Ernie bars are very new to the market, but they are certainly a valuable addition to what is a growing range of healthy snacks in the UK. Made by Ernest Food Co., Ernie bars are a blend of fruit, nuts, seeds, puffed quinoa and natural flavours such as cacao and cinnamon. That’s it! No artifical preservatives, nasty flavourings or anything. Because of this all Ernie bars are raw, vegan and gluten free, so they really are the perfect on-the-go treat for people with a range of dietary preferences.
The founder of Ernest Food Co is Niamh, and not only is she a lovely, generous and motivated person, but she is also talented enough to have won a Virgin Start-up Ignition Award for her company’s story. Clearly Ernie bars are going to be a force to be reckoned with, and I can definitely vouch for them as being one of the tastiest health bars I’ve tried.
There are currently four flavours on offer, all of which are delicious and include a couple of varieties that are more diverse than many available at the moment. These are Apple Strudel, Raspberry Coconut, Banana Bread and of course a chocolate version; Cocoa Truffle. I’ll review each flavour briefly below, plus you can scroll down to find out how versatile these bars are and how I’ve used them in different ways – you don’t just have to eat Ernies straight from the packet!
Cocoa Truffle – I’ll start with the chocolate flavour, as this is one of the more popular flavours you’ll find across other snack bars so is usually the first one people go for. The Cocoa Truffle has a rich chocolate taste sweetened naturally with dates, but the fudgey texture has an added crunch to it that comes from the puffed quinoa and chia seeds. Overall it’s a satisfying snack that tastes really indulgent, and I enjoyed using it in my hot breakfasts as a morning treat.
Apple Strudel – If you’ve eaten dried apples alone before then you’ll recognise their soft, spongy texture in this fruity bar. However, again the soft crunch of the puffed quinoa and chia adds a nice variety to the consistency, and a hint of cinnamon flavour really does make it taste like a baked apple pastry. If you’re not a big fan of cinnamon then don’t worry – in this bar it is subtle enough that you will probably be fine, but adds just enough warm flavour to make this bar perfect for winter mornings.
Raspberry Coconut – Another fruity flavour, and this one is definitely a winner! As well as the puffed quinoa, this bar also has the added texture of shredded coconut, which in itself adds a lovely flavour without being at all overwhelming. The raspberries had a much clearer taste overall, making this bar a lighter and more refreshing alternative to the standard chocolate flavoured health bars.
Banana Bread – Finally onto my favourite of the four. If you are a fan of banana bread then you will love this one – it has all of the warm, spiced taste of the real thing packed into a handy bar for when you need your baked-goods fix on the go. The subtle banana flavour is complemented excellently by cinnamon and nutmeg spices, plus the pop of puffed quinoa adds even more variety. I loved this one warmed over hot oats – it goes all soft and gooey, a real treat!
As I mentioned, you don’t just have to eat Ernie bars as they are – try experimenting! Here are four of my favourite ways to use them:
Banana chai protein mylk – The founder of Ernie bars, Niamh, let me in on this amazing recipe and it is even better than it sounds! Just blend the Banana Bread bar up with a banana, a teaspoon of hemp or pea protein powder and half almond mylk half water. You’ll get a delicious drink that tastes like chai mylk thanks to the bar’s spices.
Warmed over hot oatmeal – I’ve taken to slicing my Ernie bars really thinly and laying them in a lattice over my morning porridge once it’s cooked. The heat from the oats makes the bars go really soft and gooey, and I particularly like doing it with the Apple Strudel or Banana Bread bars for a cosy wintery dish.
Apple pie oatmeal – Chop the Apple Strudel bar into chunks as small as you can, then stir these into your porridge for the last couple of minutes as you cook it on the stove. Again, the bar will go really soft and the spiced apple flavours will make your oats super tasty.
In banana ice cream – Of course, you can also chop up your bars and stir them into banana ice cream. Like anything concerning ice cream, this is always a good idea.
Find Ernie bars on the website ernestfood.co.uk