Aloha was started in 2012 by a serial entrepreneur, Constantine Bisanz who wanted to pivot from the fashion industry and explore plant-based foods. He came up with the name using the Hawaiian word “aloha” that means “sharing the breath of life.” The Aloha company believes in movement, mindfulness, and plant-based nourishment. All of the Aloha products include ingredients derived from whole foods with a specific purpose while packaged in modern convenience. The company has plant-based protein powders, protein bars, superfood green powders, and a line of tea varieties. The products are USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. The products can be found in Target, grocers, but I find them to be the best price online here on Amazon.
Today, we’re going to look at the ready-to-eat protein bars. The bars are available in six different flavors: Chocolate Fudge Brownie Protein Bar, Chocolate Mint Protein Bar, Mocha Protein Bar, Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bar, and Vanilla Almond Crunch Protein Bar. All of the vegan protein bars have a similar protein blend base (brown rice protein and pumpkin seed protein) and similar ingredients, making the nutrition information comparable. This is also great news for anyone out there who needs consistent soy free, gluten free, or dairy free options. Some protein and energy bar companies change up the ingredients quite a bit so some may be vegan, some may not be vegan. Some bars may be gluten free, some protein bars may not be gluten free. It can be variable, but not with Aloha. Aloha consistently offers vegan, soy free, and gluten free products.
Today, I opted to check out the Vanilla Almond Crunch Aloha plant-based protein bar. So many protein bar options are chocolate and I wanted some variety, so this looked like a great option. Don’t get me wrong, chocolate is fantastic but there are some moments in life I’d prefer a different flavor.
Taste Experience – 6.5 out of 10
My first impression after opening the package is that the bar is heavy in weight for its size, firm and densely packed but not very thick overall. It’s brown like many plant-based bars with specks of protein crisps, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. However, because the bar is pressed together so firmly, these different seed textures do not stand out and it has more of a uniform texture while chewing it. The general texture is a bit dry and crumbly and I needed a few swigs of water to help wash it down.
Aloha Vanilla Almond Crunch Protein Bar smells like other plant-based protein bars with tapioca syrup and brown rice protein – slightly sweet with a subtle Earthy undertone. The bar does not taste sweet at all though. It tastes a lot like firmly packed protein powder and the syrup based sweetener was used as a binder versus making the bar sweet or overly sweet (which I appreciated). The protein bomb taste is on the front end and the back end has that tingle of sweetness.
The thing I find the most interesting is that even though the bar flavor is Vanilla Almond Crunch, I don’t taste almonds or vanilla nor do I experience much of a crunch. The flavor is probably the most misleading part of the taste. If it was called “natural nuts and seeds plus protein,” my expectations would be better met. I do enjoy that the Aloha Vanilla Almond Crunch plant-based protein bar tastes real without fake or excessive sweeteners. However, it tastes a lot like straight up protein powder just formed together and packaged in a bar. And although I can see a lot of texture, I would like to experience more of that instead of biting into a firm, dense, slightly dry plant-based protein bar. I would recommend checking out other flavors available on Amazon to find the one you like best.
Nutrition – 9 out of 10
Despite the ho hum taste, the Aloha vegan protein bars have a glowing nutrition and ingredient label. Each bar contains 250 calories with almost half of those calories coming from fat (120 calories from fat). This can be expected given the plant-based protein bar contains a significant amount of seeds and nuts which are higher in fat. There are 13 grams of total fat with only 1.5 grams coming from saturated fat. Again, this is attributed to the nuts and seeds. So, the fat sources are a healthy plant-based form of fat plus fat takes longer to digest and will keep you full longer. As the protein bar is vegan without hydrogenated oils, it is also cholesterol free (cholesterol only comes from animal products) and trans-fat free.
Salt is the second to last ingredient by weight, so you’ll find a trivial amount of sodium in each bar. Each Aloha vegan protein bar has only 60mg of sodium. This is a great choice for someone following a healthy plant-based lifestyle, monitoring their sodium intake, or trying to eat more heart healthy. However, this would not be a good post workout mini-meal if you sweat a lot or were out in the summer elements sweating off all of your sodium. You could always combine it with an electrolyte drink though, and then it’s a great option. Again, this is only if you are using it as a post workout snack and you perspired excessively. Most of us consume adequate amounts of salt in the day.
If you are using the vegan protein bar as a snack or mini-meal before/after a workout, it contains a modest amount of carbohydrates (21 grams per bar) with only 3 grams of fiber. This means you won’t be super bloated from a fiber bomb and also that the carbohydrates provided are sourced from lower glycemic foods to provide sustained energy without the sugar crash. Also, each 1.9oz Aloha plant-based protein bar contains 14 grams of protein (mostly from brown rice protein and pumpkin seed protein). Given the bar’s size, this is a considerable amount of plant-based protein (equivalent to 2 eggs or 1 cup of cooked black beans) in a very convenient ready-to-go bar that won’t spoil or need to be cooked!
Aloha does not add extra vitamins and minerals to their plant-based protein bars but each bar contains 6% of your daily value for calcium and 15% of your daily value for iron. These minerals are found in the almonds, brown rice protein, and pumpkin seed protein. Keep in mind the iron found in plant-based sources is non-heme (or non-oxygenated by an animal) and it’s a good idea to combine a source of vitamin C with it to increase absorption. I find that protein bars and a piece of fruit make a killer combination when it comes to nutrition and taste. Consider pairing Aloha plant-based vegan protein bars with strawberries, kiwi, mango, pineapple, or an orange to increase iron absorption. Find the bars here on Amazon and start adding a healthy source of plant-based protein to your day.
The Non-Vegan Review – 8.5 out of 10
My salad spinning wife may not like these Aloha bars, but I really love them. They have a great almond flavor with a nice splash of vanilla flavor. Yes, they’re not the most flavorful bar in the world, but you’re getting 14 grams of vegan protein in a bar that’s not chalky or super sweet. And, that’s a big deal for me. I hate protein bars that are overly sweet or chalky. I also like that the bar is firm, but still soft enough to eat without any crumbs. It’s a great bar to carry on a hiking trip in your bag and not worry about it disintegrating. And, seriously, 14 grams of protein is a crap ton of protein to get in a vegan bar. I highly recommend the Aloha protein bars. Like everything in this world, Amazon is the best place to buy these. Enjoy! Non-vegan husband out.
The Aloha Vanilla Almond Crunch plant-based protein bar is a great pre or post workout snack, morning or afternoon snack, or anytime you need to increase your plant-based protein intake. The 14 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber from whole plant-based foods will keep you satisfied and nourished. The bar won’t melt or fall apart and comes in a convenient package that makes it easy to eat in the car, at the desk, or on-the-go. Try Aloha Plant-Based Protein Bars out on Amazon and help meet your vegan protein needs!