I was so excited to receive a package from my new friends at LARABAR this week! I was like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for it to arrive. They sent me samples of their Seasonal Flavors to try and review. If you haven’t tasted these yet, you’d better find some quick before they are gone. I honestly don’t know how they can make something made with only fruit, nuts and spices taste so much like Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread, and Snickerdoodles, all for under 200 calories.
I discovered LARABAR just this fall after I read fellow blogger “100 Days of Real Food” raving about them. I had been in search of a healthier snack bar for a couple of years now since I started “eating clean.” I usually try to go for an apple, a banana, carrots or raw almonds when I snack, but I like to keep something in my purse for those times when I’m really hungry and I just don’t have another option. For awhile my “go to” was Kashi brand granola bars and then I switched to Kind and Nature’s Path, which have a fairly healthy list of ingredients. However I was looking for something with fewer ingredients, all of which were “real” food with as little processing as possible, and under 200 calories. That’s exactly what I found in LARABAR. They are the perfect snack to help me refuel after my morning run or after the craziness of getting my girls off to school and chasing after my two and a half year old. They are so filling they could even make a great breakfast and these Seasonal Flavors are so delicious, I might even start eating them on occasion for dessert!
The Banana Bread flavor contains just almonds, dates and unsweetened bananas. That is it! There is no added sugar and many are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. I have not tasted all the flavors, but so far my favorites are Blueberry Muffin, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Peanut Butter Cookie. Just be sure you look at the nutrition facts on each flavor. Some are higher in calories than others. I pick the flavors that are 190 calories. That is still even a bit much for a snack for me (I usually try to stick to two snacks a day each 150 calories or less.) Blueberry Muffin, Apple Pie and the Seasonal Flavors I sampled all fit the bill. Banana Bread has slightly more calories at 230, so I probably won’t make that one of my regular purchases. However, it was delicious and tastes very much like banana bread. Of the Seasonal Flavors, Pumpkin Pie is the best. The others were delicious as well, but maybe even just a little too rich for me. I have not tried the other varieties of LARABAR yet like the UBER, ALT, RENOLA, and JOCOLAT. I have stuck to the original as they seem to have the fewest ingredients and calories.
I should mention that the LARABARs I have tried have around 20 grams of sugar in them. Now there is no added sugar, this is all natural sugar from the fruits contained in them. I am no dietitian, but I know that too much sugar can be bad no matter what the source. I also know from logging what I eat in My Fitness Pal, that I am to stay below 24 grams of sugar for the whole day. So you really should only have no more than one of these a day and maybe consider it to be a special treat just now and then. That said, you can feel good that you are eating a nutritious snack made with healthy, real ingredients. My kids even love them! Even though I am tempted to hoard them to myself, I am so happy to give them these instead of Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars.
Thank you LARABAR for the delicious products you sent me! I loved them so much, that I might even eat one for a guilt free dessert on Thanksgiving. Well, ok, maybe just for a snack on Thanksgiving. There are a handful of times I don’t feel guilty about splurging on dessert and Thanksgiving is one of them.
Keep an eye on my Facebook page, Running with Skissors, and my Twitter feed @RunningSkissors for a giveaway of my favorite LARABARs!
I was not compensated for this review. I was provided samples by LARABAR in exchange for my honest review of their product.