Protein Bars, Granola, and Nuts: 3 Healthy On-the-Go Snacks
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Paleo Naturals provides healthy and convenient food options. They provide minimally processed, whole foods that are also inexpensive. Their products are free of gluten, soy, grain, refined sugar, and in some cases, dairy.
I tried three of their options, although there are many more:
- Paleo Naturals Bars, which are made from a mix of nuts, fruits, and protein.
- Un-Granola Crunch, a granola-like snack without the grains.
- Roasted Nuts, not much of a surprise here - these are just flavored, roasted nuts.
Paleo Naturals Bars
Paleo Naturals bars are soft, not too chewy, and delicious. They use nut butters as a base, with almond butter being the most common. The bars also contain nuts, fruit (some have raisins, dates, and apple pectin), eggs, and coconut oil. Below are the bars I tried and their macronutrient breakdowns.
- Vanilla: Fat (F): 21.7, Carbs (C):10.7, Protein (P): 16.7
This bar includes vanilla whey for the flavoring and has a strong vanilla scent. The vanilla taste blends well with the smooth nut butter flavors, and makes for a good, simple combination.
- Mac Fuel: F: 20.7, C: 13.8, P: 14.2
This was one of the whey protein options, with a nutty and coconutty taste. I didn’t love this one like some of the other bars, but it was good.
- Carrot Cake: F: 22.5, C: 18.3, P: 5.5
Boasting the most fiber (3.3 g) and sugar (11.8g), and the lowest protein (5.5) of any of the bars, this one is for a treat with a fiber kick. It is pretty sweet and has a good blend of carrot and raisin flavors. I love carrot cake and found this bar to be delicious.
- Chocolate: F: 21.7, C: 10.6, P: 16.1
This flavor includes chocolate whey, but didn’t have quite the chocolate flavor I was looking for (see below for the Un-Granola chocolate, though). However, I’m a chocoholic so it was still one of my favorite bars.
- Coffee: F: 22, C: 10.7, P: 18
Perhaps a good in-between competition bar, this one has the most protein of any bar and espresso for a caffeine boost. There is some stevia in this one. It has a nice mild coffee flavor, and I suspect will be a bestseller for the company.
- Coconut Choc Chip: F: 22, C: 16, P: 5.8
Very sweet. Honey is the main ingredient for this one, making it a treat like the carrot cake flavor. Nutty with some espresso and coconut for flavor.
One downside to the bars is that they don’t have a long shelf life and require refrigeration. One of mine had gone bad by the time I got to it, so I was not able to review it for this piece (the Sweet Potato Pie flavor, which I was pretty pumped about). The bars are tasty, so you probably won’t let them go bad. However, the reason to choose a bar over some other kind of food is for convenience, and the perishability slightly reduces the convenience.
I enjoyed every flavor, but the chocolate and carrot cake were the best for me personally. But if you choose your flavor based on what you think of their description, you probably won’t be disappointed.
I’m a granola lover, but I don’t eat it all the time because of the huge carb and sugar load. Paleo Naturals has a great answer to that with their Un-Granola Crunch. Although I didn’t find it particularly crunchy, their nut-based granolas are an awesome alternative to the regular stuff at the store. Here are the flavors I sampled:
- Pistachio Orange: Lightly sweet (as most of their options are) and nutty. This was the first that I tried and I was pleased with the nuts, fruits, and coconut tasted like delicious granola. My only problem with this flavor was the lack of orange flavor, which I was psyched about.
- Chocolate Cashew : Adding chocolate into a snack is a great way to get a good review, and this one paid off. I could have easily eaten this entire bag without a second thought. Strong chocolate flavor, but not too sweet - just as chocolate should be. Cashews were the perfect support nut here, with a fat content that made the chocolate that much more delicious.
- Apple Pie : Lightly sweet apple flavors, plus cinnamon. This bar was good, but surprisingly not nutty in flavor, which is good for people who want to go easy on the nuttiness. The name pretty much says it all.
- Honey Nut : I was the least excited about this offering, but I'm happy to say it’s delicious. This is the classic granola offering, done well. The almond butter and raisins make the concoction stick together into delicious clusters. It does lack the warmness that oats provide to traditional honey nut granola, but it’s still good.
- Pumpkin Spice: This one is a home run. It tastes like pumpkin spice, just as the name implies, but with a surprising kick. A great autumn flavor.
The chocolate Un-Granola Crunch was, naturally, my favorite. Truly delicious. However, all of the flavors were excellent. The Un-Granola Crunch was by far the most impressive part of this company's line-up.
Some paleo-minded people will prefer to eat nuts raw, but for those who like the taste of roasted varieties, check out the options I tried:
- Sweet and Salty Cashews and Pistachios: A paleo Cracker Jack offering. Reminiscent of the sweet children’s caramel corn, these cashews and pistachios feature a modest coating of honey and sea salt. Like kettle corn, some bites are lightly sweet, some salty, and others a pleasing mix of flavors. My batch was a little over-roasted for my taste, but otherwise delicious.
- Savory Spiced Almonds: Lightly toasted, high-quality almonds. These are flavored with cumin, sea salt, chili powder, and garlic. The flavor was a little lighter than I’d like. It didn’t have as much pow as I’d hoped, but it was good nonetheless.
- Spicy Rosemary Cashews: Out of all of the products I received, this was near the top of my anticipation list. Cashews are my favorite nuts, and I love rosemary and spiciness. In name, this one had it all, but it fell a little short in flavor. That could be because I received a bag past the expiration date for some reason. It wasn’t particularly spicy, and the rosemary was faint, even when I got down into the bottom where the spices were. It was still good, but a little disappointing.
I wasn’t totally enthused about the nuts. They were great, but more bland than I’d like. Rather than eat lightly flavored nuts, I’d prefer to just have completely raw, unsalted, and unflavored one.
As a whole, Paleo Naturals has a solid selection. Even their least impressive options were still good. Bottom line, they make nothing that’s bad tasting or bad for you. They make a lot of great products, especially the Un-Granola Crunch. If you’re looking for convenient, healthy, paleo options, look no further.
Paleo Naturals are available for the following prices at MyPaleoNaturals.com:
More Healthy Snack Options: