Em’s Power Cookies may very well be the best tasting endurance food I have had the privilege to try.
Maybe the best cookie I’ve ever tasted.
Let’s just say that these things are so good I end up eating them as desert for my real meals and don’t even get a chance to eat them while I train.
Does that happen with your gels?
Didn’t think so.
Emily Miazga, 3x Coast to Coast World Multisport Champion out of New Zealand came up with them. And she’s not just an elite athlete, she’s also got a Master’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition.
But as far as I can tell, she’s more of a gourmet baker than anything.
Emily says, “Em’s Power Cookies are wholesome and tasty energy snacks made from my personal recipes. They are hand-crafted in the South Island of New Zealand, and are beneficial as fuel for exercise, for feeding sporty kids or for eating on the go.”
I asked Emily what makes her products different than others, and she said it was all about the ingredients.
“I don’t use any additives or whey/soy protein powders which in my opinion make sports nutrition products taste awful, and also can make then harder to digest.
Most sports nutrition products have a lot of fancy ingredients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and complex nutrient mixes that make them look good nutritionally on paper, but palatability and digestibility suffers.
My customers tell me that Em’s never cause tummy upset, even when under high exertional stress, and they are easy to eat.
I just used normal pantry ingredients such as oats, dried fruits, nuts, sugars, real dark chocolate, etc. when making them and then decided to produce commercially to share with everyone! I think natural is best. Em’s seem to have the perfect balance of slow-burning carbs and sugars that works well for sports nutrition.
This just happened organically through trial and error over the years, plus I think having a nutrition background and being a successful athlete myself helped to get the mix right.”
Next thing I knew I was leaving his shop with a bag full of them.
Em’s has three shapes and sizes: Bars, Power Bites, and Cookies, across a variety of flavours.
These are 80g (2.8oz) blocks like the shape of Clif Bars.
They’d be appropriate for long rides on the bike, fitting perfectly into a jersey pocket.
This is something you could take on a run. Small, easy to hold in a little pocket or pouch, and not too much work to chew. They’re my 10 year-old daughter’s preferred snack on our rides.
Coming in at just 30g (1.06 oz) they’re a bit smaller than ping pong balls, but cubes.
Pretty innovative. Who else has bite-sized servings of solid food? I would substitute these for gels.
These are huge. Massive. One cookie is bigger than the palm of my hand.
My only issue with these is that they’re too crumbly to be portable. That’s because they’re not as dense as the bars. Notice that a cookie is 85g while a bar is 80g.
That just means that a bar is a good substitute for a cookie if you need to carry it around.
The cookies would be best suited for eating at home, or at a table – not while running or riding – you’d lose 20% of it in crumbs.
But they never said you should take these on a run. On their website they even state, “Great as a breakfast cookie, with a coffee as well as for die-hard adventurers.”
I’ve found myself devouring them post-workout while I rename my run on Strava or check if I hit my power targets on Training Peaks.
I asked Emily if the recipe for the cookies is different, as their consistency is different.
“Yes, that’s exactly right, the Original Sports Cookie has slightly different formulation with the fats and sugars. Basically it has a little butter in it, and more brown sugar and natural yohgurt. It is so yummy! Ha ha.
The Original Cookie was the base recipe for the development of the Bars and Bites. I simply tweaked the sugars and fats to make them more dense and better for taking on adventures because you can throw them around and they don’t crumble like the Cookie sometimes can.
Having said that, adventure racer Nathan Fa’avae uses the Original Cookie and he loves them. But he eats anything! Ha ha..”
As mentioned before, these things are incredibly delicious.
Between the three flavours I’ve tried, Apri-Choc Attack, Chocolate Cranberry Craze, and the Original (which is confusing because “Original” is not very descriptive as a flavour), they all taste fairly similar.
Original is like oats, chocolate, and raisins. The others are more or less the same but with small hints of apricots or cranberries, but those fruits certainly do not dominate the flavour like you’d get in a Clif Bar.
Yes, those fruits are discernible, but subtle and not overpowering. The chocolate and other sweet flavours still are the main things you taste.
There are other flavours, which I have not yet tried (Peanut Chocolate Bomb, for example) .
It seems that the Cookie recipe is different than that of the bars / bites. But in the end, all the nutrition is about the same:
|Per 100g||Original Sports Cookie||Apri-Choc Attack Bar||Chocolate Cranberry Craze||Chocolate Oat Explosion|
Let’s compare this with a Clif Bar, for example, say, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut:
|Per 100g||Clif Bar, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut|
I’d say they’re very close in terms of calories, carbs, sugars, sodium, even fat. The only kind of big difference is the protein – Clif clearly has more. Also, for what it’s worth, the Clifs are 68 g servings.
They claim, on the package, to be a “Source of Protein.” Well yes, they do include a tiny bit of protein, so indeed this is factually correct. But are they a good or significant source of protein? Not really.
Emily gave her take on the protein, by saying, “I do make a hemp protein cookie. It’s vegan and high protein. But not available in Asia due to hemp laws. It’s an amazing vegan cookie for those who want a protein fix.
“Otherwise go for the Peanut Choc Bomb its a little higher in pro and OMG YUMM it’s my personal fav!!”
“The purpose of the cookies/bar range is all about fueling which means carbohydrate. There is some protein from the oats, nuts, natural yoghurt… but not high pro.”
“I believe too much protein only interferes with fueling and digestion. But a little helps with satiety and glucose response, another thing I think I got right. 😉”
Let’s look at how much some protein bars have:
- Quest Protein Bar Chocolate Brownie (60g serving): 20g
- SIS Protein 20 Double Chocolate Brownie (55g serving) 20g
- Unicity LC Snap Protein Bar Chocolate Malt (60g serving): 17g
- GNC Layered Lean Bar Whipped Chocolate Mousse (44g serving): 16g
- Em’s Original Sport Cookie (85g serving): 5g
I still love them, but don’t let the label mislead you. Get your protein elsewhere.
I do like that these products were concocted by Emily, not in some lab, but in her kitchen. That they use real foods common to any pantry is also appealing as opposed to using weird additives or preservatives.
The prices may vary. Based on what I can see here in Singapore, they’re not the cheapest, coming in at US $3.60 each (SG $4.95). But that’s for the massive 80g cookies.
For reference, if you buy a dozen Clif Bars online, you’ll only pay $1.35 each (68g). But in retail shops here in Singapore they are nearly double that, $2.56. Moreover, if you bought a dozen Em’s at once, you may get a discount (just a guess).
So certainly they are not cheap, but boy are they good!
If you’re looking for value here, eat bananas and drink water. (And ride a cheap mountain bike, not a TT).
But if you’re looking for over-the-top taste; for gourmet luxury endurance food, buy Em’s.
One issue here, however, is the availability. While I do know where to buy them locally, the Em’s website makes it seem like they’re only available in New Zealand and Australia.
Emily did inform me that she is working with a distributor in the Middle East. She also mentioned that she will ship globally if you ask them directly.
In summary, these are an extremely tasty fuel – food, rather – and they blur the line between endurance food and gourmet dessert.
The bites are ideal for runs – ingenious sizes and packaging.
The bars are perfect for long bikes – real food, unlike gels – but I can’t imagine scarfing them down in a hurry like you do gels in a race. Let’s save these for social rides or very long, low-intensity days out in the saddle.
The cookies – well those are recovery food and dessert you eat at home.
I like to think about value, but the subjective nature of this deliciousness and natural ingredients kind of blows away any cost-per-gram formula you may want to see.
Are truffles good value? Is caviar?
You get my point.
Now, try some Em’s yourself.