Posts Tagged ‘Soy Free’

Hey readers, I am back from the Black Rock Desert and my third trip out to Burning Man. Now I can speak from experience as to which protein bars actually held up best in the intense desert heat (which was significantly less intense than previous years). I’ll be trying to settle back into my groove of 1-2 of these a week now that life has gone back to relative normalcy.

Post 22 - 22 Days Coconut Chocolate Chip

Brand: 22 Days

Product: Coconut & Chocolate Chip Protein Bar

Weight: 2.6oz / 75g

Cost: $2.99/per from manufacturer.

Stats

Calories: 290

Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat 4.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 5mg

Total Carb: 33g

Fiber: 12g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 20g

Protein per ounce: 7.69g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.15

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.8-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Calcium: 8% DV

Iron: 35% DV

Organic, plant based, vegan, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free.

Not made in gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It was faintly coconut tasting, not as strong as I would have liked but probably for the best since coconut can be one of those flavors where either you love it (like I do) or you hate it. The chocolate was definitely more of the central flavor in this bar and the overall flavor was quite pleasant. Like the other 22 Days bar I reviewed, the texture did remind me a bit of a power bar, really chewy but with a pleasant mouth feel. It did not have a shred of the dreaded chalky taste that typifies cheap protein; one of the major reasons I love this brand is they are entirely plant based without and cheap whey, wheat, or soy protein as fillers. The importance of this point cannot be overstated as most protein bars on the market are loaded with cheap filler proteins from China. Outside of the protein, there was a ton of iron, at 35% DV this would be the most iron-rich bar I have reviewed making it good for people who are iron deficient. This coconut protein bar manages to be even more nutrient dense than 22 Days peanut butter protein bar, not by much but by enough to be notable.

As I made note of in my first review on 22 Days Daily Mocha Mantra, 22 Days has some organic protein bars that pack 20 grams of protein into each bar. While they are a bit heftier than other bars by about half an ounce they still pack in more protein per ounce than anything else I have reviewed, even more than the Squarebar. These 22 Days bars still have the cheapest protein per gram cost at 15 cents a gram and the best density of any bar reviewed; at this point I doubt I will find anything better. While I did not bring any of this flavor with me to Burning Man, I did bring three other 22 Days bars and they all held up well (save for my walnut protein bar where it seemed that the factory seal didn’t hold in the heat, the bar still tasted great but it was kind of stale).

Post 21 - Simple Squares Coffee

Brand: Simple Squares

Product: Coffee Nuts & Honey Organic Snack Bar

Weight: 1.6oz / 45g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat 5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 95mg

Total Carb: 16g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.75g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.41

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.6-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, gluten free, wheat free, kosher, no refined sugars, soy and dairy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It would seem I spoke too soon when I said the Daily Mocha Mantra bar, from my first post, was the only one made with real organic coffee; now that I have had the coffee Simple Square I know my error. It would seem there are two made with coffee (if any of you readers know of another one let me know). The flavor was similar to the ginger Simple Square, but with hints of coffee instead of ginger. It was not nearly as tasty as the coconut Simple Square I started with, but hey, it had coffee in it so that’s pretty cool, right? The mouth feel of all of these Simple Squares is the same, as the ingredients are virtually identical in all of their products. Simple Square created one template to rule them all, and then made a bunch of flavors to apply to that template. The nutrient content is not very good and the protein ratio is also lacking, the major win for this bar is that it is made with coffee and is still kosher.

Another win for the entire Simple Square family of products is that they have nothing in them to melt in high heat situations, making them all great for Burning Man. I picked up a few Simple Squares and other bars that seem Burn-friendly to bring out with me this year to test them first-hand in the desert heat.

Post 20 - Squarebar Cocoa Almond

 

Brand: Squarebar

Product: Cocoa Almond Organic Protein Bar

Weight: 1.7oz / 48g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 210

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 7g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 40mg

Potassium: 230mg

Total Carb: 21g

Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 14g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 7.06g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.21

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.83-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 4% DV

Magnesium: 6% DV

Zinc: 2% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, soy free, vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility, but good manufacturing practices are used.

