• KIND Snacks Energy Bar Review

    At Sundried, we're always on the look out for our next healthy snack or awesome training fuel. We were really excited to try these almond snack bars by KIND and test them out on some long runs and bike rides. Here's our verdict!

    KIND snacks review healthy granola bars

    Dark Chocolate Almond Mint

    I was really excited to try the dark chocolate almond mint bar from KIND as I adore anything chocolate mint flavoured and I am a recent convert to dark chocolate – especially as it has some real health benefits

    This snack bar is comprised of mostly nuts (60%) so it is a wholesome, healthy snack to be enjoyed in a number of settings. It is also gluten- and dairy-free so is suitable for those on free-from diets or who suffer from a food intolerance. At only 200 calories per bar you can certainly say it is 'guilt-free' and is fairly low in sugar at only 5g – which is 40% less than some similar snack bars. That's the same amount of sugar in 100g of strawberries to put it into context.

    As soon as you open the packet, you're met with a glorious minty aroma which is really fresh and inviting. The almonds are held together with a dark chocolate coating which is chewy but not too harsh on the jaw, which can be a pitfall of some nut-based granola bars. The dark chocolate is not too bitter and the whole bar is really tasty. This bar is really moreish and as soon as I finished it I found myself wanting more! However after about 10 minutes I actually felt really full and satisfied which is perfect for that mid-afternoon slump at work. This bar gets a big thumbs up from me!

    Caramel Almond & Sea Salt

    The caramel almond & sea salt KIND bar was my favourite out of the three flavours I was sent to try and I absolutely loved it! The generous chunks of sea salt dotted amongst the nuts add a delicious, tangy bite while the caramel gives a luxurious, decadent texture. As with the dark chocolate mint bar, this healthy snack bar contains only 5g of sugar and is only 200 calories, making it the perfect afternoon snack or fuel for adventure.

    I ate this bar while on a 12-mile hike along the South Downs Way and it was the perfect treat to perk me up when I was starting to lose energy after an hour of brisk walking up tough hills in the blistering August heat. KIND pride themselves on only using 'ingredients you can see and pronounce' which is certainly true of this bar, which is 64% nuts as well as being high in fibre – something a lot of the population could benefit from!

    I absolutely love the taste of this delicious bar and with such great health benefits, it's the perfect indulgence when you're feeling peckish or in need of a pick-me-up while exercising or out on an adventure. Thanks to the nuts, it's really filling and left me feeling satisfied for hours.

    Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein

    Having a quick, easy grab-and-go bar that packs an impressive 12g of protein is really useful for an athlete and I found this bar was perfect for a post-workout protein hit as well as refuel. The smooth and creamy peanut butter coating is really delicious and the crunchy yet chewy texture was easy to devour even during or after a tough training session when your stomach is feeling a little delicate.

    Each 50g bar contains only 250 calories so it's definitely a guilt-free snack if you are just on-the-go or at your desk working, but it contains a high amount of protein and fibre so is excellent for athletic performance. It contains 8g of sugar which is perfect for refuelling after a draining workout and it is completely plant-based and unrefined so you know there are no nasty surprises. 

    The sweet yet salty taste is delicious and this versatile bar is perfect for all number of occasions, from a quick breakfast to afternoon snacking to popping in kids' lunch boxes.  

    Verdict

    I have truly fallen in love with these KIND bars and they will definitely be my go-to snacks from now on for all number of occasions, from fuelling adventure and stashing away for long runs and bike rides to snacking on at my desk for a guilt-free mid-afternoon snack. 

    KIND snacks are available in the UK in Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and WHSmith.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Winter Warmer: Fruity Protein Porridge Recipe

    Pulsin Fruity Protein Porridge

    Comfort food is everything in winter, so try this warming protein porridge recipe to keep your diet on track and refuel after a chilly winter workout.

