• Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs Review

    Hippeas baked healthy chickpea puffs review Sundried

    Hippeas are a brand of baked, puffed chickpea snacks which could be the savoury answer you've been looking for if trying to cut down your consumption of fatty potato crisps or lose weight while still allowing yourself tasty snacks. We gave peas a chance and review these tempting chickpea puffs. 

    Taste & Texture

    I was pleasantly surprised by the light, crispy texture of the Hippeas chickpea puffs. They are slightly comparable to Wotsits, especially as they are the same shape, but are a lot lighter and crunchier. 

    I sampled the Salt & Vinegar flavour chickpea puffs and the taste was absolutely delightful. Being a healthy snack, you don't compromise on flavour and they really work when trying to satisfy a craving for salty, savoury snacks. You can't particularly tell that these aren't classic potato chips or corn snacks.

    Price

    Hippeas are available in the UK from various supermarkets including Waitrose and Tesco as well as online. I bought my bag of Salt & Vinegar Hippeas from ASDA where they retail at £1.99 for a 78g bag (at Tesco they are £1.60 for the same bag so slightly cheaper).

    For comparison, your favourite bag of Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips retail in ASDA at £1.99 for a 150g bag. This makes Hippeas a little more expensive gram for gram, however you are paying for a healthier product and if you catch them on offer, you may end up paying less than other brands. Bag for bag, they are the same price.

    The smaller bag may seem like a drawback but I actually think it's a great idea. 150g bags are designed for sharing, but anyone who loves a tasty snack will know how easy it is to polish off a whole bag in one go. The 78g bag of Hippeas is the perfect size for one person to eat guilt-free, especially as it contains only 316 calories in the whole bag, compared to an eye-watering 770 calories in the 150g bag of Kettle Chips – that's twice the calories per bag! To me, it's a no-brainer. 

    Hippeas versus Kettle Chips health comparison Sundried 

    Nutritional Credentials

    I love the idea of using chickpeas as a base for this snack as chickpeas are naturally rich in protein and fibre and are a great crop to farm as they release nitrogen back into the earth as they grow so they're good for the environment and for us too!

    The fact that all of the ingredients used in this product are organic is a real bonus as that can be hard to find these days and you usually pay quite the premium for this privilege. As well as chickpeas, Hippeas use quinoa in this product which is another excellent food which is rich in protein and fibre and is a great addition to your diet. Being able to snack on these tasty puffs is a really easy way for the everyday person to get these grains and legumes into their diet without having to feel like they're forcing themselves to eat quinoa and chickpeas just because they're healthy. 

    Hippeas are organic, naturally gluten-free, vegan, low calorie, high fibre, and a source of protein. They have tons of excellent nutritional credentials and are suitable for pretty much everyone, no matter what diet or lifestyle they follow. 

    At Sundried, we love this product and will continue to eat these chickpeas with joy!

    You can find out more on the Hippeas website

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit Running Shoes Review

    Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit Womens Running Shoes Review

    Finally, a lightweight racing shoe suitable for runners who pronate

    Nike have been very busy. Between Eliud Kipchoge's failed 1:59 marathon attempt back in 2017 and his history-making successful attempt in 2019, Nike have released a wide range of high-end, scientific, tech-heavy running shoes which are all designed to help us run faster.

    The Nike Zoom Fly running shoes feature some of the same technology as Kipchoge's record-breaking ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to the everyday runner like you or I.

    Not only am I your everyday, amateur runner, like many other runners I suffer from over-pronation, which means I have to be extra careful with my choice of running shoes. Thankfully, the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes did not disappoint.

    Comfort

    First, the upper. I chose the Flyknit design because I've had success with it in the past (on Free Runs) and I love the way it shapes, expands, and moulds to your foot. I've suffered from numb toes with other running shoes in the past due to a cramped toe box as well as rubbing and blisters from shoes whose upper was too rigid. I was hoping the Flyknit technology would prevent all of that (spoiler: it did).

    On first wear, I found that my ankle was slipping out of the back of the shoe so I tied the laces extra tight. Unfortunately, this meant my toes went numb after 2 miles of running. I spent the rest of the run stopping and starting to readjust the laces. In the end, I decided it was actually my socks that were super slippery so on my next run I wore different socks and found my ankle stopped slipping and I could loosen the laces, which fixed the numb toes.

    On my third run, my toes didn't go numb at all and I was able to really enjoy the comfort of these shoes. The Flyknit does exactly as you'd hope and moulds to your foot, giving plenty of wiggle-room for your toes. 

    Now onto the sole. When I first put these shoes on, I was amazed at how soft, squidgy, and bouncy they felt. The sole is extremely thick and I felt like I was wearing platforms. Despite being very squidgy, they are simultaneously rigid and firm thanks to the high tech carbon fibre plate and give great support. 

    Overall, these are extremely comfortable running shoes and you shouldn't get blisters or experience any pain from rubbing or chafing. 

    Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit Running Shoes Review

    Size/Fit

    I find that Nike is one of the only running shoe brands that comes up True To Size. My ASICS shoes have to be larger than my normal shoe size (1.5 sizes) and I've had to discard/send back Hoka, On running, and other brands due to them coming up way too small (like, 3 sizes). 

    The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit running shoes are definitely true to size and I'd only recommend sizing up maybe half a size, if at all. It does depend how thick and padded your running socks are. Thankfully, Nike are generous enough to offer free delivery and returns so if they are the wrong size you can swap them for a different one. 

