Vega is a well-established plant based protein company in the USA, so when I was asked to try some of their products as they start to make waves in the UK, I was thrilled! Vega was co-founded by Brendan Brazier, a vegan former professional Ironman triathlete, so Sundried and Vega share some common ground in our passion for ethical consumption and triathlon. Vega’s products boast organic ingredients which are all gluten-free, non-dairy, and high protein. What’s not to love?
Vanilla Flavour Essentials Nutritional Powder
The vanilla flavour essentials nutritional powder is made from a blend of pea, flaxseed, and hemp. Its wholesome vegetable ingredients provide you with the nutritional building blocks to start your day strong and are high in protein, fibre, and omega-3. Vega says that it’s great as a smoothie, but I decided to try out their recipe for Cashew Vanilla and Coconut Balls, which turned out to be amazing!
They are really easy to make - trust me, I am a terrible cook! They smell phenomenal and they are lovely and light with a sweet taste. They make the perfect post-workout snack, and knowing that they are raw vegan and organic means they are totally guilt-free! If you want to have a go yourself, you can find the recipe on the Vega website.
Chocolate Flavour Clean Protein
I also got to try to chocolate flavour clean protein, which is a protein powder made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin seed. It’s naturally high in protein and low in sugar which makes it the perfect clean vegan protein powder! It tastes great mixed with water over ice but there are also recipes on the Vega website which you can try.
So, the verdict. I must say I am impressed! Anyone who has tried several different vegan protein powders has probably had the same experience as me in having to endure thick, lumpy, powdery protein shakes which taste awful! Well, no longer. Vega’s products are light and mix well, and are perfect in tasty recipes so that you can stay nourished and happy all day long. I was really pleasantly surprised by these products as past experiences have made me dubious about plant-based protein, but the nutritional value of these products is excellent. It’s a 10 from me!
Pollen + Grace is a London-based clean eating food delivery service who make healthy lunches and delicious sweet treats. Founded by Stephanie Johnson, their ethos is to find the beauty in nature and apply that to their food. I met the team at Balance Festival earlier this year so I was very excited to try their delicious snacks!
Raw Beauty Bar
The Raw Beauty Bar features antioxidant-rich superfoods like acai and acerola superfruits. Acai berries have more antioxidants than any other berries and boast health benefits such as fighting disease and promoting healthy skin. The acerola fruit is a type of cherry and is rich in vitamins C and A as well as riboflavin and niacin which are often artificially added to foods because of their fantastic health benefits.
The bar itself is very attractive and features a crumbed based made out of cashews, sesame seeds, tahini, and coconut. The base has a great sticky sweet texture and the bar itself is delicious. The berry top adds a lovely tang and there's a subtle crunch from the seeds. I love this little bar and knowing how many health benefits it has!
The Mojo Bar
The Mojo Bar was the treat that I was most looking forward to as I had tried a nibble at Balance Festival and was immediately hooked! This salted caramel fudge bar is totally vegan and is enriched with superfoods like maca and cornflower petals. Maca contains numerous minerals which promote a healthy immune system and it also contains 20 amino acids which aid protein synthesis and promote healthy muscle repair.
This bar tastes absolutely incredible! I couldn't get enough! I previously went on a bit of a rant about products claiming to be 'salted caramel' flavour when they're not, but this bar has the absolutely perfect taste and is just delicious! Knowing that it's vegan means it is a guilt-free treat and is perfect for after a demanding cardio session when you need a sugar-hit to feel better.
Sweet Potato + Peanut Butter Flapjack
The sweet potato and peanut butter flapjack comes in a very generous 100g portion and boasts 10.4g of protein. This flapjack is also vegan (if you don't mind consuming honey) and contains lots of great ingredients. The bulk of the flapjack is made with sweet potato and also features organic peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, and pecans which add a beautiful depth of flavour.
The bar itself is super crunchy thanks to the seeds and it is really filling! It's not very sweet but in this case, that's a good thing, as sometimes flapjacks can be way too sugary and buttery. This has a really nice earthy feel to it from the sweet potato and it's almost like a savoury snack.
Raw Cacao Protein Bar
This gooey vegan cacao bar is protein-packed thanks to pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and chia seeds. All of these are fantastic super foods which boast numerous health benefits. As with the flapjack, this bar is quite hefty and definitely super filling! It tastes delicious and isn't too dense or chewy like most protein bars! It has such an authentic taste and texture, rather than some which feel like they've just been mass produced in a factory.
VerdictI absolutely love this brand. I love the ethos and their raw treats are not only delicious but they're healthy too! The food delivery service is a great idea and hopefully they'll be able to expand further in the future! It's definitely a 10 from me for these goodies.
Creative Nature is a young, ethical organisation that was established to promote health, creativity, and respect for the environment, just like Sundried. They source their ingredients from exotic countries like Hawaii and New Zealand to offer the very best in worldly superfoods. I was thrilled when they sent me a selection of their high protein bars to sample.
Apple Pie Protein
The Creative Nature protein bars boast such qualities as being gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, and nut free, meaning that people with food allergies or intolerances can freely enjoy them. They are also certified by the Vegan Society. With 8g of protein in each bar, there is a good balance of macronutrients. The Apple Pie protein bar tastes fantastic! It really tastes like apple pie! The texture of the bar is great, nice and soft without being too chewy like some protein bars.
Dates, Soya protein (10%), chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, rice protein (5%) pea protein (5%) humectant (glycerol) Dried Apple (3%) pumpkin seeds, Gluten Free Oats, Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Ground Cassia, Brown Linseeds, Natura Flavouring.
