I know how hard it is to find easy, grab-able snacks when you’re packing lunches and on the run. Shucks, I wrote a whole eBook about healthy snacks, but that doesn’t mean I have extra time on my hands to keep our family fully stocked with nutritious, homemade snacks 100% of the time.
I remember the first checkup when I was in the throes of first trimester I-feel-nauseous-and-fatigues-all-day-long ickies with my daughter. I knew the importance of frequent snacking and was a staunch proponent of getting lots of protein in my body, but the reality was that slicing cheese was literally all I could bring myself to do. I whined to the nurse who scolded me for the carby snacks in my purse, “But I can’t bring cheese everywhere…”
I doubt I even thought about meat sticks, aka “beef jerky” to many, but if I had, I would have avoided them because of the nitrates in most cured meats.
Product Review of Tanka Bars, Bites, and Sticks
It was kind of fun to have some protein-packed, packable, nourishing snacks that I didn’t have to make! Tanka Bars and Bites and Sticks are a dried buffalo and cranberry traditional blend produced by Lakota Native Americans. It felt good to support a clearly Made in the USA product, and overall I really like the flavor as well.
We tested bars, bites, and sticks. Although nearly all the ingredients look the same, there are subtle differences. The sticks, Tanka Wild, for example, contain wild rice, and it’s crunchy. That, along with the smoothness of the sticks, wasn’t my thing. Not disgusting, just not my choice.
Sweet and Meat Haters, beware: If you, like my husband, think fruit and meat have no place on the same dinner plate (or pizza), and the idea of dried cranberries in your buffalo meat causes your skin to crawl, you might not like the Tanka products. My husband didn’t expect to, and he didn’t.
Spicy not for Weak of Palate: He did concur that the “HOT!” label meant what it says; this from a man who tasted a raw Serrano pepper once and told me it wasn’t very spicy. The extra heat almost covers up the fruit taste, he says…but not quite.
Really, the very best quality of the Tanka Bites is the incredible nutrition one receives from a largely grazed animal, hormone-free, extremely lean, and minimally processed. I always felt famously healthy and close to the earth when I tore open a package of Tanka Bites.
What I liked:
- nutrition – buffalo meat!
- made in USA
- traditional method of preserving; no nitrates or MSG
- commitment to quality, health of customers
- Bars better than sticks, Bites better than bars
- Just found out I can get them at our local health food store, Harvest Health!
- crunchy rice in the sticks
- slightly too spicy, especially for kids (only the “spicy” versions)
- high price – just over $1/oz. or nearly $15/lb., although this is compared to easily $10/lb. for standard beef jerky sold at a store.
Overall Grade: B
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