    Nike Running Shoes

    Performance

    This is the important part, because Nike have spent a lot of time, resources, and money on designing a huge range of running shoes which are the best performers in the world, if not in history. As mentioned above, I over-pronate so I usually have to buy stability shoes and as such don't have a lot of options. I've always stuck with ASICS as they have the largest stability shoe range, however I decided to take the plunge with these Nike shoes and I wasn't disappointed.

    The super thick sole, although not designed to provide stability to pronators, does exactly that. The shoes are banana-shaped which encourages your feet to curve slightly inwards and create an artificial arch, which helps ward off the effects of pronation. 

    The incredibly bouncy, responsive soles really encourage you to spring off your toes instead of plodding along with a heavy heel-strike and I found my running form was instantly improved when wearing these shoes. They definitely helped me to run faster and more efficiently and I even got a new 10k PB on the third wear without really trying! They are super lightweight and feel great on your feet.

    The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes feature the same carbon fibre plate as the iconic Nike Vaporfly shoes which is designed to help propel you off the ground and I'd say this certainly works for these shoes. They're very bouncy, springy, and help you to run faster. 

    Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit Running Shoes Review Sundried

    Appearance

    The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes look very similar to the now legendary Vaporfly 4% shoes as well as other Zoom and Fly shoes in the Nike range. I personally think they look awesome and I feel great when I wear them.

    They look very 'professional' in my opinion and when racing in them I think you'd definitely feel the part. They're sleek, clean-cut, and come in a range of great colours. 

    Price

    This is the fun part. Nike's shoes have been getting increasingly expensive over the past couple of years, first exceeding the £200 mark and now the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% shoes will set you back an eye-watering £239.95 at full RRP. The Zoom Fly 3 shoes are £139.95 and the new Joyride shoes are £159.95. 

    However, these incredible Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes are currently on sale, down from an RRP of £139.95 to £97.47 - which actually is a very reasonable price for their performance qualities, great appearance, and unrivalled comfort.

    Verdict

    What can I say? I'm in love with these shoes. I've been cursed for many years to wear clunky, oversized, heavy stability shoes because of my over-pronation issues and being greatly restricted in which shoes I can buy. 

    Until now, brands like Nike have only really offered very barefoot style shoes like their Free Run range, however these new offerings with much thicker soles, carbon plates in the soles, and other incredible technology means the Average Joe runner can lace up and hit the road in attractive, performance-enhancing shoes and feel like a real pro. 

    I haven't experienced any pain running in these shoes and I have worn them for runs of distances up to 10k (6.2 miles). Go forth and buy yourself a pair, you won't regret it!

    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
  • 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
  • Wild Trail Natural Energy Snack Bars Review

    Healthy snack fruit and nut bar Wild Trail Brighter Foods Sundried review

    Wild Trail is a snack brand that is part of the Brighter Foods family, founded by Robin Williams. Brighter Foods was founded in 2014 in a small town in Wales and has since expanded to employee over 200 people and launched sub-brand Wild Trail in 2016. We were lucky enough to taste test Wild Trail's newest snack bar and give our verdict.

    Wild Trail Sweet & Salty Fruit & Nut Bar

    Concept

    I really love the story and concept behind Wild Trail as I am a keen adventurer and love the outdoors. Wild Trail are very proud of their roots and the fact that their base is in the beautiful Snowdonia national park. The snacks are inspired by nature and their aim is to provide 'simple outdoor energy' for people who enjoy fresh air, exploring, and everything that the outdoors has to offer. The snacks are designed to be as simple and natural as possible and also handy enough to eat on the side of a mountain.  

    Taste & Texture

    Considering these bars are all-natural and only contain 5 simple ingredients, the taste is absolutely glorious. The raisins provide the perfect sweetness without being overly sugary, which is a pitfall of some 'healthy' bars which are based around dates as the main ingredient. 

    The bar is delightfully sticky and the nuts give a crunchy, delicious texture. The 46g bar is just the right size to be satisfying but it is very moreish so you have to be careful! The sea salt provides a delicious depth of flavour and this bar is just what you need when refuelling during or after a big workout or adventure.

    Wild Trail healthy nutrition adventure snack bar review Sundried

    Nutrition

    Wild Trail prides itself on delivering snack bars that only have a few ingredients and that they are all things you could find in your cupboard at home. The Sweet & Salty Fruit & Nut bar contains just 5 natural ingredients:

    1. Raisins
    2. Peanuts
    3. Gluten free oats
    4. Apple juice concentrate
    5. Anglesey sea salt

    Each bar is a handy 46g and contains 189 calories. There is 15g of sugar which is fairly steep if you're on a low sugar or low carb diet, but it also contains 6g of protein which is good considering these bars don't claim to be 'high protein' like so many other products these days. Plus, if you're using these bars to fuel adventure as intended, the sugar content is a bonus not a negative. 

    The bars are ideal for those with a food intolerance, allergies, or who follow a 'free from' diet for any reason. Wild Trail bars are dairy-free, vegan, gluten free and have no added sugar. This means they are kind to the stomach and make them ideal as workout fuel and won't upset your stomach during an important endurance event or race!

    Verdict

    I was surprised at just how delicious these bars are! They are really tasty and satisfying and make the perfect adventure fuel. It's refreshing to know there are so few ingredients and that they are so healthy and natural. It's a 10 out of 10 from me!

    You can buy a box of 18 Wild Trail bars for £16

    Posted by Alexandra Parren