Greenbelly Meals Ultimate Nutrition Bars Review
My old backcountry morning routine: roll out of my tent, choke down a chalky protein bar, throw my pack together and shuffle onto the trail. Or, waste precious cool morning hours making oatmeal. This year for my fall adventures, I fueled long days with Greenbelly Meals instead. Their nutrition bars contain upwards of 650 calories, are extremely lightweight and convenient, and don’t skimp in the flavor department.
Greenbelly Meals At-a-Glance
- Calories: 650 – 695 / meal
- Weight: 5.5 oz / meal
- Macros: 23 – 29 g fat / 90 – 100 g carbs / 16 – 18 g protein
- Flavors (listed in order of my preference): Peanut Apricot, Mango Cashew Coconut, Cranberry Almond, Dark Chocolate Banana, and Caramel Apple
- Allergens: Gluten-free, vegetarian, and three of their five meals are vegan (except honey). Full list of allergens here.
- 5 bars: $37.00
- 15 bars: $97.00
- 30 bars: $185.00
Adventures Fueled by Greenbelly
Over about a month of adventuring, I saved my Greenbelly bars for my longest days on trail. I wanted to test how long I felt fueled before needing another snack and compare these meals with other breakfast options. Three mornings on the trail I started off with half a meal and then ate the other half at my first break. When I split the bar into two, I didn’t need any other food until lunchtime. (Besides a handful of goldfish at 7 am, of course).
On one especially hectic morning, I ate the dark chocolate banana bar while shuffling onto the trail and was able to digest it surprisingly well. I never had any digestive issues with these meals (hello, normal poops), though I’m not someone who usually struggles in this realm.
I saved my last two Greenbelly bars for the summit of San Jacinto, to replace a usual midday meal of tortillas and tuna. Splitting each flavor with my boyfriend Nate, I let him also weigh in on their value. He eats ~3200 calories on a normal day at home, so he loved the bulk of these bars. He said he would consider eating them for breakfast on a normal workday if he didn’t have time to cook after a run, and he would “take these over oatmeal any day” in the backcountry. These plus two fun-sized snickers fueled our entire descent. Though we were definitely talking about food the last two miles out, we never reached the full-on hanger stage thanks to Greenbelly.
Let’s Talk Flavors
Peanut Apricot: 10/10
We have a winner. This flavor combines a classic peanut butter bar taste with just the right amount of sweet and tart apricot chunks. This one seemed to crumble a bit more than the other flavors, but I had to forgive it and still award a solid 10. Nate agreed that this flavor was the better of the two he tried.
Mango Cashew Coconut: 9/10
Dried mango chunks, soft cashew flavors, and flakes of coconut. Mmmmmm. I devoured this breakfast after a cold night of cowboy camping, and though the temperature made it a bit tough at first, I really enjoyed this flavor. After one hard bite, I put the meal in my jacket for 10 minutes while I packed my bag and the soft, satisfying texture returned.
Cranberry Almond: 8/10
Again, the full chunks of cranberry in this just did it for me. This one has a very unique flavor, though it wasn’t my favorite. Nate agreed that he loved the cranberry bits, but the almonds tasted “a bit artificial.”
Dark Chocolate Banana: 8/10
I absolutely love banana and was really looking forward to this one. After my delightful experience with the mango cashew coconut, I was expecting delicious dried banana chunks. To my dismay, my mouth was overwhelmingly full of chocolate with a few little banana chips snuck in there. Once I got over my disappointment of not being able to taste the banana, I started to enjoy my 6 am chocolatey treat.
Caramel Apple: 7.5/10
My favorite bit of this flavor was the full chunks of dried apple. This one has a bit of a spicy kick to it, that I really enjoyed this first time I ate it. However, I could see myself getting tired of the flavor if it was the only one I packed. I tend to tread lightly with all seasonal flavors, having ruined one too many pumpkin-spiced treats.
- Convenience. It doesn’t get much easier than pulling a full meal out of a package.
- Flavors. I don’t see myself ever getting sick of the peanut apricot or the mango cashew coconut.
- Texture. Soft, yet not too chewy.
- Nutrition. Though two pop-tarts might be the cheaper option, you’ll sure as sh*t feel better at 11 am with Greenbelly in your system.
- Weight. These bars weigh in at roughly 120 calories/ounce. And considering you don’t need a stove or fuel, that’s pretty darn good.
- Price. A case of Greenbelly meals is definitely pricier than your average energy bar. Bulk options on their site bring the price down, but it’s still a chunk of change.
- Cold weather performance. You might want to warm these up in your jacket after a cold night unless you want to chew your way into the next town.
Greenbelly Meals Overall Value
What sold these bars for me is the fact that I don’t have to overthink my nutrition on a Greenbelly morning. Having one of these in my pack at all times ensures that I have quick, easy, and reliable energy if I ever get find myself in a caloric dearth. I’m planning to stock up and keep these in my food stash for a range of activities. Though they are a bit on the pricey side, using these for long days is worth it for any endurance athlete.
Here’s a list of activities I’ll be fueling with Greenbelly in the future:
- Long bike rides
- Winter snowshoe/skiing adventures
- Backpacking trips/thru-hikes where I’m trying to cut weight
- Post-long run if I’m feeling nauseous (if you know, you know)
Use code: Trek2020 for 10% off your first purchase at greenbelly.co.
- MSRP: $39.99 / 12 bars
- Calories: 400 / bar
- Weight: 3 oz / bar
- MSRP: $34.95 / 12 bars
- Calories: 280 / bar
- Weight: 2.3 oz / bar
- MSRP: $29.88 / 12 bars
- Calories: 340 / bar
- Weight: 3 oz / bar
This product was donated for purpose of review.
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