The protein bar of EPIC value

20150112_172752Let’s talk about protein bars.  We all know them.  I’m sure you’ve tried many of them.  I’ll be reviewing most of them.  Have you seen the nutrition facts and ingredients list?  Not all protein bars are equal.  Some are loaded with sugar.  Some are loaded with low quality protein.  Some have ingredients you can’t pronounce.   When I began a high protein diet I avoided the types of bars with more carbs than protein.  That’s not very easy to find.  I have tried many and found some that are yummy and other that are, well, not.

Last year I came across this bar in the health food store in Burlington, VT.  There were three varieties on the shelf but the name was EPIC.  One variety included turkey, the other was beef, and the third was bison.  I picked up all three and gave them a taste.  These don’t look amazing, think about a health food slim-jim shaped like a protein bar.  I’m willing to overlook the appearance if it’s healthy and tastes good.

Let’s take a look at the bison bacon cranberry bar (my favorite) for a moment:

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 12g
    • Sat Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 220mg
  • Carbohydrate: 10g
    • Fiber: 1g
    • Sugars: 8g
  • Protein: 11g

The ingredient list includes: Bison, Uncured bacon – no nitrites or nitrates added* (Pork, water,brown sugar, salt, vinegar, celery powder, sea salt), dried cranberries (cranberries, apple juice concentrate), lactic acid**, celery powder, sea salt.

*Except those naturally occurring in celery powder & sea salt

**Not from milk

Upon looking at this I see quality protein, high fat, high sugar.  But I know what all of these ingredients are!

HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 5/5

EPIC maintains good ideals and uses grass fed animals and raised on humane farms.  Many of these animals are certified organic as well.  The company has good ideals and was begun by founders Taylor and Katie.

Appearance: 3/5

I’ve got to admit these bars do NOT look appetizing.  If you can get past the look these bars are worth it.

20150112_172809

Taste: 7/10

I’ve only tried the three flavors I found.  There are also lamb and liver varieties of these bars.  When I tried the Turkey, Almond + Cranberry bar I couldn’t get past the idea of turkey so I wasn’t able to finish the bar.  The beef, habanero + cherry bar was delicious and my favorite is the bison bacon + cranberry.  They had the texture of a slim jim (without the casing on Slim jims) and were rather pleasant.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 8/10

Something that irks me is their labeling of the Beef Habanero + Cherry bar.  The second ingredient is walnuts.  Part of my own stupidity plays into my story as well.  Since I am not allergic to any foods as of yet I am not used to checking the label.  My boyfriend is highly allergic to tree nuts.  It would have been nice if there was something said on the front of the package that the bar contained nuts before we needed to shoot him with the Epi-pen.

Other that this incident/rant I can pronounce the ingredients used.  Yes, the products are high in sugar and fat.  That means I won’t live on these bars but I can enjoy them from time to time.

Variety: 4/5

There are 5 flavors of these bars currently.  They are unique and interesting.  I have only ever seen the 3 that I have tried.

Availability: 3/5

These are easily purchased online and found scattered in health food stores and Vitamin Shoppes throughout the country.

Bottom Line:  Great bar made by out-of-the-box thinkers.  This is paleo friendly and great for a post-workout snack (sugars, protein, etc).

My score: 30/40

You can find EPIC BARS at their website: https://epicbar.com/

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