Where to buy: Amazon
When I came up with the goal of finding the best vegan protein bar, the brand “No Cow” came up over and over again.
So I added it to the list of about 20 bars to test.
I test (or score) all bars for 3 things:
- Protein content
This review of No Cow bars is broken up into those 3 categories.
Table of Contents
Is No Cow a Good Company?
No Cow is a great company for vegans to support in my opinion.
They only sell vegan products that are also non-GMO and gluten free if that’s important to you.
Currently, No Cow sells mainly protein bars, but has also launched a vegan protein powder that comes in both chocolate and vanilla flavors.
No Cow Bars Have A Very High Protein Content
For each bar I tested, I recorded the nutritional facts, but paid special attention to total calories, and protein.
That allows me to calculate the percentage of calories that come from protein for bar.
Then finally, I scale this percentage to a score out of 10 so that I can easily compare bars to each other.
Looking at the nutrition label for a No Cow bar, and we see that it has 21 grams out of 210 calories.
That means that 40% of its calories come from protein, which results in a perfect score of 10.
Only one bar that I’ve looked at has a higher protein content (the Pegan bar has a 42.1% protein content).
Here’s the full ingredient list in No Cow bars:
Protein Blend (Brown Rice Protein, Pea Protein), Isomalto-Oligosaccharides, Peanut Butter (Peanut, Salt, Palm Oil**), Glycerin, Peanut Flour, Palm Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Water, Salt, Erythritol, Almonds, Monk Fruit, Stevia Extract.
Instead of whey protein, No Cow bars use a blend of brown rice and pea protein, which gives them a complete essential amino acid profile.
Even though the “glycerin” isn’t labelled as vegetable glycerin, the products are all vegan so you don’t need to worry about that.
Other than palm oil, it’s a pretty uncontroversial list of ingredients.
About Palm Oil in No Cow Bars
Technically palm oil is vegan, although it’s very controversial (see my detailed explanation for why).
I typically avoid it as much as possible, but I included this bar because it’s not my place to tell other vegans what they should eat beyond the obvious.
No Cow does say they get “sustainably sourced” palm oil, which may be better than typical palm oil. However, past reports have shown that “sustainably sourced” palm oil usually comes from the same places with terrible ethical practices.
None of this factors into my scoring of bars, but I thought I’d mention it before moving on.
Are No Cow Bars Healthy?
No Cow Bars aren’t particularly healthy or unhealthy. On one hand, they don’t give you much in terms of vitamins and minerals (although 20% of your RDA of iron is nice). Note that the amount of iron varies by flavor significantly.
However, there’s also no trans fats, and essentially no sugar as well.
You certainly wouldn’t want to try and live off No Cow bars, but having one or two on a regular basis shouldn’t be unhealthy.
No Cow Bar Taste Test: Great Flavor, Chalky Texture
My next step was to put the bars to a taste test.
I really like the texture of the bar. It’s a good firmness, not slimy or too hard like some other bars.
If you break it apart, it looks almost doughy.
The flavor is extremely good, it can’t get much better.
However, there is one big weakness of these bars: they are chalky as hell.
It really does feel like you’re eating some unmixed protein powder at times. That’s not horrible, but it does take away from the overall taste.
With that being said, I obviously couldn’t give it a perfect score, but it still tastes quite good overall (compared to other bars), which is how I landed on an 8 out of 10.
How Expensive Are No Cow Bars?
Obviously the cost of a box fluctuates, but based on the average price I’ve seen recently, you’ll pay somewhere between $2-3 per bar if you buy a box.
That seems expensive, but we really need to compare it to other vegan protein bar alternatives.
If you look at the numbers like I have, vegan protein bars are just really expensive in general.
It turns out that No Cow Bars are cheaper than average.
With a simple formula that scales cost per 10 grams of protein to a score out of 10 for all the bars I looked at, No Cow bars scored an 9 out of 10 (where higher means cheaper). So there are a few bars that are cheaper, but not by much.
Summary of My No Cow Vegan Protein Bar Review
Of the vegan protein bars I’ve tried so far, it’s one of my favorites.
It’s not perfect, but it’s very good.
If you add up those individual scores, you get a score of 27/30, which is tied for first overall with a few bars.
Alternatives to the No Cow Bar
Even though No Cow bars are great, you might be more interested in a bar that tastes better or doesn’t have palm oil. I’d recommend taking a look at the 2 other bars that also top my personal list:
- Simply Bar – This is a healthy, palm-oil free vegan protein bar. The protein content is just about as high, and the taste is arguably better as well. See my Simply Bar review for my full thoughts.
- Clif Builder’s Protein Bar – These bars made by Clif also contain palm oil, but basically taste like candy. They do have a lot more sugar unfortunately, but if you’re looking for a post-workout bar, that might not be a big deal. On top of the taste, they’re also as cheap as vegan bars get. Here’s my full Clif Builder’s protein bar review if you’d like more information.