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Jun 16, 2007 03:58 AM

Energy bars that taste good?

Overwhelmed by the number of energy bars in my health food store and looking for guidance, especially any recommended date bars. TIA

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  1. After suffering through most of the mass market energy bars out there, marveling at their chemical-y flavor profiles and suspect textures, I have decided there's only one I'll eat: Lara bars. Each one has between 2 and 5 ingredients, all of which are whole organic foods like fruits and nuts. Ok, I suppose the few with chocolate aren't "whole" foods (there is some processing there), but here's the thing about Lara bars: they actually taste good. They taste like fruits and nuts, and they provide a good amount of energy when I'm slumping. There is no added sugar -- any sweetness comes from the fruit itself. I take a bunch of them whenever I travel for conferences and the like, where the prospect of anything healthy/affordable/palatable is in question.

    My favorite flavors are the ginger snap, which is wicked gingery with good spice, the cherry pie, which tastes of high quality unsweetened dried tart cherries, and the cashew cookie, which is super cashew-y.

    Here's my caveat though, these are whole food bars that deliver energy via the natural sugars from fruit and proteins from nuts. Their not engineered like power bars (etc) are for intense athletic activity. So, if you're looking for that kind of carefully tweaked bar with all the appropriate ratios and chemically balanced nutrients, this isn't it. Of course all those bars taste like crap.

    2 Replies
    1. re: litchick

      Thanks for the great info, litchick. I'm not looking for "power" bars, just something that will tide me over when I can't get to real food.

      1. re: litchick

        I must have had a bad Lara bar. Twice.

        I tried a "ginger snap" a few weeks ago and found it severely lacking in ginger and filled with something else, decidedly non-ginger snapish. After a bite or two it went into the trash, following the course of the first Lara bar I had tried (either the pistachio or pecan if I recall correctly).

      2. Not sure if you're a male or female or what you are trying to benefit from it. Like litchick said, different content for different results. Are you looking for a daily meal replacement or something to satisfy a craving that isn't candy?

        My husband likes the "Pure Protein" brand; specifically the 20g chewy chocolate chip. I go with a soy-based shake personally because I prefer fat free and lower sugar but if you're looking for lower protein and just a good mid-day boost, I like the Special K peanut butter protein bars. Easy to come by, cheaper than most because of a lower protein content (10g) and really satisfies the chocolate/peanut butter craving.

        But at around a $1.50 per bar, I'd suggest making a list of what you hope to get from them (higher protein, lower fat, lower sugar, etc.) and going from there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: creativeusername

          Second vote for Pure Protein bars..the peanut butter one is great. Clif bars are also a good choice, cheaper too. Again I like the peanut butter one.

          These bars are a great option for a tide e over...just realize the calorie content some can have if you are watching that. More of a meal replacement than a snack

          1. re: creativeusername

            Third vote for Pure Protein bars. They're all good, but the S'mores bar is my all time favorite.

            1. Lara bar has one that is cashew and dates only that's pretty good.


              I prefer making my own trail mix to it, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chowser

                I second Larabar Raw Natural Food Bars especially the cashew, pure and easy to digest taste great.. really good with a banana....

                my other favorite is Clif Mojo Bars nutty, salty, crunchy and don't taste like a power bar

                to me the rest taste fake and processed.

              2. don't eat energy bars, but when I was in TJ's looking for some to give out, the young lady stocking the energy bar area(can you believe how much shelf space in TJ's goes to energy bars??) said without hesitation, "THESE!" which were the KID'S Clif Bars. "They are the best."

                They are half sized and half priced at 49 cents.

                3 Replies
                1. re: toodie jane

                  I second these. They have half the sugar that other bars have, too, and they really are enough to get over the gap until mealtime.

                  The most filling bar for me is the Genisoy bar (peanut butter, mocha, chocolate, etc.) But they are getting harder to find. T.J.'s dropped them, my local heath food store has cut way back and Whole Foods seems to be the last supplier. You can find them occasionally at Target but only once in a while.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Oh, cool. What flavors are good? Are they kiddie type flavors like bubblegum and razzleberry? kidding about that last part...but really, any recs?

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      The Clif kid's bar is the Z Bar! Flavors I've had are "chocolate chip" and "chocolate brownie". I also bought "honey graham" and "peanut butter" and I'm going to try them this week. They're yummy, and not too sweet. Much less filling than a whole Cliff bar. They're the perfect size for me. I do like the special holiday Cliff bar flavors, but I usually have to split them in half.

                      I tried the key lime Larabar today and it was very good!