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Best Breakfast Bars

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I LOVE the SouthBeach Cinnamon Raisin Cereal Bars. I could literally eat these things all day. They are very cinnamony and sweet and have little plump raisins throughout. Each bar is drizzled with icing which makes them feel decadent. When I open the wrapper, it has the best sweet smell. Best of all, each bar has 10 grams (!) of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Sugar is also relatively low (7 grams). Each bar clocks in at 140 calories. One of these keeps the hunger at bay and have been a godsend in terms of keeping off any post-college weight (I went from running around college to a 8-5 desk job)

If you go to couponbug.com, they have a dollar off a box. I print them off and my grocery store sells a box of five for 2.85. With a dollar off, it makes these bars ultra afforable for my limited budget. Sometimes I eat them every day for bfast w/ some fruit or almonds and I'm good till lunch!

As a side note, I have tried all the other flavors (chocolate, Peanut butter, and maple nut). The cinnamon is by FAR my favorite with PB a distant second. If you like PB alot, you will like it as it has a very PBy flavor. Instead of an white icing drizzle, it is a PB drizzle. The texture is firmer than the cinnamon and I know some people that prefer this flavor. The chocolate is just plain nasty. It tastes fake. I dont like it at all. The maple nut is just ok in my opinion. I didnt really like it either.

What are your favorite bfast bars? Granola, cereal, whatever. You heard mine. Now you all can weigh in on yours!

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  1. I have never been a b'fast bar person, until a friend of mine sent me hers. I was surprised how good they were. Agape Nutrition Bars with 133 calories, 5 g. fat, 5 g. protein, 15 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. They are made to order with six flavors:

    http://www.chefcarolyn.com/agapebars....

    1. I hated the SB peanut butter bar. To me, it tastes like "peanut flavour" and has an unpleasant chalky texture.

      I'm not a bar person anyway - I only eat them in desperate times. But I actually like the All Bran bars (they taste like Digestives cookies) and the Nature Valley bars (the crispy ones and the chewy ones).

      4 Replies
      1. re: piccola

        I agree with you on the chalky texture. But I found that the cinnamon raisin arent nearly as chalky tasting. You might give them a try.

        1. re: asiansensation007

          I loved both the peanut butter and the cinamon south beach bars for awhile, until one day, I couldn't eat them anymore. They all of a sudden made me so nauseous (which was awful because I had just bought a couple of boxes of them!). Also, I vaguely remember the sodium content being unusually high for a breakfast bar.

          1. re: asiansensation007

            I will try the cinnamon raisin ones again. I too was attracted by the 10grams of protien. But found the SB bars to be like eating 'sweet sand'

            1. re: orangewasabi

              Are those bars made with soy or something? I know they're low in carbs, so what's the crunchy stuff? It lingers in my mouth forever and I can't stand it, but I love a breakfast option that's good for me and goes well with coffee.

              "Sweet sand" is right, they're very gritty.

        2. I'm not much of a breakfast bar person either, but did recently discover that I liked Luna Bars in either Smores or Lemon Zest.

          1. My husband eats breakfast bars on his commute, but I never thought they could be that great. I figured they were mostly sugar and basically dressed up candy bars. But then we had some long flights last summer and the usual layovers and transits where the available "food" was just too awful to contemplate. I usually eat Nature's Valley granola bars, but somewhere along the way I ate a Cliff raisin-oatmeal bar. It was great . . . kind of like a sticky bran muffin. You can turn it into a meal anywhere if you can get a cup of coffee or some milk or yogurt. And they keep you from getting hungry for a good long time!

            1. I love the Luna Bar Chocolate Peppermint. While lemon is my favorite all time flavor, the Lemon Luna Bars taste like Lemon Pledge to me...too fake!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sugar Jones

                Oh yeah. I remember trying one and thinking it was like biting into a lemon scented bathroom deodorizer (not that I would know what that is like :)). The Luna Bars I've tried all seem too cloyingly sweet to me.

