“ Type: Cereal Bars „
I'm a fan of the Nakd bars (Cocoa Orange and Banana Bread being my current favourites) and thought I'd give these a go as they're more protein-rich.
Tastewise, they are not as good as the original Nakd bars, which are more moist and full of flavour, but they're not bad (very close in texture to the Apple Pie Nakd oatie bars, if you've tried those) I could taste the peanuts and dates more than anything else and they're not very sweet or chocolatey despite the flavour being called 'Cocoa Brownie' - not a totally bad thing really and I like the soya crispies as these add a bit of texture.
I tend to break my bar in half or into thirds so I can snack on them when I feel peckish - they are quite filling (even in small portions!) and I have to say it feels good to know that you're snacking on something wholesome instead of chocolate or sugar-loaded cereal bars (my former snacks of choice)
Nutritional content for those interested (per bar):
Carbs: 36g (of which, sugars: 25g - these are natural sugars from the fruit)
Also, one bar counts as 1 of your 5 a day for fruit & veg, which is always a good thing.
Despite the bars being dry and not as flavoursome as I would have liked, they are definitely filling (the protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer) I would recommend them if you're after a healthier snack option. I'm going to try the berry flavour next time (hoping it might be a bit sweeter and less peanut-ey) but to be honest, I'd actually still get these again now I know what they're like: they're not exactly a delicious 'treat' that you're going to crave but they're pleasant enough and do fill you up so you don't snack on other things that might not be so good for you.
This review is about the Cocoa Brownie flavour of Nakd Trek Bars. The other available flavours are Mixed Berry and Peanut & Oat, neither of which I've tried yet.
Trek Bars are a high protein, low fat bar made with raw fruit and nuts and no added sugar. They're suitable for a vegan diet, which makes a change from a lot of bars out there.
The bars are packaged in a cream coloured plastic wrapper with the usual ingredients and nutritional information, as well as an explanation of the difference between this and other bars. The information is nicely laid out and uses attractive fonts and colours. Overall it has a fun feel.
The bar itself is a brown rectangle approximately 10cm by 3cm by 1cm weighing 68g. You can see speckles on the surface of the bar which are the oats and peanuts it contains. It smells chocolately, very brownie-like in fact. The texture is soft and chewy with small crispy and crunchy pieces. These are the peanuts and soya crispies. It tastes like a rich chocolate brownie with a bit of peanut and date. It has the right level of sweetness and I didn't detect any soya aftertaste.
I found the bar very satisfying. It contains 11g of protein and has a combination of fast and slow release carbohydrates so I used it as a pre-gym snack. It provided plenty of energy for my workout without a sugar crash, and I felt good about having something healthier and more natural than a lot of sports products
Trek bars are available at Holland and Barrett for about £1.30 and can be bought in bulk from naturebalancefoods.co.uk. If you buy them online they cost £22.99 for 24 bars which is much better value.
Nakd Trek Bars come in three flavours: Cocoa Brownie, Mixed Berry and Peanut & Oat. This review is about the Cocoa Brownie flavour.
They currently cost £1.29 in Holland & Barrett or 89p in Sainsbury's for a 68g bar.
The packet advises us that its vegan, raw, 100% natural, free from added sugar, wheat and dairy but warns us that it contains soya and peanuts. It also says it's good for "sustained alertness, endurance, recovery and hunger control" which makes me think they're good for dieters and during or after sport such as trekking!
I like reading the label because it says things like "Best before: (your friend eats it!)" and "Proudly made in Wales" showing that it's not made by a conventional company.
I buy these once in a while as a snack-on-the-go because they're handy to eat while shopping, or I buy them as part of a packed lunch if I know I'm going to be away from home for the whole day.
Ok, onto the product! It looks just like chocolate brownie but has a certain flapjack look to it too, probably because you can clearly see the peanuts and the white oat flecks.
The smell always makes my mouth water; it's like chocolate, it has a strong, rich cocoa aroma.
