Natural Balance Foods is a UK business specialising in the production of mainly seed, nut and fruit bars under the Nakd brand range. They produce a wide range of bars and ‘nibbles’ for those of us seeking a nutritious healthy but tasty snack and treat. All the products are prepared with natural ingredients and there is no added sugar or syrups. Any naturally occurring sugars are most likely to be fructose and come mainly from the fruit pieces used and any apple juice concentrate used to varying levels. Date is a common ingredient and helps bind all the granular textured pieces together. It imparts a distinctive flavour throughout and whilst the tasting notes attempt to discriminate between the different product flavours, there is always this date note in evidence.
In some examples, natural flavouring has been added to bolster the product and would be needed to enhance their taste. This type of flavouring is sourced from the fruit or vegetable and may be concentrated but no synthetic chemicals will be added in compliance with food regulations. The bars are aimed at meeting our hunger needs and would make suitable snacks.
The process of manufacture is based on cold-pressing and there is no baking involved. Cold baking is a well established process for manufacturing products where the bar integrity is maintained by cohesion between the ingredients. Date is a highly versatile ingredient for literally binding all other ingredients together.
Suitability For Coeliacs, Vegetarians And Vegans
All the products are wheat and dairy free. Most are suitable for coeliacs because they are gluten-free unless otherwise specified. Rice flour is used as a suitable non-gluten alternative to wheat flour. It is possible that some wheat, rye or barley may be present in the form of a carry over or trace when used as part of an ingredient although bar manufacturers have stringent policies in place to reduce the impact to a minimum. Levels of 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten or less may be present so that a product can be claimed to be gluten free. They also meet vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarians and Kosher (KLBD) requirements.
Some products contain oats whose storage protein is avenin and this is easily digested by coeliacs. There is not vitamin or mineral supplementation. We know oats, especially the beta-glucan they contain would be ideal for a cholesterol lowering claim.
Whilst not claimed for their products, they are generally very low in salt being less than 0.1g per serving except for products that clearly have them in the legal definition. If anything, these are trace levels and would be part of the fruit or nut source and clearly salted nuts will not be used in these products save in the Peanut Delight bar which appears to use added sea salt.
Allergens include nuts, peanuts, soya protein and are listed in bold on their ingredients list (see below for the product review). Most statements state ‘may contain…’ which indicates they are made on lines which have processed other food bars containing these ingredients.
The range of products is much more extensive than is available in many retailers or on this page. For example, ‘Cocoa Delight’ dwells heavily on the raw chocolate flavour experience with cashews added for protein, especially energy.
The bars are not high protein and are not intended primarily for sports people although they would satisfy snacking. Some of the ‘nibbles’ products contain sesame as an allergen but it is not clear which ingredient – rice flour may be the one.
The Apple Pie Bar
Aroma: Distinctive slightly cooked apple notes which remain well after the wrapper was opened.
Flavour And Texture: Chewy, softer than their other bars and granular (due to the nuts) with a strong date and oaty texture. There is a prominent cooked or stewed apple flavour – certainly not green like a Granny Smith for example. The nutty notes are mixed although walnut is distinctive after awhile.
Ingredients: Dates 36%, Oats 24%, Raisins 12%, Apple Juice Concentrate 9%, Peanuts 8%, Apples 7%, Almonds 2%, Walnuts 2%, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, A hint of natural flavouring.
The Banana Bread bar
Aroma: a faint, ripe banana note following opening of the wrapper.
Flavour: Strong banana note subdued to a certain extent by the oats, walnuts and dates which also have an impact on a soft, chewy texture. The banana is distinctive and slightly over-ripe. The nutty notes are augmented by the warming presence of cinnamon and to a small extent the nutmeg. Generally, these natural flavourings may slowly disappear over the shelf-life of the product even though the wrapper provides some key barrier properties.
