Spicy vs. Sweet: who will claim victory? The short answer is YOU, as your lips close down over a bite of cayenne-flecked beef and begin to chew. A little salt, a little fruit as background, and now your salivary glands are on overdrive to help. This delectable savory bite is a morsel from a Wild Zora meat and veggie bar, grass-fed beef enhanced with bell peppers and apricots and spices, soft and chewy and . . . wow. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
The best part about this bar is the mash-up of flavors: this is one of those "sum greater than its parts" kind of deals. It's not just a beef or meat bar; it's a chili-laced spice palate dancing on your tongue replete with a teeny bit of sweetness. And really, the sweetness is teeny. If the name didn't have the word apricot in it, you might not even know there was fruit in this bar. All you'd know is that it tastes great without screaming "MEAT!" at your taste buds. I took one bite, at first. Then another. And another. Luckily the portion control is built right in to the cute little bags.
When first faced with the Wild Zora package it's easy to just tear into it, even though wrecking such lovely design is a little sad. Once you smell the contents you'll know you made the correct move. Pull out a piece - there might be a few in each bag - and take a little nibble, inhaling the spices as you go. Then, a bigger bite, and get ready to chew with pleasure. This isn't the jaw-working resistance of traditional jerky, but rather a tender softness with the tiniest bits of texture from the real foods blended into the bar. There's a little saltiness that I appreciate, a savory aspect that is not-overwhemingly-meaty, and the previously mentioned gentle spice and sweet finale.
Ok, so Wild Zora is a cool company that makes protein bars the likes of which you've never seen. The problem is that the texture is difficult to describe, until you try it yourself. It's not jerky - that's too dry. It's not moist and fatty like some pemmican or other meat bars (not that there's anything wrong with that). Wild Zora lands in the middle, kind of like a thick fruit leather that's gone over to the zesty meat side of things.
Why Wild Zora Chili Beef is so good for you
The Chili Beef recipe, made with beef, of course, plus sweet veggies and savory spices. Great for wetting your whistle on a bike or hike or an extended errand-run; it's a popular recipe for those who enjoy the spice of life! Wild Zora's spicy bars are tasty combination of 100% grass-fed beef, sweet red bell peppers, and kale; mixed with dried apricots and a kick of cayenne pepper at the finish!
These bars are: Whole30 and Paleo-friendly.
And: Gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, milk-free. No nuts/peanuts/tree-nuts. No MSG or chemical additives.
Here are some of the amazing superfoods in the Chili Beef bar:
Grass Fed Beef
Sometimes called nature's best-tasting multivitamin, beef is not only one of the most protein-rich foods you can eat, but it’s insanely nutritious in other ways. It’s extremely high in zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, iron, vitamin B6, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin. Wallace Farms beef comes from pastured cows, so it’s naturally lean. Grass-fed beef contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamins A and E, higher levels of antioxidants, and up to seven times the beta-carotene of grain-fed. Grass-fed beef also contains high amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), thought by many to prevent cancer. It’s also kinder on cattle, and on the environment.
Apricots are vitamin and mineral-rich — they’re particularly high in beta carotene and Vitamin A. Adding dried fruit to this recipe increases its moisture while adding just a little bit of sweetness to balance the savory spices.
Kale is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Its nutrient-density is off the charts, and its health benefits are incredibly impressive. Here are some of the wondrous things about kale:
- Kale is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, not to mention plenty of minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Some of the most powerful phytonutrients in kale are sulfurophane, which helps your body's natural detox power, kaempferol, which turns on the genes that promote longer life, carotenoids, which are linked to one's overall sense of optimism, and glucosinolates, known cancer fighters.
- The fiber in kale is naturally filling and promotes better gut health.
- Kale is high in iron, which is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, and proper liver function.
How to eat Wild Zora bars:
- Can you say, snack attack?
- In the gym bag, ready for post-workout bliss (and avoiding the snack bar)
- In your desk drawer, perfect for vending machine avoidance
- Bake them. No, really. Place on a baking sheet and add a slice of Swiss cheese before toasting the whole thing into a sort of paleo pizza. Yum.
- Buried at the bottom of your purse and then discovered accidentally in a hungry state. Yay!
- Tucked into a kid's lunch to soothe their craving for something chewy
- You come up with your own awesome eating strategy!
About Wild Zora, in their own words
"In early 2011 our family started to learn about Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Primal food. We just didn’t feel good about feeding the typical sugary, grain-filled snacks on the market to our kids! Jerky proved no better. So many jerky snacks contain nitrites, nitrates and MSG, and all of them are just too tough and too salty. When we’re hungry, our bodies crave lasting energy: something substantial, savory, and nutritious. Nothing on the market lived up to that standard.
Beginning in 2013, we created our own alternative. At home, we always considered meat AND vegetables a complete meal. So we started to mix and dehydrate 100% grass-fed beef from a local rancher along with fresh vegetables from our garden. We discovered that we could make super tasty meat and veggie snacks that our family really enjoyed!
Our kids started sharing our beef and veggie snacks with their friends at school. Soon many of our friends insisted we start a business to sell them. We listened! We now make our meat and veggie bars in our own fully USDA-certified kitchen just outside Fort Collins, Colorado."
Even more about Wild Zora: their video introduction
Here are answers to some of your most important questions!
What makes Wild Zora bars so much better than something like, say, a Clif bar?
Oooh, we like this question. So much that it was answered in a blog post recently. Here's the summary: common energy bars have a few primary ingredients like sugar, processed protein powder, and grains, and those ingredients are cheap. Wild Zora bars start with real grass-fed meat, fresh veggies, and fruit. The good stuff! So, we decided to provide a product that we can feel good about feeding to our family and friends.
Are these AIP (autoimmune protocol) friendly?
The Chili Beef Wild Zora bars are not AIP-friendly, but keep reading! They are still paleo certified, Whole30 approved, and full of seriously delicious real food, just like all of their bars. (The Lamb bars are, indeed, AIP-friendly!)