You want something quick and easy to have on hand for your family. Snack bars that are healthy, with whole food ingredients you can not only name but identify. There are many good well-known brands of snack, meal and energy bars out there including LARABAR, Luna Protein, Clif MOJO, Clif Kid,Clif C, Odwalla, Kashi, etc. So in this post I have reviewed a few lesser known bars that could be a great addition to your lunch boxes and pantries including products from CocoChia, Greens Plus, Nutrobiotics, Just Great Stuff, Purefit, Raw Revolution and MacroLife.
First lets look at the different types of bars:
- Energy bars(aka power bars or sports bars): are great for before workouts or games. They are higher carb (the healthy ones like the ones I’ve listed will be from good sources like fruit or other whole foods) which keeps your energy levels going throughout your workout. (Example: Larabar)
- Protein bars: Similar to an energy bar but higher in protein, (look for plant-based proteins like brown rice or pea) they are ideal for after a workout, especially weight lifting. (Example: Luna Protein or higher calorie like Clif Builder’s)
- Snack bars: Look for ones with at least 3 g of fiber, from 100-200 calories, a few grams of protein and under 20 g of sugar (which should be fruit based or under 12 g if sweeteners other than fruit used. (Example: Kashi, Nature’s Valley, or Luna Protein)
- Meal replacement bars: these are higher calorie bars (200-300) to give you energy and protein if you’re in a pinch or on the move and don’t have time for a regular meal. Watch out you don’t eat these as a snack bar unless you’re looking to gain weight. (Example: Clif Builder’s or the Original Clif Bar…but watch the sugar!)
Living Fuel CocoChia
Living Fuel was kind enough to share a few of their CocoChia Bars & CocoChia Snack Mix with me that they’ve promoted as high-energy, raw, healthy fats snack fuel with clean, all-natural, organic ingredients. The main ingredients in both are: Organic Raw Coconut, Organic Chia seeds, and their all natural sweetener, Therasweet, which includes an encapsulated Probiotic blend. The bar also has Organic chocolate , Organic Raw Almond Butter, and non GMO Brown Rice Protein. Click on the labels below to see total list and nutrition facts for both.
The bars really are a “sustained energy bar”, as it kept me full all afternoon. I ate one as a meal because I went straight from a meeting at school to the barn and wasn’t home till 4 in the afternoon. It successfully kept me full and energized from noon to 4 including a long, hot ride on sweet Arabella. Who now may think her name is CocoChia…yea, try not saying that all day. When you open the package you see a a bit of oil from the coconut, but remember that’s healthy medium chain fatty acids that the body easily metabolizes. (I.e. our bodies use it as energy and not stored fat). The texture is a little grainy from the coconut but the bars taste exactly like the ingredients, Coconut & Chocolate…Yum. The snack mix is more a loose mixture of the coconut, chia seeds and their sweetened probiotics, but it is crazy tasty! They suggest sprinkling it on oatmeal or yogurt, which sounds good to me, but we ate it right out of the packet.
NutriBiotic Fruit Snax
Energy or Snack barhttp://www.nutribiotic.com
These taste just like a really good natural fruit leather and contain the nutritional equivalent of 2 pieces of fruit. The simple ingredient list includes fruit, natural fruit flavor and fiber extracted from the fruit and ascorbic acid (synthetic Vitamin C.). These are great for lunch boxes and all the flavors NutriBiotic kindly sent me to sample were tasty and on par with their whole food parents: Apple Apricot, Apple Raspberry, Apple Strawberry….(yeesh apple was busy).
Greens Organics Amazon Chocolate Energy Bar
Energy or Snack barhttp://www.greensplus.com
“Don’t be fooled by junk food disguised as health food. Greens Plus combines certified organic Green Foods with High-ORAC Superfruits, Dates, Almond Butter, Hemp Protein and Honey to produce the only cold-processed, alkaline-forming, organic energy bar. The Organic Energy Bar delivers simple carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and biologically-complete protein to supply a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Perfect for athletes seeking an edge, students, travelers and children of all ages. Eat one bar as a healthy snack between meals, or two for a complete meal replacement.”
|Greens + Organics Amazon Chocolate Energy Bar – 1.6 oz. (45 g)|
|Serving Size: 1 Bar (45 g)|
|Servings Per Container: 1|
|Amount Per Serving||%DV*|
|Calories From Fat||70|
|Total Fat||8 g||12%|
|Saturated Fat||2.5 g||13%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Saturated Fat||3.5 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||27 g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g||16%|
|Vitamin A (as beta carotene 100%)||1750 IU||35%|
|Vitamin B12||.25 mcg||4%|
|Vitamin C||5 mg||8%|
|+Daily Value Not Established.
**Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your diet values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients: Organic dates, Organic Amazon Chocolate (organic evaporated cane syrup, organic cocoa liquor, organic Amazonia cocoa butter, organic vanilla, sunflower lecithin) organic almond butter, organic honey, organic tapioca syrup, organic brown rice crisps (organic brown rice, organic brown rice syrup, sea salt), organic hemp protein, organic rice protein, Greens Plus Organic Superfood Blend (Organic barley grass, organic wheat grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic oat grass, organic Omega 3 Chia seed, organic broccoli, organic stevia leaf, organic red beet juice, organic stevia extract), Sea Vegetable Blend (organic spirulina, organic chlorella, organic dunaliella salina algae, organic Nova Scotia dulse), organic quinoa sprout powder, High-ORAC Superfruit Blend (organic AppleBoost, organic acerola berry juice, organic acai berry juice), mixed tocopherols (natural Vitamin E)
The Greens Plus and Just Great Stuff bars taste very similar and have similar nutrition and ingredient profiles including nutrient rich whole foods and covered in tasty dark chocolate. They taste a little like a green chocolate smoothie; the first bite you taste a spinachy green flavor that makes you say “interesting”, but the following bites the natural sweetness and delicious chocolatey goodness come through. I would love to hear what your family thinks of them so leave some comments below! Both were given free to me at my favorite local health-food store, Eden’s Marketplace in Gainesville. Thanks Peter, Janice and gang!
Just Great Stuff Organic Chocolate Dream Greens
Energy or Snack barhttp://www.bettylousinc.com
- ORAC Antioxidant Value of 21,700 (tested by credible laboratory, Brunswick Labs)
- Organic Certified
- Fruits include: Dates, Raisins, Bananas
- Freeze-dried Veggies: Carrot, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli Sprout (more info on this below)
- Protein source: Organic Rice Protein & Cashews
“Organic chocolate meets healthy fruits and veggies in this unique bar. As an experiment one day we took our delicious Organic Fruit & Veggie bar and drenched it in rich, organic dark chocolate. The result was “dreamy!” Your mouth won’t know your eating whole fruits, nuts and freeze-dried organic veggies, but your body will! Enjoy one of these nutrient-rich bars today!”
|Serving Size: 1 Bar (42 g)|
|Amount Per Serving||%DV*|
|Calories From Fat||70|
|Total Fat||8 g||12%|
|Saturated Fat||2.5 g||13%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||23 g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g||8%|
|Vitamin A (as beta carotene 100%)||15%|
|**Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.|
Purefit Nutrition Bars
|Vitamins & Minerals|
|VITAMIN A 0% VITAMIN C 4% CALCIUM 8% IRON 20% MAGNESIUM 8% PHOSPHORUS 20%|
|SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, ALMONDS, BROWN RICE SYRUP, ENERGY SMART™ (FRUIT JUICE, NATURAL GRAIN DEXTRIN), ENERGY BLEND (FRUCTOSE, NATURAL EXTRACT OF CHICORY, DEXTROSE), SOY CRISPS (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, TAPIOCA STARCH, SALT), ORGANIC AGAVE SYRUP, SOY NUTS, SOY FLOUR, CRANBERRIES (CRANBERRIES, PINEAPPLE SYRUP, SUNFLOWER OIL), RASPBERRIES, NATURAL FLAVORS, CHICORY FIBER. MANUFACTURED IN A PLANT THAT ALSO PROCESSES MILK, EGG AND PEANUTS.|
Calories From Fat 60
|Total Fat 7g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 0.5g||3%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carb 25g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
Purefit was kind enough to send me a bar in each of their flavors to try like their Berry Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter Crunch bars. They are gluten free, all natural and have a good nutritional balance. I shared the Peanut butter crunch bar with a friend and her comment was “Um, it tastes organic.” The husband and I tried the other flavors and agreed it kept well in our bags without getting beat up or melty and kept us full almost like a meal bar. As my friend stated in her own way though (haha), they weren’t the most delightful in flavor or texture. A little like a chewy play-dough consistency (expected for any protein bar) and muted in flavor…which could be good or bad depending on how you like your bars. They do have a great nutritional profile if you like soy protein (non GMO) and kept us feeling full.
Energy or Snack Bars
These are one of our favorite bars, chewy, moist and satisfying! Not to mention a fantastic all raw and nutrient rich whole food profile. Thank you to the crew for sending us a box of almost every flavor to try and review!
Flavors & Ingredients:
- Cashew & Agave Nectar (cashew, dates, agave nectar, almonds, sprouted flax seed)
- Spirulina & Cashew (cashew, dates, agave nectar, spirulina powder, almonds, sprouted flax seed)
- Coconut & Agave Nectar (cashew, dates, agave nectar,coconut, almonds, sprouted flax seed)
- Chocolate & Cashew (cashew, dates, agave nectar, cocoa processed with alkali, almonds, sprouted flax seed)
- Chocolate & Coconut (cashew, dates, agave nectar,coconut, cocoa processed with alkali, almonds, sprouted flax seed)
- Hazelnut & Chocolate (cashew, dates, agave nectar, coconut, cocoa processed with alkali, almonds,hazelnuts, sprouted flax seed)
- Raspberry & Chocolate (cashew, dates, agave nectar, coconut, cocoa processed with alkali, almonds, raspberry powder, sprouted flax seed)
Our favorites out of the bunch:
Tropical banana Oranic Green Superfoods Bar: This did not taste like banana or greens but slighty sweet and yummy. A nice snack size bar.
