Think back: when you last visited the free from aisle in your local supermarket, how many different varieties of snack bars did you spot? Yep, there are definitely numerous ones vying for our attention these days. I’ve tried many of them, but the brand I’ve consistently bought from the start of my time going gluten free (7 years and counting) is Eat Natural – hence I was overjoyed when they recently sent me a bundle of products so I could try even more of their range.
While not the entirety of their range is gluten free, I’d say that a solid 80% is (and some are dairy free, too) – and those items suitable for coeliacs are clearly marked on the packaging. Prior to my recent delivery, I’d only tried two types of their bars, and hadn’t realised just how extensive their flavour varieties were. Many snack bars try to either extol their health virtues or go the other way entirely and don’t hide the fact they’re definitely meant for cheat days. However, the different combinations of nuts, dried fruits, coconut shreds, gluten free oats, yoghurt, rice crispy puffs and chocolate in Eat Natural’s bars strike a happy medium that feels like an indulgent treat but still contains lots of good stuff.
My long-standing favourite bar is the Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Macadamias – the sweetness of the cranberries balances the dark chocolate perfectly, while the nuts and crispy puffs give a good crunch that also makes it feel really substantial; in fact, I’ll often grab one of these after dinner rather than reaching for a box of biscuits. However, after now tasting some of their other bars, this Dark Choc bar has got some stiff competition. The Almond and Apricot with a Yoghurt Coating is a fantastic mix of flavours and textures, while the coating makes it feel like a far more naughty white chocolate biscuit-style bar. Meanwhile, the Apple, Ginger and Dark Chocolate was like a little dance party in my mouth, and the ginger complemented the other ingredients without being overpowering. I’m not usually a huge fan of nuts but the fact that I will happily chow down on the bars that feature these as their main components (the Almond and Sultana with Peanuts and Apricots in particular) is testament to how good Eat Natural’s blends really are.
But it doesn’t end at the bars – Eat Natural also do a range of breakfast cereals that are most definitely worth making room for in your life, too. I’d not tried any of these before and, while only a few of these are gluten free, again this is clearly marked on the packaging. The Buckwheat Toasted Muesli is incredibly moreish, with its crispy puffs and dried fruit offering a nice contrast of textures. However, the Super Granola was such a revelation that I’ve been converted from having my beloved porridge pretty much every single day (yes, even in summer) to alternating with this. The toasted nature of it gives it a gorgeous golden colour and a flavour that feels like it’s come straight from the bakery – a fellow gluten free-er described it as being like eating ‘crushed biscuits’ and she hit the nail on the head. The honey gives it a hint of sweetness without making it taste like just another sugar-laden breakfast cereal, while its deliciously crunchy texture goes perfectly with yoghurt and berries.
If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m now an even bigger convert to Eat Natural’s range than I was before; and if you haven’t tried any of their products already then you’re certainly missing out. Plus, many of their bars come in smaller sizes too, which makes them truly perfect for taking with you on the go – especially for stashing in the smallest of handbags on a night out for when none of the bar food is gluten free! I know which my favourites are – what will yours be?