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Energy Bar Review: BGood’s Peanut Ginger

BGood bar

They say that good things come in small packages, and that’s certainly true of BGood’s Peanut Ginger energy bar.

BGood calls it an “artisan chocolate energy bar,” foreshadowing the creative medley of flavors that is more fitting of a chocolatier’s fine truffle rather than an energy bar.

First, there’s a wave of bitter-sweetness from the dark chocolate, which coats the bottom of the bar, thus hitting your palate first. It seems to be a higher quality chocolate than we normally see–it’s Guittard fair trade Dark Chocolate–and, it has a nice firm texture to it.

10% Discount on These Bars from BGood

Order from BGoodBars.com, and use coupon code GOOUTSIDE for 10% off at checkout.

There’s a wholesome and satisfying feel to the nut butter filling, starring the organic peanuts, but also includes cashews, gluten-free rolled oats, honey, and organic flax seed meal. While small in size, you can really feel this bar sticking to your ribs.

Without being overpowering, the organic ginger elevates the complexity of the flavor with a fresh little zing. The sesame seeds on top are also a nice touch. It adds to the presentation, reinforcing the artisan nature of this bar, plus it imparts a nice texture.

This tiny bar surprisingly packs 240 calories, perfect if you’re focused on calorie-dense foods.

This bar has been a favorite of Trailfoody customers, which is why we’ve included it again, this time in the November Trailfoody.

Here’s What Our Tasters Had to Say

“I like to save this treat for when I reach the summit. The amount of energy packed into this compact bar amazed me.”

Grif Steele
Glissade Racer

“It’s like a piece of art. First, the dark chocolate liquor. Then, the peanut butter and a dash of honey combine, ending with a subtle zing of ginger.”

Britt Foodlove
Cheesecake Whisperer

“Britt dropped some on the ground, but Grif beat me to it.”

Gracie
Iditarod Fan

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Foods with Benefits

energy bars by BOSS

Photo Credit:  Dominique Lemaitre

Seeing food as an ally may be a new concept, but B.O.S.S. Food Company is pioneering the idea of functional-meets-flavor in the energy bar category. B.O.S.S. founder Andrea Spirov writes this guest blog post about how this smart concept came about.

What can this do for me? Aside from filling you up or feeding an emotional need, food isn’t often thought of as a doer. In my world, however, pretty much everything I eat has purpose. I’ve learned that what you put in your body makes a huge difference to your overall health, and in my case, changing my diet and lifestyle had incredible transformative benefits.

I had never thought of myself as a person with health problems. After a year of non-stop traveling, however, my feelings of wellness deteriorated quickly.

Part of my mission was to get pregnant. I cleaned up everything about my diet and lifestyle. While doctors were telling me that I would need IVF or donor eggs, I was convinced that my problem was all the bad (for me) food I was eating.

You know what? I was right.

A change to the type of vitamins I was taking alone gave me immediate improvements. I became obsessed, reading everything I could about genetics and nutrigenomics.

ingredients

Ingredients with a Mission

As I researched ingredients and began thinking more and more about my own food experiences, I developed my own idea that could be a business all on its own. I played around in the kitchen for an entire summer and, true to my ethos of clean eating, came up with a few different food bars.

But instead of creating the recipes by what tasted good, I pulled the ingredients together based on their beneficial properties. And guess what? The things nature made to do certain things usually taste really good together!

What do I mean by beneficial?

Superfoods Pack a Big Punch

Everyone’s talking about superfoods these days. And for good reason. A superfood is one that is extra nutrient dense. You are getting not only a filling and tasty morsel, but also a food with a large concentration of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in a small package.

energy bar with ingredientsIn our bars, every ingredient is a superfood. I also sought out the superfoods that provide the maximum amount of these nutrients, even if that meant that our bars were going to cost a little more. Today, we use ingredients you won’t find in any other bar.

Free of Refined Sugar

And our ingredients are completely refined sugar free…meaning that they have natural fruit sugar, but no sugared fruit. We don’t buy any fruit that is “apple juice infused” or “organic cane sugar sweetened.” We also don’t use sub-par sweeteners like brown rice syrup or agave nectar. Everything is designed to be low glycemic, tasty and to give you a benefit. Otherwise, there is no reason for it to be in there.

A Bar Designed to Help You MOVE

aronia berries on bushTake the ingredients in our MOVE bar, for example. MOVE contains organic Aronia berries, which have the highest antioxidant levels of any berries out there. They have been studied for helping with post-workout inflammation. The Macadamia nuts in MOVE have a good ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, and the hemp seeds are an awesome plant-based source of protein that contain all nine of the essential amino acids.

Each of our bars pulls together ingredients with known and studied beneficial properties such as these, so each one has its own little nutritional focus. That’s how the names came about – bars designed for your day, to help you MOVE, THINK, SMILE, RESTORE and DAZZLE.

B.O.S.S.’s MOVE bar was featured in the November 2017 Trailfoody.

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Kate’s Real Food: Here’s How This Bite Sized Snack Will Keep You Going

A bite sized snack with big taste, Kate’s Tram Bites are perfect for every kind of adventure. Whether it’s an hour jog down the street or a day’s hike up the mountain, these “Bites” are suitable for it all.

Born on the ski slopes of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Kate’s Tram Bites are healthy, organic, and energy packed. That’s because they’re made from real food; the kind of food that’ll keep you out on the trail for longer!

So how do they taste?

Simply put, these bite sized squares are addicting. They’re crunchy, chewy, chocolaty, sweet, and salty!

We love the combination of organic peanut butter and milk chocolate, which work hand in hand to give a sweetness that only these real ingredients can provide.

Added to that, though, the organic honey, dried apricots, and raisins truly enhance the flavor, while the organic sunflower seeds and sea salt work together to give a slightly salty taste.

With all of these ingredients combined, you’re left with just the right balance between sweet and salty.

The flavor truly stays on the tongue, making you crave more! We couldn’t help but open another pack right after we finished the first!

Kate’s Tram Bites are naturally good for you too. Per a serving size of 4 bites, they contain 120 calories, 16g of total carbs, 2g of dietary fiber, 3g of protein, and 9g of sugar. They’re completely non-GMO and certified organic.

Kate’s Tram Bites were selected to be a part of the October 2017 Trailfoody.

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This Energy Bar Will Satisfy Those Chocolate Cravings

Delightfully chewy, Bearded Brothers’ Mega Maca Chocolate energy bar is the perfect treat for those who love having some chocolate in their lives.

And yeah, we know, who doesn’t?

But it isn’t too sweet, and that’s why we like it. Unlike most energy bars that contain chocolate, this bar’s sweetness is subdued thanks to the added maca powder and sea salt.

And while it isn’t overpowering, the organic Mexican cocoa, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut sugar all combine to provide just the right amount of sweet to keep those cravings in check.

But that’s not all. The dates, almonds, cashews, and chia seeds add an extra nutty and almost earthy flavor to the mix that we love. It makes you feel like you’re biting into something truly healthy, but it still has that slight sweetness to it.

Texture wise, the dates, nuts, and chia seeds add an extremely subtle crunch to the chewiness, but you really have to pay attention to notice it. We can’t help loving that extra detail.

Nutritionally, this energy bar doesn’t disappoint. Containing 180 calories, 22g of carbs, 4g of fiber, and 5g of protein, it’ll give you the burst of energy you’ll need to push that extra mile! Oh, and it’s entirely vegan, gluten and soy free, low glycemic, USDA organic, paleo, and non-GMO.

How awesome is that?

Bearded Connections

Bearded Brothers proudly partners with Boneshaker, an organization based in Austin, Texas whose purpose is “To inspire kids toward daily physical activity, and encourage them to lead others to pursue healthier lifestyles.”

This partnership clearly shows that Bearded Brothers is committed to ensuring healthy lifestyles for everyone, and we think that’s incredible.

Bearded Brothers’ Mega Maca Chocolate energy bar was selected to be a part of the October 2017 Trailfoody.

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Energy Bar Review: Huppybar Apple Cinnamon Raisin

Made with all-natural dried apples, organic raisins, cinnamon, and locally sourced honey, Huppybar’s Apple Cinnamon Raisin is the perfect bar for a fall hike.

Upon taking the first bite, we immediately noticed the delicious burst of flavor that this bar had to offer.

The balance between sweet and savory here is exceptional. The bar’s sweetness comes from a combination of apples, cinnamon, and raisins, with a touch of honey bringing out a different note of natural flavor. The savory counterpart, meanwhile, is provided by a lovely nut and seed blend of almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cashews, which add some crunch to the mix.

But that slight crunch is only added into the overall chewy goodness of the bar–it’s the perfect texture!

“Upon taking the first bite, we immediately noticed the delicious burst of flavor that this bar had to offer.”

The brainchild of Lyndsay “Huppy” Hupp, the original Huppybar was designed to be delicious, nutrient dense, and satisfying to the core. This one’s no different.

