I love protein smoothies and bars, especially for recovery after a hard workout. When I'm running (and I'm currently not due to injury), I follow every run with a protein powder-packed smoothie or a vegan protein bar. But I've found that so many "protein bars" don't actually contain as much protein as my Vega One powders.
But that's not the case with D's Naturals No Cow Bars. These have 21 grams of plant protein! A couple months back, they offered to send me some samples to review. Look at the cute box!
And here's what was inside. There are only three flavors, so they doubled up on Blueberry Cobbler. And there was also Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
Taste-wise, I like just about every bar I try! But it's hard to find a bar that meets my protein needs when I'm being all athletic. And this one tastes great and is loaded with protein (from brown rice and peas). It's also low in sugar, rich in iron, and all-natural. The bars are sweetened with monk fruit and stevia, and that cuts down on the calories. Although I don't mind a higher-calorie bar when it's a meal replacement, sometimes I like protein bars as pre-breakfast snacks. These only have 160 to 170 calories. Perfect for a snack!
And the coolest thing about this company is that it was founded by 18-year-old Daniel Katz. Katz got his entrepreneurial start by buying items on Craigslist and reselling them on eBay when he was 12. And since then, he's developed his business skills and runs his own business! How awesome is that? Katz has a great product, so I hope he does well. Gotta support small vegan businesses!
I tried my first No Cow bar — the Blueberry Cobbler — after my Little Rock Half-Marathon. This was in Sheridan's car post-race, after I'd stood in line in the freezing, wet cold waiting for my gear check bag. I was starving and feeling pretty weak because I'd turned down all the free snacks right after the race. At the time, I was just too worn out to even think about taking any free food. Luckily, I'd packed this bar in my bag. When I finally got my bag and got into Sher's warm car, I ripped it open and downed it!
Loved the blueberry flavor. It comes from freeze-dried blueberries, so it's totally natural. As for the texture, imagine if you took protein powder, added a little liquid, and pressed it into bar form. It's very chewy, and it has that creaminess that protein powder has. I know it's weird to describe a bar as creamy, but I can't think of a better word!
As I've mentioned before, I ended up hurting my knee in that race. So I was out for a couple weeks. I did attempt a 3-mile run a couple weeks later, and although my knee started hurting at the end, I still managed to finish the run. So I rewarded myself with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor. This was my very fave! God, I love peanut butter!
I'd have written this review a lot sooner, but after that 3-miler, I knew I had to take it easy for awhile to really let my knee heal. So I haven't been running enough to justify a protein bar. But then, last Saturday, I just decided to eat one of these as a lunch snack instead. I was doing a booksigning at our Memphis Library's Bookstock event, and that went straight through the lunch hour. So I packed the Mint Chocolate Chip bar.
What a perfect and filling snack! When I ate this bar, I'd not eaten since breakfast about 4 hours prior. And this bar held me over until I left the event a couple hours later. Plus, there were little cacao nibs! I love anything with crunchy nibs!