Kate’s Real Food Bars

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Manufacturer Description

We insist on using all natural, organic ingredients,
each of which shares special properties that your body will naturally utilize, for good health, happiness, and PLAY-ability.

Features

  • All natural ingredients
  • Organic Ingredients
  • Bars vary from 260-360 calories
  • 5 flavors available
    • Tram Bar
    • Stash Bar
    • Handle Bar
    • Grizzly Bar
    • Tiki Bar
  • Bars are 85 g (3 oz)
  • Retail varies from $33 to $39 per dozen

YMMV Review

I first stumbled on the Tram Bar at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City a couple of years ago. The show is often so busy that I tended to go without lunch and would just grab nutrition samples from the booth on the floor between appointments. One of the PR reps I was meeting with handed me one of the bars to try but really did not say much about it. The bar was awesome and went on my way not thinking too much about it. This winter I was contacted by Kate’s Real Food to see if I wanted to try all five flavors this time, and I of course said yes.

Kate’s Real Food bars started in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by none other than Kate. At the time, she needed something to fuel here ski days and came up with these bars. After giving some to friends, she was encouraged to sell them and the rest is now history. Kate’s is a small company now located out of Victor, ID, a short drive from Jackson. Their mission is to provide people with delicious, real food products. They want to grow, promote, and support outdoor play. They also want to support sustainable organic farming practices. I must say that I really like what Kate’s is about, their mission is right on, in my humble opinion.

Testing

I was not able to give the Kate’s Bars a heavy-duty test as I had only 6 of them to test on. The review will be therefore based on more done in a day activities that will not require quite as much nutrition. While the bars taste good enough to eat just for a snack. I tried to test them when I was active as I am sure they will work well for lounging around if they work for active days. Most of the testing was done while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

All 5 Flavors
All 5 Flavors

Design ★★★★★

Ingredients (50%) ★★★★★

Storage (20%) ★★★★☆

Sustainability (30%) ★★★★☆

As mentioned above, Kate’s Real Food Bars are made of real ingredients. I do not know about you, but I prefer to know what is going into my body. Kate’s insists on using all natural, organic ingredients, each of which shares special properties that your body will naturally utilize, for good health, happiness, and PLAY-ability (their word not mine). If you go to the Kate’s website, they do a good job explaining the ingredients they use for each bar. For example, the Tram Bar uses organic rolled oats from Montana, organic tropical blossom honey, organic peanut butter, milk chocolate, rice nuggets, organic dried bananas, organic dried apricots, organic raisins, organic sunflower seeds, organic sesame seeds, and sea salt. As you can see you will recognize all these ingredients. No crazy genetically modified foods.

Kate’s Real Food Bars come in five flavors.

  • The Tram Bar : Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Trail Mix – This is the original. Although the recipe has been slightly tweaked since the 90’s.
  • Stash Bar: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate with Flax & Hemp – This bar is only eight simple ingredients. The added hemp and flax give your body more micronutrients to help it run its best.
  • Grizzly Bar: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Trail Mix – Similar to the Tram Bar except the use of Dark Chocolate instead of Milk Chocolate.
  • Handle Bar: Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond – Another bar with only eight ingredients. This bar combined tart cherries with dark chocolate, what is not to like there.
  • Tiki Bar: Tropical Mix – This is the newest creation from Kate’s. The Tiki Bar is a mix of tropical flavors.

Kate’s Real Food Bars come packaged separately and are about 3 ounces each. As they are nutrient rich, they do not take up much room and can be stuffed in a pocket or pack easily. Due to the differing ingredients, the bars ranged from 260-360 calories with different levels of nutrients as well. What I really like about Kate’s is not just the ingredients, but that they are organic and sourced locally when possible. It is really cool that they are trying to work with organic farmers to make a sustainable process. They are a small growing operation, and I hope they can continue to grow while keeping to their core principles.

Performance ★★★★½

Nutrition (30%) ★★★★½

Taste (50%) ★★★★½

Versatility (20%) ★★★½☆

Ultimately, with all nutrition products the true test is whether or not they taste good. If you are not a fan of the taste, then you probably will not eat it or as much of it as you need and your performance will suffer. I know the taste is very subjective, so I had my wife try some as well to get another opinion. Both Melissa and I really liked the flavors of all the bars. Melissa said it best that they had a good flavor without being over the top. You could get the subtle flavor off all the ingredients depending on the bite. For me, I really liked the Tram bar as there was a light banana flavor to it that I was a big fan of. The bars were fairly moist, which made them easier to eat even when working hard. You still will want to have a drink handy with these to help wash them down.

The bars are all individually wrapped so carrying them is easy. Many of the bars do have chocolate in them, so they can get a bit messy if they are in the hot sun. The Tiki Bar does not have any chocolate in it, but I did find that it was the most crumbly of all the bars. There probably is a correlation there. Just something to note if you are planning to take that bar on a run or ride. Another thing that I found was great with the bars is that they did not upset my stomach or cause me any distress. While I did not put them to a full test like an Ironman, I did use them for some several hour cross-country ski trips and had no issues. These may be a good option for real food in my special needs bag or even throughout my next race, I will have to get some more and give them more time in training.

Overall ★★★★½

Overall, I have really liked Kate’s Real Food Bars. It seems like there has been a huge influx of new nutritional products to the market lately which is making for an incredibly tight space. Kate’s Real Food Bars are one of the better ones I have tried. Not only in taste, but also in the quality of the ingredients that they are made with, and I find that to be nearly as important. I am a firm believer of the saying “You are what you eat.” So when it comes down to it, I would much rather fuel myself with quality ingredients and better yet with ones that are “real.” If you have not given these bars a try yet I would suggest doing so, you may just find your new favorite. On the downside, I will say that the bars are on the expensive side. No more than other comparable products, the cheaper ones tend to have lesser ingredients, in my opinion. Kate’s Real Food Bars vary in their prices from $32 to $39 a dozen at full retail. Go to their website if you need help finding a vendor near you. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Taste good
  • Real Ingredients
  • Easy to carry
  • Good blend of flavors
  • Supports organic farming

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A bit dry when working really hard, need water handy

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About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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