About one week ago I heard of Pulsin bars. They cropped up in my local Holland & Barratt’s, and for some reason appealed to me immediately- maybe it was the pull of the “natural and indulgent” almond and raisin chocolate brownie. To be quite honest, I think it was. Promising me some natural energy these turned out to be perfect pre workout class- and the raw brownie serves as a brilliant good for you treat when you’re feeling a little more virtuous…
To give you an idea of what these bars are all about, here are the claims you can find either on the website (link at the bottom of the page), or on the packaging:
- 100% natural ingredients
- Low GI (basically they keep you fuller for longer, and prevent blood sugar spikes and dips)
- High in protein
- No added sugar
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- No trans fats
- Non GMO (No genetically modified ingredients, such as plants grown using gene insertion to yield a great crop, or acquire pest resistance. A-level biology right there guys)
The website also lists the people these bars are ideal for, including athletes, busy parents (or students, if you’re like me), children wanting snacks between meals, people wanting to burn fat without losing muscle…
So, below I have rated each bar, and given a description for any of you who were vaguely curious as to how they tasted. I have to say, overall I am impressed with these. The get me though my weekly piloxing class by providing the perfect energy lift, without the sluggish feeling of eating a full meal, and sometimes provide a cheeky little dessert…
Almond & Raisin Raw Choc Brownie
The first of the range of bars that I tried! This filled in a gap between lunch and a late tea, after a day spent taking my mum around Newcastle when she visited. It was that sort of hunger that results in mood swings, grumpiness, and lying face down, spread eagled, on a hotel bed with no energy. I am very impressed with this product; it had that beautifully fudgy and decadent consistency that a brownie imitation should have. Notice that I say imitation, because this isn’t like the breed of brownie you can pick up from a cake shop; the flavour was chocolate-y, and texture was great, but just to warn you about that. I would say it was closer to fudge than brownie. If you’re worried about tasting raisins though you can put that fear aside- I don’t think I would have guessed it contained raisins unless the packet explicitly stated so. The raisins work well though, adding the perfect amount of sweetness, as sometimes the dates traditionally used in these sort of products can taste slightly too sugary for me. There were some chunks of almond scattered throughout, but again, just enough. Imagine a slightly more sophisticated version of the fruit and nut brownie.
Maple & Peanut Protein Snack
This bar has a completely different texture to the brownie, and is more what I would expect from a traditional protein or raw food bar- I would liken it more to some of the Naked bars. This isn’t to say the texture is unpleasant; it was drier (but not in a crumbly, displeasing way), and absolutely packed with peanut chunks. I couldn’t particularly taste the maple, but this perhaps isn’t a bad thing as it resulted in the bar not having any of the cloying sweetness I’d expected. This bar in particular was a great little energy source, getting me through my 45 minute piloxing class without one tummy grumble.
Maple & Whey Crisp Protein Snack
Probably my least favourite bar, yet still pretty tasty. I have no idea why I’d expected a blondie kind of appearance from this bar, but I did. The actual bar was brown in colour (a lot like the maple and peanut version). Again, I couldn’t particularly taste maple, in fact this tasted slightly cocoa-y to me. This is the one bar that had an appearance verging on chalky, although this didn’t affect how much I enjoyed it. The bar has a natural sweetness with crisp whey pieces distributed throughout (think rice crispies if you’ve never had them before).
I’ve reviewed here the three bars I could get hold of, but apparently Pulsin make a few more types! The vanilla chocolate chip definitely appeals to me, so if anyone’s tried it please comment below! You can check out these products and more, plus what Pulsin say about their products, right here: