Trailside Review: Gluten Free Goodness from EnduroBites & Skout
Looking for the next great energy bar? Or just one with fewer ingredients and potential allergens? Two recent additions -EnduroBites and Skout Natural- caught my eye and pleased my taste buds while keeping the legs spinning for long days on the trail and road. Both are gluten free and eschew some of the more common things people try to avoid, like dairy and soy, and they use all-natural (some organic) ingredients.
EnduroBites is the more unique of the two in that they’re made and shipped fresh, directly from the company’s Colorado Springs, CO, headquarters. They’re supposed to be put in the fridge once they arrive, something I failed to do for almost two weeks after receiving them due to travel and such. And since then, they’ve gone in and out of cold storage between rides and more travel, and they’ve held up just fine as far as I can tell. Repeat at your own risk.
They offer just two flavors, which are similar: Dark Chocolate Espresso and Fig & Dark Chocolate. Both are very good, with a moist, thick brownie consistency. The other unique thing is that each package is oversized and comes with four precut, 100 calorie “bites”. Hence the name. That makes portion management easy while giving you more for your money…
Everyone I shared samples with really liked them, as did I. We took them to Asheville for an all-day ride and several local long rides and they (along with Osmo or similar to drink) kept us fueled. They’re one of the few bars that I’ve had that are actually satisfying (read: filling) without making me feel bloated or causing any stomach distress. The flavors are essentially the same save for the addition of coffee – pick your poison. I’d recommend either highly. The only downside is cost…they’re about $4.50 per bar with a bit of a discount for buying a 12-pack. On a dollar per calorie basis, that’s inline with other things like gels, though. And they’re about the freshest thing you can get short of making your own. EnduroBites.com
Skout Organic Trail Bars add more flavor variety and use virtually all organic ingredients (sea salt and such being the exception). Pick from Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blueberry Almond, Apple Cinnamon or Chocolate Coconut – none will disappoint. Flavors are good without being overpowering, something to consider since taste is heightened during activity. The rest of the credentials read like Whole Foods’ manifesto: Non-GMO, Kosher, no refined sugars or fillers, vegan, and naturally occurring ingredients.
Consistency is, um, normal. Not as moist as EnduroBites, but not dry. Easy to chew and digest. Each bar is 170 calories and retails for $2.49 as singles or $11.99 for a 5-pack ($2.40/bar).
The bars are just the right size to eat the whole thing at once, which is easy to do because they’re so delicious. The Skout bars didn’t keep the hunger pangs away for quite as long as the EnduroBites, but they did the trick to prevent bonking. And the ingredient list is top notch. Also recommending these highly. SkoutNatural.com