Ape Snacks was founded in 2014 by Zack Nathan after his mum inspired him with her delicious homemade coconut snacks. Zack and his family have always followed a paleo-based diet which involves eating whole, unprocessed foods that cavemen would have eaten. After heading to university in America, Zack found himself frustrated with the lack of healthy food available, as most snacks are full of processed chemicals and added sugar. So he dropped out of university to develop his own brand and the rest is history!
Crunchy Coconut Bites - Chia Seed / Sesame Seed
I love the packaging on these snacks as it's so fresh and the colour scheme really works with the healthy ethos of the brand. The crunchy coconut bites have an interesting texture and come in perfect bite-sized pieces. They're very easy to eat and would make the perfect alternative to crisps when the craving strikes. The chia seed flavour is great, and chia seeds are a fantastic ingredient to include as they boast several health benefits. These bites are slightly sweet but also slightly salty which I really liked and the seeds add a brilliant extra crunch.
Crispy Coconut Curls - Pepper & Spice / Lightly Salted
The crispy coconut curls are delicious and so moreish! These definitely hit the spot if you are craving a salty snack so swapping out your crisps for these would be a great healthy food choice. The pepper and spice flavour has a hint of cinnamon which I assume comes from the original inspiration for Zack's snacks when his mum roasted coconut pieces with cinnamon and other spices. This flavour works really well and left me feeling satisfied. The lightly salted flavour is also great and I could've eaten them all day!
VerdictI'm a big fan of the story and ethos behind this brand and I love the hard work that Zack has put into developing this new company. Having a healthy alternative to salty snacks like crisps and popcorn is great and these really are delicious! Coconut itself has lots of health benefits and paired with super foods like chia seeds, Ape Snacks is on to a real winner here. There are a lot of sweet fruit-based health foods on the market so Zack has done well to tap into a niche that no one else seems to have yet explored. It's definitely a 10 from me!
getbuzzing was founded by Kate Wallace in 2009 when she realised there was no product on the market which was made with natural ingredients, tasted amazing, and was completely nut-free. With a mission to create a snack that everyone - including nut allergy sufferers - could enjoy, she created getbuzzing. We got the chance to try a few of these exciting bars and taste for ourselves to see if the taste really is 100%!
The USP of getbuzzing is that they only use natural ingredients. The Banana Nut Free Flapjack contains oats, dried banana, golden syrup, sugar, butter, honey, and apricots. Flapjack is a very energy-dense food and so would be perfect after a very long and tough training session where you've burnt upwards of 1,000 calories and need to replenish with simple sugars. This bar tastes absolutely delicious! The organic dried banana comes through really well and the texture is sticky and dense, just how a good flapjack should be. It's definitely impressive that it's made with ingredients you could find in your own kitchen, as more often than not I'll check the ingredients on a snack bar and can't even pronounce half the ingredients used.
The other USP of getbuzzing is that they're products are all nut-free, meaning they are accessible for those on a free-from diet and those suffering a nut allergy. getbuzzing state that their Wowbutter flavour "tastes just like peanut butter!" which is a revelation for those who can't eat nuts and are missing out on the joys of peanut butter! Their nut-free 'Wowbutter' is made using toasted soya and soy oil which is fantastic. This bar only has 13g of sugar in it which really impressive for such a deliciously decadent bar. It's thick and gooey and very satisfying!
Date & Seed
I really loved the texture of the seeds in this bar and the dates give a luxuriously sticky texture. It's not overly sweet like other bars of this type and the dense texture is really moreish. It's a hefty bar and makes a really satisfying snack. Definitely my go-to when I'm feeling peckish between meals!
Protein Crisp & Cherry
I absolutely love the sour cherry flavour in this bar. The cherry pieces are really authentic (thanks to the all-natural ingredients) and it's a really refreshing and unique flavour that I haven't tasted in this type of bar before. The protein crisps add a great texture and the stickiness of the other bars is still present here. With 15g of protein per bar, it's perfect for post-workout, especially a particularly tough session. It's a really great grab-and-go snack and you know you're getting a great protein boost too.
Before I even took my first bite, the tartness from the freeze dried berries made my mouth tingle and water! This bar is very buttery and indulgent, and with nearly 25g of sugar per bar it's definitely a sweet treat. The berries provide a gorgeous flavour and the tangy edge makes it really exciting. The oats make the bar very dense and it's super satisfying and filling. This would be perfect as fuel for an ultra run or a long hike. One of these bad boys would give you enough energy to last all day!