              2. I tend to stay away from sugary breakfasts...my "emergency" breakfast to eat while driving to work is lightly salted nuts, 1% milk and a banana...HOWEVER, I do keep a few Kashi TLC bars in my office desk just in case I don't have any of the above mentioned emergency items. Your South Beach bar might have these beat...as far as calories. The Kashi bar I have right now is the Honey Toasted 7 Grain with 4 grams of fiber, 180 calories, 7 gr. sugar, Calories from fat 50, Protein 7 grams. The serving size is 1.4 ounces. I'll check out your S.B. bars & see if grocery store carries them. The Kashi bars are a bit dry, that's the only down-side to them, in my opinion.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Val

                  Kashi bars are perfect for those emergency situations. I adore that they are whole grain, sweetened with barley malt syrup, and keep me full for quite awhile. I got a GIANT box (three flavors mixed) at Costco yesterday. Though I prefer the crunchy ones they just came out with, my family will probably tear through that giant case just this month!

                  1. re: coseboom

                    Good to know about the Kashi bars. I've recently gotten hooked on the Heart to Heart and Go Lean cereals. I'll have to keep my eye out for the bars.

                2. We've been getting the Special K ones, either strawberry or blueberry. They're nice. I like the Smart Start cinnamon ones, but Mike thought they were too much.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: revsharkie

                    I like the special K berry bars... but they're not sustaining enough to be a breakfast - a few hours later I'm STARVING!
                    If I have to eat on the run I grab an Oatmeal Square and a bottle of water and I usually don't even finish it, and it keeps me going until lunchtime.

                    1. re: Kajikit

                      The special K bars go in Mike's lunch, most of the time, just one of the many things that go with him that he grazes on all day long. When I can get them I like those South Beach mocha bars, but no, they're not sufficient for breakfast.

                      Best breakfast bars I ever had were some that I made myself with yogurt and Grape-Nuts.

                  2. If I'm looking to get some more protein, I'll go with a Zone bar - their Fudge Graham is my favorite! And being a "Zone" product, it follows the 40:30:30 ratio of carbs:protein:fat.

                    If I'm eating right before a run/exercise, I'll go with a Powerbar. This is less about taste than convenience, as they're easily digestible, and not chocolate-coated, so less mess. Partial to the Peanut butter or Vanilla Crisp.

                    For when I want a quick snack that's Au Natural, Larabars can't be beat. They typically have 3-4 ingredients - that's it. Their cherry pie bar has something like - Cherries, dates, almonds. Amazing flavor as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Rocknrope

                      I second the vote for Lara Bars... I used to eat Clif, but sometimes I find them too sweet and they have a list of a million ingredients. They now have a 'natural' version (I forgot exactly what they're called), which are quite good.

                      1. re: Rocknrope

                        I just bought some Larabars an hour ago. I've tried two of the flavours (cinnamon roll and cocoa chile) and they're both really good. I'm impressed.

                      2. Second the rec for Zone Fudge Graham bars, but I save those alongside my other favorite, Body-for-Life Cookies'n'Cream, for right after a lifting session when my body can best utilize the sugar carbs.

                        The CarbSense Myoplex are good protein/calories bang for buck, and taste decently as well. I like the Cookies'n'Cream, the Fudge one that has the chocolate mouse layer on the top, and the blueberry cheesecake flavors....

                        The tastiest bar that has way too much sugar to make it healthy is the ProMax Cookies'n'Cream... soooo damn tasty. Guess sugar'll do that for you!

                        1. I almost forgot my favorite higher-cal bar - Labrada Cookie Bars. If you're looking for a meal replacement or a post weightlifting snack, this is the go-to bar. They taste amazing - S'mores, peanut butter chocolate chip, and apple cinnamon are all great. I've had a TON of bars over the years, and most of the ones catering to the "lifting" sect really taste terrible. These bars are the exception.

                          You won't find these at the supermarket or costco, you'll have to go to a GNC for them. I order mine from Allstarhealth.com, very cheap when you buy the box, and low shipping.