Ingredients: Dates 37%, Bananas 23%, Oats 20%, Walnuts 8%, Raisins 7%, Apple Juice Concentrate 3%, Rice Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, A hint of natural flavouring.
The Berry Cheeky Bar
Aroma: Some fruity notes initially which come from raspberry mainly but the oatiness predominates.
Flavour: Chewy texture. Fruity notes just overlay the oatiness. The nuts are also characteristic with almond being more prominent than walnut.
Ingredients: Dates 38%, Oats 25%, Raisins 13%, Peanuts 9%, Apple Juice Concentrate 8%, Almonds 2%, Walnuts 2%, Raspberries 2%, Strawberries 1%, A Hint of Natural Flavourings
The Coco Loco bar
Aroma: Highly chocolate with some hints of peanut.
Flavour: The bar is soft, chewy and grainy. There is a distinctive oaty note underlaying the chocolate cocoa flavour after which various nutty notes come to the fore.
Ingredients: Dates 36%, Oats 24%, Raisins 12%, Peanuts 10%, Apple Juice Concentrate 9%, Cocoa 5%, Walnuts 2%, Almonds 2%, A Hint of Natural Flavourings.
The Peanut Delight Bar
Aroma: A very distinctive peanut note emanates from the bar as soon as its unwrapped.
Flavour: very simple – salty peanuts with a prominent date like note. Slightly cooked but then peanuts are processed very often in a manner which imparts some cooked notes. Saltiness helps bring out the flavour.
Ingredients: Dates (53%), Peanuts (46%), Sea Salt, A hint of Natural Flavouring
Pecan Pie Bar
Aroma: Date with pecan and almond but not very powerful however that doesn’t take away from the overall desirability for the bar.
Flavour: The least sticky if any of all the bars. Very distinctive pecan and almond nut taste although date paste is prominent. Had a soft chewy
Ingredients: Dates 52%, Pecans 28% , Almonds 20%
Salted Caramel Fruit & Nut Nibbles
Aroma: A toffee, slightly fruity note pervades the bar but its the confectionary note which is all and pleasantly pervasive.
Flavour: Small pieces of nut and fruit clusters which would be the same in bar format if they had nor been granulated. Satisfying texture and there is a good balance between the various notes. Date was prominent in the aftertaste.
Ingredients: Dates 54%, Cashews 24%, Raisins 18%, Rice Flour, Salt & Natural Flavouring
Strawberries & Cream Flavour Fruit & Nut Nibbles
Aroma: A creamy strawberry, slightly red fruit note is evident although cashew predominates after awhile.
Flavour: These nibbles have a satisfying mouthfeel which is similar to a soft granola. The fruit and cashew nut combination is evident.
Ingredients: Dates 54%, Cashews 24%, Raisins 19%, Rice Flour & Natural Flavouring
Strawberry Crunch Bar
Aroma: Strawberry – quite ripe in fact.
Flavour: Unlike the other bars this has a distinctive crunchiness and has dispensed with any gooey softness. Very strong flavour impact reminiscent of a highly flavoured granola bar.
Ingredients: Dates 43%, Soya Protein Crunchies (Soya, Tapioca Starch, Salt) 17%, Raisins 17%, Cashews 17% , Apple Juice Concentrate 4%, Strawberries 2%, A hint of Natural Flavouring.
Toffee Treat Fruit & Nut Nibbles
Aroma :Caramelised toffee notes followed by a general fruit flavour. Good balance which remains throughout the bar.
Flavour: Cashew features heavily here although a slight bitter chocolate note is evident. Good chewy texture.
Ingredients: Dates 50%, Cashews 23%, Raisins 18%, Cocoa 5%, Rice Flour, Salt & Natural Flavouring.
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While every care is taken to ensure product information is correct, food products are constantly being reformulated, so ingredients, nutrition content, dietary and allergens may change. You should always read the product label and not rely solely on the information provided on this website or any other.
Updated: 10th May 2018.