Today I’ve got a special treat for you! I want to tell you about a snack bar that I recently discovered and have become obsessed with! It’s delicious, it’s portable and it’s made with 100% natural ingredients. But first, a little story.
Ever since doing the Whole 30 back in January, I have become very aware of the ingredients that can be found in a lot of foods. I learned a lot of things from that experience (you can learn more about that here and here). I’ve known for a long time that there are a lot of added ingredients in foods that shouldn’t be there, but I never really knew why they were bad. It sounds pretty obvious, but real food shouldn’t have a million added ingredients. Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients on these? There are actually ingredients that have numbers as part of the name (eg. Polysorbate-80… like, wtf?). Take as an example deli meat. We know this is processed, right? It’s called processed meat for a reason. But, why can’t it just be a turkey breast that is roasted in the oven, maybe with some salt and pepper, without added ingredients like Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate and Sodium Erythorbate (that sure as hell sounds like a lot of salt to me)? And what about salad dressings? What happened to using real ingredients like oil and vinegar? Do we really need the things like propylene glycol? Not sure what that is? If you have a bottle of anti-freeze in your garage leftover from the winter then you have propylene glycol. I was pretty sickened when I learned that one.
I remember in school being told in my high school food and nutrition class that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you shouldn’t eat it. But, what about that little devil hiding in 74% of packaged foods? Yep, I’m talking about sugar. It’s lurking in so many of our foods that it becomes very difficult to find food products that don’t contain it. I mean, I’m all for having sugar every now and then, but I would rather eat sugar when I know I’m eating sugar, like in a delicious cookie or a bowl of ice cream – not in a cracker you thought was healthy. These days I always read labels and if there is added sugar, I really question whether or not I want to eat it. If it’s a food that is supposed to have added sugar, like a yummy, sweet treat every once in a while, then I’m down. But if it is a food that sugar has no business being near, like chicken stock, mayonnaise or pickles, then forget about it.
The hardest place to avoid added sugars, though, has been snack foods. I’m not talking about chips or cookies, but those power snacks that you sometimes need to fuel you on a busy day like granola bars or trail mix. It’s amazing how food marketed as healthy can actually be chalked full of added sugar. And, I hate to break it to you, but just because it is organic agave syrup or cane sugar, it’s still sugar and it’s still extra. That’s why when I discovered the treat I am sharing with you today, I was ecstatic!
Nakd Raw Fruit and Nut Bars by Natural Balance Foods have quickly become one of my favourite snacks and a pantry staple in my home. I found them one day while I was doing groceries at my regular grocery store. I turned down the natural food aisle to buy some almond milk and noticed a bunch of snack bars on the shelf across from the cooler. I took a look through and saw the usual suspects like Lara Bars (which have been a go-to for me recently as well) and Clif Bars and decided to take a closer look. So many of these bars are FULL of sugar, Clif Bars have a whopping 21 g of sugar per bar – that’s almost as much as a Snickers! Sure, there are nuts and seeds and fruit that are really great for you, but the first ingredient was brown rice syrup aka SUGAR! I was very frustrated and about to give up when at the bottom of the shelf, tucked in the corner I saw Nakd bars. I held my breath, turned the package over to read the ingredients and waited for the disappointment to come. But, it didn’t. The one I grabbed had TWO ingredients: dates and cashews. That’s it!
I grabbed about a dozen of these bars and hauled ass to the checkout, eager to take them home and enjoy. Well, I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before ripping into one of them. Oh. My. Pure deliciousness. I fell in love immediately. There were two varieties in my grocery store: Cashew Cookie and Cocoa Delight (only 5 ingredients in this one: dates, cashews, raisins, cocoa and natural chocolate flavour). The Cocoa Delight literally tastes like I’m indulging in a brownie! I love these bars because there is no added sugar nor is there any gluten, wheat or dairy so it is great for those of you out there with dietary restrictions related to these foods or anyone who is doing the Whole 30! They are also GMO free and suitable for vegans. Plus, who doesn’t love the fact that they are a great source of healthy fats?!
I can’t say enough about these amazing bars. I went on the website to try to buy some more and found out that there are so many amazing flavours to try, like gingerbread, lemon drizzle and cocoa orange! My first thought: “I must try them all!” My second thought: “They don’t ship to Canada?! Why me?!” The site only ships within Europe since the company is based in the UK so if you live in Europe you’re in luck! If you’re like me and live in Canada (or another country), you will likely be able to find some at health food stores or in the natural section of your grocery store. I’m still going to be on the hunt for more flavours and varieties, so I’ll be sure to report back with more. Follow along on my Instagram (@kels_blisslist) for my latest discoveries!
So, thank you Natural Balance Foods for spreading the love of real food with the world! I’m a big believer in the “less is more” mentality when it comes to ingredients and I’m so happy to see companies out there that agree. I am super happy to support such delicious and nutritious snacks!