                          1. Kashi Go Lean Crunchy bars are great. They come in Almond, Peanut, and Caramel (although I haven't seen Peanut in a while, and it's my favorite). Tons of fiber and protein for less than 200 calories. And they don't have that fake protein taste that so many bars have. Oooh, and they're chocolatey, which makes everything better.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pamalamb

                              Yep!

                            2. I really like the fig bars at Trader Joe's, sort of a take on the Fig Newton. They're called "A Fig Walks Into a Bar" (har har). I think there's an apple version too.

                              I also love lemon zest Luna Bars, and my friend swears by the pumpkin spice Luna Bars though I haven't been able to find any.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Pei

                                Those fig bars are great! And I love the blueberry ones too.

                                The problem I always see with many of the bars in the market is the list of ingredients reads like a chemical lab. Most of the ones mentioned here are pretty good, nutrition-wise, but beware of the convenience angle and read the label before buying. If you see more than one form of sugar, HFCS and a whole litany of unpronounceable stuff, skip it.

                              2. I like the Larabars mentioned above. They are a bit high calorie but very dense and tasty.

                                One of the worst foods - not just bars, foods - I have ever tried was an Odwalla bar. It had an overwhelmingly awful taste of children's vitamins about it. I took one bite and tossed the rest.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Snackish

                                  Oh man! I was just about to post that I eat an Odwalla bar every morning - Superfood or BerriesGoMega. I supplement with Lara Bars for mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks.

                                  1. re: Chao

                                    bump!! I love the odwalla superfood and berriesgomega bars! I ate one every day for breakfast in college, wish i could find them around here....

                                2. Right now I'm into the Honey Bunches of Oats cranberry almond bars. Though I liked them better before they added frosting - it made them just a little too sweet. The banana nut variety isn't bad, either.

                                  I would do anything to have the Carnation Instant Breakfast Bars reappear on the market. They had an odd taste that I found irresistible and just thinking about them brings back so many great memories.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Bad Sneakers

                                    I bought some of these at Big Lots. They are delicious! I scarfed one down for dessert today after my lunch. The frosting doesn't bother me. Since they are at Big Lots, makes me wonder if these are discontinued. Does anyone know?

                                    1. re: gyp7318

                                      Sadly a only a week or so after I posted about the HBoO bars they disappeared from all the store shelves around here. I haven't seen them since. Looks like they have been sent to the Breakfast Graveyard.

                                    2. re: Bad Sneakers

                                      t’s been years since I’ve had the Carnation bars... I’d completely forgotten them til I’d read your post. They did indeed have a very distinct flavor with I can still taste in my mind. They’re off the market, you say??

                                      DAMN YOU, BAD SNEAKERS! !! ! ! ! !...... Now you have me craving something I can’t have and didn’t even realize I had missed.

                                      Ah well...... That’s the danger you faces when reading this board.

                                      I forgive you.

                                      Uncle Ira

                                      1. re: Uncle Ira

                                        Believe me, I feel your pain.

                                        1. re: Bad Sneakers

                                          And they had such a cool texture, too. Like they were made of little tiny pebbles.
                                          Yum.

                                      2. re: Bad Sneakers

                                        I just started a petition to get them back! Pleas go to http://www.petitiononline.com/cb01/pe...
                                        and sign.
                                        We need to get Carnation Breakfast Bars back!
                                        Cam

                                        1. re: Bad Sneakers

                                          I now have Carnation Breakfast Bar on the brain and it is making me nuts! I remember them so well and they were kind of pebbly and soooooo good. RATS!

                                          1. re: Bad Sneakers

                                            I too crave the crunchy goodness of the chocolate chip Carnation Instant Breakfast Bar. Haven't found anything I like as well as I don't care for sticky gooey bars. Even did a site search in hopes Carnation had come to their senses! Still have in my posession expiration date free coupons for those bad boys!

                                          2. I like equibars. They're not for everyone though. I bought one expecting it taste gross, but it was great and filling.

                                            1. Oatmeal raisin walnut cliff bars. My husband likes several of the flavors, but I'm only partial to that one. They're a great emergency meal with coffee, tea, milk, kefir.