It's very soft to bite into and has a definite brownie consistency; it's a bit chewy with a few crunchy bits (those peanuts again!)
It's a sweet snack but I don't think it's too sweet. It has a chocolate/cocoa flavour and you can slightly taste the dates but they're not the first flavour you experience. It leaves a cocoa and slight peanut aftertaste. I probably notice the peanuts more because I don't like peanuts which is why this bar only gets four stars, I'd much rather they left the peanuts or used some other nut.
When eating these on the go I worry a bit about talking because you get bits stuck in your teeth, especially those pesky peanuts!
So, does it live up to its claims? I would say yes. I find them very filling - I slowly munched on the bar over 15 minutes and didn't feel the need to stuff it in my face, despite how much I was craving something sweet! Even though I'd only eaten a simple bar I no longer felt hungry and it kept me satisfied for a while before tea time. When I'm out shopping it certainly helps to give me that little boost I need to get it done but I don't know how effective it would be for more rigorous activities.
Overall, it's quite expensive compared to other snacks but you're paying for quality and something rather yummy!
Raw dates (40%), soya crispies (15%) (soya, tapioca starch, salt, oats, raw raisins (13%), raw peanuts (8%), apple juice, cocoa (4%), maize starch, ginkgo biloba extract, ginseng extract and a hint of natural flavours.
(per 68g bar)
Nakd Bars are not raw. The word on the label is misleading. Many of the ingredients are cooked.
Trek bars are my favourite snack! They are so moreish and yummy!
Firstly, what are they and what are they made of?
Trek Bars, made by Natural Balance Foods (the makers of "Nakd" bars) are a wholesome, raw, vegan energy bar made with all natural ingredients and gingko biloba and ginseng extracts for potential enhancement of concentration, alertness and endurance. They are high in protein: 11 grams of protein in a 68g bar derived mainly from soya 'crisipies' (i.e. puffed soya) and the high peanut content- 8%. They also contain 4 grams of fibre, are 89-98% fat free and contain 200-240 calories, all dependent on which flavour you choose. The high protein content make them ideal for active individuals who are seeking out a healthy, sustaining snack that will keep them on the move, whilst maximising muscle efficiency and development.
They come in various flavours: e.g. Peanut and Oat (my personal favourite!), Berry and Cocoa Brownie. They contain no added sugar and are sweetened just with dates, raisins and apple juice. Mmm!
The ingredients for the cocoa brownie flavour are:
Raw Dates, Soya Crispies (soya, tapioca starch, salt), Oats, Raw Raisins, Raw peanuts, Apple Juice, Cocoa, Maize Starch, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Ginseng Extract and a hint of natural flavours.
So what are Gingseng/Ginkgo Biloba Extracts?
Ginseng is probably the most popular of the two as a commercial supplement and thus its effects are more widely documented. Ginseng extracts are thought to act as an adaptogen (a product that increases the body's resistance to stress) and is considered to also have anticarcinogenic and antioxidant effects. As with most herbal medicines it is difficult to know for sure whether one particular effect is necessarily true for all cases and/or is scientifically proven. I would hasten to add however, that bias against herbal remedies is supported and waged from pharmaceutical companies who have a vested interest in keeping these products off the market in order to support their own profit drives.
Ginkgo Biloba is derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree and contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids. These have been used pharmaceutically with various conflicting studies but generally suggest that Gingko enhances memory, concentration and acts as an anti-vertigo agent. Further studies suggest a link between the consumption of Gingko and improvement of blood flow, protection from free radicals and preventing blood clots. For some people it is suggested that Gingko will enhance memory for up to 2.5 hours after consumption and will significantly improve attention span. Tinnitus prevention and treatment of Alzheimers have also been studied as being linked to the potential of Gingko as a pharmaceutical drug.
Trek bars contain both these extracts that are otherwise readily available as supplements from health food stores and chemists. Who knows if they work (!) but as a combination with the other ingredients it makes for a really satisfying and tasty snack.
