Fact: I love snacks and have tried a lot vegan snack bars. Some delicious, some less so. But apart from taste there are a few other specifics I look for when I turn the pack and read the ingredients and nutritional info.
After scanning the ingredients, I’ll zero in on the protein, fat and carbohydrate grams per bar. As a general everyday snack (different to a pre or post workout snack) I generally look for a high protein count – ideally over 11 or 12g, low in fat – ideally under 10, and medium carbs – perhaps no more than 20g. Obviously it needs to taste good too.
Sometimes this macro combo feels like a tall order because most snack bars are fruit and nut based (nothing wrong with that) but it just means the protein ends up being relatively low compared to the other macros.
That’s why I was keen to try VTMN Vegan Chocolate Protein Bar (£2.50 each from vtmn.com) when I was emailed about it. The macros looked impressive and nutri-info on point. I just hoped it would live up to the expectations in taste!
What’s in it?
Each 55g bar contains: 17g protein, 8.5g fat, 7g carbohydrates (of which 1g sugars) and 198 calories.
These are dream macros for a snack bar and I’ve not seen them before on something vegan and ready-made.
Isomaltooligosaccharide, protein mix (pea protein, wheat protein, rice protein), dark sugar-free chocolate (cocoa mass, sweetener (maltitol), cocoa butter, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate), flavour), cocoa butter, soy crisp (isolated soy protein, cocoa powder, tapioca starch), rapeseed oil, sweetener (xylitol), cocoa powder, flavour, salt.
What does it taste like?
I really wanted this to taste good, and luckily, it did! *phew, insert happy face emojis*
It tasted chocolatey without the artificial edginess of a bad-tasting protein powder.
It had a medium level of sweetness so it’s not as rich as a chocolate bar (if you’ve tried Barbells Vegan Hazelnut & Nougat you’ll know what I mean as that’s literally like a full fat choc-bar – great when you’re in the mood for it). The Barbells bar is also 11g fat, which for me is fine for a rest day or when I’m not watching fat intake.
There was no clagginess (sticking to the roof of your mouth) or chalkiness (also common with protein bars), just a subtle chewiness.
The sprinkling of soy crisp balanced out the softness of the bar (could even have done with a few more as they were a nice touch).
It’s easy to break off with fingers, holds its shape without crumbling, and looks good with a thin chocolate coating for a polished finish.
What they say
Our experienced scientific team includes a fully qualified nutritionist as well as our lead product formulator, a biochemist and Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, with more than 25 years of experience in developing health and nutrition products for leading health brands.vtmn.com
I haven’t tried the other products from the brand – a range of vitamins to support an active lifestyle – as the women’s vitamins are fish based but they seem expertly put together. Apart from Vegan Dark Chocolate Lean Protein Bar, there is also a non-vegan Chocolate Brownie Lean Protein Bar for the the dairy eaters to try.
What I like about it
- The macros fit my sports nutrition diet brilliantly
- I can eat half a bar – and save half for later or another day – and still feel satisfied.
- Good texture, great taste, not too sweet (and not under-sweet)
- The price of a box of 12 (£22.99) is reasonable and the box I was sent has lasted a long time
If you give this vegan protein chocolate bar a try, let me know! Find me on Instagram @yanarfitness