If knowledge of Protein Bars was a academic discipline I would surely be the recipient of honorary degrees from institutions seeking fame by association. If familiarity with gluten free vegan protein bars earned awards I would have to rent extra space to keep all my trophies. So when I tell you that Naturya SuperBars are stand out winners on nutrition and taste you should imagine that I am wearing a lab coat. I am credible. Internet, trust me, I am an expert.
Why eat Protein Bars though? Food on the go? Occasional post workout snack? Meal replacement? Faithful fallback whilst travelling? Convenience? These are my reasons for incorporating them into a mostly whole foods diet. Naturya SuperBars are not marketed as protein bars but with 17 grams or more per 100 grams they are certainly protein rich.
SuperBars launched in 2018 and I discovered them during a truly monstrous taste test of 52 different gluten free and vegan bars from 15 different brands all covered within Best Gluten Free and Vegan Protein Bars and Gluten Free Vegan Protein Bar Nutrition Comparison. Naturya’s bars stood out as so special I just had to dedicate an entire post to them alone.
What puts the ‘Super’ in Naturya SuperBars?
I have grown to tolerate it but have a deep dish of scepticism and a light dressing of scorn for the oh so popular ‘superfood’ label. It is a marketing term with no particular or specific actual meaning. Everything is a superfood! Nothing is a superfood! Woohoo!
Yet, yet, the Natyura Bars . . . . they are pretty darn super. They have nutritional credentials genuinely different and superior to most other protein and snack bars. Show you the evidence? Sure. Here comes the elevator bullet point pitch.
- Declared as gluten-free and vegan, good start!
- High protein, high fibre, all the better for satiety
- Ingredients omit all of the 14 major allergens (*) bravo Naturya!
- Genuinely low sugar thanks to no dates, very modest use of maple syrup, and no other added sugars
- Gut bacteria rejoice for there are no emulsifiers!
- Organic ingredients and predominant use of whole food ingredients instead of highly refined powders
There are a couple of extra pluses. Naturya have clearly innovated by finding a way to keep a bar stuck together without using dates or lots of syrup. Dates and syrup are the binding solution used by the majority of other bars. Naturya highlight this with admirable modesty via the claim “half the sugar of other bars”. The claim is good.
Noteworthy too is the welcome appearance of lesser spotted ingredients. Bye bye peanuts, almonds and dates! Hello mulberries, golden berries, hemp seeds and buckwheat!
(*) Although fantastically free from all 14 major allergens there is a may contain warning for Nuts, Peanuts, Sesame & Soya so if you do have an allergy or intolerance to these be aware and check with Naturya on the actual risk before deciding whether to buy.
Okay, so fantastic on paper but critically, what the heck to they taste like? Having eaten dozens of these lovely things let me try to tell you!
Naturya Berry SuperBar
Wonderfully and creatively flavoured. Generous infusions of golden berries, mulberries and goji berries offer a charismatic punch of tartness and sweetness. This bar delivers memorable flavor unlike any other bar I have tried. I have pretty much tried them all! Texture is surprisingly creamy too. All round lovely.
Naturya Seed SuperBar
The Naturya Seed Bar has the lowest sugar content, just 10 grams per 100 grams, of any bar not using artificial sweeteners. Hemp, Pumpkin, Chia & Flax Seeds are joined by Buckwheat and Quinoa. Crispy, crunchy and chewy. Earthy hemp & buckwheat flavors. Lovely to actually see the goji berries and whole seeds within the bar. They look almost homemade. Great low sugar and low sweetness bar.
Naturya Cacao SuperBar
Cacao Nibs, Cacao Butter, Cacao Powder are the top three ingredients. Count the Cacao! This is a thinking persons cacao flavoured bar complimented by gentle sweetness from mulberries and goji berries. Choose this one for a gentle and sustained theobromine boost (chocolate high in other words!)
Interview with Naturya
I am hopelessly in love with great food and admire the design and flavor of Naturya’s SuperBars. When people make things this good I really enjoy learning a bit about those people and their motivations. Do you share the love? Let me share the learning from an interview with Dan of Naturya. Thanks Dan!
Benjamin – Let me ask a bit about the Naturya and the Naturya team. Who is in it? How big is it? What are the Naturya raison d’être and hopes and dreams for the future?
Naturya – Here at Naturya we truly believe in the products that we sell. We are not vegan bashers or pushy though. We just believe that we can all make improvements to our diets for a “healthier you”. It is not about “don’t eat this” or don’t eat that”. It is about adding value to your diet and our products are great and easy way to do that. We are part of a larger organisation Nutrisure ltd (not huge 20-30 staff) with 6 people working specifically on Naturya at the moment.
