We’ll take a closer look at the No Cow Protein Bar in this review. No Cow protein bars are a non-dairy, vegan-friendly protein bar that has established a reputation for itself by not only meeting specialized dietary needs (non-dairy, vegan, high fiber, etc. ), but also by providing a good macro profile while doing so.
Daniel Katz (who was 18 at the time of their initial release) created No Cow, formerly known as D’s Naturals, on a goal to answer the protein bar market demand for a vegan protein bar with no added dairy that offered a decent macro profile for busy persons.
We sampled a range of varieties and evaluated the bar’s nutrition, texture, taste, pricing, and other factors for our No Cow protein bar review.
About No Cow Protein Bars
No Cow protein bars are plant-based meal replacement bars with 20+ grams of protein. Because they employ pea and rice protein instead of whey and soy, these bars are suitable for Keto, Vegan, Paleo, and Kosher diets. They’re also devoid of gluten and dairy.
Texture & Taste
One of the most important aspects I considered when evaluating these protein bars was the flavor. If you’re new to No Cow bars or concerned about a vegan-focused protein bar, don’t be. I approached these bars with an open mind, but held them to the same high standards as every other bar I’ve evaluated.
Personally, I thought every bar tasted very nice, but like with most protein bars, there were certainly better tastes. I applaud No Cow’s attempt to tackle tastes like Blueberry Cobbler and Carrot Cake, but I believe they fell short on some of these more difficult flavors. I’ve included my favorite and least favorite No Cow bars below.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
This bar, in my view, was the most substantial No Cow ever made. It has a good macro profile and captures the flavor, texture, and essence of peanut butter chocolate chip deliciousness. The bar has little chips in it, which give it a chocolate chip vibe, and it captures the peanut butter flavour well without being overpowering. Was that a Reeses Cup, perhaps? No, but it was a good way to combine two complementary flavors.
These No Cow Bars used to be made with freeze-dried blueberries, but now they’re made with natural taste. I’m thinking this was done to reduce the sugar content to under 1 gram, but I preferred the blueberry version. When you first open the container, it smells like blueberries, but the flavor is bland and sugary. It’s not awful, but it tastes like it could be practically any flavor and has a somewhat too sweet aftertaste for me.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
This bar’s reformulated flavor appealed to my palate. It has a great, rich, chocolatey flavor and is less “coffee” than I recall. I didn’t anticipate this type to be one of my favorites, but it’s delicious — delightfully sweet with deep chocolate overtones. It’s flavored with cacao nibs, which is the one thing I don’t like. They lend a tad too much bitterness to the cocoa background in this case, in my opinion.
Mint Cacao Chip
When I first opened the gift, the fragrance of mint chocolate was faint yet wonderful. The consistency of this bar is comparable to that of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie, but the flavor is quite different. Each mouthful was exploding with a strong minty flavor. However, I believe they reduced the mint in comparison to their previous recipe. It used to be a touch too strong for me, but it’s now exactly on the edge of my mint tolerance. Overall, it has a lighter freshness than the more fudgy brownie bar, with a cocoa-based taste. However, the stevia is more noticeable in the aftertaste and can be identified by stevia-sensitive people.
Lemon Meringue Pie
This has a pleasant lemon oil flavor. But I couldn’t decide if this was the right flavor for me. The vibrant lemon flavor didn’t seem to mesh with the substantial, protein-rich background. I still ate every last bite, although I think the peanut butter and chocolate flavors are my favorites.
This variety’s bite was a touch drier, less chewy, and more protein powder front than the others, but it was still fairly soft. I expected a chocolate-based bar, but it’s more of a raspberry-flavored foundation with crunchy cacao nibs. I believe powdered, freeze-dried raspberries would provide much more flavor.
However, I’m sure they have their reasons for opting for a flavor infusion. My only true criticism is that the sweetness of this bar is somewhat off-kilter, with bitter flavors interjecting. If you aren’t sensitive to harsh flavors, you could find it to be a breeze!