                                              1. Clif Bars

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  clif bars are delicious on any level. like an energy cookie. im a fan of many of the clif bar products.

                                                  the kashi bar with a lot of nuts in it is also good. ive had some good luna bars, some not so good. also i still find teh crunchy cinnamony nature valley bars quite delicious and always have. larabars are almost all quite impressive. very natural yet very different taste.

                                                  1. re: tinymango

                                                    I should also add that Odwalla bars are pretty good as well.

                                                2. Has anyone tried the Fiber One breakfast bars? I keep on hearing good things but can't find them at the grocery store.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                    I work out at Curves, and they gave us a 'goodie bag' with a Fiber One bar (oatmeal chocolate chip were the primary flavors). I liked it; it was only around 120 calories and had 7 or 8 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, I have yet to find them on the grocer or drug store shelves...

                                                    1. re: Niki in Dayton

                                                      I finally bought some on sale at Pathmark. They're pretty good, actually, but not enough to convert me to breakfast bars, which I don't normally eat. And when I do, I prefer the All Bran bars because they taste like whole-wheat Digestives cookies.

                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                        I'm not really a fan of breakfast bars either, but for work travel, when I'm stuck in a hotel, they are convenient.

                                                    2. re: piccola

                                                      Yeah, these are okay. The peanut butter ones are definitely the best.

                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                        The Fiber One bars seem overly sweet and one dimensional to me. I like the Nature Valley sweet n salty nut bars, especially almond. A friend gave me a granola bar in a black wrapper with big pieces of banana, coconut and I think macadamia nuts. That was the best... I just wish I could remember the name!

                                                        1. re: scoutmom1973

                                                          I suspect that was a Quaker "True Delights" bar in the Coconut-Banana-Macadamia flavor. Also comes in Dark Chocolate-Raspberry-Almond and Cashew-Mixed Berry.

                                                      2. I like the Quaker Oats Chocoate Chip. They satisying, but not sure how "healthy" they are. But has anyone tried to make their own?
                                                        Not too long ago I made too much oatmeal and decided to try to make some bars. I add ground flax, cinnamon, almonds, honey, molasses, and raisins and apple chips. Mixed it over high heat, then put it on a small baking sheet with Pam, and then baked it low and slow in my convection oven. While baking the aroma was divine, just like apple pie...Whene they were ready I cut them into bars, and placed them on the counter in a glass air tight jar. The only problem was keeping my hand out of the jar. I ended up eating all of them, in one day!

                                                        1. Urg, I used to work at GNC and at a gym, and have had way too many protein bars in my life. most of the ingredients are disgusting. I dont need glycerin and geletain and sugary crap in my bars. I used to like the lambrada ones, but now I cant look at them.

                                                          I will still consume zone bars occasionally, when Im craving a snack/part of lunch in class or while I'm on a car/bus ride, and clif, lara, and kashi bars hit the spot too.

                                                          Ive made my own bars with splenda, oats, protein powder, egg white, and peanut butter (natural, just the crushed peanuts)before. Occasionally I will add some nuts or fruit and they turn out quite nice. Spreading the mixture on the bottom of a glass dish and leaving in the fridge makes them chewy and moist.

                                                          1. The bar that does it all for me is the Atkins Advantage almond brownie flavor. I like it because it's not coated in chocolate or anything else, so it doesn't melt or loose it's shape when it's warm. No mess.

                                                            The nutrition, to me, is fantastic. 21 grams protein, 0 sugar, 7 grams fiber, 220 calories. I know there are bars with fewer calories, but with all the protein and fiber, I just can't stop choosing these. Oh, and I look for them at discount places. I've seen them at the Ocean State Job Lot.