Mint Chocolate High Protein
This flavour was my absolute favourite! The mint flavour is perfect - I am a big fan of mint-flavoured-anything, but I am aware that a lot of people tend to avoid it lest it taste of toothpaste. This getbuzzing bar, however, managed to stick with the mint choc chip ice cream type of flavour which was refreshing and delicious. The chocolate chips add an interesting texture and the overall taste is very indulgent with its sticky composition. This bar only has 16g of sugar (compared to 20g in the banana flavour) and it packs an impressive 13g of protein. I often get annoyed when health foods claim to be 'high protein' and then only contain a measly 5g or so. 13g of protein is a decent amount for a bar like this so I was really impressed. What's more impressive is that this bar has recently won a Q Award! It won the Grab & Go Sweet Category at the Food Service Q Awards.
It's incredibly refreshing to find a snack brand that is completely nut-free and getbuzzing really have found a niche in the market. Flapjack is always going to be a winner as it's so delicious, so having flavoured versions in a ready-to-go bar is perfect for fuelling a tough training session, re-fuelling post-race, or just to take to work or school. I love that the ingredients are truly natural without compromising on taste and I think getbuzzing are on to a real winner!
Perkier Foods was founded by Ann Perkins and Steve Turner with a mission of bringing the nation a healthy on-the-go snack made with the most nutritious ingredients. All Perkier bars are gluten-free and plant-based and never use palm oil. We were lucky enough to try a couple of the bars and give our verdict.
Peanut Quinoa Bar
I found the peanut quinoa bar to be really delicious and definitely moreish. The whole chunks of peanut were really satisfying and along with the quinoa and sticky peanut butter created a really tasty and delicious bar. Each of these 35g snack bars contains 150 calories, 10g of sugar, and a hefty 6g of protein meaning they are ideal as a grab-and-go healthy snack for fuelling while training or re-fuelling afterwards.
The Peanut Quinoa bar by Perkier is also high in fibre, rich in antioxidants, and vegan and gluten-free so it's suitable for people on free-from diets.
I really enjoyed this bar and found myself wanting more! It was perfect to take on long runs and was a delicious snack that I could look forward to after miles of running.
Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bar
I was really impressed by the Goji and Cranberry bar. It was really tangy and refreshing thanks to the mixed fruit while the quinoa and soya crunchies added a delightful crunch. Goji berries have a whole host of health benefits such as boosting your mood and promoting healthy eyes, skin, and hair. Goji berries aren't an ingredient I would usually find in my diet and so having them present in this handy bar was a real bonus.
The Goji and Cranberry Quinoa bar by Perkier contains 129 calories, 14g sugar and 5g protein. The low calorie content means it is perfect for those trying to lose weight as well as giving to children in their lunchbox or as an after-school snack.
I instantly fell in love with the Perkier bars as they are so tasty and moreish. The texture is really great and they taste a lot more unhealthy than they actually are! They serve several purposes as you could eat one before, during, or after exercise and they're ideal as a low-calorie snack to curb mid-morning hunger or to give children who are hungry before dinner. Each bar contains whole, organic ingredients that a lot of people usually wouldn't eat which not only makes them interesting but also very beneficial to your health. It's got to be a 10 from me for Perkier!
Nibble Brownie Bites are the second product to be launched by Nibble Protein, founded by Erin Moroney. They have been designed to appeal to those who want that super healthy, low sugar, protein-packed snack but with the taste of a naughty treat. Here at Sundried we were lucky enough to get to taste test and give our verdict.
Choc Orange Brownie with 72% dark chocolate chips
The choc orange brownie bites contain only 3.8g of sugar per bag which is great for people trying to lose weight while still enjoying delicious snacks.The secret ingredient is dried plum purée, which gives a beautiful sweet taste without all the sugar.
I absolutely love the small and convenient size of the pieces and I think the serving size is just right. The bites are super soft and gooey, just what you want in a brownie! The orange taste comes through beautifully without being overpowering and there's a real tang in the background.
The overall taste is dark and decadent and the texture is perfect. This classic flavour pairing is a real winner!
Choc Walnut Brownie with walnut pieces
The real walnut pieces in the choc walnut brownie add a wonderful depth of flavour and give them such an authentic taste. As with all the brownies in this range, these bites are dairy free, gluten free, and vegan which means they're perfect for anyone on a free-from diet due to a food intolerance or people following a vegan lifestyle.
As with the choc orange brownie bites, these healthy treats are devilishly dark and moreish and are the perfect solution to a chocolate craving.
