LARABAR Review - Healthy Energy Bars with Fruit and Nuts
It can often be difficult to find a healthy snack while you’re out and about. Vending machines are usually full of junk, and most fast food restaurants’ “healthy” options are anything but. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for healthy snack foods that I can slip into my pocket before heading out.
How to Choose a Healthy Snack
My criteria for selecting the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack: It must be around 200 calories with no corn syrup or artificial ingredients and there must be a few grams of protein to keep hunger at bay. It must also be composed of mainly complex carbohydrates, with no sugar added.
What are Larabars?
On a recent jaunt to the local health food market, while looking through shelves of energy bars, I stumbled upon Larabars. The slogan on the Larabar wrappers reads “The Original Fruit & Nut Food Bar.” Viewing the ingredients listings, I discovered that all the bars shared the same base ingredient: dates. I was amazed to find that most bars only contained a few ingredients. Not only that, but the ingredients were all natural. No fillers, preservatives, or colorings are used. Additionally, except for the Larabars that contain chocolate, no sugar was added. Also, all of the Larabars that do not contain chocolate are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher.
The bars met my healthy snack criteria, but how do they taste? To find out, we rounded up some tasters to taste-test seven different Larabar flavors.
Apple Pie Larabar Review:
Taste: Tastes similar to apple pie. Everyone really liked it.
Apple Pie Ingredients: dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon.
Pecan Pie Larabar Review:
Taste: Not as sweet as real pecan pie but the texture was close to the real thing. One taster wished the pecan pieces were larger. In the photo you see large almond pieces, but the pecans are ground down. The pecans should be large and prominent, not the almonds.
Pecan Pie Ingredients: dates, almonds, pecans.
Cherry Pie Larabar Review:
Taste: The unsweetened cherries are definitely tart. While some liked the tartness, others did not.
Cherry Pie Ingredients: dates, almonds, unsweetened cherries.
Cashew Cookie Larabar Review:
Taste: With only two ingredients, dates and cashews, this bar didn’t have much flavor. Tasters all agreed that it needed some salt. We called this the “neutral-flavor bar.”
Cashew Cookie Ingredients: dates, cashews.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Larabar Review:
Taste: Definitely not as tasty as a brownie, but for something healthy, this was pretty good.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Ingredients: dates, chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts, cocoa powder, salt.
Coconut Cream Pie Larabar Review:
Taste: Horrible! Even tasters who love coconut hated the taste of this bar. Everything ended up in the trash, as no one could swallow it. One taster proclaimed that it was like “getting your mouth washed out with soap!”. The ghastly taste lingered in your mouth. We suspect the rancid taste to be from the extra virgin coconut oil.
Coconut Cream Pie Ingredients: dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, extra virgin coconut oil.
Carrot Cake Larabar Review:
Taste: Good. Cinnamon flavor is too strong though. Being that everyone hated the coconut cream pie Larabar, we were surprised it tasted so well considering it also has extra virgin coconut oil.
Carrot Cake Ingredients: dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, carrots, cinnamon, extra virgin coconut oil.
Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Review:
Taste: Similar to the cashew cookie, but better flavor due to the added salt.
Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients: dates, peanuts, salt.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar Review:
Taste: Tastes just like the peanut butter cookie Larabar but with chocolate flavor. We would choose this over the peanut butter cookie.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ingredients: dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, salt.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar Review:
Taste: Doesn’t taste like cookie dough. Very mild chocolate flavor. The dates overpower the bar.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ingredients: cashews, dates, chocolate chips, salt.
Key Lime Pie Larabar Review:
Taste: Some tasters found the citrus from the lime too strong to enjoy the bar.
Key Lime Pie Ingredients: dates, cashews, almonds, unsweetened coconut, lime juice concentrate.
If you’re looking for a healthy snack, you can’t go wrong with a Larabar. Be sure to try out the apple pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, peanut butter chocolate chip, and the chocolate chip brownie.
Where to Buy Larabars:
Check your local supermarkets energy bar / protein bar / nutrition bar aisle.
You can also order online at larabarstore.com or purchase from Amazon:
Disclosure: free samples were provided for this review.
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