                                                            1. I was watching Good Eats last night and Alton Brown made his own homemade protein bars. Recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip.... I am a student and am always looking for portable nutrition, but most bars taste chemical-y and overly sweet to me, so I'm excited to try this recipe sometime. He gave the calorie count on the show (thought it's not on the website) - don't remember exactly but it was less than a Power Bar I believe. The website says store for a week but he said on the show that you could store them much longer in the freezer.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: dubedo

                                                                I made numerous batches of these over the last year as they became my teen daughter's favorite lunch--a double size bar, that is (if I recall, it's 160 calories per bar as the recipe is written). It''s a pretty tasty recipe, and you can vary the flavor by your choice of dried fruit--she's an apricot fan, so that was a big component for ours. Terribly healthy and wholesome, with a good shot of protein, though not the best looking item I've ever made. I would cut them up and freeze them individually in plastic wrap--they'd be defrosted by lunchtime. A bit of a pain to make, but you get 24 small ones or 12 large, so it's worth the time.

                                                              2. My favorite breakfast bar is Valrhona Guanaja.

                                                                Scott

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Scott

                                                                  If the Valrhona Guanaja is your breakfast bar of choice, I'd love to see what your favorite dessert bar would be ...

                                                                2. For pure taste, Nitro-Tech's Chocolate Peanut Butter are good, and have 30g of protein!

                                                                  The Power Bar Carb Select Protein Plus Chocolate PB are also good, but higher in saturated fat.

                                                                  1. i love luna!

                                                                    cookies and cream
                                                                    chocolate pecan pie
                                                                    smores
                                                                    chai tea

                                                                    yummy!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: abbefaith

                                                                      I absolutely LOVE the iced oatmeal raisin. I really, REALLY did not like the toasted nuts and cranberry.

                                                                      1. re: abbefaith

                                                                        I love the LUNA Sunrise Vanilla Almond Bar. (I think "Sunrise" is their breakfast bar.) The flavors Chai Tea and Dulce de Leche fall into the same category for me. I just bought a box of the Vanilla and the Chai from Whole Foods. They give you a 10% discount for buying a box. The checkout girl said you can mix and match too.

                                                                      2. Baker's Breakfast Cookies- if you want a true meal. They are great and very nutritious although I usually only have them pre or post workout.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: forzagto

                                                                          I'm in Calif. and would like to try the Baker's Breakfast Cookies. Also my high school daughter is a runner and she might like these too. I'm in Calif. I saw the website, but don't want to buy a dozen before trying. Any idea where I can find them?

                                                                          1. re: anniediaz

                                                                            Try calling the company to see if they sell somewhere in your area. Also, a lot of fitness facilities seem to carry them. If there is a LifeTime Fitness anywhere near you, I know they have them.

                                                                            BTW, they are excellent!!

                                                                        2. I used to really like PR Bars. They aren't specifically for breakfast, but they are great in the morning to get you going for a workout. They are very filling and easily tide you over until lunch. I typically could not even finish a whole bar. Unfortunately the only flavor I liked, yogurt berry, got discontinued some time ago. They have a strawberry yogurt flavor now, but it is not the same so I no longer buy them.

                                                                          I tried the new soyjoy bars yesterday. They are current;y running a promotion to launch these bars, and by signing up on their website, I received three free by mail. I had high hopes for them, but was terribly disappointed. I received the apple, coconut mango, and raisin almond flavors and did not like any of them. The apple bar tasted weirdly like an apple jolly rancher which is just plain wrong IMO. My fiancee also tried a bite of each and actually spit them out! What a bummer.

                                                                          1. Asiansensation, I'm with you on the South Beach - they're the only ones that aren't super dry or crumbly. The Cinnamon Raisin and the Maple Nut are great!

                                                                            www.refinedrogue.com

                                                                            1. costco here recently had "Pria" bars on sale, i liked all 4 flavors.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                I like the carrot cake, oatmeal raisin, or banana nut bread Clif bars, and just about any flavor Zone bar.

                                                                              2. Clif Bars are my all-time favorite. two each morning for breakfast, unbelievable. iced gingerbread (seasonal), chocolate brownie, and lemon poppyseed are my favorites.

                                                                                yum.

