This past April (2015), I was lucky enough to attend Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas. It was a 3-day Paleo-palooza of sorts, with talks running all day long by the leading experts, scientists, authors, athletes, and bloggers in the Paleo movement. There was also a huge expo floor where Paleo-friendly companies could give away samples, market their products, and get some new customers. I may have eaten way too many sample meals that weekend... No regrets.
One of the companies I met while perusing the expo floor and stuffing my face was The Paleo Diet Bar. Started by Shauna and Todd Sledge, this spin-off company that came from Braaap Nutrition, LLC has worked long and hard to produce a bar that utilizes only the best ingredients, sans major allergens. The founders even got Dr. Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleolithic movement, to hop on board with production and work alongside the company to ensure its validity as a truly Paleo product.
All of the research, time, and trial batches put into producing The Paleo Diet Bar eventually led to a snack that has a nice macronutrient balance, while maintaining the high standard of being soy, gluten, grain, legume, dairy, and preservative-free. Each flavor contains healthy fats from nuts and seeds, carbohydrates and fiber from fruit, and protein from eggs and hemp. It can be used as a post-workout refuel, a healthy snack, or even a treat on occasion. The Sledges and Dr. Cordain truly worked toward making a versatile product. I had the chance to snag a few bars each of their Cinnamon Raisin and Cranberry Almond flavors - the two originals - plus, Shauna threw in a free shirt for me (thank you!). Two new flavors were also just announced: Cherry Apple Walnut and Blueberry Pear Pecan. There is also a poll on their website for customers to vote on a third new flavor.
All that being said, let me tell you about the first two Paleo Diet Bars!
I was excited about the name of this flavor, because I automatically think of the hot cinnamon raisin bagel I ate when I visited New York City for the first time. I know from experience that this cannot be 100% mimicked in anything, but I was looking forward to the general taste. Don't get me wrong, this bar is delicious. However, the cinnamon is not very detectable, so it is more of just a fruity flavor from the raisins. I'm sure it is hard to find a good balance of cinnamon with such strongly sugary ingredients as dates and raisins, but I think it should be promoted more as an antioxidant benefit in this bar rather than part of the flavor. Like I said, it's tasty and enjoyable, but don't expect to taste too much of the cinnamon side.
Flavor Rating: 6 out of 10
Ingredients: Dates, Egg White Protein Powder, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Raisins, Apple Fiber, Hemp Protein Powder, Sesame Seeds, Coconut Oil, Water, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract.
The flavor of this bar is much more accurate. I could taste the tartness of the cranberries balanced by the sugary dates, with the crunchy almonds mixed in. Like the Cinnamon Raisin, the macronutrient ratio in this is very balanced and one of these bars can keep you going for a few hours. I used all of my samples as pre-workout snacks after a long day of class and they allowed me to amp up and get a solid lifting session in!
Flavor Rating: 9 out of 10
Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Egg White Protein Powder, Apple Fiber, Sunflower Seeds, Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Apple Juice Concentrate), Hemp Protein Powder, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Water, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon.
These bars have a consistent texture between the two of them. The chewy factor comes from using dates as the base, and includes a hint of crunch from the nuts and seeds thrown in. I would say this is definitely one of the better-put-together date-based bars that I've tried. It also does not annoyingly fall apart like some bars that depend too heavily on grains or nuts as their base. Basically, its sticks together well but doesn't seal your mouth shut - a hard balance to find in other products with similar ingredients.
Texture rating for both flavors: 8 out of 10
To find out more about this fast-growing company, visit their website. If you're interested in buying either of these flavors, click here. The new flavors I mentioned in my introduction will also be available soon.