“Organic, Raw, Kosher (parve), Vegan, Free of preservatives, refined sweeteners, gluten, soy, wheat, peanuts and all animal products. Made in a gluten, peanut and animal product free facility.
Nutrition Facts: 46g. Calories 170. Fat Cal. 60. Total Fat 7g (10%DV), Sat. Fat 0.5g (4%DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg (0%DV), Sodium 10 mg (0%DV), Total carb. 26g (9%DV), Fiber 5g (19%DV), Sugars 18g. Protein 5g, Vitamin A (8%DV), Vitamin C (6%DV), Calcium (2%DV), Iron (10%DV). Ingredients: Organic Dried Bananas, Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Hemp Protein, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed Powder, Organic Wheat Grass Powder, Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Spinach Powder, Organic Oat Grass Powder, Organic Kale Powder, Organic Broccoli Powder, Organic Barley Grass Powder, Organic Broken Cell Wall Chlorella Powder. “
Spirulina & Cashew Organic Live Food Bar: I thought this would be the most “natural/organic tasting” to use my friend’s words, but this was my favorite! YUMMY. This is their energy bar which all have similar ingredients and nutrition profiles (see above). We also loved the Coconut & Agave flavor.
“Organic, 100% Raw, Kosher (parve), Vegan, Free of preservatives, refined sweeteners, gluten, soy, wheat, peanuts and all animal products. Made in a gluten, peanut and animal product free facility. Caution: may contain naturally occurring shell & pit fragments. Nutrition Facts: 62 g, Calories 280, Fat Cal. 160, Total Fat 18g (27%DV), Sat. Fat 3g (16%DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg (0%DV), Sodium 20mg (1%DV), Total carb. 29g (10%DV), Fiber 3g (12%DV), Sugars 17g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A (0%DV), Vitamin C (8%DV), Calcium (8%DV), Iron (15%DV).
Energy Snack Bars
Thanks to MacroLife for sending me a package of their different Miracle Reds and Macro Greens “Raw Anti-Oxidant Super Food” bars and powders. The bars are good; chewy and naturally sweet and I like you can see pieces of the foods actually in it. These would be a great way to get extra servings of fruit and veggies on the run or into your kids! The powder is good in smoothies too- try a quick one with the powder, frozen bananas and almond milk.
“Macro Greens® is a non-allergenic nutrient-rich super food supplement that optimizes pH for stimulant-free health and surpasses the nutrition of five servings of fruits and vegetables without the calories or carbohydrates. The benefits include increased energy, weight loss, increased mental clarity, balanced blood sugar, strengthened immune system and improved digestion. Miracle Reds® Super Fruit Anti-Aging Blend provides a full spectrum of antioxidant protection. It contains key compounds that help mop up unstable free radicals that damage healthy cells and cause premature aging.”
|Miracle Reds Berri Berri BarServing Size 1 Bar (42g)|
|Amount Per Serving||% DV|
|Calories from Fat||70|
|Vitamin C||47 mg||78%|
|Percent Daily Values (DV) based on a 2000 calorie diet|
All Certified Organic Ingredients: Brazil Nuts, Date Paste, Agave Nectar, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberry Powder Miracle Reds® powder;Blueberry Juice Certified Organic, Boysenberry Juice Certified Organic, Cherry Juice Certified Organic, Elderberry Juice Certified Organic, Blackberry Juice Certified Organic, Papaya Juice Certified Organic, Carrot Juice Certified Organic, NON-DAIRY PROBIOTIC CULTURES 8.5 Billion units, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, FOS ANTIOXIDANTS Goji, Plant Sterols, Mangosteen, ACAi 5 to1, Pomegranate Juice Powder Certified Organic,) Rutin, Acerola, Bioflavinoids (Citrus), ADAPTOGENIC AND METABOLIC BLEND Red Raspberry Juice Powder Certified Organic, Ginger Powder (Freeze Dried), Apricot Juice Powder Certified Organic, Turmeric, Fig Juice Powder Certified Organic, NATURAL FIBER Lecithin Powder 99% Oil Free (Non-GMO), Apple Pectin, Apple Fiber, Oat Beta Glucan, HARMONIZING AND SUPPORT HERBSYucca Juice Powder, Cranberry Juice Powder Certified Organic, Celery Juice Powder Certified Organic, Beet Juice Powder Certified Organic, Nova Scotia Dulse, Cactus Powder, Aloe Vera (Freeze Dried), NATURAL PLANT ENZYMES Protease, Lipase, Amylase and Cellulase, Certified Organic Natural Flavors.