                                                                                1. Think Thin! Crunchy Peanut Butter bars (available at Trader Joe's) are great, especially if you're looking for one with low sugar. The taste and texture actually make it seem like you're eating something substantial. Amazing!

                                                                                  1. I don't like chocolate or peanut butter, so that lets out probably 60-70% of the meal bars on the market, I think. I do like the Clif raisin-walnut, and their special holiday gingerbread and pumpkin ones, even though they are pretty sweet. Also, I like Clif's Mojo line, and have them occasionally. There used to be a curry nut one, but I haven't been able to find it lately.

                                                                                    I like the banana-nut Odwalla bar, but haven't liked their pomegranate or carrot ones.

                                                                                    Oh - and to the poster below - I love finding weird food at Big Lots! So many fascinating jarred things, and some great bargains too!

                                                                                    Discovering Larabars also added a whole new group of possibilities--the cashew one is wonderful and very different, and I really like the apple one too.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Bluebell

                                                                                      Have you tried South Beach Diet's Cinnamon Roll bar? They're pretty darn good, and got a good 40-30-30 ratio basically.

                                                                                      Also Zone's Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry Yogurt.

                                                                                      Strive Bars have a great crispy crunchy yet slightly gooey texture, and the Berry flavor is great.

                                                                                      I'm also a fan of Tri-o-Plex by Chef Jay... Caramel Apple, Very Berry, Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Raisin Roll--all good flavors, and the cookies are pretty good too... Oatmeal Raisin, White Choc macad nut, caramel apple...

                                                                                    2. I've tried several but always go back to Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars. I especially like the Roasted Almond and the Peanut Butter. They are about 200 calories and vary from bar to bar with regard to fat. It has more sugar than I would like but it keeps me away from a lot of greater evils.

                                                                                      1. The Breakfast Bar that I love is Kellogg's Special K Bliss in the Chocolately Dipped Rasberry Flavor, only 90 Calories Per Bar, Total Fat 2 g, Choles. 0, Sodium 70mg Total Carb 17g, Sugar 9g and Protein 1g.

                                                                                        1. Organic Food Bars: vegan, Omega-3, and Belgian chocolate chip (they're gluten-free and vegan!)

                                                                                          1. Nothing beats Probar. Nothing. Completely satisfying, wonderful variety of flavors, fresh as all get out and good for ya! http://theprobar.com/

                                                                                            1. I've been eating Nature Valley crunchy granola bars for breakfast for around 20 years. (Mom used to send me off to the bus stop with one of those every morning). I still love the oats and honey best.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: vcavett

                                                                                                NV crunchy are my favorite, too, all flavors. The new Oats n Dark Chocolate are really good!

                                                                                              2. I keep them around for desperate times: My two favorites are;

                                                                                                Quest Protein Bars, which are made of either almonds/peanuts with whey protein and inulin. The nutritional profile is crazy good - 20gm pro, 15gm fiber IIRC - as is the taste.
                                                                                                http://www.questproteinbar.com/

                                                                                                Elev8 Me Bars, these are more the 'mixed trail mix' kind of bars. The coffee and the coconut ones are quite tasty.
                                                                                                http://www.prosnack.com/

                                                                                                Honorable mention goes to the VPX Zero Impact Pumpkin bars. These are targeted to bodybuilders, but my oh my, they are tasty and the ingredients list does not suck.
                                                                                                http://www.vpxsports.com/sports-nutri...

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                                  How many calories do the Quest bars have? Where can you buy them? My favorite are the Atkins Advantage Peanut Nougat Bar.

                                                                                                  1. re: mymomisthebestcook

                                                                                                    Quest bars are 220-230 cals (depending on flavor). They are only available online. These are great if you are looking to avoid sugar.

                                                                                                  2. re: meatnveg

                                                                                                    the zero impact may be tasty, but they're terribly high in fat - yes i know they're intended as a meal *replacement,* though some people (mostly non-builders) treat these bars as snacks - but these have 440 calories, 20 g of fat, and 4g of saturated fat... more like a guilty pleasure than a healthy substitute.