Flavor:

The last Squarebar I reviewed in post 8 is still one of the best I have had up to this point, in terms of overall nutritional value and taste; it kicked ass in both categories. I had very high hopes for this Squarebar, perhaps too high, as it was definitely not as good on the flavor-side. Despite that, it was still a big winner in terms of nutrients. Just like the other Squarebar, the protein is all plant based with no whey or soy as filler. The mouth feel of this bar was also not as good as the Cocoa Crunch, but it was still pleasant. All things considered, I would opt for the Cocoa Crunch over the Cocoa Almond Squarebar, but if I wanted some variety I would still eat the Almond one. Speaking of variety, I have two more Squarebar reviews to come (new flavors I found more recently). Like the last Squarebar, I left the Burning Man tag off this post for obvious chocolatey reasons, this is another example of the type of bar that will melt into a gooey mess in high heat.

One extra plus for Bay Area residents like me is that they are local, made in Alameda. If I wanted to I could bike to them and pick up the bars in person creating no greenhouse gas emissions in shipping; this is the processed food equivalent to going to the farmers market. I just made a run to Whole Foods to get some more protein bars for review, up until now they all came from my local Pharmaca here in Oakland. The Squarebar is the first out of the Whole Foods bars I am reviewing.

Post 19 - Evo Hemp Pineapple Almond

Brand: Evo Hemp

Product: Pineapple Almond + Raw Protein (Hemp Powder)

Weight: 1.69oz /48g

Cost: $2.25/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 205

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Potassium: 280mg

Total Carb: 22g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 11g

Protein: 8g

Protein per ounce: 4.73g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.28

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit B1: 4% DV

Vit B6: 4% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Vit E: 15% DV

Magnesium: 20% DV

Zinc: 2% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 10% DV

Manganese: 15% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, and soy free.

Flavor:

If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I love hemp, so the idea of a protein bar largely made of hemp definitely has some appeal. The flavor wasn’t particularly inspiring nor unpleasant in any way. It was somewhat sweet, yet savory, the dates that make up much of the bar are a large flavor component. This Evo Hemp bar didn’t have as good of a flavor or mouth feel as the last one I reviewed for post #4, but it did have more protein, magnesium, manganese and other minerals. The protein per ounce ratio on the Evo Hemp bars isn’t as high as many of the bars I have reviewed but it also isn’t the lowest, and for the price it makes this a very well-rounded middle of the road protein bar, with a lot of auxiliary nutrients for those who need them. The extra minerals and bromelian from the pineapple would be a great asset for anyone who is mineral deprived or needs a little extra boost recovering from an MDMA hangover, which could be great at festivals like Burning Man (if you take MDMA). The lack of chocolate coupled with the bromelian makes this an ideal protein bar for Burning Man, especially if you intend to take MDMA out there.

Post 15 - Pure Bar Chocolate Brownie

Brand: Pure Bar

Product: Chocolate Brownie Bar

Weight: 1.7oz / 48g

Cost: $2.19/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 190

Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 5mg

Potassium: 250mg

Total Carb: 26g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 18g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.53g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.37

Carb to Protein Ratio: 4.33-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 8% DV

Organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

Sometimes labels can be deceiving, not the case here. I read chocolate brownie bar and I was worried it might taste like failure, but I could feel a brownie-like texture through the package and those fears dissipated. Honestly, it was so delicious I totally forgot to take a photo of it until after eating it. It tasted like a brownie and had the mouth feel of a brownie, but it had more nutrients than a brownie which was awesome. Like the Simple Squares, the Pure Bar has very few ingredients, clocking in at only 7. The ingredients were similar to the Kit’s Organic Bar I reviewed the other day, but with a much, much better taste.

