Both Tony and I absolutely love the concept of Core Meal Bars. No supplements (like protein powders or vitamin infusions), no added sweeteners, just a small handful of ingredients to make a truly hearty whole food meal on the go. And not just any meal, but the ever-so popular bowl of oatmeal.
For starters, Core Meal Bars are certified organic, raw, vegan, and tested gluten-free. By ingredients, they are also soy-free and literally contain 6 ingredients or less. Our flavor of choice, the Almond Raisin, contains just Organic: Whole Oats, Almonds, Raisins, Flax, and Ground Spices.
With an ingredient list like this, you might not expect a sweet bar, and you would be correct. These really do taste like a cool bowl of oatmeal, without the added brown sugar or maple – just raisins and spices to heighten the flavor. After the initial surprise, my taste buds settled into the mellow, earthiness. In fact, all I wanted to go with it was a cup of spiced tea, no sweetener required. That said, it could use a good pinch of salt to brighten the flavors (they have no added salt – just 5mg of sodium per bar!).
There is another interesting thing that makes Core Meal Bars stand out from the pack – they are dense, really DENSE. I’ve sampled many bars that claim to be a meal replacement, but my growling stomach often argues otherwise. Yet, after eating just half of a Core Meal bar, I was good for 2 to 3 hours. Each full bar clocks in at around 400 calories (finally, a good whole food value!), with 8 grams of oat-y fiber, 11 grams of nutty protein, and the sugars and fats are purely fruit and nut / seed-based.
The Core Meal Bars are also available in Walnut Banana and Cashew Cacao flavors. Admittedly, neither Tony or I likes the textural combination of banana, nut butter and oats, so that variety didn’t catch our fancy personally, but I know that it could be very popular with others. We both liked the Cashew Cacao texture and vibe, but the unsweetened cacao bits were a little too bitter and strong for this non-coffee drinker. If you love pure cacao, it is a must try.
Keep in mind, CORE Foods also produces the Core Meal Whey Bars, which look somewhat similar, but contain whey (dairy) protein. Verify that you are sampling the right one for dairy-free and vegan! You want the ones that look like this…
Certifications: Core Meal Bars are Certified Organic, Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Kosher DE, and a Certified B Corporation.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, the Core Meal Bars are vegan, vegetarian, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the CORE website at www.corefoods.com.