Friday, August 2, 2013

In January I began a food blog to share my passion for cooking and food. I love to cook and have always liked to use fresh ingredients and whole foods instead of instant products. As I got more into posting blogs and really looking at the food I cooked with I realized not all foods are created equal. Many times we think we are providing  healthy meals to our families and loved ones by cooking at home, but many products don't have the nutritional value we think they do. Over the last seven months I have really started looking at the products I use,  researching how things are made and where they come from. I have started making changes in the way I cook and products I use, to move to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle and when possible supporting local artisans (I know that word is usually used for things produced by artists but to me food is art and creation). 

Sometimes we don't have to time to cook or just want a quick snack , there are billions of snack foods available in the market place and in the past  I have grabbed snacks that have no redeeming qualities but since starting my food research I have found snacks that are really about the quality of the food. ( Disclaimer : I am sure once in awhile I will eat a snack that is not "real food"in the future, I never said I was a saint, I am just trying to be a more concise consumer)

I contacted Stacey at LARABAR about their different product lines they offer and received a sample of some of their most popular bars. Over  a course of four weeks I have tasted each of the bars that I received and have provided my thoughts on taste , along with information from the company about ingredients and what each product  line is all  about. 

.LÄRABAR® is really about healthy eating without sacrificing taste. As a foodie we don't always "eat to live" , we eat to enjoy, socialize and discover, to us the eating is the living. 
The LARABAR product line is made up of no more than nine ingredients all of which you can pronounce and identify without a chemistry degree. They use unsweetened fruits (what nature provides) , nuts and spices. All of their products are made with whole foods, not genetically modified "foods" produced in a lab. 

The first bar I tried was the Apple Pie, this bar is made of : real apples, dates, walnuts, almonds, raisins and cinnamon. The bar was chewy not overly sweet and tasted like a warm apple pie. The cinnamon provided the warmth. This bar was a good snack in the evening.  The LARABAR website states this bar has a half a cup of fruit and 5 grams of fiber.

The cashew cookie bar is made of only two ingredients , dates and cashews. It was a amazing that a bar with only two ingredients packed so much flavor.  The bar was soft and had a nice nutty taste. This was an after dinner treat.

LÄRABAR über® was the second product line I tried. This line is made up of bars that cover your sweet and salty cravings. Like the regular LARABAR they are made of whole fruits and nuts.

The Roasted nut bar was a great snack to have while watching movies, it provided the right mixture of salty and sweet with the crunch that we all crave from time to time. This bar was very filing and keep me satisfied. It is made of: almonds, cashews, peanuts , pecans , macadamia nuts, brown rice syrup, dates, honey and sea salt.

This bar was a real treat , it had that good chewiness that you want from a macaroon with all the rich coconut flavor. This bar is made of: almonds, dates, brown rice syrup, toasted coconut, macadamia nuts, cashews honey, pecans and sea salt.

 The ALT®, the Alternative Protein Bar™, is one of the newer lines. This bar has added protein. The protein in these bars do not come form soy or whey but from peas.

This is a hearty snack bar, that has a zing of lemon , with a nice nutty flavor. I had this bar for breakfast and was satisfied until a late lunch. It has 10 grams of protein, that keeps you full. The bar is made of : dates, almonds, pea protein, brown rice syrup,brown rice flour, sunflower oil, lemon juice and  vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Cookie  contains 10 grams of protein  and is rich in peanut butter flavor. This bar was great for lunch on the go. This bar is made from :dates, peanuts, pea protein, brown rice syrup, brown rice flour and sunflower oil.

 There is another line called Jŏcalat®  which is an organic chocolate snack bar. It is made from fruits, nuts and Fair Trade chocolate.  I have not tried this product line but it is on my shopping list.

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