia pudding and capsules didn’t work with the strong fishy flavour, the fishy aspects worked here — almost enriching the contrast between the bitter lemon and the sweetness from the onions.
While I support Wiley’s Finest for having supplied vegans with an essential source of multiple nutrients, which many don’t even realise they are missing — it is difficult to understand some of the decisions they made when manufacturing their products. Wiley’s Finest uses Ahiflower, an aromatic flower, yet the algae base means the odour and flavour that dominates is fishy and distasteful.
The mango-flavoured oil is a perfect middle ground. But in order to mask the fishy undertones, you need more powerful ingredients to mix it in with. This defeats the purpose of having a mango flavour at all. The liquid has left me a little perplexed, but I feel its nutritional value might be enough to overcome these small flaws.
Wiley’s Finest CatchFree vegan oil is available from health shops and pharmacists, as well as Wiley’s Finest website. Each 125ml bottle of its tropical mango flavoured liquid contains 25 servings. Wiley’s Finest CatchFree Omega 3 capsule bottles contain 60 servings. Both options are priced at £29.99.