(Updated to include the new flavours, Cocoa Mint and Cocoa Cherry!)
Squarebars – if you haven’t seen these guys around, it won’t be long before you do. These tasty bars are truly taking over the healthy snack scene, and for good reason. After trying their range of flavours I wanted to share my thoughts with you all, as I really love them and know that a lot of you would too (if you’re not already an addict, that is.) Plus the brand has also teamed up with a fantastic non-profit organisation to provide some wonderful benefits – read on to find out what they are doing to change slavery around the world.
Firstly, the bars. Every bar is organic, vegan, and free from gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and corn. They really do accommodate most dietary requirements! Squarebars also pride themselves on being a great source of protein, especially if you are worried about getting enough of this macronutrient whilst following a plant-based diet. Every bar provides 12g of complete protein to keep you feeling full throughout the day: I definitely felt satisfied after eating them so they are perfect for taking to the gym or eating on the run.
There are now 5 flavours on offer: Cocoa Crunch, Cocoa Coconut, Cocoa Almond, plus the new Cocoa Mint and Cocoa Cherry.
Cocoa Crunch – This flavour is the most chocolatey of the three, so is great if you are after a plainer alternative but still want that chocolate fix. Every flavour is coated in chocolate, making them feel like an indulgence but retaining all the health benefits, and they also have a soft truffle-like texture to add to this feeling. Overall the flavour was sweet, with a subtle caramel flavour as well as the chocolate that probably stems from the coconut nectar and cocoa liquour (these sweeteners are all natural and have a low glycemic index, so won’t cause the energy spikes and crashes of other treats.) I found that the brown rice crisps added a great crispy crunch to each bite too.
Cocoa Coconut – This flavour was probably my favourite – it had a rich chocolate taste just like the Cocoa Crunch, but this time a light coconut flavour gave it an extra element that was a great option for when you need a healthy alternative to a Bounty. What’s more, this bar has small pieces of shredded coconut in it, which add texture to the soft truffle consistency of the basic bar. Once again, the brown rice protein ensured that it kept me full until my next meal.
Cocoa Almond – This flavour is perfect if you’re looking for a change from the standard Cocoa Crunch flavour but still want only a subtle flavour with your chocolate. The Cocoa Almond has a slight almond flavour, almost like some really good almond butter, but it’s certainly not overwhelming and chocolate is still the dominant taste so it is still great even if you aren’t the biggest fan of nuts. Like the others, this bar’s sweet truffle consistency is a real winner, and the chocolate coating will have even the least health-conscious of your friends fighting for a bite!
Cocoa Mint – I love anything chocolate mint flavoured, and this bar reminded me so much of eating mint choc chip ice cream as a toddler. It’s like biting into a larger version of an After Eight chocolate (or the Girl Scout thin mints for anyone from the US) – the texture is again lovely and soft inside with the same outer chocolate coating as the other bars, but this time the addition of peppermint oil makes it a fresh alternative to plain chocolate snacks. Definitely a winner!
Cocoa Cherry – This new flavour is also a great addition to the Squarebar family. It has all the positives of the other bars but with the difference of a sweet cherry flavour, although I found the taste to be very subtle so don’t be afraid of trying it if you aren’t a big fan of this fruit. It definitely isn’t overpowering and I will be ordering more very soon. The cherry flavour works particularly well when the bar is chopped up and added to frozen smoothie bowls or banana ice cream – try it out yourself!
Whilst Squarebars are a fantastic snack on their own, it’s also fun to see how you can use them creatively in your meals. I tried the following ideas, but let me know if you come up with anything even more delicious!
- Chopped up and stirred through banana ice cream. When mixed into the cold ice cream, the square bars go a little harder and more chewy, almost like chocolate toffee, so they make this favourite dish even better!
- Sliced on top of hot porridge – laying thinly sliced Squarebars on top of your hot oats melts their chocolate coating and creates a soft warm chocolate treat that is perfect for colder mornings. When paired with the oats, the protein from this bar gives you a truly satisfying dish that can power you through those mornings when lunch feels like an age away!
- Ice cream sandwich – yep, back to the ice cream, because this pairing is just so good. Take a sharp knife and very carefully slice your Squarebar in half so that it is then two squares the same size as the original, but half the thickness. Then scoop some vegan ice cream in the middle and sandwich – a readymade dessert that is a real favourite of mine.
Finally, one of the biggest reasons that I was so keen to try Squarebars was actually not related to their taste, but more to how their company operate. I mentioned that Squarebar has teamed up with a non-profit organisation, the San Francisco based ‘Not For Sale’. Not For Sale works to raise awareness of and fight modern day slavery, human trafficking and exploitation, so Squarebar works with them to assess their entire supply chain and ingredient sourcing to ensure that these snacks do not involve exploitation in any way. By not choosing ingredients and production processes that involve this corruption companies could collectively eradicate the demand for modern day slavery, and Squarebar are already waving the flag! 2.5% of all sales also go to Not For Sale to support their actions, so by eating your chocolate treats you’re also helping to combat slavery. What could be better than that?
If you want to find out more about Not For Sale and their work, visit their website at http://notforsalecampaign.org
To buy Squarebars or learn more about these products and the company, find them at http://www.squarebar.com