“ Type: Cereal Bars „
Hi,There are two decent, lengthy reviews, below mine.So I'm not going to ramble on.I needed to find a good tasting, cost effective solution to snacking. With an overall aim of finding a product that was health and full of nutrition.I suffer with low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia, the natural balanced foods range provide the exact solution to my needs and have stopped me snacking on junk.Great in regards to weight loss, but even better in regards to sustaining high levels of energy throughout the day.Buy them - you will not regret it.PS - Peanut is my least favourite flavour. The chocolate and Berry are best!
I don't know why you'd expect a high protein and overall healthy nutritionous bar to taste absolutely spectacular and compare it to other high sugar cereal bars, maybe because one is so used to chocolate covered peanuts as a healthy snack that anything that is actually good for you tastes off?
Anyway, my first experience with Trek was very very good! I was looking for a healthy and I mean, ACTUALLY healthy bar that will fill me up and give me energy for several hours and after trying Nakd and deciding they weren't for me I was skeptic about this one since it's produced by the same people.
But my first bite was amazing! The taste of peanuts comes through very nicely and it was quite sweet, sweeter than expected!
I absolutely enjoyed the bar and tried the Mixed Berry one which tasted just as good maybe even better than the Peanut & Oat one!
It has a slight crunch which I love and it kept me full for a few hours.
I usually eat half since the whole thing is a bit too rich to eat in one sitting so the calories don't worry me.
The only downside is the price, they sell them at most major supermarkets for a pound, so I sometimes buy them as a treat.
So, if you live a healthy lifestyle and your tastebuds aren't completely ruined by processed food and lots of sugar, I definitely recommend this, very tasty! If you however look for a replacement for a slab of dairy milk, move along.
Hands up anyone reading this that has ever tried to lose weight but has been thwarted by a sweet tooth and/or an insatiable urge to snack? Yes, that is my problem too. Having had a successful start to the New Year by losing a few unwanted pounds, I am reaching the point where I am trying to satisfy my snack attacks in new and interesting ways while not eating anything too unhealthy. I find dried fruit works well at satisfying cravings for sweet foods, but generally has unfortunate side effects that make me reluctant to take them to work (ahem). Chocolate coated peanuts are also very satisfying and I can kid myself that I am at least eating something vaguely nutritious, but have you ever examined the calories content of them? It is not for anyone of a nervous disposition! I have therefore been trawling the shops for healthier cereal bars and snacks, but as we are all beginning to realise now, things that are marketed as healthy are not always so when you take a closer look (the story about McDonald's salads that contained more fat than the Big Macs springs to mind).
I'm generally a big fan of cereal bars, but a lot of them which look promising on the shelf turn out to be full of not so great ingredients in the end. Some are stuffed full of refined sugars such as glucose syrup, which causes your blood sugar level to peak rapidly, then crash, leaving a feeling of tiredness and lethargy (and while I am well aware this has yet to be scientifically proven, I think we all have experienced that sensation post carbohydrate binge). Other bars have surprisingly high levels of fats in them, hardly good for weight control or feeling healthy, while others I have eaten have been so over-processed that there could hardly have been a shred of nutrition left in them. Which brings me to the point of this review. Enter the Trek bar. I found Trek bars lurking in my local Holland & Barrett, where they are sold individually for around a pound a bar, and come in three flavours: peanut and oat, mixed berry and cocoa. They are hardly the cheapest cereal bar on the market, but they sounded to be just what I was looking for, with the peanut and oat flavour standing out for me as the one I wanted to try - and if they worked, they might just turn out to be good value for money (and calories).
