It has been awhile since my last post! Anyway, here I am!
With the deadline for my thesis quickly approaching, I have not had the energy or time for culinary experimentation. In an attempt to break the monotony of my diet and to find a quick energy fix (not an easy task when living with a myriad of food allergies!), I picked up some Enjoy Life Snack Bars.
Enjoy Life Foods is a company dedicated to making products free of the most common U.S. food allergens (gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish). As a result, their products are also vegan-friendly. (Looking for allergy-safe and vegan friendly chocolate chips? Look no further! Available in Ottawa at Market Organics.) Unfortunately Enjoy Life products do tend to be a bit pricey – I was partially motivated to give the snack bars a chance because they were on sale.
The sunbutter crunch bars are as “buttery” and rich as the name suggests. I would no’t call them crunchy though, especially in comparison to the granola bars I used to eat as a child. The texture was very chewy and quite enjoyable. The bars are more sweet than salty, which is alright with me! They have about 4 g’s of sugar per bar and more importantly, 3 g’s of protein. They also have some B-vitamins, which may be lacking in a vegan diet without adequate supplementation. I found these bars more satisfying to eat after a workout than the chocolate ones.
The cocoa loco bars had a slightly grainier feel to them and were not as rich or “buttery” as the sunbutter crunch bars. I was slightly disappointed with them as they were not as chocolatey or sweet as I had expected based on the name and quantity of sugar (9 g’s per bar!). They also have less protein than the sunbutter flavour with only 2 g’s per bar. (The vitamin and mineral content are comparable.) I did not find them as satisfying or filling as the sunbutter crunch bars – this could be a result of the slightly lower caloric and fat content, but I imagine it had more to do with the insufficient amount of chocolate.
The lack of pre-made snack bars out there for vegan food-allergy sufferers makes these bars seem absolutely fantastic! They are an extremely convenient and portable addition to any allergy-sufferer’s lunch bag (the bars are individually wrapped). I am not sure if they would satisfy someone with a larger appetite than mine though, as they are quite small (28 g per bar at 7 cm x 2.5 cm x 1.5 cm). Although I would recommend these to anyone with severe food allergies, I am not sure that these would be a valuable investment for everyone else due to their high cost and small size.
Update: A vegetarian restaurant called “The Green Earth” opened in mid-February. The menu is supposedly 98% vegan.