I feel like I’m always looking for the perfect snack bar. I think I’ve found a few contenders that are in my top five. A couple of these are oldies, but goodies (i.e., Lara Bar, Luna bar, etc.), but I’ve found a couple new ones too.
I recently tried a NuGo bar….the NuGo Go Organic to be exact. I’m not gonna lie, they’re packaging did not sell me. It looks a little outdated or old to me. I know the packaging shouldn’t matter, but when you’re buying something for the first time, it definitely matters (you can deny it all you want!).
But when I bit into the bar, I was very much pleasantly surprised. It had a great chocolate flavor (that’s because they use real dark chocolate) but also had a significant amount of protein and fiber, so it wasn’t just a candy bar substitute (but it tasted like one!).
Since I liked it so much, I decided to give their other bars a try too. They have a couple different types of bars:
- NuGo bars-I’m assuming this was the original NuGo. It’s basically an all natural granola type bar with several different flavors like coffee (yum!), chocolate banana, and peanut butter chocolate.
- NuGo Dark-A vegan bar made with real dark chocolate which is also dairy free and high in protein. I love their dark chocolate. It’s so good! I’d love to try their mocha chocolate flavor!
- NuGo Go Organic-This is the first one I tried. It’s also vegan, high in antioxidants, and protein.
- NuGo Go Free-A gluten free bar which is vegan and soy free. This bar is higher in fiber than the others with a good amount of protein.
- NuGo Crispy Cat-This is an organic candy bar for your sweet tooth! It’s also dairy and gluten free.
- NuGo 10– This is their version of a raw bar. It’s gluten and soy free and vegan. Some flavors they offer are lemon, apple cinnamon, and cranberry.
- NuGo Smarte Carb bar– This is their low carb bar that is sugar free, has 20 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber! It’s pretty impressive!
I already knew I loved the NuGo Organic bar, but now it was time to try the Smarte Carb, Go Free, and Dark!
First up: NuGo Go Free Dark Chocolate Crunch
I’ll start with the good news: It did have a good taste. It had that nice dark chocolate taste that the other bar had. That being said, it didn’t have a great texture. It tasted almost like a stale rice crispy treat. So, bar number 1 was not my favorite.
#2- Smarte Carb Peanut Butter Crunch
I’m usually pretty hesitant to buy low carb food because they can sometimes taste a little funky…that’s probably because it’s completely unnatural. So, this bar actually surprised me. It was much better than I thought! I thought it had a great peanut butter flavor, and the texture was better than the first bar. I love that it has 20 grams of protein too! So, if you’re watching your carb intake, this would be a good snack bar for you!
#3 NuGo Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt
This. Bar. Was. Amazing. Right from the get go I knew I would love it because it was a.) covered in dark chocolate, and b.) also sprinkled with sea salt. I love the combo of sweet and salty! I don’t love how much sugar is in the bar (15 grams), but when I compare it to, for example, a Lara bar, the Lara bar actually has more sugar. Both bars are made from natural ingredients so in my opinion, both are pretty healthy little snacks. This is definitely the kind of bar I would buy if I was craving something sweet. It’s a healthy option, so I won’t feel too guilty, but still has a great taste!
Yum! I wish had another one right now…
#4 NuGo Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
Honestly, this was pretty similar to the other gluten free bar: kind of stale tasting. The flavor of these bars are really pretty good…it’s just the texture that I don’t love. It basically tastes like a health bar. A stereotypical health bar (which usually doesn’t taste that great). I would definitely choose the Dark, Organic, or even Smarte Carb bar over the gluten free! I did like the cranberries in this bar though, they added a nice kick/sweetness.
For the most part, I knew what the ingredients were in the bars. There were a few though that I wasn’t too sure about so I looked them up.
Here are some ingredients in most of the bars:
tapioca syrup– a natural sweetener made from the cassava tuber or yucca root. Turns out, it’s a pretty good alternative to standard sweeteners because it’s gluten free and also not genetically modified.
Chicory root fiber– a natural provider of fiber. This has been added to several products, for example, Fiber One bars to increase the level of fiber that otherwise would not normally be there.
Acacia Gum– naturally occurring gum made from hardened sap from acacia trees. It’s in a number of food products mainly to act as a stabilizer-which essentially stops potential reactions between chemicals.
Here are some special ones in the low carb bar:
Maltitol syrup-You guessed it, it’s another type of sugar substitute. It’s nearly identical to table sugar, but since it has less calories, it’s almost always used in sugar free candies and foods. It also has less of an effect on blood glucose levels.
Polydextrose- Another example of an added source of fiber. Also used a great deal in no sugar added and low carb foods.
Calcium Caseinate– A protein produced by casein which is found in milk. Casein is the thing in milk that has the ability to neutralize hot foods like peppers. In this case, I’m sure it’s added for extra protein.
Overall, my NuGo bar experience was pretty good. My favorites were (obviously) the NuGo Dark bar, the Organic bar, and the Smarte Carb. I was especially pleased with the Smarte Carb bar! My only advice to NuGo would be to change the packaging and work on the texture for the gluten free bar.
I really like how they have bars for all sorts of diets. They offer a number of vegan bars, organic, low carb, dairy free, and gluten free bars. All the bars are made from natural ingredients, so if you’re just looking for a snack bar (and have no particular diet) they’re still a great option. They aren’t too high in calories either. The highest amount of calories in a bar that I had was 200 calories. Not too bad!
Have you every tried NuGo bars? What did you think? What are your favorite snack bars?