The complete lack of meltable chocolate makes this an ideal bar for bringing along to Burning Man, especially since it manages to really taste like a chocolatey brownie. The protein ratio isn’t amzing, the price per protein isn’t amazing, but it has a good amount of potassium and besides, the flavor is AMAZING. I wouldn’t hesitate to say this might be the most delicious bar I have reviewed.

[100th Post] Hey everyone, this is my 100th post on this blog. Just wanted to thank you all for reading my blog! Here is looking at 100 more posts!

Post 14 - Kits Organic

Brand: CLIFBar

Product: Kit’s Organic Fruit + Nut Bar –  Peanut Butter

Weight: 1.8z / 50g

Cost: $1.50/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 200

Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 95mg

Potassium: 320mg

Total Carb: 25g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.33g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.25

Carb to Protein Ratio: 4.16-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 4% DV

Organic, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

Much like the Simple Squares I reviewed for posts three and eleven, the Kit’s Organic bar is amazingly simple and manages to have even fewer ingredients. This bar is nothing but dates, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt. The peanuts and dates take over the front half of the flavor profile and the almonds and salt round it out and give this very simple bar a lot of complexity. While the protein wasn’t all that high compared to most of the bars I have reviewed it is well costed and comes from macrobiotic sources (though the product isn’t labeled as such). The Kit’s Organic bar has a high amount of potassium which is good for people like me who are prone to cramps and need lots of potassium in our diet, especially around working out.

I like CLIF bar because they tell you how much poly and monounsaturated fat is in the bar; most of the other bars I reviewed contained comparable amounts but few brands actually record it. Poly and monounsaturated fats are the so-called good fats, though there is some debate over how good a diet high in monounsaturated fat is; to simplify things, it depends on your lifestyle and demographics, talk to your doctor for a better description of the various types of fats.

This would be a great protein bar for bringing to Burning Man because it has nothing to melt and every ingredient is self-stable, meaning this will never need refrigeration ever, even in the crazy heats of the Black Rock Desert. While this bar itself isn’t anything terribly special it would make a great base recipe for making your own protein bars (a teaser of things to come on this blog).

_MG_6676

Brand: 22 Days

Product: PB & Chocolate Chip Nirvana

Weight: 2.6oz / 75g

Cost: $2.99/per from manufacturer.

Stats

Calories: 280

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 2.5g, Poly Unsaturated 2.5g, Mono Unsat. 6.5%

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Total Carb: 36g

Fiber: 10g

Sugars: 17g

Protein: 20g

Protein per ounce: 7.69g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.15

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.8-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 35% DV

Fair Trade organic, plant based, vegan, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free, Natural Food Certified, Produced with Solar Energy.

Not made in gluten free facility.

Flavor:

You might look at this and think it will be your standard, boring, peanut butter chocolate protein bar. If you do think that prepare to be totally wrong. This is what CLIF bars wishes it tasted like and what Power Bar wishes it could power up to be. The texture did remind me a bit of a power bar, really chewy but with a pleasant mouth feel. It did not have a shred of the dreaded chalky taste that typifies cheap protein; one of the major reasons I love this brand is they are entirely plant based without and cheap whey, wheat, or soy protein as fillers. The importance of this point cannot be overstated as most protein bars on the market are loaded with cheap filler proteins from China. Outside of the protein, there was a ton of iron, at 35% DV this would be the most iron-rich bar I have reviewed making it good for people who are iron deficient.

As I made note of in my first review on 22 Days Daily Mocha Mantra, 22 Days has some organic protein bars that pack 20 grams of protein into each bar. While they are a bit heftier than other bars by about half an ounce they still pack in more protein per ounce than anything else I have reviewed, even more than the Squarebar. Amazingly, these bars also have the cheapest protein per gram cost at 15 cents a gram. For the great flavor and nutrient density at the best price, I may have found my new go-to protein bar; at least when I don’t want coffee with my protein. I would totally bring this to Burning Man as well, the chocolate was mixed into the peanut butter base and I would not expect this to get melty in the desert sun.