    Healthy Porridge Recipe

    Takes 5-7 mins

    Serves 1

    Ingredients:

    • 50g gluten-free rolled oats
    • 100ml water
    • 100ml rice milk
    • A pinch of salt
    • 10g cacao butter drops
    • 20g 70% dark choc (xylitol sweetened)
    • 25g cashew butter (optional)
    • 10g Pea Protein Powder

    Porridge toppings:

    • 5 chopped hazelnuts
    • 5 chopped raspberries

    Simple porridge recipe:

    1. Add the gluten-free oats, water and rice milk to a pan.
    2. Cook over a medium heat, until warm, add the cacao butter drops and the pinch of salt.
    3. Once the porridge nears your desired consistency, take the pan off the heat and stir in the pea protein. If it is too thick add in an extra splash of rice milk.
    4. Blend up the berries, transfer the porridge to a bowl and top with the blended berries and flaked almonds!

    Thanks to Pulsin for this great recipe!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Blonyx Egg White Protein Isolate Supplement Review

    Blonyx is a global sports nutrition brand that aims to deliver high quality sports nutrition products that are enhanced by science. We were sent a sample of their new Egg White Protein Isolate to try, here's our verdict.

    Blonyx Egg White Protein Isolate Training Supplement Protein

    Taste

    Having tried quite a few different protein powder brands in the past, it's safe to say that they can range from absolutely delicious to completely undrinkable. It seems to be a gamble with flavours sometimes and some brands are going out there with all sorts of crazy flavours such as "Rainbow" from Myprotein (what could that possibly taste like!?)

    With this in mind, we were really excited to try the new Blonyx protein supplement as it claims to taste exactly like chocolate milk! You really can't go wrong with chocolate, keeping it simple, and chocolate milk is always a winner. The instructions tell you to mix the powder with water but this made the drink a bit thin and, well, watery. However, it does taste like chocolate milk! In future we would mix this protein powder with milk (either dairy or an alternative like our favourite almond milk) in the hopes that it would taste richer, thicker, and even more delicious.

    All that said, this is a really great tasting protein powder supplement and it went down an absolute treat. We wouldn't think twice about choosing this as our protein powder of choice and it would be well received after a tough training session. 

    Texture

    As with taste, the texture of a protein powder can make or break it as some can be very grainy, not mix well, or just be completely unpalatable. Thankfully, the Blonyx Egg White protein isolate mixes really well even with water and the texture is perfect – it's not lumpy or grainy and it turns into a great drink.

    The powder itself is really quite fine and you don't need a heavy-duty shaker with filters and metal balls in order to get a good result. Just a quick shake and you're good to go!

    Blonyx Egg White Protein Supplement Training Weight Loss Review

    Nutrition

    Once you've got past whether or not you can actually stand to drink the protein supplement, the next most important factor to consider is the nutrition. There's no point ruining all your hard work and progress by drinking a bulky supplement with lots of unnecessary carbs, sugar, chemicals, and not much protein content.

    The Blonyx Egg White protein isolate contains 20g of protein per serving which is a very good amount, although it's pretty average compared to what other protein brands offer. 

    This supplement contains added organic cane sugar, and at 11g per serving this ends up being quite steep. We usually choose protein supplements that have minimal carbs and definitely no sugar. Save that for the cheat days and occasional treats!

    Blonyx Egg White Protein Supplement Review Sundried Nutrition

    Verdict

    Putting the relatively high sugar content aside, we absolutely love this protein powder! It mixes well and tastes fantastic. If you love a glass of chocolate milk just like us, you'll really enjoy this protein supplement. Whether you train a lot or not, many people could benefit from getting more protein into their diets, and so this easy-going supplement could be perfect for you.

    You can buy the Blonyx Egg White Protein Isolate direct from the Blonyx website

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Review

    Myprotein is one of the UK's leading sports nutrition companies and offers a wide range of supplements for fitness lovers and gym goers. We review a selection of flavours of their staple offering – whey protein – of which there are a staggering 60 to choose from.

    Myprotein Impact Whey Protein review Sundried

    Flavours

    For a lot of people, a protein shake is something they want to quickly chug down after a big gym session to increase their gains and improve their recovery.  As such, it doesn't matter too much how it tastes, just that it has the right nutrition benefits. For these people, unflavoured whey protein will do the trick.

    However, it is becoming increasingly common for whey protein supplements to be used for things like baking, smoothies, and just as a healthy drink to boost your protein intake and more and more people are turning to them hoping for delicious flavours to replace the snacks and treats they have left behind. Can't eat your favourite apple crumble and custard dessert because of your diet? Myprotein offer it in protein shake form!

