Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal’s Gear 2022 Issue.
I found Sans Meal Bars when searching for backpacking edibles to munch on while hiking. They had great reviews, a clean ingredient list, and appealing flavors such as Mint Cacao and Coconut Almond Butter. They also have a social mission, “Buy Meals, Give Meals,” in Haiti, where founder Nathan has spent considerable time. For every pack of bars sold, they provide a meal in need. So, onscreen, all looked good. Delivered to my doorstep, I immediately retrieved my package on a 75˚F day, only to find the wrappers leaching oil; there were even grease spots on the cardboard box. I threw them in the fridge, deciding to give them a go later on. As it happens, I do not recommend storing these in a cooler or fridge as they become solid and hard, thereby requiring a “thaw.” The first flavor to emerge from the Mint Cacao is peanut, with a sharp taste of mint unsuccessfully trying to mask it. The Coconut Almond Butter bar was better, but with dates and oats taking over the palate. Another taster, however, loved the PB and J flavor and thought the texture relayed well. Though this is not a side-by-side comparison, the one-serving Mint Cacao bar had 22 grams sugar, 35 grams of carbs, 5 grams fat, and 390 calories, a solid ratio for an energy bar. The ingredients are pure and simple: dates, egg whites, spinach, and flax with vitamins and minerals to give you an extra boost. However, due to the issues with packability and uneven flavor blends, I will not be adding them to my roster.
$3.75 | sansmealbar.com
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