If you’ve ever talked to Devon or myself, you’ve definitely heard us mention the IMPACT Bar and we probably brought up the 101 amazing features and benefits of the products. But the one we ALWAYS make sure to mention is the clean and simple ingredients of the bar.
When developing the IMPACT Bar, it was important to us that we use ingredients that we were familiar with and could understand. In using algae, we wanted to go to back to the basics, using real food in its purest form. Not to mention that because we have no food science experience, we don’t even know what the paragraph of chemicals you see in other bars and snacks products are.
We spent a lot of time at the beginning of our product development journey, testing out different recipes and using different bases of the bars, including nuts, granola, butters, and fruit. We needed to find ingredients that would mask or compliment the umai taste of the spirulina algae.
After many, many trials and lots of feedback, we created the formulation for the IMPACT Bar you know and love today. Each IMPACT Bar is made with five core ingredients that provides the nutrition, energy, and taste:
- Spirulina algae
- Sunflower seed butter
- Medjool date paste
- Yacon Syrup
- Mediterranean sea salt
Algae is the cornerstone of the IMPACT Bar and the Algi brand. We love algae for many reasons, including how sustainable it is to produce, how good it is for the environment,
If you know a little bit about algae, you know that there are thousands of different species of algae…so why did we pick spirulina to use in our bars?
On top of the amazing benefits of algae, spirulina is the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It’s packed with protein, iron, omegas, vitamins, antioxidants, and so much more. It’s also got a 2:1 carbon ratio, meaning that every gram of spirulina uses 2 grams of carbon dioxide to produce 2 grams of oxygen! Sensational!
Sunflower Seed Butter
When most people read our ingredient list, they’re a little confused at the idea of sunflower seed butter (Yes, this is a thing and it is DELICIOUS!). A common question we get asked is why sunflower seeds instead of a nut butter?
First and foremost, Canada is one of the largest producers of sunflower seeds! While many of our products cannot be grown in Canada, it is important that we make every effort to find Canadian ingredients where possible. This was an obvious choice because we love to support our local farmers!
Sunflower seeds are also a lot more sustainable to grow than similar crops like nuts. Most nuts, like almonds and pistachios, are incredibly water intensive crops, meaning a lot of water is needed for them to grow. Almonds need more than 75 times the amount of water pumpkin seeds do!
Another reason: sunflower seeds are crazy good for you. They’re a great source of good fats, which is especially good for endurance athletes as fats are a slow releasing energy. They’re also a great source of vitamin E and protein, which will keep you looking and feeling good!
Fun fact: the fat in the sunflower seeds helps to make the IMPACT Bar shelf stable and it is one of the reasons we do not need any additives or preservatives in our bars!
Medjool Date Paste
In our experimenting with different bases for the IMPACT Bars, we were looking for a whole food that could help hold the other ingredients together, provide some sugar, and taste delicious.
We tested out nut butters but those on their own weren’t enough to hold everything else together. Dried fruit was another option we explored but we found that it was just that, dry. We were leaning away from nuts since most bars do contain nuts and we wanted our nut allergy friends to be able to safely eat the bar!
And so, we finally settled on date paste. Then it took a lot of trial and error to find date paste made with the right dates and one that was ground into the perfect smooth consistency to blend into the bars. Medjool dates have a sweet and caramelly taste with an almost chewy consistency that allows us to create a thick and sweet (but not too sweet) endurance bar.
Of all our core ingredients, this is the one most people have never heard of. So let me officially introduce you to yacon, a root from the Andes. This root primarily grows in Peru and it gets compressed to squeeze out all its delicious juices, which form a syrup.
Now the term syrup is a little misleading because although it is quite sweet, it actually has a glycemic index of zero. This means there’s no sugar, no carbs, and no fiber! Yacon syrup has a unique taste, it's thick and viscous and tastes a little bit like maple syrup but rather than being an overpowering flavour, it pairs well with the dates to create a sweet combination that compliments the spirulina perfectly!
Mediterranean Sea Salt
Last, but certainly not least, we have Mediterranean sea salt. While this ingredient might often be overlooked, it is the key that ties all the flavours together.
Mediterranean sea salt is the most abundant and sustainable salt out there. It’s also one of the most natural forms of salt, meaning very little processing and handling happens before it gets to us. By adding salt, we’re also adding in necessary electrolytes to support muscle function during long duration activities, like endurance sports.
But how does salt tie all the flavours together? When you eat salt, it sits on your tastebuds and gets them ready to taste. It heightens these other flavours making the sweetness sweeter and the acidity and bitterness pop.
And that’s it, that’s all! It’s hard to imagine how these few, simple core ingredients are all it takes to make delicious and nutritious IMPACT Bars! If you’re sitting here hungry and ready for your next bite, make sure to order your IMPACT Bars or head to your local store to get your next algae fix!