Frequently in our culture, when we are looking for a quick and convenient snack we will gravitate toward the “bar” aisle in our local grocery store. In this section, we can find dozens of different protein/energy/endurance snacks placed in artful packaging that promise to keep our bellies full until our next meal. Upon making the transition from a gluten-filled diet to a gluten-free diet, you may have realized that these bars are landmines when it comes to food allergens. Not only that, they are usually also laden with sugar. But there is a bar on the market that’s quick, nutritious, and gluten-free – the Tanka bar.
Tanka bars are similar in looks and texture to beef jerky. The focus is on simple, wholesome, and really tasty ingredients: buffalo, cranberries, and, in a few of their products, wild rice. All Tanka products are free of common allergens such as soy, nuts, MSG, eggs, and of course, gluten. In fact, they are certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group, meaning that they have been tested and shown to contain less than 10 ppm of gluten. These characteristics really set Tanka bars apart. Even though there are other gluten-free bars on the market, most of them contain at least one of these other potentially problematic foods/allergens.
Tanka bars also offer more nutrition than their neighbors in the bar aisle. These bars are pretty close to whole food. The bison of course offers protein – seven grams per bar. The cranberries add six grams of sugar to the mix. Many popular sports bars contain four times as much sugar! The remaining ingredients are primarily spices and a plant-based lactic acid starter culture. The lactic acid starter culture preserves the meat so there is no need to use nitrates. Most importantly, Tanka bars taste awesome. Their texture is softer than that of beef jerky, so you don’t feel like you are practically pulling your teeth out when you take a bite. The cranberries provide a wonderful, slightly sweet balance to the salty buffalo. They are just plain yummy. And because they are nutritionally balanced, they really do satisfy your appetite.
Tiffany Godwin, MNT