As soon as I saw those bars, I was sure I was staring at what could be called “the low-price LARA BAR.”
According to the label, it’s an “all natural fruit and nut bar.” When you see the ingredients, you’d swear it was a LARA BAR – it’s a date bar with some nuts added in. Some of the ingredients are even organic, which is pretty sweet when you consider how I found these on sale for $4 a dozen! (At 33 cents each, I got these cheaper than most candy bars!)
The two flavors I tried are cocoa coconut and cashew, pecan, and honey. At first I thought both of them were kind of bland, but after having a few, I’m beginning to enjoy them.
Continue reading for flavor and nutrient comparisons…
Simply put, this tastes like a chocolate bar. One of those semi-bland, organic types of chocolate bar. The first time I had it, I thought it was very bland and dry. After having two or three, the taste began to grow on me. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, so I don’t love these, but they’re not bad. You do taste a little bit of coconut, too, so that adds to the flavor.
As for the texture, it’s more like Chunks of Energy than the LARA BAR, because these Simple Harvest bars are packed with walnuts and other goodies. The nuts and other additions overpower the date flavor and smooth texture. (I prefer the smoother, more ‘date-like’ texture.)
The best way to describe it is a combination of both; not quite as smooth as the LARA BAR, but not as grainy as the Chunks. It’s decent though (and I’d still prefer this over a Clif Bar or Powerbar.)
Coming in at 200 calories, it’s right on par with most energy bars and granola bars.
Cashew, Pecan, and Honey
Ingredients: Dates, pecans, cashews, honey.
On the other side of the taste spectrum we have the Cashew, Pecan, and Honey bar. It is much better, and sweeter, than the Cocoa Coconut, but I wish it had a shorter name. I think something more concise like “Honey Cashew” would do the trick.
Anyway, this bar tastes great and it’s sweet, which must be because of the added honey. I love cashews, too. But even with the nuts, the bar is still moist and chewy.
The soft texture is nice, but it sure goes down quick for being 240 calories. That’s great on the bike, though, when you just want a good source of energy that’s easy to eat. (Don’t you hate it when you waste energy trying to chew an energy bar?)
Overall I loved this flavor and will be buying as many as I can find at 33 cents each!!
Nutrient Comparison: LARABAR vs Simple Harvest Bar
Considering how similar these bars are, I thought it would be interesting to do a little nutrient comparison. On the chopping block we have a Pecan Pie LARABAR vs the Cashew, Pecan, Honey Simple Harvest bar:
LARABAR 200, Simple Harvest 240. The 40 calorie difference looks substantial, except that a lot of energy bars vary from 190-240 calories based on the flavor, so this isn’t surprising.
LARABAR 14g, Simple Harvest 14g. Exactly the same.
LARABAR 0mg, Simple Harvest 5mg. Practically the same.
LARABAR 22g, Simple Harvest 29g. This is about the only place they differ. The Simple Harvest bar brings 7 more grams of carbs to the table, which, again, is great for on-bike eating.
LARABAR 16g, Simple Harvest 21g. 5 of those 7 more grams mentioned above come straight from the sugar. (Which would be from the honey in this case.)
LARABAR 4g, Simple Harvest 4g. Exactly the same, once again.
So overall these bars are pretty close. The LARABAR has a few more vitamins and minerals listed, but perhaps the Simple Harvest bar has them, too. It might just not list them all, because they aren’t that high in any certain mineral. (Plus, the ingredients are so similar, it would make sense.) The only real difference is that the Simple Harvest bar has more sugar content, but it has honey as an ingredient.
Based on that comparison, I’d actually recommend the Simple Harvest bar as an on-bike energy bar. The honey will go to good use, fueling your muscles!
My final verdict is…
These Quaker Simple Harvest Fruit and Nut Bars have a pretty good taste, they’re healthy, and they’re cheap. That’s perfect for me! As much as I love the LARA BAR, I’m always looking for the cheapest option! So, for $4 a dozen, I’m not passing these up!
I highly recommend the Cashew flavor. (But if you like chocolate, go ahead and try the Cocoa Coconut.)