If you’re a nutrition junkie like I am (sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it?), you may have heard of YOUBAR. They’re a create-your-own-snack company that lets you invent and customize bars, protein shakes, trail mixes, cookies, and cereal. You choose the ingredients and amounts (as the nutrition calculator along the side tallies up what you’ve added) and name your snack, and they ship you your creation, handmade and custom-labeled. Cool, huh?
For example, to build a bar, you get to pick the base (nut/seed butters and dates), protein powder (soy, rice, or whey), nuts and seeds, dried fruits and berries, sweetener (honey, agave, or brown rice syrup), seasonings/chocolate, grains/cereal (granola, crunchy rice, or oat bran), and vitamin infusions. You can even customize the amounts and ratios of various components. The options are dizzying, and the possibilities endless.
For ease and convenience, you can also purchase predesigned/preformulated products. Joel at YOUBAR kindly sent me some samples recently of their most popular shakes…
…and trail mixes! Although some of these were not vegan, due to inclusions of whey protein, egg white powder, or honey, they still earned high nutrition marks with me thanks to their short ingredient lists and high percentage of organic ingredients.
The first thing I tried was the Blended Bliss shake mix, containing whey protein, organic cane juice, organic strawberries, organic bananas, and organic vanilla.
I threw it in my Vitababy with some strawberries, blueberries, and almond milk, and blended it to perfection. The sweetness and bright strawberry flavor made it a great addition to my morning smoothie.
I blended the Vanilla Dream shake, which is just soy protein, organic cane juice, and organic vanilla powder, with almond milk and blueberries, and it was just as good as the Blended Bliss variety.
The Breakfast Bar is dates, egg white powder, honey, cocoa powder, instant coffee crystals, and cinnamon. Of the bunch, this was my least favorite, but probably because of the cinnamon—I’m not a huge fan, and it contained quite a bit of it. The texture was great, though; dense and chewy, it tastes like it came out of your own kitchen.
On the other hand, my favorite of the bunch was easily the Honey Cashew bar, containing cashew butter, whey protein, nutty rice cereal, and organic honey.
SO. SO. SO. GOOD! The cashew butter melted in my mouth while the crispy rice cereal that studded the bar provided a gentle crunch, and the honey lent just the right amount of sweetness. I could seriously eat an entire box of these babies; they taste homemade in the best possible way—in fact, this bar reminded me a little of my no-bake almond butter balls.
The Mix Up Your Day trail mix has oat bran sesame sticks, organic cashews, almonds, dried pineapple, goji berries, and shredded coconut. The pineapple was a little hard to chew, but the crunch of the sesame sticks was nice with the raisin-like goji berries and the raw nuts.
The Best Trail Mix contains almonds, organic cashews, walnuts, organic sunflower seeds, dried sweetened blueberries, sweetened cranberries, and Sun Drops original chocolate candies. This was great! It tastes like something you’d want to munch on during a long hike or bike ride. The Sun Drops were a fantastic addition to the raw nuts and dried fruits.
Ok, I know what you really scrolled down for!
ALMOST VEGAN GIVEAWAY #2
Since the shakes, bars, and trail mixes Joel sent me were individually packaged, I want to share the bounty with one of you! Here’s what you’ll win, and the contents of each:
Breakfast Shake: whey protein, egg white powder, organic cane juice, cocoa powder, organic bananas
Great Date with Chocolate bar: organic dates, whey protein isolate, organic honey, cocoa
Chocolate Peanut trail mix: dark chocolate-covered raisins, Oatios organic toasted oat cereal, organic raisins, apples, organic peanuts
***Please note that some of these contain non-vegan ingredients.***
HOW TO ENTER: Go to YOUBARS.com and play around at designing your own bar, shake, trail mix, cookie, or cereal. Then come back here and leave a comment below describing your creation!
For extra entries (leave an additional comment for each one):
–Link to this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
–Follow me on Google Friend Connect (or let me know you already do)
–Add me to your blogroll (or let me know I’m already on there)
The deadline for entries is Tuesday morning, July 6th, at 9:00am CST (which is around 3pm that afternoon for anyone in the U.K. and midnight that night for those of you in Australia). I’ll be choosing the winner at random. Good luck!
In the meantime, if you’d rather try building your own bar, shake, or trail mix, head on over to YOUBARS.com, where you can get 5% off your order by entering coupon code ALMOSTVEGAN at checkout!
(P.S.—While you’re at it, why not enter Lisa‘s e-book giveaway?)