• 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
  • 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
  • Primal Pantry Paleo Protein Bars Review

    Primal Pantry Product Review Sundried

    Primal Pantry's handmade cold-pressed products are all made in the UK with headquarters in Kent. Primal Pantry was founded by nutritionist Suzie Walker in 2013 when she wanted to find some healthy snacks for her kids that weren't packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. I was thrilled when they sent me a box of their goodies to try!

    There is up to 10g of protein per bar which is great for those who need a protein boost in their afternoon snack or if you struggle to hit your daily protein consumption. Each bar contains no more than 6 ingredients which is fantastic. In this modern world, snacks can be packed with all sorts of nasty additives and extras, but Primal Pantry strip it back to basics and keep it simple which I love. One of the common ingredients in the bars is coconut nectar which is a low GI cane sugar alternative. It is the perfect natural plant-based alternative to artificial sweetener or sugar used in most products these days. The bars contain nothing artificial or chemical and they are vegan, raw, and paleo. They do contain nuts so are not suitable for those with an allergy. The packaging is very attractive and the branding is modern and appealing. 

    Primal Pantry Sundried Product Review

    Cocoa Orange

    This bar is from the protein range that Primal Pantry offers and packs 19% protein in a 55g bar. It has a very deep taste of orange and the fact it comes from real dried orange rather than artificial flavouring really shines through. There are tasty little crunches in each bite to keep the texture interesting and it is very moreish! The chocolate taste from the cocoa will cure a sweet tooth craving but it is much healthier than a classic chocolate bar.

    Apple & Pecan

    This bar is quite soft compared to the others, and the apple flavour is refreshing and tangy. As with the orange bar, you can tell that the fruit flavouring is not artificial and instead comes from organic fair trade apples, which means it's ethical too! Pecan nuts are absolutely packed full of various vitamins and minerals, which means that this bar provides numerous health benefits as well as being super tasty!

    Coconut & Macadamia

    The coconut & macadamia bar is made from dates, macadamia nuts, cashews, coconut and a hint of almond oil. That's it! Just five ingredients, meaning it is completely vegan and paleo. Macadamia nuts are a rich source of Vitamin A and iron meaning they can help contribute to better circulation and support a healthy immune system so there are plenty of health benefits to this bar. The coconut flavour is very strong so if you love coconut you'll love this as a snack, or with your morning cup of coffee. 

    Cocoa Brownie

    The cocoa brownie was definitely my favourite flavour, it's so satisfying! Often, after I eat an energy bar or a protein bar, they're so moreish that I'm left wanting more and more, but somehow Primal Pantry has absolutely cracked it as I felt perfectly satisfied after eating this bar! It's lovely and chocolatey, so it cures that sweet tooth or afternoon chocolate craving. And knowing that it's vegan and paleo means it's guilt-free! I predicted that this flavour would be my favourite and it absolutely was.

    Mixed Berries

    This flavour was also a personal highlight as it was so fresh and delicious. The mixed berries include raspberries, apricots, and goji berries, so there is a good mix of super fruits in there! Goji berries contain high levels of antioxidants which provide fantastic health benefits, and they also promote healthy skin and eyes so you'll end up glowing if you eat enough! I wondered if this flavour would be nut-free but it does include almonds, so not appropriate for those with a nut allergy or intolerance.

    Verdict

    I love how simple these bars are, they really are just made from simple, natural ingredients which could be found in my kitchen, so I know that what I'm eating is healthy and not overly processed. The bars are all true to flavour with interesting textures and combinations of fruits and nuts. They are satisfying enough that you don't find yourself reaching for one and then another and then another, which I can be guilty of! I think Primal Pantry would do well to do a completely nut-free version so that those with an allergy can enjoy them too, so it's a 9 from me!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Kate Percy's Go Bites NEW Fruity Flavours Review

    Kate Percy Go Bites fitness healthy snack

    Kate Percy's Go Bites are a natural snack perfect for taking on-the-go or using as pre- or post-workout fuel. We had the pleasure of trying the exciting new fruity flavours and giving our verdict.

    Read our review of the original Go Bites flavours.

    Boost: Raspberry & Cacao

    I absolutely love the appearance of the new products by Kate Percy. The vibrant colours are very enticing and my mouth was watering before I even popped one in my mouth. The raspberry and cacao was my favourite flavour as it was so indulgent and flavourful – the perfect treat to look forward to during a tough marathon training run. 

    As with the original Go Bites, you get 3 balls in a pack and they are perfectly sized and portioned to have before, during, or after a workout. The texture is dense enough to be satisfying without being too chewy so as to hurt your mouth or be a chore to chew. Not only this, they're very handy and easy to store and so  are my absolute go-to mid-run fuel for these reasons. 

    Raspberry & Cacao Go Bites Kate Percy health snack

    Refuel: Strawberry & Cashew

    All of these Go Bites are made to Kate Percy's original recipe and promote the idea that real food fuels you better, which I am a huge proponent of. I find that a packet of Go Bites is the perfect running fuel and stops me from hitting the wall far better than any gel or other goo. Not only this, as they are made from 100% natural ingredients and free from gluten, wheat, and dairy, they are very easy on the stomach and you are unlikely to suffer any gastric issues when fuelling with them.

    I had my strawberry and cashew Go Bites after a winter warmer duathlon at the Lee Valley VeloPark. It was a tough race and so having these tasty little bites in my bag to eat afterwards and refuel was absolutely perfect. The taste is awesome – the authentic, natural ingredients taste amazing and the texture is perfect. They're very satisfying and they really sorted me out after the race.

    Recover: Blackcurrant & Blueberry

    The blackcurrant and blueberry bites are made with rice protein and so give a well needed protein hit after a workout. They contain no added sugar and so are a super healthy food to snack on – whether you're training or not!

    This flavour is really delicious, just like the others, and is perfect as a grab-and-go snack. The flavours are so authentic and the serving size is perfectly satisfying. 

    Blackcurrant and Blueberry healthy snack fitness running

    Verdict

    I absolutely cannot fault these delicious treats! They are unarguably healthy and are absolutely perfect for working out whether you have them before, during, or after. I really support Kate Percy's mantra that 'real food fuels you better' and these balls prove that point perfectly!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren