Paleo Snacks Review

EpicBarsOne of the most frequent questions I get is, “What can I snack on”?  Snacks are a challenge.  Most dried fruits are sold, coated in sugar, and even when they’re not, they’re much higher in sugar than desired.  Nuts are high in fat and you really shouldn’t eat more than an ounce when you do.  Thinking about protein snacks, I use to carry hard boiled eggs around, but eating those every day could lead to cholesterol issues.  In addition, finding corn free, soy free eggs can be a challenge depending on where you live.  Beef jerky is an obvious choice but most available jerky is marinated in soy sauce and high in sugar.  Most beef used in processing jerky snacks is corn or grain fed, too.  The folks at Epic have been able to produce something for the paleo enthusiast: a grass fed, soy free, gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar snack.  Reasonably priced at $2.69, Epic makes three bars:  bison, beef, and turkey.  They are each very different from the other.   This bison bar is mixed with bacon and cranberry.  This is the only bar that has added sugar in it, due to the cured bacon.  Cranberries are already a sweet addition so this bar is too sweet for my liking.  Since it was the first of the three that I tried, it could have been that my palette was expecting something a little more savory.  But, another thing I thought could use some tweeking was the texture.  It was just a little softer than I wanted it to be.  Again, with jerky and slim jims being my only point of reference, a bar with the firmness of a medium-well burger, was a surprise.  The grass fed beef bar was much more to my liking.  The flavor of habanero and cherry was quite different and even though it measured 9 vs. 8 grams of sugar against the bison bar, it seemed less sweet because of the habanero.  The texture of this bar was a lot more firm, too.  A lot more to the bite, all the way around.  It felt what I expected out of a beef bar.  The turkey, almond, cranberry bar was my favorite.  This felt like a much more familiar snack bar.  This bar has higher protein, less sugar, and less fat than the other two bars.  Because of those things, it feels a lot lighter, too.  The flavors were better balanced in this bar.  The added almonds made it a little less meaty, as well as somewhat crunchy.  I will definitely continue to stock these bars as hearty snack options. post workout or while traveling.  Update: I have since found out from Epic that the turkeys are on corn feed, and possibly soy, so I will stick to the Grass Fed Beef bar as the best choice among the three.  Update #2, July 31, 2014:  The Epic Bars are now sold at Whole Foods, making them a lot easier to get now.  I noticed they added a new flavor:  Lamb, Currant-Mint.  The bar is about 6 grams or almost 15% smaller than both the Beef and Bison bars.  10 g protein, 9 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 140 calories, 230 mg sodium.  It is tasty.  Just savory enough for me, and has a good texture.  When I first tried all the Epic products, they were a lot softer and more like a cold burger patty than a piece of chewy jerky.  Now, they are a lot firmer and I can get a satisfying bite out of them.  The bars are $2.99 and I believe why the lamb bar is smaller is not because of fat content, rather cost.  After all, a single burger at In & Out is only $2.42 and although I’d rather eat a real burger, it’s not grass fed like the beef, lamb, and bison used in the Epic Bar are.  I’m looking forward to revisiting the beef, and bison bars.  As far as I know, the Turkey is still corn/soy fed but I will confirm and get back to you.

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