as you may or may not know, i was a cheerleader for three years in high school. nearly every day after classes ended, my squad and i would change out of our school uniforms and into our practice gear to prepare for the big weekend game. with hours to go before dinner, i always packed a snack to give me energy before two hours of rigorous routine.
(i’m the third from the left, the one with the slight mid-drift showing)
fast forward twelve years and life looks pretty similar. except instead of cheer practice after school, i have studio barre classes following a long day at the office. oftentimes i’m not sitting down to dinner until 8 p.m., so snacks become my best defense against the hangry monster rearing its ugly head.
but being gluten-free and dairy-free doesn’t leave me a ton of options when i’m looking for something filling, nutritious, and above all else -fast! so after sampling nearly every bar on the health food aisle, i recently discovered FLYJOY bars. created with health, adventure, and humanitarianism in mind, the energizing snack bars come in six delicious flavors including blueberry almond, cranberry almond, cashew cookie dough, peanut cacao, coconut almond and cherry coconut. each bar is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and made with many organic ingredients.
sounds right up my alley, right?
in an attempt at finding my favorite flavor, i taste tested all six varieties. S (my boyfriend) even got into the taste-testing, too! below are our honest opinions:
flavor: blueberry almond -antioxidant; made with blueberries, almond butter, ground flax, chia seeds, and quinoa. rich in antioxidants and vitamins C, E & K.
verdict: it takes just like a blueberry muffin! you can see there are bits of real blueberries (not just blueberry flavoring), too. there’s a slight buttery taste and a bit of crunch with the flax and quinoa. this bar would be perfect for breakfast on the go paired with a banana and a fresh-brewed cup of coffee.
flavor: cranberry almond –antioxidant; made with cranberries, almonds, almond butter, ground flax, chia seeds, quinoa. packed with antioxidants and vitamins C & K.
verdict: the only real exposure to cranberries i have is on thanksgiving. my aunt makes this amazing cranberry relish with fresh orange and walnuts and i swear i could just eat a bowl of that by itself. but i appreciated the tartness of the cranberries in this capacity as it offered a balance to the sweetness of the almonds and almond butter. like the blueberry almond flavor, this fruit and nut combination would be a great way to get you through the morning hump until lunchtime.
flavor: cashew cookie dough –energy; made with cashew butter, vanilla, cacao, and a pinch of sea salt. contains a healthy dose of good-for-you-fat.
verdict: let’s be honest, this flavor was the one S and i were most excited to try. i mean, it has the words “cookie” and “dough” in its name! and guess what? it totally lived up to the hype. it was buttery, chocolaty, with just the right amount of saltiness. if i hadn’t known it was a snack bar, i would have sworn it was the real thing. i proceeded to eat the entire bar and contemplated reaching for another. yep, it was that good. cashew cookie dough would make a great late night snack when you’re craving something sweet but also want to fit into your skinny jeans.
flavor: peanut cacao –energy; peanuts, cacao nibs and a hint of sea salt are added to almond and organic peanut butters, ground flax, chia seeds and quinoa. peanuts provide a good source of protein!
verdict: if you love peanut butter as much as i do, this is a bar for you. similar to the cashew cookie dough, this bar is very sweet with the addition of the cacao. think of it like a good-for-you Reese’s. with the higher protein content, i’d reserve this flavor for fuel before or right after a workout when your body is craving the extra nutrients.
flavor: coconut almond –endurance; made with large bits of roasted almonds, white coconut meat, almond butter, ground flax, chia seeds, and quinoa. coconut aids with collagen production, a protein that helps keep bones, teeth, and tendons strong and is a great source of copper and manganese.
verdict: though i definitely bit into one of the large pieces of roasted almonds, the overall taste of this bar was pretty mild. not too coconutty but not too almondy either. the ingredients married nicely to produce a sweet, buttery flavor that would be a welcomed boost at any hour of the day.
flavor: cherry coconut –antioxidant; large chunks of dried tart cherries and unsweetened flakes of coconut are combined with the company’s signature base of almond butter, ground flax, chia seeds, and quinoa. like oranges, cherries are a great source of vitamin C.
verdict: this flavor was unfortunately my least favorite of the bunch. perhaps i missed a bite of the cherries, but somehow the ingredient combination didn’t produce as robust of a flavor as i had hoped. but what it lacked in taste, it certainly made up for in texture. perhaps more so than the five remaining bars was the prominence of the quinoa, flax, and chia seeds. the combination of super foods provided a pleasant crunch and gave the bar a bit of dimension.
overall, i’d say the cashew cookie dough was definitely our favorite, though i was pleasantly surprised by how much i enjoyed the blueberry almond and peanut cacao. the bars are the perfect size for a quick bite to leave you satisfied but not overly full. they’ll be great to keep in my purse as fuel between work and class or in my carry-on as an in-flight snack during our upcoming trip to nashville.
equal to FLYJOY’s commitment to produce quality products is their mission to make the world a better place. for every purchase made, FLYJOY donates 10% of the profits to HOPE international, an organization assisting men, women, and families break the cycle of poverty and pursue their dreams through self-sustaining business and education.
so though i may have hung up my pom poms for good, health and fitness remain a top priority. i’m glad there are options like FLYJOY bars in the marketplace that i can keep on hand to fuel me -whether it be in the midst of a 15-hour workday or a 15-hour flight to somewhere exotic.
like, say, fiji.
this post was sponsored by FLYJOY, a company passionate about health, fitness and adventure but also committed to making the world a better place. all opinions are my own.