Chunky Peanut Butter
This bar is loaded with peanut butter and protein. The peanut butter flavor is strong, and the aftertaste is sweet without being stevia-like. It’s also stuffed with peanut pieces. This isn’t dessert, but it’s a delicious functional bar snack, recovery meal, or even breakfast on the move for those of us with a sweet craving.
Meh. Again, I realize that this flavor is difficult to achieve, and I applaud No Cow for trying, but this bar was far from their finest. Carrot cake is often sweet, but not too so, and I believe this bar fell short in all of those areas. If you prefer carrot cake-flavored goods, you could enjoy this bar, but it might be better and was a little off-putting in my view.
One thing I’d like to point out about No Cow protein bars is that they have a texture that is uneven on several levels. What exactly does that imply? Well, every No Cow bar has a somewhat gritty feel, which I don’t find objectionable, but others have reported dissatisfaction with it. Furthermore, I’ve discovered that the texture of No Cow bars varies quite a bit in terms of “chalkiness.”
If you come upon a particularly chalky bar, have some water on hand. The bar will still taste nice, but you’ll need some assistance to get it down. This has happened to me a few of times when purchasing from Amazon. Aside from the chalky texture, I appreciate how each bar has a doughy texture to it, and how certain bars have tiny pieces to provide taste and bite.
Overall, I like the texture of No Cow, even if it may be a touch too chalky at times. If you don’t like a chalky, dry feel and aren’t sure about these bars, I’d suggest sampling one before buying in bulk.
No Cow Protein Bar Nutrition Facts
When it comes to nutrition, I believe No Cow’s calories and macro profile are outstanding. The calories in the seven tastes tested varied from 200 to 210. The bars include a fat level of 5-7 grams, a carbohydrate content of 22-24 grams, and a protein value of 20-22 grams. Each bar contains about 17 grams of fiber, followed by 1 gram of sugar.
The ingredient list for No Cow Protein Bars is a little shorter, which I appreciate. The following is a list of the Lemon Meringue Pie protein bar’s components.
Ingredients: Protein Blend (Brown Rice Protein, Pea Protein), Isomalto-Oligosaccharides*, Glycerin, Almonds, Palm Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Erythritol, Citric Acid, Water, Monk Fruit, Stevia Extract.
Palm Oil In No Cow Bars
Palm oil is technically vegan, but it’s a contentious topic (see my detailed explanation for why). I usually avoid it, but I included this bar since it’s not my business to advise other vegans what they should eat except the obvious. No Cow claims to use “sustainably sourced” palm oil, which might be superior to regular palm oil.
However, previous studies have revealed that “sustainably sourced” palm oil often originates from the same locations where poor ethical standards are practiced. None of this affects my bar grading, but I thought I’d bring it up before going on.
Are No Cow Bars Good For You?
No Cow Bars are neither nutritious nor harmful in any way. On the one hand, they provide virtually no vitamins and minerals (only 2 percent of your RDA of iron). However, there are no trans fats and, in essence, no sugar.
How Expensive Are No Cow Bars?
Obviously, the price of a box varies, but if you buy a box, you’ll spend between $2 and $3 per bar, depending on the average price I’ve observed recently. That appears to be a high price, but we need to compare it to other vegan protein bar options.
Vegan protein bars are just extremely costly in general, if you look at the figures as I did. No Cow Bars come out to be less expensive than the norm. No Cow bars got a 9 out of 10 on a simple formula that translates cost per 10 grams of protein to a score out of 10 for all the bars I looked at (where higher means cheaper). So there are a few bars that are less expensive, but only by a little margin.
Meal replacement bars are my go-to breakfast snack of choice for most days of the week since I don’t want to spend a lot of time making breakfast each day. So many protein bars on the market are simply glorified candy bars with more carbohydrates in one bar than I could eat in a day (or even two days)!
No Cow bars are a better fit for my eating habits. They’re tasty and filling, and as long as I don’t eat too many in a row, they’re perfect.