I don’t usually eat too many protein products even though I should be diligently consuming protein before and after a workout. Since starting BodyCombat almost 5 years ago (see my previous post about it here), I’ve since also been doing BodyPump (here) and BodyBalance as well as kickboxing classes racking it up to 5-hours of classes a week. I had been making up protein shakes using sachets from my Purition vegan trial box (see my review for it here), but I find sometimes it’s a snack right after class that I need to curb those cravings.
When I realised the whey protein shake powder contained milk, I realised I needed to find another alternative which I did in Purition, but what about snack bars? I now couldn’t just stop in the local shops on my way home to snack on a chocolate bar. Luckily during my Veganuary month (see here), one of their proud sponsors Pulsin’ put together an exclusive Veganuary snack box for participants.
I know it seems like a long time after Veganuary to be posting about the box I purchased about 3 months ago, but I’ve been a bit slack in the fitness and supplements area. I must admit though that since becoming vegan, I’ve definitely been snacking on junk food less (I still have the occasional cravings, but not on a daily basis like I used to – I’ll be talking more about this in a later blog post) and I feel like I consume a healthier and more balanced diet.
The Pulsin’ Veganuary box was well stocked with a variety of their best-selling Pulsin’ protein bars, Beond fruit bars (similar to the Nak’d bars) and protein powder. Pulsin’ is committed to making great tasting products using all natural and organic ingredients that are high in protein, affordable and sustainable. Only natural sweeteners like dates, brown rice malt, agave nectar (from cactus) and xylitol (from tree bark). You don’t need to worry about sugar crashes, cavities and cravings! Exclusive to participants of Veganuary who purchased the box, we also got a silicone Veganuary bracelet as well as a lovely recipe book to give us inspiration on meals and food ideas.
Organic ingredients are also sourced locally from sustainable businesses and they use minimal packaging in the earth-friendliest materials. Their business is also powered with 100% renewable energy and don’t out-source anything but the postage. This is what we like to hear!
I’ve been slowly making my way through all the goodies I received in the box and can definitely say I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the raw brownies at first.
Pulsin’ Maca Bliss raw protein bar
I’m used to brownies that are cooked in the oven and the thought of having fruit to sweeten my brownie or snack bars (like sultanas and raisins) usually put me off. I’m not a big fan of raisins or sultanas (I blame this on eating the raisin snack boxes put into my lunch box too much growing up) and especially when they’re in cakes or brownies. It’s a big ‘No Thanks’ for me when I realise there are nuts (chopped or otherwise) or fruit in my chocolate (with the exception of berry fruits). I wasn’t too sure at first how I would feel about protein bars made with purely raw vegan ingredients, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The bars are just what you would need after a work out.
I previously reviewed protein bars by Predator Nutrition (see here) and I enjoyed their wide variety of flavours, but the texture of the bars took some getting used to. The texture of the protein bars are definitely heavier than baked chocolate brownies, but using only raw and natural ingredients, you don’t have to worry about these bars being too dry and cloying in your mouth.
I bit into my first Maca Bliss brownie with trepidation, given my reservations about fruit in my snacks, but this was like biting into a thick chocolate cake. Maybe not with the frosting, but the raw and cold pressed ingredients (including cashews, cacao and cacao butter) makes for lovely chocolatey slice of heaven without the bitterness of dark chocolate.
Pulsin’ Maple and Peanut raw protein bar
I haven’t been as diligent in taking photos of each of the protein bars before I ate them (I was that hungry after classes!), but I can’t say that I have any complaints about the brownies. I did still draw the line at eating fruit-flavoured bars so I (gladly) shared the Almond & Raisin and Orange Choc Chip protein bars with the OH who was happy to be given something to snack on. He did say he enjoyed them and didn’t mention anything about them tasting ‘healthy’ so I can only take that as a good sign!
The only bar that I wasn’t too keen on unfortunately was the Vanilla Choc Chip. I’m not sure what it is about that particular bar, but I didn’t get the strong taste of vanilla I was expecting and it could be the combination of natural sweeteners and cookie dough wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The only other thing I would really like to try (and will buy soon ) is the Mint Choc Chip bar. It’s one of my favourite chocolate and ice cream flavours and I hope it tastes just as good!
Pulsin’ Peanut Choc Chip raw protein bar and Beond Organic Acai Berry fruit bar
The Beond fruit bars are great and I can say I’m pleased that they’re so fruity tasting. I’ve tried other fruit bars before, but I think at the time the sultanas and raisins put me off. The fruity bars are full of fruit and moist and you don’t notice the dates too much. Packed full of fruit and natural goodness, one of these 35g bars is one of your 5 a day!
Beond Organic Raw Choc Bar
Again, I’m not sure if it’s the combination of fruitiness with the raw cacao, but it just didn’t quite hit the spot. It was definitely a juicy bar and it was filling and satisfied my craving for something sweet, but I put it down to my quirky pickiness when it comes to chocolate and fruits.
Overall, I can’t say that I’ve got any complaints about the brownie and fruit bars. Just because I wasn’t a fan of the Vanilla Choc Chip protein and the Raw Choc Bar doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t. I’m sure my OH would have very happily munched them too without any complaints. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is the pea protein. The powder is made from yellow split peas, unflavoured and is a great source of amino acids, so is suitable for adding to smoothies, porridge bowls, juices and your favourite recipes. I haven’t really baked much with protein powder, haven’t been making soups or smoothies at all so am a bit stuck as to what I can add it to. Anyone has any suggestions?
If you’ve tried any of the Pulsin’ or Beond products, do you have a favourite? Any that you’re not a big fan of? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
For the full range of vegan-friendly products, including protein bars, fruit bars, protein powders and cooking chocolate drips and buttons from Pulsin’, go here.
Disclaimer: The exclusive Pulsin’ Veganuary box was bought by me in January while I was participating in Veganuary. This post is in no way endorsed and, as always, all thoughts and opinions of products are entirely my own.