Food Review – Picky Bars

While I have written about how different on trail eating and off trail eating can be, for my long-distance hikes this summer I’ve decided to go a little healthier.  While eating like a broke college student can be fun, it can also impact your body in many ways, especially if you’re not used to eating that way!  Before my AT hike in 2012 and definitely since then, my approach to food has always been more on the natural and healthy side.  That’s why I was so glad when I found Picky Bars – a performance bar actually created and designed by a group of athletes.  These bars are designed with real foods at 4:1 carb to protein ratio, which is great for absorbing the nutrients and ideal for recovering from that long day you just put in!  These bars are also dairy, gluten, GMO and soy free! (They are also pretty darn tasty too!) Picky Bars currently offers six flavors: Cookie Doughpness, Need for Seed, Laura’s Mega Nuts, All-in Almond, Smooth Caffeinator, and Blueberry Boomdizzle.  This month they also had a sneak peak for a flavor that will be debuting in May 2015,

Blueberry Boomdizzle:
Over the weekend NoKey and I took a day snowshoeing trip and got hungry in the middle of our trek.  I had been carrying the Blueberry Boomdizzle bar in the pocket of my down vest and produced it for a quick snack.  Even though the temps were below freezing, keeping the bar in my pocket kept it soft enough to eat, which is a huge plus when you’re out in the backcountry. I think we’ve all tried to bite into a rock hard Clif Bar on a cold morning only to have to eat it like a popsicle!  The first thing we both noticed about this bar were the chunks of blueberries – not blue dyed flavored bits but actual blueberries.  They were just as soft and chewy as the rest of the bar.  This bar also had chunks of almonds and almond butter as well, so it had a nice underlying almond flavor.  The most striking thing about this bar is the fact that it was smooth, not gritty like most energy bars are.  We also noted that there was no gross after taste like you get with most other energy bars either – always a huge plus for people who tend to get heartburn when they eat and walk!  NoKey didn’t have any problems with it like he usually does after eating a Clif Bar.

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Smooth Caffeinator:
After a nasty commute in over a foot of snow, I sat down at my desk on Monday morning with a cup of coffee and this tasty bar.  This bar actually contains roasted coffee (and the only bar the company has with caffeine), hazelnut butter, cranberries, and chocolate chips.  Any time I see an actual regular sized chocolate chip in a bar I’m really excited!  Again, this bar was smooth and was a sweet compliment to my morning cup of coffee.  It also kept me nice and full until my lunch – and I usually eat a lot before lunch!

February’s “Sneak Peak” Flavor:
After a 10 mile run I reached for this new Sneak Peak bar  While they are taking suggestions over on their Facebook page right now, my personal favorite is Dirty Little Secret because this thing was so good there was no way it could possibly be good for me!  This bar was more like a fudge dessert with an underlying peanut butter flavor.  The wrapper let me know it also had dates in it, which is how it got so sweet and tasty!  I paired this flavor with a banana and was pretty much as happy as a runner can get in sub-freezing temperatures after running 10 miles on snow and ice!

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I’ve been a big fan of the Picky Bar for quite a while now and I think they’re a great alternative to a Clif Bar.  I like the texture a lot better and the fact that there’s never that strange after taste lingering for a few minutes after the bar is gone.  While Picky Bars are based in Bend, OR if you’re not on the west coast fear not – you can buy Picky Bars online from their website.  They even offer a monthly subscription club where you can choose your flavors, the number of bars you receive, and perks like sneak peaks at new flavors and discounts on their stuff!  If you subscribe this month, you’ll get to try the new sneak peak flavor I mentioned above.

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