Having allergies can be a real struggle at times but it is made so much worse by the desire to be vegetarian or vegan and encountering so many delightful looking things that you are unable to eat.
From Nakd bars using cashew nuts as the main base for the variety of flavours to Sheese having concentrated soya protein it can be an energy draining minefield to find something that fits your beliefs and is going to avoid making you sick.
Last year I went to the Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia and though most of it was a waste of time (companies decided to resolve one allergy problem by making something vegan but then unsuitable to another allergy) I did encounter Creative Nature Superfoods and some of the products they have available online.
At the time I was not in a position to trawl the web and purchase anything; unless it was -10p an item there was no way I could justify it. But now times are *ahem* aplenty (well yknow, I’ll have paid my overdraft off in another 18 months) and I had a bit of spare cash to get myself something nice.
I am a serious snacker and eater and I try to keep a variety of disordered eating habits under control by having the right things around me; from broccoli for dinner to ‘healthy’ margarine for toast for breakfast to natural sugars for snacks. If I do not pre-plan it will all crumble apart so I purchased two boxes of the snack bars Creative Nature produce.
The company produce for different flavours in total; peanut, ginger, goji and raw cacao. I wanted to avoid the peanut ones because while my allergy to them is not huge it is important to make concious and sensible decisions. The ginger ones made me nervous because it is not a flavour I am particularly keen on, except for in a ginger nut biscuit, and I did not want to get a box of 20 of them for my partner to end up having the joy of eating them all.
I went for the raw cacao and goji goodness bars. No nuts, no soya, no pea protein and vegan – winner! But I was still nervous about trying them because what if my tastebuds had changed or my memory was being too kind?
The day after delivery was a Sunday where I was working my usual 7am to 3pm shift meaning that even if I had breakfast my tummy would be rumbling come midday. To throw myself in to the bars I put the one I was most nervous about in my bag, the raw cacao, with a banana and some water to see what I thought.
Sure enough I got hungry and got my snacks out and tucked in.
The texture was good, not too claggy or super soft and it did not feel dense to eat. With little bits of cacao nib in them there were a few unexpected crunchy bits that tried to get stuck in the teeth but with a good chew that was largely avoided. The flavour was there with a good combination of fresh and bitter as you worked your way through each mouthful as there is a real depth to these bars. Plus they helped to fill that little rumbling hole too.
Goji goodness is probably my favourite as the product is soft, fruity, vibrant and fresh. They have a much more consistent texture when eating them but you still get mouthfuls of fruity explosion when coming across a particularly goji berry packed area.
I would highly recommend either bar but would point out they are not completely free of all allergies so do check the ingredients first. If you are looking to go vegan and have a few allergies that sometimes prevent it these may help make snacking more interesting than just fruit without going against your beliefs.
What is your favourite flavour of vegan bar and what makes a good bar for you?