Friday, 4 April 2014

Taste Test | Paleo Products

Over the past month or so, I have been dipping my toes into the world of Paleo. I have to say that the idea of a 'caveman', hunter-gather way of looking at food really intrigues me, and is definitely a far-cry from typical western attitudes towards food where grain-orientated meals can tend to be the norm.
 I'm not going to attempt to explain the ins and outs of the lifestyle to you as I don't feel that I know enough about the area, but there are plenty of Paleo websites out there which will give you a much clearer understanding than I ever will!
I guess the thought which originally sprang to mind at the thought of zero grains was "huh, so it really is a meat and two veg kinda diet..." - can't say that it sounded all that thrilling if I'm honest. But after mooching around Wholefoods one afternoon, it turns out that there are actually a lot of ready-made Paleo products out there - and they are all absolutely delicious, and a lot more exciting to eat than I thought a Paleo lifestyle would entail!

The first product which caught my eye and which called itself out specifically as a Paleo product was a box of Cocoa, Vanilla & Hazel Grain-Free Granola, by The Paleo Foods Company - a beautiful concoction of nuts, unpasteurised honey, coconut, pumpkin and chia seeds, 100% cocoa powder and pure vanilla. It was like heaven in my mouth as I am a huge fan of anything nutty! It didn't really taste all that 'healthy' having cocoa powder as an ingredient as it gives you that chocolaty taste usually associated with the opposite, but one of the things which I like about the Paleo diet is that there are no artificial preservatives so you know you're not putting anything unnatural into your body.
It is also higher in calories than most cereals as it is packed with nuts etc., but with 14.2g per 100g of it being protein as well as being low in carbohydrates and saturated fat, I think I'm willing to let it slide.
To buy a box of the stuff was pretty pricey for cereal at just over a fiver - but novelty and curiosity won me over in this instance and I have no regrets in buying it, although I can't see it being more than a 'once every now and then' treat for me as my student lifestyle doesn't  really allow for spending £5 on cereal every week... As much as I wish it could! They also have a couple of other flavours - Berries, Almonds & Vanilla, and Original Honey & Pecan which I would LOVE to try, so don't be surprised if you see them pop up on the blog next time I go to Wholefoods!

After joining a couple of #paleohour talks (which are great if you're interested in it by the way!), I was approached by The Primal Kitchen, asking if I would like to try some of their new Paleo Bars when they were released - which naturally I jumped at after my previous great experience with Paleo products previously.
The Paleo bars reminded me a little of the Nakd bars, with the differences being the addition of nuts (win!) and the more generous serving size which made it a lot more of a filling snack. There are only 4 or 5 ingredients in each, and they are all hand-made and cold-pressed here in the UK. I personally really enjoyed all three of the flavours available (Almond & Cashew, Coconut & Macadamia, and Brazil Nut & Cherry) but my favourite was definitely the Coconut and Macadamia which was an awesome combination of flavours!
A little like the granola, these Paleo bars are a little higher in calories than other snack bars due to the nuts and the dried fruit. The Primal Kitchen call them out on their website as being a 'natural energy bar', but to me they are a healthy, nutritious choice none the less - life shouldn't always be about counting calories when it comes to wholesome foods!
If you want to give Primal Kitchen's Paleo Bars a try they are a little trickier to get hold of as they are currently only available on smaller online health stores - however I have heard that they are hoping to get them into Ocado soon so you'll have to keep a look out!

Overall I have to say that my experiences with Paleo products have been nothing but good so far, and whilst I may not be taking the plunge into a full Paleo lifestyle which still daunts me a little and the costs associated with it (apparently it can be quite expensive!), I'm definitely going to be looking for other Paleo products and meals to try in the future!

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