If you’re seeking a wholesome, substantial, certified organic, certified gluten-free, vegan, and soy-free snack, then you might want to check out a new kid on the block: Nii Bar.
three four varieties of these hearty bars (at last check, they had five flavors) and enjoyed each as a nutrient-dense mini-meal with just the right amount of sweetness and a nutty but chewy “Powerbar-like” texture.
Each Nii bar clocks in at around 220 to 240 calories with a modest amount of sugars for the sweetness level (about 13 grams), a generous does of protein from the nuts, seeds and rice protein (8 to 9 grams), and healthy fats and fiber from the whole food ingredients. These convenient little packages are not wimpy!
Peanut Butter Nii Bar
The first ingredient in this Nii bar is organic peanuts – not processed or premade peanut butter, but the nuts themselves, freshly ground into each bar. This alone offered a unique, pure taste that permeated the overall flavor. As a whole, the Peanut Butter variety was sweet, but not too sweet, and the blend of coconut nectar, tapioca syrup, and dates kept the dates from overpowering. I have no idea why, but there seemed to be an underlying flavor that reminded me of coffee – perfect for those who like that rich bean taste. Though the bar was chewy, it was dotted with little nut bits, seeds, sprouted quinoa and mini chocolate bites to add some interest.
Almond Chocolate Chip Nii Bar
Very similar in texture and overall vibe to the Peanut Butter, but this Nii flavor had more mellow, milky chocolate chips and generous bites of almond throughout.
Berry Cashew Nii Bar
As I opened this Nii bar, a wonderfully sweet berry scent burst from the package. The texture was again chewy, but not fully pureed – there were many coarsely ground nuts and nut chunks plus generous amounts of dried berries (juice-sweetened cranberries, some blueberries, and strawberry flavor). If it were up to me, I would rename this bar “berry explosion” as the nuts seemed to hide in the background of this very fruity flavor.
Cherry Coconut Nii Bar
This newer variety has the same chewy texture, but with a pleasant fruit essence. It isn’t overly sweet and possesses definite flavor notes of cherry, coconut and walnut, yet is more subdued in taste and scent than the Berry Cashew bar. I really like that the cherries are more of a flavorful add-in rather than overpowering the bar; most brands make cherry the base of the flavor, which I think can be overpowering. I was also pleased to see Nii bar use tart cherries – better for both nutrition and flavor contrast!
To note, Nii Foods is committed to nutritious, high-quality ingredients AND environmental sustainability. They use recycled cartons, vegetable-based inks, certified organic and non-GMO ingredients, and soon their bar wraps will be 100% recyclable.
Kosher Confusion: Nii Bar prominently displays “vegan” and the OU-D symbol on the front of their packaging. The “D” stands for dairy, but that doesn’t mean there is dairy in the bar. In kosher certification, depending on the certifying agency, a product may be labeled as “Dairy” if it is made on the same equipment as another product containing dairy, even if there is no dairy in the ingredients and cleaning protocols are followed. However, there is no “contains” or “may contain” label on Nii bar for milk / dairy, causing us to scratch our heads (if they have the “D” on their certification, then a “may contain” warning seems in order). So though Nii bars seem to contain no dairy ingredients, and are labeled as vegan, I would contact them for clarification if you have strict dairy concerns.
Certifications: Nii Bars are Certified Organic, Gluten-Free, and Kosher.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Nii Bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Nii Foods website at www.niibar.com.