Post 8 - Squarebar Cocoa Crunch

Brand: Squarebar (Not to be confused with Simple Squares)

Product: Cocoa Crunch Organic Protein Bar

Weight: 1.7oz / 48g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 210

Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat 6g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 50mg

Potassium: 230mg

Total Carb: 22g

Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 14g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 7.06g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.21

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.83-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 2%

Magnesium: 4%

Zinc: 2%

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, soy free, vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility, but good manufacturing practices are used.

Flavor:

I ate it so fast I barely had time to process the flavor. It was so good, so amazingly deliciously good. Chocolate melted around a peanut butter center with crunchy rice. This is what all those mediocre choco-peanut protein bars are trying and failing to taste like. It also had a great mouth feel, kind of like eating a mouth full of peanut butter and chocolate. I would say I enjoyed this more than any other bar I have reviewed so far, even the scrumptious Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

Packing in over 7 grams of protein per ounce, the Squarebar has the highest amount of protein by weight out of any of the bars I have reviewed thus far. What makes the protein content even better it is all plant based protein with no whey or soy as filler.  I left the Burning Man tag off this post for obvious chocolatey reasons, this is a textbook example of the type of bar that will melt into a gooey mess in high heat.

One extra plus for Bay Area residents like me is that they are local, made in Alameda. If I wanted to I could bike to them and pick up the bars in person creating no greenhouse gas emissions in shipping; this is the processed food equivalent to going to the farmers market. I just made a run to Whole Foods to get some more protein bars for review, up until now they all came from my local Pharmaca here in Oakland. The Squarebar is the first out of the Whole Foods bars I am reviewing.

It's kind of blurry...no one's perfect!

It’s kind of blurry…no one’s perfect!

Brand: Essential Living Foods

Product: Keen-Wah Decadence Organic Raw Cacao Chia

Weight: 1.5oz / 42g

Cost: $3.29/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 195

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 4g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 57mg

Total Carb: 18g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 4g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.54

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 8% DV

Iron: 17% DV

Organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

 Chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate. It wasn’t bad but it also really wasn’t anything to write home about in my opinion. My girlfriend thought it was delicious, so there is some hope for it. I felt it was a little dry, reminiscent of that chalky cheap protein bar taste I am not a fan of.

The protein per ounce and carb to protein ratios were great but the cost per gram of protein makes this the most expensive bar I have reviewed so far (and I expect it to be the most expensive I will review, but time will tell). Given the high price, mediocre flavor, and lack of nutrients past the bare minimums, I personally would not recommend this bar. I especially would not advocate it for Burning Man given the chocolate upon chocolate; it is guaranteed to turn to a liquid clump of cacao in a foil bag in the heat out there.

Post 4 - Evo Hemp

Brand: Evo Hemp

Product: Cashew Cacao + Raw Antioxidant (Blueberries)

Weight: 1.69oz /48g

Cost: $2.25/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 185

Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Potassium: 300mg

Total Carb: 24g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 4.14g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.32

Vit A: 6% DV

Vit B1: 4% DV

Vit B6: 6% DV

Vit C: 4% DV

Magnesium: 15% DV

Zinc: 4% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 10% DV

Manganese: 10% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, and soy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I love hemp, so the idea of a protein bar largely made of hemp definitely has some appeal. The flavor wasn’t particularly inspiring nor unpleasant in any way. It was somewhat sweet, yet savory, the dates that make up much of the bar are a large flavor component. The mouth-feel was totally awesome! It had a cake-like texture, reminiscent of a denser angel food cake or pound cake. There are many benefits to eating a raw diet and for those who choose to eat raw your options in terms of protein bars is very limited. Thankfully, you have the Evo Hemp Cashew Cacao protein bar, which has the third highest protein per ounce ratio out of the bars I have reviewed so far paired with one of the better flavors/mouth-feels. This is the only bar I have reviewed that contains any phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins; this wide range of nutrients makes the Evo Hemp bar, perhaps, the overall most nutritious bar I have reviewed so far. This would also be a great protein bar for bringing to Burning Man as there is nothing in it to get melty and gooey inside the wrapper.