Benjamin – Before the launch of the SuperBars I knew Naturya as the vendor of a range of high quality, organic, carefully sourced ingredients such as Goji Berries, Acai Powder and Chia Seeds. How and why did SuperBars come to exist? Did someone spill some cacao butter, maple syrup and several pouches of ingredients together and eureka!? Or was there more effort involved?
Naturya – All businesses need to innovate to stay afloat in this day and age. Whilst our single ingredient range will always be at our core we did notice a trend shift to more “ready to eat” products offering convenience. So naturally we decided to go down the route of a proven snack type which is how we ended up producing our snack bars.
Benjamin – Many bars are nice enough but essentially desserts in bar format. SuperBars are genuinely low in sugar and use honest marketing by claiming “less than half the sugar of other bars”. Was lower sugar a critical part of the design? What are the other key design features for the SuperBar range?
Naturya In short, yes. We needed to differentiate ourselves from all of the other “healthy snack bar” manufacturers as there are a lot of them out there. During the time we were developing the bars there was quite a lot of noise in the media about the amount of sugar we consume, sometimes unknowingly as people are easily misled by phrases like “no refined sugars” etc. Adding superfoods to our bars was obviously always going to be a part of it. We thought if we could reduce the sugar content and add the additional nutritional boost we should be on to a winner. It wasn’t easy though, producing snack bars without using traditional binding agents was very tricky and time consuming.
Benjamin – Now that Naturya has taken the step of turning ingredients into edibles including SuperBars, Breakfast Boosts & Conserves, are there further such hopes and intentions for the future?
Naturya – Well, since you mention it we’ve actually just launched a brand new range for the breakfast offering. This range is made up of SuperMuesli, SuperPorridge, SuperBircher and SuperGranola. In keeping with reducing the sugar content we’ve done our very best to keep it as low as possible without offsetting the delicious taste. Another exciting launch is for our brand new Turmeric SuperBlend we’ve launched just in time for Autumn which is typically the time of year our immune systems gets a real battering with the cold and flu season beginning.
Benjamin – SuperBar free from credentials are very strong. No gluten, no dairy. No peanuts or other nuts, soya or sesame . . albeit with a warning about these being present in the environment that the bars are prepared. Most other bars do contain nuts or dairy or soy or higher sugars. How important is free from for Naturya as it moves into edibles?
Naturya – Superfoods are still relatively new in the UK and so barriers to entry include things like “how do I use it”, “what is it” and “why should I take it”, not to mention there are so many superfood companies out there making outlandish claims about the health benefits which add a layer of scepticism for consumers. With this in mind we try to be as accessible as possible for our consumers and free form certainly plays a part in that. Health conscious consumers that use superfoods are definitely more likely to also prefer a free from diet. We take a lot of pride in the fact that we hold primary authority with trading standards, we are transparent (or at least try to be as much as possible) and will never use gorilla marketing tactics to get ahead of the competition.
Benjamin – Goldenberries have such wonderful flavor I am amazed they are a delightful feature only in Naturya SuperBars and not in others! What are your top tips for other lesser known novel foods that deserve to be sampled at least once?
Naturya -We’re glad you enjoy the goldenberries, they’re not for everyone however, we definitely feel they add a little bit of zip to our bars. There are so many wonderful ingredients that could be added to snack bars hit’s hard to know where to start. Obviously goji berries are a fantastic inclusion in nearly everything that involves snacking. Not too sweet nor too sour. Mulberries are a personal favourite of mine as we had a mulberry tree in our garden growing up in South Africa and can I remember eating fresh mulberries from it. They are quite high in natural sugars though so we use them sparingly. Cacao nibs need to feature here too, although they are quite well known now. They add a delicious rich cacao flavour to porridge, muesli’s and trail mixes.
Ready to try a SuperBar?
Tempted? You should be. Try them! You can buy direct from Naturya, from Ocado, Amazon UK, TheVeganKind and more good places. Buy boxes and compare a few of the stores for the best per bar prices. All links are for convenience only, I have no affiliation!
To see the competition, some very delicious competition take a look at lots of other bars within the Best Gluten Free and Vegan Protein Bars. Interested in the nutritional data? Turn a microscope onto the macros within the Protein Bar Nutrition Comparison.
Think you know of an even better bar? If it is gluten free and vegan I am happy to try it! Recommend me and I will do exactly that!
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