I’ve never been much of a breakfast person. But I generally need to eat something every 2-3 hours in order to stay alert and sane and grumpy-face-free. So I’ve consumed my fair share of breakfast bars over the years, especially since becoming gluten-free.
When you have an allergy, grabbing snacks on the go is not always a reliable option. Ever since Chef Race when I almost died of starvation, not just on the challenges but during the pit stops in the white bread capitals of the world in between, I tend to carry at least 2 bars in my purse at all times. My suitcase on that trip was 25 percent Kind Bars.
Larabar kind of remade the marketplace when their fruit and nut forward bars took off 5 years ago. Since then, Luna and Cliff have had to make way for many healthy rivals that not only tout energy and protein, but all-around nutrients. This summer I’ve been trying to eat as cleanly as possible, which has meant a lot of label reading and avoiding of frequent gluten-free fillers like soy and sugar. I wanted to share with you some of my favorites, why they rock, and what to beware of if you have other dietary concerns.
1. The Pure Bar
These bars may not be as ubiquitous as some of the other brands, but in terms of overall quality of ingredients and taste, they are one of my favorites. Any brand that uses all organic ingredients is one that I’m going to give my business to. The blueberry flavor in particular is great and kind of reminds me of the not-so-healthful nutri-grain bars of my childhood.
These seeds seem to be popping up everywhere now that they’ve emerged as the latest cool superfood. These bars are tiny and won’t do much for you in the way of a meal, but they are a great way to integrate chia into your diet throughout the day (I find the Chia Seed drinks a little goopy and weird). Be warned however: chia seeds expand when they come into contact with liquid, and I found that this process was the perfect storm for the crevices in between my teeth.
3. Kind Bars
Even with all the other options on the market, I still buy boxes of these guys to keep in my cupboards. They tend to be on the sweeter side, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, they might not be the best option for you. But the original fruit and nut bars are fairly pure and healthful. Dark Chocolate and Peanuts, maybe not as much. They aren’t organic but are non-GMO, which is what matters in my book.
4. GoMacro Macrobars
These bars are probably the most healthful on the list. But unfortunately, you can taste it. The flavor I enjoyed most was “balanced goodness” with granola and coconut. Regardless, if you’re looking for something organic to have on hand to keep you healthy and from getting hungry, this is a good one to choose.
This is the original healthy fruit and nut bar. I love the creative flavors and the bang-for-your-buck texture. There’s a lot packed into one of these little bars. I’ve seen some great recipes online for DIY larabars, so they might be worth exploring at home if you find yourself spending half your salary on bars.
The main goal of these bars is to offer a low sugar option, which is a great niche to inhabit since so many of these healthful bar options do contain a lot of sugar. They also taste great. Flavors like brownie and peanut butter are more akin to old school energy bars in texture, while the chocolate covered nut bars have that nice crunch. My one reservation about these bars is that they contain a lot of filler ingredients, the most notable of which is soy. Because of this, I don’t eat them anymore. But if you don’t watch your soy intake, give them a try.