Sunday, August 14, 2011


I received these gluten-free snack bars at the Fancy Food Show in Washington DC last month. This is just the tip of the iceberg, sample-wise! I'll probably review another bunch of bars in the next week or so. (Trying not to live on sweet snacks, though.)
First up is the familiar Larabar, vegan and gluten-free. This time with a new blueberry flavor, Blueberry Muffin. I love Larabars, and when I was first diagnosed, the fact that they were so readily available at Trader Joe and other shops was part of the reason I gained so much weight in the first three months of going gluten-free. They just tasted so healthy I never believed there could be any ill effects of eating two or three a day---wrong!! This particular flavor, though, I think I could have resisted. For one thing, despite its beautiful blue packaging, the flavor of blueberries is extremely subtle, or, perhaps, hardly there. My favorite: cashew, apple, really any of the old standards. It's a great brand for gluten-free vegetarians or vegans and I'm grateful they exist.
Next are the Oskri coconut bars, also gluten-free and vegan. I'm usually the first to try anything coconut, so I was positive I'd love these. The coconut almond bar was the one I tried first, and unfortunately it had not been refrigerated, so it practically melted in my hands. The almond flavor was a bit overwhelming. These bars are VERY high in fat, 13g, and not that high in protein, 1.3g, so for me, they need to be judged more as a candy bar than an energy bar. The coconut pineapple was tried after time in a fridge, but even firmed up, you are aware of the high fat content. It is FILLING. The pineapple taste is subtle. These would be recommended if you need an infusion of calories quickly, but only if you've kept them cool.

Finally, the Wai Lana Yogi Bar, sunflower coconut flavor, vegetarian (not vegan), and containing soy. I'd never seen this bar before, but I will definitely keep an eye out now that I've tasted one. (Actually, two small bars in each package, but I couldn't resist eating both at once.) With great taste and a healthy balance of fats, protein and fiber, this bar is the hands-down winner of this group. It is the only one of these bars with a complex, rich flavor. The blend of fruits (dates, cherries, orange extract), sunflower seeds, coconut, skim milk powder and carob is so satisfying that simple writing about it makes me want to head out in the rain to look for one! And clearly, beling the top bar here might not be a fluke, because reading the names of the others this company makes is very tempting: Apricot Cashew, Autumn Apple, Cherry Pomegranate, Nana Banana, Tropical Macadamia, Strawberry Shake and Cranberry Almond. If each is made with the same delicacy that the Sunflower Coconut Bar displays, count me in for a large scale taste test!

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