    Nutrition companies like Myprotein are offering more flavours than ever before and their Impact Whey Protein really takes the biscuit with just how many unusual and interesting flavours are on offer. Some of the more wild flavours you can buy are 'rainbow' (delightfully ambiguous), 'cherry blossom milk tea', 'black sesame', and 'yuzu' (an Asian citrus fruit). We tried a selection of different samples to see how these flavours actually translated into a protein shake and whether the taste lived up to the name. We did, however, stick to the more 'normal' flavours!

    Banoffee Flavour

    banoffee pie

    Banoffee is a hard flavour to get right as it's almost impossible to mimic the varying tastes and textures of a banoffee pie. This protein shake tastes exactly how you would imagine a banoffee imitator to taste: like artificial banana candy with a hint of toffee thrown in for good measure. That's not to say it doesn't taste good, quite the contrary! However, calling this flavour simply 'banana' would certainly be more fitting and perhaps less disappointing for banoffee lovers.

    Rocky Road Flavour

    rocky road

    Myprotein's Rocky Road flavour whey protein shake tastes like very sweet chocolate but you can kind of taste a hint of marshmallow if you really think about it. I found this flavour to be too sweet for my taste and I don't think I could stomach an entire 5kg bag or having one of these shakes every day. My advice would be just to stick to chocolate flavour if that's your thing. 

    Speculoos Flavour

    ginger biscuits

    I chose this flavour as I absolutely love speculoos biscuits (such as Lotus biscoff) and I was hoping the flavour would translate well into a protein shake. However, the complex speculoos flavour just wasn't there and this shake instead tasted just like gingerbread. As with the banoffee, this is certainly no bad thing and the taste was very enjoyable. However, calling the flavour simply 'gingerbread' instead of trying to sound more interesting by calling it speculoos would be much more appropriate.

    Marzipan Flavour

    marzipan

    This was by far my favourite flavour of all the ones I chose. I am a real sucker for marzipan and this protein powder smells very strongly of proper marzipan. Almond is quite an easy flavour to get right but this protein shake could accurately be described as marzipan and not just almond. It's delicious!

    Cinnamon Danish Flavour

    cinnamon danish

    This is another flavour that I think is let down by the marketing department trying to be too clever with their names. The cinnamon flavour is definitely there and is quite tasty, but calling it 'cinnamon danish' is overselling it somewhat. From personal experience I'm aware that a lot of people don't like cinnamon as a flavour so I don't think Myprotein would sell many if they renamed this just 'cinnamon' but that's definitely a more accurate description of this flavour. 

    Stracciatella 

    stracciatella chocolate chip ice cream

    Traditional Italian stracciatella is just plain, vanilla ice cream with chocolate flakes in it. The word 'stracciatella' literally means 'little shred' and refers to the little flakes of chocolate in the ice cream. So, this protein flavour is a fancy way of saying vanilla chocolate chip. As such, it doesn't taste of anything distinct at all and just tastes generally sweet, like vanilla. As with the other flavours, it tastes quite nice if not a bit too sweet.  

    Nutrition

    As mentioned at the start of this review, we appreciate that for many people the flavour of a protein shake doesn't really matter and it's the nutrition that is really important. 

    Myprotein's Impact Whey Protein is marketed as 'the UK's number 1 whey protein' and packs an impressive 21g of protein per serving. It promises convenient, high quality protein and low carb content (1g per serving). This particular whey protein is a whey protein concentrate meaning it has some fat and some carbs, as opposed to whey protein isolate (like Optimum Nutrition's 100% Gold Standard Whey) which has pretty much zero carbs and zero fat. 

    This is impressive nutrition for most types of exercisers and anyone who is trying to watch their diet and improve their physqiue would benefit from the nutritional benefits of this whey protein. If you are a bodybuilder or someone trying to really cut the carbs and sugar, you might be better off choosing a whey protein offering with zero carbs and sugar, such as a whey protein isolate. However, it is probably the sugar content that is contributing to the tasty flavours on offer here so you may sacrifice taste in favour of nutrition.

    Nutrition whey protein bodybuilding

    Price

    Myprotein's Impact Whey Protein is available in four convenient sizes as well as sample sizes if you wish to try lots of different flavours.

