Gluten-free, low in sugar, high in quality protein.
These three qualities sing to me and I was thrilled to find them in the Epic protein bar.
I came across this company through the paleo blog community and was instantly drawn to their dedication to creating a product that values being honest to the consumer population and providing real food nourishment. All the animals that their products are made from are humanely raised, antibiotic & hormone free, and vegetarian fed. It’s important to connect with the philosophy of practice behind the companies that we give our money to (whom we are thereby supporting) and it is refreshing that Epic Bar is so transparent and committed to reviving the value of sustainable and and responsible animal welfare practices.
With more businesses such are Epic Bar surfacing, there is also greater attention being brought to education about nutrition and how the health of the animals we eat is directly connected to our health. Grass-fed animals have improved fatty acid profiles and vitamin and mineral content compared to their commercially farmed and lot-fed counterparts. Grass-fed or pasture raised animals also tend to taste much better, too.
Each 1.5 oz bar has about 10-15 grams protein (depending on variety) and although high in fat (you may even see little fat deposits on your bar!) this is nutrient dense omega-3 fatty acids which are important for absorbing the other nutrients present in the food. We have been indoctrinated with a fear of saturated fat being bad for our health and having artery-clogging properties. This has happened as a result of clever marketing, pharmaceutical company deception, and government controlling our food supply. In short, consuming saturated fats from the muscle meat of healthy animals has actually been linked to lowered triglyceride levels and has shown in some studies no other significant changes in lipid profile of atherosclerosis patients. There are many quality peer-reviewed studies out that are confirming this finding, Epic Bar refers to this study on their website in support of grass versus grain-fed animals:
C.A.Daley, K.Harrison, P. Doyle, A. Abbott . (2010.) A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal, 9:10.
Pro-inflammatory foods in the form of carbohydrates such as grains and sugars are more directly linked to arterial stiffening, contrary to how we have been taught to trust in whole-grain power being the path to heart health. Eating dietary fat (in both animal and plant-based diets) is necessary for satiety and improving your body’s ability to access its stored fat and utilize it as an energy source.
Each Epic Bar has a slightly smokey taste from the meat curing process. Right now there are 4 flavors. A bison based bacon & cranberry flavor, a beef/habanero/cherry blend, turkey/almond/cranberry, and a newly added lamb with currant and mint. Each has a soft, somewhat crumbly (the turkey flavor was more dry than the rest and probably my least favorite of the bunch) and lightly chewy texture far from what you may recollect from the jaw-tiring experience of a beef jerky snack. Each bar provides a sweet and savory experience that is unlike anything I’ve had before. The tart fruits combined with each meat create an interesting and delicious bar. The spices and herbs used in each flavor are so well paired (the lamb bar is the best example of how artisan these really are with its dehydrated spearmint leaves & currants).
There is no “gamey” flavor to speak of with any of these and I really enjoyed the break from super sweet protein bars. Although those types are convenient and available everywhere, they can be heavy on digestion with all the nuts and sugar whilst not being all that satisfying. These are a nice change of pace for a low carbohydrate snack that is easy to take with you. If you don’t have access to these at your health food store you can purchase a box of 12 for $34 each online (making each bar about $2.83; I’ve seem them run for a similar price in store).
Epic Bar is a delicious departure from the norm, not only in regards to taste but in their marketing and customer service. Their team was kind enough to send me samples upon request (thank you!). Their packaging and website are both beautifully designed. I encourage you to visit http://epicbar.com/ to learn more about the journey in creating these bars.