Greenbelly-Apricot-809

Greenbelly founder Chris Cage decided to create a meal replacement bar after hiking 20 miles a day on the Appalachian Trail. He wanted to create an easy, nutritious and lightweight, no-cook meal after becoming frustrated with the lack of options for meals on-the-go. He thought they should be preservative free and tasty. According to Chris:

“Fast food was unhealthy, fresh fruit was perishable and protein bars weren’t filling. I thought about making an entire nutritionally balanced meal for endurance athletes and individuals on the go. Not just a “bar” to fill in the hungry cracks of the day, rather an entire meal that would supply about 1/3 of an individual’s daily nutritional needs. It would be healthy, with all natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives.”

I was curious about the bars and contacted Greenbelly. They immediately sent me three different flavors of bars in the mail.  The bars are huge and they’re great for day trips.  The company offers three flavor combos: Chocolate Banana, Peanut Apricot and Cranberry Almond. The packaging is good. The product is sealed in an air tight, durable cellophane like bag which keeps moisture out. This is excellent for trips in wet conditions.

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The easy to open pouch holds two, thick bars and each can easily be eaten on the trail without mess. They have a good texture; they aren’t crunchy rather they are a bit on the softer side. For those who are looking to hike, cycle, run or jog the bars are a good convenient, compact meal option for travelers. Each meal weighs under 6 ounces. Each bar is made from all natural ingredients, and each makes up a third of your recommended daily intake. Chris definitely met his goal of creating a filling bar. Most nutrition bars are about 200 calories. The Greenbelly bars are 325 calorie each and provide 33% of your daily nutrition for six core nutrients: Calories, Carbs, Protein, Sodium, Fats and Fiber. These are very palatable.

They are not too salty or sweet. Some bars can be way too sweet and can upset the stomach. Or, they are too salty, and without water you end up feeling thirsty. They have a little bit of a crunchiness to them and an easy to digest texture. I don’t particularly care for the gooey texture of many meal bars or the aftertaste of some made with preservatives. I end up with sticky fingers on a hike or run. Not with Greenbelly.

Yes, they are easy to eat, with a good taste but the value is something to think about. They are selling for about $7.22 a meal – A nine pack will run you $65.00, and after shipping it will be a bit more. I felt that the price is a bit high although you are getting a good, nutritious meal. Those on budgets might balk at this. Keep in mind that you are getting a good amount of carbs, fat and protein. There are some alternatives on the market but a cheaper price doesn’t always translate to quality. I think these are excellent for a day trip. Buying a case could be a stretch for many, and so I recommend these as a last minute item for a spur of the moment run or hike. Long term planning means you should be adding more affordable food options into your backpack.IMG_1332

Chris notes that, “As for the price, we really compare ourselves more to dehydrated meals. Greenbelly is more comparable nutritionally (650 calories) and sheer food mass (5.6 oz) versus any bars which are about 2 oz and 200 calories and can easily run you a few bucks.”
Greenbelly is tasty, affordable and on the right track. If they can get the price dropped down some, they have a winner. I wish them much success.

Functionality: 5/5

Weight: 4/5 

Durability: 3.5/5

Cost: 3/5      

Comfort: NA

Total 15.5/20

 

Ingredients:

Peanut Apricot

Organic Tapioca Syrup, Dried Apricots (Apricots, Sulphur Dioxide), Brown Crisped Rice (Brown Rice, Brown Rice Syrup, Salt), Brown Rice Flour, Peanuts, Peanut Flour, Gluten Free Oats, Environmentally Sourced Organic Palm Oil, Honey, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Vanilla Extract (Vanilla Bean Extratives, alcohol, water), Sea Salt, Peanut Oil, Natural Flavors, Mixed Tocopherols

Cranberry Almond

Organic Tapioca Syrup, Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Peanut Flour, Brown Crisped Rice (Brown Rice, Brown Rice Syrup, Salt), Environmentally Sourced Organic Palm Oil, Gluten Free Oats, Sunflower Seeds, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Raisins (Raisins, Sunflower Oil), Sliced Almonds, Honey, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Vanilla Extract (Vanilla Bean Extratives, alcohol, water), Organic Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt, Organic Beet Root Powder, Natural Flavors, Mixed Tocopherols

Dark Chocolate Banana

Organic Tapioca Syrup, Brown Rice Flour, Brown Crisped Rice (Brown Rice, Brown Rice Syrup, Salt), Peanut Flour, Banana Chips (Banana, Coconut Oil), Gluten Free Oats, Sliced Almonds, Organic Chocolate Chips (Organic Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla), Peanuts, Honey, Environmentally source Organic Palm Oil, Organic Agave Nectar, Cocoa Powder, Organic Vanilla Extract (Vanilla Bean Extratives, alcohol, water), Sea Salt, Dark Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, Mixed Tocopherols

 

 

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About The Author

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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