When I first saw a LARABAR, I thought it was a new offshoot of the CLIF BAR, kind of like another Luna bar. The packaging was similar and even included a story on the back of the wrapper. I bought a few to try without knowing anything about them. At first I was shocked, but that shock quickly turned into a pleasant surprise.
See, as I examined the package, I found a weird ingredients list – there were only three of them! They were dates, pecans, and almonds. I wondered where all the other “necessary” ingredients were to actually make an energy bar. The stuff about being “raw” also puzzled me. Then I was shocked when I looked at the thing!
It turns out that the bar was made mainly from a date paste with chunks of pecans and almonds thrown in, then formed into a nice rectangle. (I was expecting something like an oat bar with small pieces of dates in it.)
So once I understood, I was hooked! It turned out to be really, really good. Too bad I didn’t come up with the idea myself, though ;).
Here’s what was on the wrapper: No added sugar – Unprocessed – Raw – Non-GMO – Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Soy Free – Vegan – Kosher. Quite a nice list!
I’ve had a bunch of LARABARs since that first one, including Banana Cookie, Cherry Pie, Cinnamon Roll, and Chocolate. Banana Cookie is my favorite because it tastes just like fresh-cooked banana bread. Second place goes to Ginger Snap since it indeed tastes like a ginger snap. Pecan Pie and Cherry Pie were good along with Cinnamon Roll. One that was both good and interesting was Peanut Butter & Jelly!
I wasn’t too fond of Cashew Cookie, though. I like cashews but that bar just didn’t seem to have that much flavor. Same with the Cappuccino flavor. It was a weird flavor that wasn’t really a coffee flavor nor was it as enjoyable as a real cappuccino drink!
The chocolate Jocolat bar interesting; it was certainly a raw, bland chocolate, which was pretty good, although I preferred the other bars.
So the bars taste good, but do they make good energy bars?
They are great for snacking since they’re all-natural and deliver some fruit and healthy fats, but I have yet to try one during a bike ride. However, I assume they will work just fine. Dates are full of carbs for energy, and that’s all that really matters, right? Sure all the good fats and protein come in handy, but we need energy to ride. Looking at a Cherry Pie wrapper, I see 190 calories, 28 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, and a total 8 grams of fat. That sounds good to me. Granted a Powerbar usually has 230 calories and 45 grams of carbs, that’s not always necessary.
If you’re just looking for lots of carbs and nothing else, the Powerbar might be the way to go. But I recommend checking out the LARABAR if you want a healthier option for on-the-go snacking. It is “energy in its purest form” according to LARABAR.
My final verdict is…
Try a couple LARABARS – I suggest a Banana Cookie and a Cinnamon Roll. Based on the ingredients (or lack thereof), I can actually suggest this bar easily since it’s real food and not full of processed crap! You might even like these if you hate all the other energy bars.
Since they’re only a buck or two each, it’s not a huge loss if you don’t like them. And if you do like them, it’s a great way to get a serving of fruit during your ride.
Official website: www.LaraBar.com
Company: Lara Bar.
Product: Lara Bar Energy Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-08-04
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.
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