On day hikes, backpacking trips, in the car, or at work; you can often find a few bars lurking around. Anytime I hear about a new bar recipe or ready made bar I get excited. Recently we brought in a new line of bars at the gear shop I work at. I normally consume a bar of similar makeup but decided to give one of the flavors a try. Skout Organics not only makes energy bars but also flavored pumpkin seeds. To get the best representation of the product, I decided to try the complete line and compared it head to head with my favorite bar.
Skout Organic Trailbars- The company currently produces five varieties of trailbars. All five bars are USDA certified organic, verified kosher, verified gluten free, and verified non-GMO. By the design the trailbars are vegan, dairy and soy free also. As if that wasn't enough the company donates a portion of the proceeds to environmental and humanitarian charities. The five flavors are 'Cherry & Vanilla'; 'Chocolate & Peanut Butter'; 'Blueberry & Almond'; 'Chocolate and Coconut' and finally 'Apple & Cinnamon'. The four bars pack a caloric punch between 170 calories and 190 calories. Since the bars weigh 1.8oz that averages out around 100 calories an ounce. This is right on par with my favorite (unnamed) bar. But who the hell cares how many calories they contain, if you can't stomach the flavors.
Unlike other bars there is no oily feel to the bar, which is a much appreciated improvement. The bars are moist and slightly chewy (like a freshly baked cookie). The bars are dense due to the first ingredient being organic dates. I love bars that use dates as the main ingredient. I have used dates to fuel many cycling, running and backpacking adventures and find them to have solid nutritional qualities. The first flavor I tried was the Cherry and Vanilla bar. The bar was slightly tart but not overly sweet. This flavor would appeal after having too many sweet bars and looking for a change. The second bar I tried was the the Blueberry and Almond. This flavor had a great mix of blueberry flavor and a slightly crunchier profile thanks to the almonds. The third flavor Skout has is the Apple and Cinnamon. Being a lover of apple pie this bar was probably my favorite. The cinnamon flavor really compliments the apple, and the bars are much healthier then eating a pie. The next bar on the taste test was the Chocolate and Coconut. This flavor was delicious and reminded me of a desert. I saved the Chocolate and Peanut Butter flavor for last. You can't go wrong with this combination. It was delicious and made a great post long run snack. I have tried some other bars that leave you asking if all you really ate was a candy bar marketed as a health food. Skout bars are delicious but maintain status as an actual healthy food by their whole food ingredients.
Skout Organic Trailpak- Everyday for work I take along a healthy supply of trailmix (how 'granola' of me). I use trailmix because it has a palatable combination of slow burning fuel and unique flavors. Usually the mix is made up of multiple nuts and raisins. The downside to traditional trailmix is that it is often filled with cheap, difficult to digest, and less nutritious nut varieties (peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc.). Of course you could make your own trailmix but thats a pain. Skout Organic decided to to introduce another option into the line up. Pumpkin seeds have an excellent balance of omega 3s and lots of protein packed in. This makes the seeds an ideal fuel for a slow burn, or recovery snack after replenishing glycogen. Skout has three Trailpaks available using pumpkin seeds as the base and adding additional flavors to spice them up (pun intended). The three varieties are 'Pacific Sea Salt', 'Black Pepper BBQ', and 'Jalapeno Salsa'. The Trailpaks are all USDA Organic, certified Kosher, raw (to preserve nutrients), nonGMO, gluten-free and vegan.
The Trailpaks come in a 2.5oz package and have 380 calories. This comes out to 152 calories per oz which is excellent for you weight weenie backpackers. I tried the Black Pepper BBQ flavor first. The black pepper really compliments the raw pumpkin seeds, but I did find that most the flavor was in the bottom of the package. A slight shake probably would have helped to coat the seeds. The Pacific Sea Salt flavor is subtle, and maintains the raw pumpkin seed flavor. This flavor (ironically) would be suitable for the individual watching their salt intake, as it has the least amount of sodium. The final flavor was the Jalapeno Salsa. This flavor was my favorite, and everyone who I shared it with loved it. The nuts have the flavor but without the heat. The nuts were delicious after a trailrun and a nice alternative to sweet trail food. Consuming the Trailpaks are a great way to get essential nutrients, even when out in the backcountry.
Final Thoughts- In a crowded health food bar aisle the Skout Organics bars really stand out with superior flavor, relatively reasonable cost, and Organic ingredients. I would (and do) recommend the Skout line to friends all the time. I love the Trailpaks as a side dish to lunch on the trail, or a snack while on the move. The unique flavors and package size make them easy to load in a day pack, or ration off for backpacking meals. If you are tired of the non-organic, oil heavy whole food bars, give the Skout line a try. Forget the bulk bins and pick up the convenient Trailpaks for a trail snack or as a compliment to lunch. You can't go wrong with the Skout Organics line of bars and Trailpaks. Ask your local gear shop to start carrying them, or find out more about Skout at their website.
*The bars and Trailpaks were provided by Skout for testing per my request.