Mint Choc Brownie with cacao nibs
The mint choc brownie with cacao nibs was definitely my favourite of the three flavours on offer. I've always been a big fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream and as soon as I popped the delicious bite into my mouth, that's the feeling I got. The mint flavour is strong without being overpowering and is very refreshing. It really lightens the dark, chocolate brownie flavour and sticks around for some time after you finish the bite making it more satisfying.
Again, the texture of the bite is absolutely perfect - brownies can be tough to master! This is the perfect treat if you're after something naughty but nice without ruining your diet.
These bites really are the full package. They're vegan, dairy free, and gluten free meaning they can be enjoyed by just about anyone, and they are satisfying and nutritious too. They contain a generous helping of protein and have significantly less sugar than their competitors. At under 100 calories per bag, they're perfect for lunch boxes, gym bags, or to take to work and could be the answer to your healthy snack prayers!
Nibble Brownie Bites are available from Ocado, Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Fenwick, Amazon, other health food outlets, or direct from nibbleprotein.com. They retail at £1.49 per bag.
The Mio Alpha 2 is designed to give you all the benefits of heart rate training at your wrist without having to connect to an external heart rate monitor. Commit, connect, monitor and improve your training intensity with this heart rate sports watch.
In the Box
The watch comes in a small white box like all the rest of the Mio family and is equipped with the watch itself, your quickstart guide and foldable USB charger. You need to charge the battery before you can use your new watch, but this is very easy to do. The battery can last up to 24 hours in training mode or up to three months of life in regular mode.
Mio Alpha 2 Boxed
The Alpha 2 look is quite clearly a sports watch, with its digital face and silicone strap. Its chunky design can be a bit unsightly on your wrist, but the strap features breathing holes which double up as fasteners so you can adjust it as much as you want. The large LED screen is clear and easy to read at a glance during activity.
Once it’s charged, you press and hold any button to activate your Mio Alpha 2. Whilst this may seem simple enough, I feel it is important to mention that the buttons are so well integrated into the side of the watches design that I found them hard to find at first. I also had difficulty with the screen and button sensitivity. The buttons are quite hard to select, for example, the screen says it takes just two firm taps to activate its backlight, but it seemed to take multiple taps when I tried.
Once your watch is activated, the user enters basic details such as age, weight, and gender in order for the watch to calculate your training zones. Once I got used to the watch's sensitivity, the integration of the buttons actually became one of the watch's strengths as there was no opportunity for me to accidentally start workouts or hit buttons while in the middle of training, which I have experienced with other trackers.
Strapless Heart Rate Monitoring
To enter into heart rate mode with the Alpha 2, Mio recommends you wear the watch slightly higher up your wrist than you usually would for regular wear. When you are ready to work out, you simply press and hold the timer button until the watch beeps and flashes ‘find’ and the watch then begins its heart rate hunt. In my experience, this hunt can last anywhere from 20 seconds up to a few minutes, so it's worth starting the find a few minutes before your warm up to ensure your watch is ready to track when you get started.
Once you begin training, the watch automatically picks up your heart rate and shows you which training zone you are working in throughout your session. BPM is displayed throughout the workout in this setting and a small LED light flashes colour coded responses as you enter each of your different training zones. During training, users can read their heart rate with a simple glance, or select the mode button to scroll through their time, calories, pace, distance, heart rate and timer.
Alpha 2 Set-Up Screens
I was impressed by the accuracy of the heart rate for a wrist-based watch. The heart rate seemed to keep up with me and match my level of exertion throughout training. The second way the Alpha 2 can be used for heart rate recognition is in single zone mode. Here the user sets up their desired heart rate target zone using the app and then begins training. If their heart rate goes above or below the desired zone, the watch gives a vibration alert, so the user can move back on target.
Mio 2 Heart Rate Zones
Lap Timer, Pace, and Distance
Despite its lack of a GPS tracker, the Mio Alpha 2 does have a distance tracking feature.The watch also has a lap timer and pace monitor, great for tracking the average speed of your run or challenging yourself to beat the last lap. A single press of the heart rate button during training marks ‘go’ and commences your first lap, pushing it again will start lap 2 and so on. The watch is also waterproof to 30m, so you can take your laps to the pool, or run without a worry in the rain.
Mio Alpha 2 Searching for Heart Rate
With 24 hours' worth of workout data stored on the watch itself and your week's training easily accessible on the app, this watch is sure to enhance your training. I would recommend this watch as a first heart rate tracker for runners, or for those who don’t want to sift through lots of data as the watch's feedback is simple and precise. Though the watch may not do as much as what other fitness watches, that's what makes it perfect as a beginner's training watch.