With 200 calories, 28g of carbs, 5g of protein, and 3g of fiber, this bar will no doubt keep you energized and on the go.

What’s more, the Apple Cinnamon Raisin Huppybar is 100% real and entirely gluten, soy, and dairy free!

We think it’s the perfect bar for fall, so get out there and enjoy it while you can surrounded by the changing leaves and cooler weather!

Huppybar’s Apple Cinnamon Raisin was chosen to be a part of the September 2017 Trailfoody.

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Crafted to Taste Like a Cookie – JoJé Bar – The First Bar of Its Kind

Joje Chocolate Chip energy bar

Jess Cerra, from Jojé Bar, tells us this intriguing story about how she combined her culinary talent with science smarts to develop the perfect energy bar that tastes like a cookie. The Jojé Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip is featured in the September Trailfoody.

Ever met an athlete or recreational enthusiast who doesn’t like a cookie? Me either!  So why not create a bar that checks all the boxes from a nutritional standpoint, but also tastes like a cookie?  Seems simple enough, but there is quite a story behind the evolution of JoJé bar.

Cycling Creates the Need for the Perfect Bar

Jess Cera CyclingIn grad school, while studying bone health of elite cyclists, I discovered that I myself, the “lab rat,” actually had an overwhelming capacity for cycling.  After finishing my M.S. in Exercise Physiology, there was finally time to start exploring my athletic potential.

So, in 2008 with the help of some awesome mentors, I started racing mountain bikes and XTERRA off-road triathlon.  In 2010, I won the XTERRA Amateur National Championship and started racing professionally.  Eventually, I switched my focus to racing mountain bikes professionally and then to road racing.  From 2015-2016, I raced on the UCI Domestic Continental team Twenty16, and in 2017 for Hagens Berman|Supermint, where I have competed internationally in some of the biggest races in the world, along with all the major US races.

Sports Nutrition Meets Culinary Skill

During this time, I combined my love of racing professionally, with my knowledge of sports nutrition and science and started a small, private chef company.  The primary focus was–and remains–on private, nutrition-conscious, in-home chef services and healthy cooking classes, plus a special niche in triathlon and cycling sports nutritioncamp catering.  I love working one-on-one and riding with my clients.  Additionally, I’m a regular contributor to the “Fuel” section in Triathlete Magazine.

Before I knew it, in my circle, I had become the go-to girl for advice on nutrition and training.  My training buddies and I used to joke about how we wished we could just fuel ourselves with cookies, so I bet them I could come up with something.

The key was putting actual scientific thought into this process because it seemed the market lacked any energy bars that tasted delicious and met our needs from a nutritional standpoint.  Most bars would cause a rush of energy, and then a quick depletion of energy, which couldn’t even be justified by taste because they really weren’t crave worthy.

Real Food is Better for Your Body

My first thoughts were to focus on using real food ingredients.  I knew from personal experience that my body always functioned better on real food.  Packing nuts and dried fruit, almond butter and apple slices, PB&J sandwiches, and baked good were always my favorite snacks.

And this wasn’t just my experience on the bike. I grew up in the mountains of Montana and am no stranger to hiking, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ball sports, you name it. I love being outdoors, and I love good food.

The Science is Key

I was confident in my cookie baking skills, so all I had to do was combine some science into the recipe.  At the time, cutting edge research showed that endurance athletes need more fat in their fuel sources, which makes sense because fat is used for energy when exercising at 70% or less of your max capacity, which is most of the time.  Carbohydrates are still important and needed when we rip up into those intense efforts, and research emphasizes the importance of trying to keep glycogen stores full at the end of a training effort to maximize recovery.  In other words, it’s not a good idea to finish activity feeling bonked.

Research was also making it clear that high protein bars were not great for endurance activity because protein is the one macronutrient digested in the stomach.  Not fun to have all your blood rushing to your stomach while you’re out on an intense hike, trail run, or riding your bike up a mountain.

Finally, I knew a lot of athletes that were choosing to go gluten free to limit gut irritation, and I could sense this would be an important nutrition trend.

The First Bar is Born!

So I took to the kitchen, with a notebook and a pen, and started the process.  To begin, I chose a basic flavor, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.  I carefully selected real food ingredients such as oats, peanuts, and honey. I needed to teach myself the ins and outs of baking gluten free because there is a learning curve.

I began experimenting by baking pans and pans of bars.  I would write down the total macronutrient contents in each pan, and then change ingredients until I got the ratios I was looking for based off the research.  I also worked hard on the ratio of simple and complex carbohydrates to eliminate the blood sugar highs and lows.