    • £3.49 for 250g (currently on offer down from an RRP of £6.99)
    • £21.99 for 1kg
    • £44.99 for 2.5kg
    • £79.99 for 5kg

    The 5kg bag is the best value for money and works out at £1.60 per 100g. Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey has an RRP of £49.99 for a 2.27kg tub which works out at £2.20 per 100g and is therefore markedly more expensive. 

    Not only is the Myprotein Impact Whey cheaper anyway, it's even more value for money as there are often amazing discounts on offer which makes it a lot cheaper than competitor brands.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • USN Trust Crunch Protein Bar Review

    USN Trust Crunch Protein Bar Review Sundried

    USN's brand new protein bar, the Trust Crunch, claims to be a guilt-free snack and aims to replace your everyday unhealthy snacks. We gave one a try and give our expert review so you can decide if it's right for you.

    Taste & Texture

    We tried the Cookies and Cream flavour bar but there are three other delicious-sounding flavours available:

    • Salted caramel peanut
    • White chocolate cookie dough
    • Chocolate brownie

    The bar is coated in milk chocolate and as soon as you take a bite you realise how delicious it is! It tastes just as indulgent and delicious as a normal chocolate bar, perhaps even more so because of the additional caramel layer and crunchy pieces on top. The bar is very easy to chew and digest unlike some other protein bars which can be very dense and hurt your jaw. 

    Ultimately, this 'healthy' protein bar tastes nothing like a classic protein bar and certainly doesn't taste healthy. If you love an indulgent chocolate bar, you will love this as it tastes just as good if not better. It definitely tastes more like a chocolate bar than a protein bar.

    USN Trust Crunch protein bar review

    Nutrition

    USN claim that this bar is "guilt free" and "low sugar high protein" which would indicate that it would be very healthy. However, when you take a closer look it might not be as guilt-free as you'd hope. 

    The Trust Crunch bar is indeed low in sugar but it still contains 17g of carbs so it's not suitable for those following a keto diet or any other type of low carb diet. It's true that it has almost no sugar, however the sweetness comes in the form of polyols which are sugar alcohols and act as sugar-free sweeteners. This ingredient is used by many protein bar manufacturers, including the Grenade Carb Killa, so that they can say they are low in sugar. 

    USN Trust Crunch Protein bar nutrition information

    If you take the nutrition information at face value, this indulgent chocolate bar does indeed seem very healthy and almost too good to be true thanks to the high protein content. However, the ingredients list is a far cry from being 'guilt free' or 'healthy'.

    The number one ingredient is milk chocolate, which is definitely not the mark of a healthy, guilt-free snack. The rest of the ingredients include cocoa butter and cocoa mass which are also staple ingredients of standard chocolate bars. There are also plenty of chemicals and synthetic ingredients like malitol which is another polyol.

    These polyols could be considered healthier than sugar because they don't cause dental caries (cavities) and don't affect the blood sugar in the same way as sucrose, so could be better for diabetics. However, isn't it better to stick with truly organic, natural foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds instead of chemical compounds like these? 

    Essentially, this bar is exactly the same as your average, unhealthy chocolate bar but with sugar-free sweeteners instead of actual sugar and added protein. 

    Price

    To purchase these bars direct from the USN website you have to buy 12 x 60g bars at a cost of £24, working out at £2 per bar which is very expensive. To buy one individually, it'd cost you £2.79 from Protein Pick N Mix or £2.49 from Posted Protein which is even more scandalous. Considering you can pick up a Snickers bar for 60p or a piece of fruit for even less, I'd say this bar definitely isn't worth the astronomical cost. Price-wise, it's definitely not guilt free!

    Verdict

    You can't argue with the fact that this bar tastes incredible. It's very chocolatey, indulgent, and delicious. However, I'd question the claims that it's 'guilt free' and 'healthy' and I wouldn't recommend using it as a snack alternative; it's probably best for body builders on a 'cheat day'.

    It says on the USN website that the recommended usage of this bar is: "Whenever you're in need of a guilt-free snack, try our delicious Trust Crunch" but they are far too expensive to replace your normal chocolate bar and aren't that much healthier when you look at the ingredients. If you're truly in need of a guilt-free snack, you'd be better off having a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit and honey or a nut and seed bar.  

    Posted by Alexandra Parren