I was a little disappointed with this flavour as salted caramel is my absolute jam, I cannot get enough of it, and this didn't really give me much of that flavour. It still tastes fantastic, but I didn't get the salted caramel vibe unfortunately.
Dates, Soya protein (10%) chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, rice protein (5%), pea protein (5%), humecant (glycerol) Gluten free oats, pumpkin seeds, brown linseeds, chia seeds, natural flavouring, pink crystal salt.
The cacao orange flavour was my favourite of the three which was a surprise! The orange flavour is so authentic despite there not actually being any orange listed in the ingredients. The cacao gives a lovely balance of deep flavours to offset the sweetness of the dates and orange flavour. The added crunch from superfoods such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds give this bar a fantastic texture and make it very moreish!
Dates, Soya Protein (9%), Chicory fibre, humectant (glycerol), Rice Protein (4%), Organic Cocoa Butter (3%), Gluten Free Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Rapeseed Oil, Cacao Beans, Chia Seeds, Natural Flavouring.
The bars themselves are delicious with an excellent texture. The only drawback I'd say is that they're so moreish I could eat them all day! But with that fibre content I don't think my stomach would thank me for it! The flavours are rich and complex and I think they would perhaps suit names that do those qualities more justice. It's an 8 from me!
BodyMe was founded in 2011 by Leigh Prideaux and is an ethically-conscious UK brand just liked Sundried. Naturally, it seemed like a great collaboration and I was really excited when they sent me some of their wonderful products to try.
Chia Vanilla Protein Bar
With 16g of protein in each bar, I'm off to a great start before I’ve even taken it out of the attractive and well-designed packet. The bars are dairy-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, and raw vegan. Phew! You’d think all that would mean it tastes like cardboard, but it absolutely doesn’t! The texture is not too dense or chewy and they're easily digestible. The Chia Vanilla bar is packed with chia seeds which are a popular superfood; they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants, calcium, fibre, and iron. The chia seeds add a subtle crunch and the texture is not too thick or chewy - my mouth didn’t ache after eating it like with some protein bars! All the ingredients are organic with no nasty surprises and nothing made in a lab. It is cold-pressed which means none of the flavour or nutrients are lost in the production process.
Cacao Orange Protein Bar
The cacao orange bar has an ideal taste of chocolate orange and the little chunks crackled and popped which adds a fantastic texture. Like the chia seed bar, it is not too thick or chewy and has a delicious taste. It didn't leave an aftertaste in my mouth like some protein products so that was a bonus too. It's fairly moreish, I could've eaten more!
Cacao Mint Protein bar
The cacao mint bar was my favourite, it's delicious! I was dubious at first as I was worried the cacao would be too much, but it was perfect. The mint flavour filled my mouth as soon as I took the first bite, without being overpowering. The texture is perfect, not too chewy and with lovely crunchy bits to keep it interesting. I could easily eat this bar every day!
Plant Protein in a choice of cinnamon, cacao, or naked flavours
The plant-based protein is made from a blend of pea, brown rice, and hemp seeds which makes it an interesting mix! I'm often wary of vegan protein powders as they can be very thick and grainy, but these are fantastic! I think they are possibly better blended with certain liquids - soy milk rather than just water - but I had the cacao flavour powder in my daily spinach protein smoothie and it was great!
BodyMe has ethics that Sundried really supports and they are a small British brand just like us. Their products are clean and vegan without compromising taste so it's a win-win! It's a 10 from me.
Rude Health is a small London-based food and drinks company co-founded by Nick and Camilla Barnard. They celebrated 10 years of business in 2016 and they aren’t afraid of speaking up about real, honest food. Their ethos is about providing high-quality ingredients and products to the public and they have spent years perfecting all of their recipes. Their bright, loud, and exciting brand really sparks an interest in their healthy snacks and nutrition, but they stay humble by only using the kind of ingredients that you’d use in your home, with nothing artificial or refined. I was lucky enough to be able to try a generous offering of their products and I was not disappointed!
Made from spring water, rice, Italian almonds, organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt. That’s it! Just five organic ingredients which make it vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. It has complex flavours, with the depth of the rice hitting you after the freshness of the spring water. The almonds provide a nice sweetness without the aid of nasty artificial sweeteners or other additives. It would be perfect pre- or post-workout, especially after a heavy triathlon training session. It tastes delicious on its own or partnered with their ultimate muesli. I’m definitely a big fan of this drink and I would happily have it every day!
Spiced Apple/Honey & Nuts Granola
Like the drink, the granola manages to be perfectly sweet without the help of chemicals or processed additives. The fruit adds a lovely touch, with the spiced apple providing a little tang in the background. The texture is perfect, not too crunchy, and feels fresh. You can tell this has been made with real ingredients without compromising any of the flavour.
Hazelnut Butter Porridge
The porridge comes in a super cute individual pot, with a handy guide written up the side of the packaging so that you know how much water to add. It’s very easy to make, just add boiling water! You could easily take this to work with you and either have it as breakfast at your desk or as an afternoon snack to keep you going through a long day. The hazelnuts add a lovely crunchy texture and the cacao is rich and indulgent without being unhealthy! Winner!
I love the Rude Health brand and all that it stands for. Their humble roots have blossomed into a really exciting brand with strong ethics just like Sundried. Their products taste fantastic and it’s good to know that there’s nothing artificial in what you’re eating. It’s a 10 from me!