Then the fun part, field-testing began, and I had plenty of eager subjects who pretty much devoured every sample I offered up, even the crumbly ones.   Right off the bat, friends and training buddies were offering to pay me to bake them pans of bars.  And they were telling their friends, who were emailing me orders.  Within a couple of months I was shipping foil wrapped bars all over the country to cookie-starved athletes.

This is the Best Compliment You Can Get

Once I had the base of the recipe nailed down, I wanted to create more flavors, which needed to be superb and unique.  A training buddy suggested white chocolate and coconut, and that is how the White Chocolate Coconut Blondie was born.  There is not another bar out there that even comes close to touching this flavor.  The biggest compliments I’ve ever been given are how people have to hide this flavor from their husbands or wives, or hide it from themselves in their cars, or how they heat it and serve it with ice cream.  When you are getting compliments like this, ON AN ENERGY BAR, you know you’ve nailed it.

The best part, the science in the bars was actually working.  People were raving about how they could eat 6 bars on a 100-mile ride and have no stomach problems, and loved the consistent energy.  Personally, I had an epiphany during a hard road race, when I ate a bar at the base of a 20-mile climb and had my best hilltop finish ever.

joje bar teamFrom Hobby to Business

Then came the major challenge. Everyone wanted to get their mitts on the bars, so I became overwhelmed quite quickly.  To fulfill orders I was working half way through the night.  This is when my dear friend and training buddy, John, suggested that I take it to the next step.  He helped me create a plan to scale up, which started with finding a larger commercial kitchen space.

John and I began working side by side with in the new kitchen space.  He even helped me test and experiment with the next four flavors: Espresso Chocolate Almond, Lemon Blueberry Quinoa, Apple Walnut Cake, and YES Pancakes & Bacon (in fact, all the credit on that flavor dream goes to John).

What had started as a hobby and a passion for cookies became something we could share with everyone, so we founded JoJé bar.  The journey has not been easy but it has been overwhelmingly rewarding.  Racing professionally and running a company is a huge balance, that couldn’t be accomplished without John, who also races on an elite amateur level.

The fact that we both use the bars in our own training and racing speaks volumes about our product.  But, nothing compares to when someone takes a bite of a JoJé bar for the first time, and their face lights up as they smile and exclaim, “This tastes like a cookie!”

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Energy Bar Review: The Original NATTi Bar

You know what’s simply bananas? The Original NATTi Bar!

This 100% natural bar has only one simple, natural ingredient: dehydrated bananas from Ecuador. It contains the same essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers found in an ordinary banana, but it’s in bar form!

Upon biting into the NATTi Bar, we immediately noticed a delightful pop of banana. But, the best part was definitely the chewy texture. It was both easy to eat and carry!

Loaded with 30mg of magnesium, 470mg of potassium, 110 calories, 19g of carbs, and 2 full grams of dietary fiber, the NATTi Bar provides all the health benefits of an ordinary banana without making you peel off any sort of skin. It’s all the goodness of a banana in an on-the-go snack!

What’s more, this bar is non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, and entirely Kosher.

While other banana products would normally be artificially colored and, perhaps, artificially flavored, NATTi Bar is nothing but natural. There are no added preservatives or artificial ingredients!

And since the dehydrating process removes most of the water content, a dehydrated banana is a far more concentrated source of calories and nutrients than a fresh banana. This bar is perfect for health conscious people, athletes, and adventurers.

What more can we say? It’s pure banana goodness!

The Original NATTi Bar was selected to be a part of the September 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trailfood Review: Health Warrior Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bar

Looking for a rich and tasty treat that’ll keep you on the move? Try Health Warrior’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed bar!

This delectable energy bar is packed with both flavor and nutrition. The dark chocolate and organic wildflower honey blends perfectly with the pumpkin seeds to create a rich and crunchy goodness that’s truly irresistible.

And while splendidly crunchy, the dark chocolate adds just the right amount of soft chewiness to the mix.

Nutrition-wise, this bar provides 2g of fiber, 8g of protein, 13g of fat, 6g of sugar, 15% iron, and 35% magnesium. Oh, and it’s completely non-GMO and gluten, dairy, and soy free!

Each of Health Warrior’s bars are made with you in mind: they all contain a superfood as a main ingredient. This particular bar features pumpkin seeds, a plant-based superfood that’s one of the best natural sources of protein on the planet!

If you’re a lover of dark chocolate, you’ve gotta try this bar. It’ls crunchy sweetness will surely hit the spot.

Health Warrior’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed bar is featured in the August 2017 Trailfoody.

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The Surprising Reason This Energy Bar Contains Sweet Potatoes

energy bar with sweet potato

Ally Stacher, former professional cyclist and founder of Ally’s Bar, writes this guest blog post about how she got the clever idea to make energy bars out of sweet potatoes and why that’s the ultimate fuel for your body. Ally’s Bar Original was selected to be included in the August 2017 Trailfoody.

Knowing Where Your Food Comes From

I grew up in the wild and rugged mountains of far northern California. My family always hunted, fished and grew a garden. When I was 11, I worked on a watermelon farm with my twin sister. We picked watermelons in the summer mornings then worked in an ice cream shop in the afternoons. At 12 I killed my first buck, making my Dad so proud; it was a rite of passage in my family.

My Grandparents were also big influencers in my early years. They owned a large pond filled with bass, catfish, blue gale, ducks and other critters. That’s where we spent a lot of time fishing. I remember Grandpa fueling us up for a day of adventure with left-over potatoes and beer in our pancakes for breakfast. It was delicious.

Falling in Love with Cycling

I fell in love with the sport of cycling when I was a senior in high school. I did a research project on endurance sports with an emphasis on bike racing. I found people that rode bikes and learned everything I could. While I wrestled during my first year of college, I still rode my bike for fun. Eventually I jumped into a couple local bike races and was hooked.

Ally Stacher (Specialized – lululemon)

My timing with getting into the sport was perfect. At that time a small North Carolina college was growing their cycling program and was offering cycling scholarships. They had sent out a letter to almost every racer under 23 years old. I got the letter, made the trip to check out the campus and happily accepted a small scholarship and moved to the mountains of North Carolina.

I went from never racing on the track or cyclocross to being a part of a national championship team. Cycling became my obsession. In 2009 I was invited to race with the US National Team and signed for my first professional cycling team in 2010. In 2011, I got an offer to race for one of the top international racing teams in the world.

Cycling–The Proving Ground for Fueling the Body

I was eager and willing to work hard to be my very best. I made sure that all aspects of my life were dialed. My boyfriend (now my husband) was racing as well so we both knew the value of nutrition. I honed in on our diets and made everything from scratch. I made sure all of my ingredients had a purpose. I was making home made bars in my kitchen because I wanted to know exactly what was in the food we were eating. I wanted our fuel for our bodies for maximum performance.

The Inspiration for Using Sweet Potatoes

The idea of adding sweet potatoes to the bar came from two inspirations. One from my Grandpa who put potatoes in our pancakes. But the other inspiration came from our soigneur when she gave me a cup of food to eat on my way to a race. It was a longer day with challenging hills and wind. Beth was like “Ally eat this for your race”. I literally had one of my best days ever. I think my performance was owed to the sweet potato goodness before the race.

In December of 2012 I took a bag full of my sweet potato bars to a 2-week team training camp in Portugal. The bars were a huge success. This is where the idea to launch Ally’s Bar was born.

I went from making bars in my kitchen, then moved into a commercial kitchen. Demand continued to grow, but I was racing full time as well. For us to hit our goals we needed to move to a manufacturer. We launched our Original Sweet Potato Bar in October of 2014. We added 2 new flavors in the summer of 2016 increase our shelf presence by 200%. Our growths have been exciting and we’re just getting started. My husband John is still a pro cyclist and I’m a new Mom. We’re eager and excited to spread the love our delicious sweet potato bars. Coming soon to a store near you AND available today online at allysbar.com.

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Energy Bar Review: Fourpoints Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut

Four Points Bar Downslope

If you’re a lover of dark chocolate and coconut, you must give this bar a try. Fourpoints’s Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut bar is quite literally packed with the stuff!

Chewy with a slight crunch, the dark chocolate and dried plums mix well with the raw cashews and almonds to create the perfect texture and taste. And with just a hint of toasted coconut, the dark chocolate truly makes this bar’s rich and chewy goodness pop.

Added bonus: it’s made to stay soft even in cold temperatures, so it’s equally perfect for winter or summer!

Based out of Colorado, Fourpoints stands by its mission to bring you energy bars that are nutritious and delicious. Each of their bars contain raw ingredients that ensure sustained energy and are non-GMO, gluten free, and completely natural.

This particular bar provides 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of total carbs, making it a good choice for when you’ve been working hard.

It’s a great bar to snack on when hiking, backpacking, and bike riding!

Fourpoints’s Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut bar is featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.