The benefits of a raw food diet (whether exclusively or in part) are well documented. Branded as "extreme" and "unhealthy" it is far from either: bad press has illegitimised what should be a powerful food revolution. The consumption of raw vegan food essentially protects the nutrients contained within the product so that the body can efficiently uptake the maximum quantity of nutrients from a minimal quantity of foodstuff. It prevents sluggishness, lethargy, non-alertness, and encourages deeper, better quality sleep patterns. Further the consumption of a largely raw diet is thought to clear skin and generally improve overall health. It makes sense: raw foods are simple and unprocessed and relatively untampered by manufacturing processes. Trek bars are cold pressed so as to ensure none of the ingredients are ever heated incurring losses of valuable nutrients and enzymes.
A few words about the company?
Natural Balance Foods are doing rather well for themselves! They are a small ethical company devoted to the promotion of raw snacks in various forms (e.g. Nakd bars, trek bars, flavoured raisins etc). They have an online shop where you can buy bars in bulk: e.g. 24 bars (each 68g) for around £23, so that's just under a £1 per bar. Generally they retail in Holland and Barrett at around £1.20, which is quite pricey, but they do almost substitute a meal. Nakd bars are much more widely available e.g. in Boots, Tescos, Sainsburys etc, whereas Trek bars are less so.
Last week I did a review on Nakd bars and so today I thought I would review the other great tasting snack made by Natural Balance Foods called Trek Bars.
In case you haven't read my review about Nakd I'll tell you a little about the company who make them. They were formed by a great guy from America who came to live in the UK a few years ago called Jamie.
Jamie had always been interested in health foods but had been working in business. He suddenly grew tired of wearing suits and living in air conditioned offices, and so he started a new company to make snacks which were healthy!
The mantra of this company is to make and sell healthy foods which are made from simple ingredients.
So Trek Bars were born! These bars are high in protein and are made from unsweetened fruit, rolled oats, nuts, soya, spices, and herbal extracts.
They come in many flavours and one of my favourites is Mixed Berry which is made from dates, oats, soya, tapioca, raisins, apple juice, maize starch, raspberries, strawberries, ginkgo biloba extract and ginseng extract.
They are 100% vegan and are raw.
The pack is brilliant, it features a hiker wearing grey walking trousers, blue anorak and red backpack on a green hill looking upwards to the skyline!
I am sure these bars would be great for hiking but I like them because they are tasty and good for you.
Compared to the Nakd bars I think they have a slight crunch to them provided by the soya which gives them a more interesting texture but they are a similar product in many ways.
As well as Mixed Berry they also sell Peanut and Oat and Cocoa Brownie.
They are a good source of B-vitamins, vitamin c, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron and are high in fibre to help keep blood sugar levels stable.
Each bar which is 68g has between 89%-98% fat and between 200 and 240 calories.
I went onto their website last week as I wanted to send my daughter a treat at uni and I decided to order a box of Trek bars for her. I bought some for myself at the same time as they are not as widely sold in shops where I live as The Nakd Bars. They arrived this morning and the box is fantastic. It is green and has the words"Get ready to be Happy!" When you open it up there are Trek bars galore and a great larger photo of a mountaineer lines the inside of the top of the box with the words- "go climb a mountain".
Apparently the owner has plans to make more bars including savoury ones too so watch this space!
The company is connected to Animal Aid who campaign peacefully for the welfare of animals and CARE International who are an independent organisation to help people in over 70 countries to get out of poverty.
A great alternative to a bar of chocolate. If you are new to the taste of raw things it might be you don't like them at first but they will grow on you!
Price around £1.20 in many Health Shops. Not quite so well stocked in supermarkets or chemists as the Nakd ones.
You can buy in bulk from www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk and if you sign up to their newsletter you might even get a free sample of something they make to try.
They are the fastest selling wholefoods bars in the country so I hope you will try them.
An all-natural, protein-rich wholefood endurance bar.