zoes food bars

One of my latest energy bar purchases came from a company called Zoe’s Foods. Looking over the packaging, it sounded like a cool company doing healthy, natural foods.

And seeing they’re based in Needham, MA, a town with some nice road bike riding opportunities (it’s beside where I went to college), I was excited to see what they produced.

(The bars are made in Canada, but that’s still pretty close. At least it’s not “made in China” like 90% of everything else I own.)

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Here are the ingredients from the Peanut Butter Paradise bar:

ZoeMix (ground flaxseed, rolled oats, roasted soybeans, partially defatted soy flour, isolated soy protein), brown rice syrup, partially defatted peanut flour, barley malt syrup, crisp brown rice (brown rice flour, rice flour), crisped soy nuggets (isolated soy protein, rice flour, malt, salt), glycerin, date paste, chicory syrup, natural flavors, high oleic sunflower oil, soy lecithin, salt, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols – a natural antioxidant).

Overall it looks like a pretty good bar. The rolled oats and ground flaxseed are awesome, and the brown rice syrup is a good choice of sweetener. I especially like the flaxseed content, which provides 1300mg of Omega-3 fatty acids (which is 100% of the Daily Value.)

Each 190 calorie bar is very well-rounded, providing 6g fat, 27g carbs, and 8g protein. Of the 27g of carbohydrates, only 8g are sugar, and 5g are fiber.

The other nice aspect is the ratio of sodium to potassium. With just 70mg sodium and a whole 215mg potassium, this should make up for other areas of your diet that are high in sodium.

Obviously a healthy diet based on whole foods is the optimum choice, but this is a fairly healthy bar for snacking.

Zoe’s Bar Taste Test

Zoe’s bars come in three flavors, which are basically chocolate, peanut butter, and chocolate peanut butter. I really like peanut butter, so I got a box of each flavor that contained the peanuty goodness.

zoes peanut butter bar

Peanut Butter Paradise – The taste is pretty good, but it’s not very powerful. It took a few bites before I really detected the peanut butter flavor (whereas the SoLo bar is really strong on the peanut butter flavor from the start). It’s still fairly light, but pleasant.

The texture is an odd mix of soft, chewy energy bar and crunchy rice crisps. So instead of one texture, it’s like a juxtaposition of two opposite textures in one bar.

I guess it’s somewhat similar to crossing a SoLo bar with a peanut butter rice krispie treat, but nowhere near as sweet, and not quite as good as either choice is when separate.

zoes peanut butter chocolate bar

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss – If you look at the picture, you can tell exactly what this is. It’s the peanut butter bar, but with a chocolate coating over it!

Normally I don’t care for chocolate coatings, but in this case, it really adds to the flavor. It’s a good, fairly natural chocolate taste. It’s still not a great tasting bar, but the chocolate peanut butter combo is miles better than the bland Peanut Butter Paradise. And since I don’t plan to eat these while riding, the chocolate coating isn’t a big deal.

Zoe’s also makes a plain chocolate flavor, and that could be better than both of these ones I tested, although I don’t feel like going back for another box.

Overall, the taste wasn’t out of this world, but it wasn’t bad. If I were to continue eating these on a regular basis, it would probably be as an easy way to get 1300mg of Omega-3’s. On a solely “taste” basis, I’d probably look elsewhere.

Riding with a Zoe’s Bar

I took a peanut butter bar with me on a recovery ride to see how it panned out…

First, the foil is thin and easy to open. Once open, it rips easily, even if you don’t want it to. No worries though, because the bar is dry, even when warm. Since there’s no chocolate coating to melt all over your hands, you could just take the whole bar out of the wrapper to start with.

The bar didn’t taste any different while riding. It was still pretty bland. It’s fairly easy to eat, though, because it doesn’t take long to chew.

While I didn’t get these bars to eat while riding, now I know they work fine, just in case.

My final verdict is…

These bars don’t taste bad, and they have some healthy ingredients you won’t find in most energy bars (i.e. flaxseed), but they just don’t have that “wow” factor. The taste is just too bland for me to really like them, so I doubt I would buy them again.

If you plan to try these though, I suggest going for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss, which has a little stronger flavor to it.

Official website: www.zoefoods.com

Product Review Details
Company: Zoe’s
Product: Zoe’s Everyday Health Energy Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-09-14
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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