The boxes of protein bars are overwhelming. You try to focus on finding the brands recommended by your co-workers. They each have a favorite protein bar that they insist you should try. Every time someone hears your stomach crumble from your desk mid-afternoon you get another recommendation. Everyone means well and you appreciate the support. However, as you pick up the bars on your Post-it note list there seems to be one problem.
They all have whey protein in them.
Whey is a form of protein from dairy. Your body has told you quite firmly via rashes, bloating and gastrointestinal distress that dairy is not your friend. While you are willing to suffer the consequences on the occasion when a true treat presents itself you won’t compromise for a protein bar that you’ll probably end up eating on a regular basis.
Frustrated and fuzzy from decision overload, you move on to the other items on your shopping list. You’ll just have to stick with the peanuts from the vending machine and try to remember to bring an apple from home for your afternoon snack.
Luckily, you have another friend or two who can give you a new list of options for your next visit to the health food store or supplement shop. I decided to do a little taste testing of no whey bars and asked a few clients to help me out. We tried six brands but after getting everyone’s feedback only three made the cut. Here are our recommendations for you to try if you’re searching for a great tasting dairy free protein bar.
RXBAR uses one of my favorite sources of protein – egg whites – to help it come in at a solid 12 g of protein per bar. It’s a date-based bar, similar to the now discontinued LaraBar ALT, but without the gritty taste that plant based protein powders can sometimes cause. Also he dates mean they don’t have to add any additional sweeteners. I love the Chocolate Sea Salt and the Chocolate Coconut flavors but several clients say the Blueberry is amazing. (Please note I am an RXBar affiliate and I will be compensated when you purchase bars via the link below.)
Vega Protein+ Snack
Vega Protein+ Snack Bar is 100% vegan, gluten free and certified Non-GMO. Oh…and it’s delicious. I put the Chocolate Peanut Butter and the Chocolate Caramel flavors in the goodie bags for my Refill Your Cup weekend and the response was a huge thumbs up! Delicious, proclaimed one participant, it felt like such a treat! Another attendee immediately asked me at her next personal training session where she could get more! She said she felt almost felt guilty eating them because they tasted so good. No reason to feel guilty with 11 g of protein and 4 g of fiber per bar.
Square Organics Protein Bar
Square Organics Protein Bars got some mixed reviews. I think it all comes down to texture and expectations. Once tester tried the Chocolate Coated Crunch bar and was really disappointed with the fact that it lacked a crunchy texture. She didn’t like it and gave the other half to her husband. He replied, “You don’t like this? Oh….this is so good!” I tried the Chocolate Coated Coconut flavor and found the texture okay, kind of like a soft cookie. So if you’re the kind of person who likes a doughy cookie versus a crunchy one this bar might be the one for you.
You can always make your own protein bars, using any kind of protein you wish. I’ve got several great options on Protein Bars and Bites Pinterest board. (While they aren’t all dairy free you can make them dairy free by using a vegan protein powder.) Check them out or pick up one of the brands I mentioned above and tell me what you think!