**What is in a Trek bar?**
Trek bars are all-natural wholefood bars made by Nak'd, a small British company who produce a range of healthier snacks. Each bar is made from a mixture of dried unsweetened fruit, rolled oats, nuts, soya, spices and herbal extracts - which to me sounded delicious (bar the bit about the soya). Specifically for the peanut and oat variety, each bar contains: raw dates (38%), raw raisins (12%), oats (12%), raw peanuts (12%), soya crispies (10%), peanut butter (7%), apple juice, maize starch, ginkgo biloba extract, ginseng extract, and a hint of natural flavours. All these virtuous ingredients amount to a bar that contains 11g protein, 33g of unrefined carbohydrates, 4g fibre and a not too awful count of 239 calories, and although they do have a surprising 11% fat level they are at least very low in saturated fats. This should amount to a bar that is filling and sustaining, and that provides steady energy without the familiar sensation of the sugar crash. What makes these bars really stand out, however, is their claim that they are raw and cold pressed rather than cooked. I was curious about this claim, and a little investigation on the Nak'd website reveals why the manufacturers consider this to be such an important element in the Trek bar - high cooking temperatures used in commercial food manufacturing can destroy nutrition, so by avoiding this process you get the vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron that is naturally present in the foods before it becomes part of the bar.
This is also the first time that I have seen ginseng and ginkgo biloba included in cereal bars, which Nak'd claim are there to "promote alertness, mental clarity and focus". Ginseng has certainly been used for thousands of years as an aid to wellbeing, and has at times been thought to be a tonic for everything from lethargy to arthritis to senility. In terms of modern science, however, ginseng is considered to be an adaptogen; this means it is a substance that helps the body restore itself to health and may be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, reducing the effects of stress, increasing energy and may even be beneficial to people with diabetes. Ginkgo, on the other hand, is known to improve circulation, and in particular increase blood flow to the brain, and also is a powerful antioxidant. The increased blood flow to the brain has meant the herb is linked with benefits such as enhanced memory and increased alertness, although it can also trigger headaches for the same reason. These would be wonderful benefits if they worked, although I am not really convinced that in such tiny quantities it would be sufficient to make any noticeable difference - you would probably need to cram in several Trek bars over the course of the day to feel these health benefits!
**Does it pass the taste test?**
My first reaction on opening my bar was a little bit of disappointment. While I suppose you can't expect something made out of brown ingredients with no processing to look all that appetising - it looks entirely what it is, a mushed-up slab of oats, peanuts and dried fruit - it was the smell that first got to me. I expected the smell to be sweet and nutty, but instead it was quite sharp and not all that pleasant, with only s subtle undertone of the all the nuts it contained. My first reaction was that the dried fruit had gone bad and the bar wasn't all that fresh, but a quick check on the label showed it to be well within date. I was now facing this bar with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, but as I had spent good money on it, I felt I at least deserved to taste it. I took a bite. The texture was quite dense and fairly moist, not unlike a flapjack, but for something with so many oats in it, I really couldn't taste them at all - a shame, given how much I love the taste of oats. The peanuts are also not that much in evidence, only coming through as an aftertaste. What dominated that taste sensation for me were the dates, although they came across like the smell, a bit sour, a bit sharp and not all that fresh tasting or appetising. As much as I hate wasting food, I'll have to admit that I ate only about a quarter of my bar and then threw the rest out as I just couldn't finish it. I was concerned that the one I bought might have been a bad one, so in the interests of fair reviewing I bought a cocoa Trek bar and gave that a try. The cocoa bar was more pleasant and actually tasted of its advertised flavour, although the sharp flavour that put me off the peanut and oat variety was still distinctly there. Either I am very unlucky, or Trek bars are not as good as they seem.
Oh, what a shame! I wanted to like Trek bars, I really did. These bars would have been a great solution to my snacking dilemmas, empty lunchboxes and long, hungry walks had I not found the flavour to be so disappointing. I'm really not sure how something with so many sweet ingredients can be so sharp and sour tasting, but these are not something I will be purchasing again.
Sadly not recommended.
Nutrition per 100g: 352kcal, 16g protein, 49g carbohydrate, 11g fat, 6g fibre
Nak'd Website: http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/
24 Bars Per Box. Natural ingredients.