It’s always fun when you can talk about getting naked in polite company, so I have a feeling today’s review and giveaway will be rather enjoyable.
That’s because the company in question is Bear Naked, whose name is officially written like the animal on the California state flag, (a naked bear, of course) but when you say it out loud, it’s a little bit racy. Go ahead, say it with me: Bear Naked. Kind of fun, right? Even better, at the end of the post you’ll have a chance to get Bear Naked yourself – but first let’s do a quick rundown of the company and the goods. (The Naked goods, that is.)
Bear Naked has been around for roughly 10 years, beginning as a shoestring operation in Connecticut before gradually expanding and migrating through health food and grocery stores nationwide. The name doesn’t actually have any sexual connotation – rather, it signifies that only pure and natural ingredients are used in their kitchen. All Bear Naked products are made with whole grains and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, trans fat, cholesterol, hydrated oils, or high fructose corn syrup. In other words, getting Naked is extremely good for you.
|Bear Naked love! It only sounds dirty ...|
The company started with a single granola mix, but has expanded to include a variety of granola-based health food products, including bars, trail mixes, cereals and cookies. My family and I enjoyed a sampling of them over the past few weeks – or more accurately, my kids enjoyed them a lot, and I ended up testing the scraps. There weren’t even that many left behind for me; it occurs to me that I need to set some ground rules for these family tasting projects sometime soon.
For example, these are Bear Naked’s new Cluster Crunch cereal flavors, Honey Almond and Maple Nut. They arrived on a Friday afternoon at my house, and didn’t survive through the weekend. I managed to sneak a small bowl of each before my kids completely devoured them; my preference is the Maple Nut flavor, but both varieties are pretty good (and to my palate, somewhat similar-tasting – but maybe I didn’t get enough to properly test, Yes, I'm griping).
Each Bear Naked cereal has at least 18g of whole grains, 3g of fiber, and 4g of protein per serving. They’re sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide for $3.99 per box – just be sure you store them in a cupboard that’s high enough to keep them from little arms.
Next up were two bags of Bear Naked granola; the original Fruit and Nut flavor that started it all, and a new Bear Naked Fit granola that has less sugar and fat than the traditional formula. Our Fit flavor was Triple Berry Crunch, and it was chock full of large berries – not the small shriveled up kind that you find in most granolas.
My kids took to these bags as soon as the cereal ran out, and while it’s not quite as good to eat plain as the cereal, I discovered another cool use for it: mixing the granola in pancake batter. I’m the weekend pancake cook at home, and my kids were delighted to have berry granola pancakes (with the Fit variety) or banana granola pancakes (the original variety plus a chopped banana). Anything that improves my culinary skills is welcome indeed; maybe I should start calling myself the Naked Pancake Chef. Most of Bear Naked’s granola flavors are available from Amazon.com (the berry flavor is linked) if you can’t find them in local stores.
We also got to test Bear Naked’s new Pure and Natural trail mix flavors, which ended up in the snack bags of my kids’ lunch boxes on a regular basis until they were depleted. The new flavors are all awesome: Cranberry Almond, Pecan Apple Flax (fortified with Omega-3 goodness), and Chocolate Cherry. My favorite was Cranberry Almond, and my kids predictably went wild for the Chocolate Cherry. Like the granola, Bear Naked trail mixes are also available for purchase from Amazon.com (cranberry almond flavor linked).
Bear Naked calls itself the natural food company for the everyday adventurer, and I found all of their products (the ones I got my hands on, anyway) to taste very wholesome, but with great flavor that’s lacking in some other brands in this category. They’re great for taking on the go, and the granola and trail mix packs are resealable and easy to stash in a workout bag or car for an easy post-run hunger craving. The Cranberry Almond trail mix will almost certainly be in my backpack once I start doing some longer hikes this summer.
Fortunately, the Bear Naked company also happens to be generous, which brings us to today’s contest. In conjunction with this post, Bear Naked is offering a sampling of each of the new trail mixes (pictured in the last photo) to two winners selected at random from the comments below. You know the drill here: leave a comment to enter, and I’ll pick two readers to get Naked on Saturday night, March 17th.
Thanks very much to Bear Naked for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everyone!
*Products provided by Bear Naked
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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