Snack Bars (Healthy)
I have tried various kinds of bars, ranging from the protein to commercial granola bars.
Even though they are supposed to be healthy, I still find they either taste like something that is a poor substitute for real food (the protein bars) or something still resembling candy (the granola bars).
On first taste, I really liked the Quaker Oats (Simple Harvest) granola bar which consisted of dark chocolate, nuts, and I think rasberries. I still knew I was eating something more candylike though and could not just eat one!
The ingredients on the Kashi "TLC" bars appear really healthy. The company uses brown rice syrup, and the grains consist of things most people never eat, due to their unfamiliarity (unless they were eating the Kashi brand cereals). When I eat these bars, I fel like I am eating something made with healthy ingredients. They don't seem that filling though, so I wind up eating too many of them and find that the sugar amount catches up to my lack of self-discipline.
I tried Dr. Andrew Weil's line of organic bars, which tasted more like a fruit and nut bar. Ingredients were very healthy - all organic and his line of products contain the foods known for being highly anti-oxidant.
Recently I tried a snack bar that interested me not only due to its great taste, but for its ingredients. I had never seen a bar made with extra virgin olive oil. Some of the varieties of this product include the sweetenrs agave and/or molasses, too. I came across it at a health expo. I've never seen it sold in any stores. There were two lines of products - one consisted o the snack bars, the other bars that had more fiber meant for people who have weight issues. I found the bars at the website healthysnackbar. The .com site seems to be for the bars only and the .net site for the higher fiber bars. I bought a few bars at the expo and felt like I was eating something that was more evenly balanced between oats, nuts, and fruits than other bars I had. It is one of the best products of this type I have had.
I also searched high and low for a healthy granola bar that would fill me up for a few hours and still taste good. I thought of trying to make my own for months until I finally decided to do it. It was actually really easy! I don't know if you've ever considered it but I highly encourage you to try it a least once. You can control exactly what you put in them and suit them to your tastes. I also ended up saving quite a bit of money over time!
This is the recipe I used:
They taste great, the ingredients used are natural and nutritious and they are more filling than any commercial granola bar I've ever tried!
Is the South Beach cereal bar a crunchy, chewy, or cakelike texture?
Another snack bar that ranks among the best I have had in taste and ingredients ... one word of warning - it has a very exotic taste! It contains ingredients more familiar to the Indian palate ... it is the "kazana" bar.
Ingredients consist of the amla berry, ginger, turmeric, dates, evaporated cane juice, various nuts, clarified butter, organic flax seeds, and many other ingredients that only a scholar in Indian cuisine would know (the packaging from prior years listed all these ingredients - the newer packaging just lists "understandable" ingredients.
The texture is that of a slightly gooey fruit and nut bar textured with sesame seeds and small bits of nuts and fruits (like mango). The packaging for the pistachio bar identifies its contents as 80% raw. It is the most exotic tasting bar I have ever had. I like the mango coconut, pistachio, and the chai bars. If a person likes the flavor of Indian foods, they will love these bars.
Warning - these bars are not inexpensive, but when you taste them, you know you are eating something of premium quality. Nothing I have seen sold in supermarkets resembles the taste, quality, or texture of these snack bars.
I have tried many brands and dozens of different flavors (including, it would seem, 20 types of Larabar alone). By far the most tasty, while also quite healthy, would be the Pranabar line (Coconut Acai is bar of choice at the moment). Admittedly, however, I am not looking for protien or energy from such a product, but rather a simple, healthy, 200 calorie lunch element that tastes good.
I had never heard of Pranabar before. I have had Larabar and they are ok.
What I was impressed with with the Pranabars are the ingredients, in that they are all organic and consist of healthy components. From what I read of them and imagine the taste of the bar, I gather it's more of a fruity type bar similar to Dr. Weil's bars. Also, the sugar and fat content is considerably higher than that of the bars you will find on the healthysnackbar site.
After my sampling, I had the experience, as I mentioned, of this being the best bar I had tasted due to my preference for the kind of texture and taste it provided. The fact that it also contained healthy ingredients added to the enjoyment. I wish more of the ingredients were organic, but I suppose that's one way they keep the prices somewhat affordable for a more premium product. I noticed that the weight of these things is heavier than most of the other commercial granola type bars.
I enjoyed their "Taste of California" bar until I had the "Taste of Maui" bar which was even better. I had two of them and compared the price to having eaten a gourmet type muffin full of similar ingredients or a small baked good - these things remind me more of that than a typical crunchy granola bar. For the price, one of those baked goods would probably be more expensive.
Unfortunately, most of these more premium type snack foods are not cheap, but you get what you pay for at this level vs. the cheap type bars sold in convenience stores and some supermarkets.
(I didn't know we were allowed to list hyperlinked websites.
If we are, here is a more convenient link to the sites my original post referred to where I saw these products ... (if anyone knows which store sells these, please let me know!)