I had the pleasure of encountering the lovely booth run by the team of SIMPLE Squares at the IDEA World Fitness Convention back in July! The kindness of the SIMPLE Squares community as well as the amazing samples they had to offer amazed me, so I could not pass the opportunity to collaborate so I can share these products with everyone!
SIMPLE Squares has a very direct mantra, and that is sharing nutrient-dense yet uncomplicated snacks that can be eaten on-the-go and feel energized from the whole foods of these products. Each base of the bars is made with only five ingredients: nuts, honey, sea salt, vanilla and spices that vary depending on the flavor of each bar. Certain bars will contain a sixth ingredient depending on the flavors, but regardless, each bar is compatible for a Paleo, kosher, raw or plant-based (if not a strict vegan) diet, as well as those with an allergy to soy, wheat, dairy and/or corn. And as a major bonus, every product is free of GMOs!
These bars have been widely praised by many media outlets, a few being Clean Eating Magazine as one of the cleanest products, Men’s Journal Magazine as the “best between meals bar”, and they also received the cleanest packaged product award of 2016 by Prevention Magazine! If these stamps of achievement don’t speak to you aside from the information I provided in the last paragraph as well, then I don’t know what will!
Anyways, I received five of the SIMPLE Square flavors and was beyond thrilled to try each of them! Below I have provided every individual review of the bars, an overall summary of my take on SIMPLE Squares, and lastly a guide on how you can use these bars aside from gobbling them up on their own!
Coconut and I have a pretty good relationship, but I have definitely had my fair share of not-so-good experiences with coconut-flavored foods (I’m talking to you, Tutti-frutti coconut sorbet. You were REVOLTING.)! However, this bar gave me more hopes about how amazing coconut is! I loved the soft, buttery texture of the coconut, vanilla extract and honey that blended so well with the crunchiness from the nuts and sea salt. The only con about this bar is that there was a very interesting and distinctive after-taste that kind of tasted fruity. I’m not exactly sure where this comes from, but it can possibly be the fact that I haven’t had honey in a very long while! But overall, I really liked the taste of this bar and would probably purchase it again if I end up seeing it in stores.
While I’m no avid coffee drinker, I do love the rich flavor and aroma of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the extremely bitter coffee chunks in this bar, but this is just because I generally like my coffee on the lighter side. If you like drinking your coffee straight up black, then by all means you will adore this bar. It’s got a powerful punch of richness and bitterness from the coffee beans and nuts as well as the creaminess of the honey and vanilla. Again, it still has the same after-taste as the coconut bar. Even though I ended up eating the entire bar, I would not purchase this particular flavor as I much prefer the others.
When I first looked at this cinna-clove flavor, fall and winter flavors immediately popped into my head because these two seasons are the main times to enjoy these rich, pungent spices in pastries, lattes, breakfasts and even savory meals! Upon trying it, I instantly tasted the strength of the cinnamon and clove combination. I’m not nearly as used to the cloves as I am with cinnamon, but the flavor is still pretty yummy due to the complementary sweetness and spiciness of the vanilla, honey and spices. If you are a spice fanatic, then this bar is totally up your alley. Would I purchase this bar ever again? Probably yes, but this is a bar that would taste better with oatmeal or some kind of mild sweet dish rather than on its own because it is extremely strong by itself.
Now being a total chocoholic, this flavor was the most exciting for me! I anticipated this bar to taste like a chocolate chip coconut cookie, and my expectations were indeed met! The nuts and chocolate chips add a very sweet crunch while the coconut and honey whisk the crunchiness into this perfect blend of silky soft sweetness that isn’t too overpowering either. This bar is hands down my favorite since the combination of everything is just perfect. I would purchase this bar again for sure and enjoy it on its own or as a smoothie bowl, porridge or even sweet potato topper!
Just like the cinna-clove bar, I immediately thought of fall and winter flavors, as well as almost a detox theme because ginger is known to have very powerful cleaning and healing properties. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this bar, but let’s just say that it was mind-blown at first bite. You can really taste the ginger in this bar–the flavor is a little tarty from the mix of sweetness and spiciness. Not to sound weird, but it actually tasted like a mild orange ginger carrot juice that you’d find at those juice bars! I don’t know about you, but I seriously LOVE those juices, which means that this bar isn’t too shabby in my book. However, if you are not much of a spice person, then I’d suggest reaching for the coconut bar, coffee bar or cho-coco bar.
What I truly love about SIMPLE Squares is how the community truly cherishes where and how pure their ingredients are as well as general simplicity in cooking. Knowing what goes into your body as well as ensuring that you will be consuming only the best ingredients is extremely important to me. I love that SIMPLE Squares caters towards many allergens and various diets in order to market themselves to a wide audience, hence more and more consumers can benefit from their bars! As for overall taste, while each bar has the same distinctive sweetness (probably from the honey) that I’m personally not yet used to, everything tasted amazing regardless. While SIMPLE Squares isn’t yet found in most grocery stores I shop at besides my personal luxury Whole Foods, I will purchase these bars again to have them as a nice snack or in one of the forms I’ve listed below!
Now onto some more fun stuff, because we’re still on the discussion of food, right? Even though I ate all of these bars by themselves unlike the PureFit bars, there are so many ways you can use these SIMPLE Squares. I have provided all of my blog’s recipes that are totally compatible with these bars, and they range from being really basic and easy to more innovative and advanced!
- Use a SIMPLE Square as a Paleo and grain-fre replacement for granola to top a thick and refreshing smoothie bowl!
- Try cutting a bar into cubes and mixing it into oatmeal for extra sweetness and crunchiness!
- Crumple up a square to top on a hot bowl of sweet potato kabocha pudding!
- What could possibly be a better crust for banana bread than a SIMPLE Square?
- YES. These bars can be the ultimate topper for pancakes.
- Be bold and stir-fry some pieces of a SIMPLE Square into lettuce-wrap fillings!
- A little piece of a ginger SIMPLE square bar is the perfect garnish for butternut squash or pumpkin soup!
- Who knew that a SIMPLE Square could add the perfect crunch and sweetness to a salad?
- Let them eat some high protein cake…with some SIMPLE crumbled on top, of course!
- A SIMPLE Square on a baked sweet potato is a great way to start your day!
- If you don’t have enough time to top a cake….wait, yes you do. Try it on a one-ingredient cake!
- And how could I forget to think of using a bar in sweet potato cereal?
- Put a little honey-nut crunch surprise in a stir-fry!
I hope you enjoyed this review of the SIMPLE Squares community and their lovely product collection! If you are looking into incorporating more Paleo-friendly, more health-conscious products in your diet, or if you are just looking for a naturally-sweetened treat to munch on throughout the day, then without a doubt, SIMPLE Square bars are the perfect match for you!
Want more reviews? Let me know down below and recommend any products I should try!