Larabars are the most simple packaged bars on the market! Made with only a handful of high quality all natural ingredients, it’s incredible how much flavor they pack into these little bars. Their line of flavors is forever growing. With over 20 flavors to choose from, we got some help from other bloggers to review some of the Larabar!
One Larabar is 45 grams and has 180 calories, 10 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat), 4 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber. Do not let some of the nutritional information (i.e. the fat and sugar contents) scare you – the almonds contribute Vitamin E and protein while the dates add 14 essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, the walnuts provide Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids (so the relatively high fat content is purely HEALTHY fat – and even though the bar is only 45 grams, it is VERY satisfying and filling). Everything in this bar occurs naturally – no chemicals, artificial ingredients, or trans-fats here! In fact, the bars contain no more than 9 ingredients.
Blueberry Muffin – Tony thought it was apricot but he liked it – he really didn’t think it tasted like blueberry! I was biased because I knew which flavor it was, but I liked it, too. I wouldn’t shout blueberry muffin regardless, but it was sweet, fruity and cohesive in flavor.
Peanut Butter & Jelly – Didn’t hit the mark with Tony. Definite PB&J vibe. Interesting that they chose cherries! I like it, but I like PB, and the sweet-savory contrast in this one. Tony is more of an all-sweet guy. It probably wouldn’t be my go-to flavor though, as I think I like PB Cookie better. I’m not that big on dried fruit lately.
Gingerbread – It’s good, but this isn’t my favorite Larabar. It’s notably sweet with dates and raisins, you can taste that dried fruit. But the spices taste like an afterthought. The ginger heat kicks in later, the cinnamon also emerges late in the game. It’s not a cohesive gingerbread-esque flavor like I was expecting. Perhaps just a little salt would escalate it beyond “just a date bar with nut bits”. It is sodium-free.
Snickerdoodle – It definitely didn’t taste like a Snickerdoodle cookie, but once I forgot the name and let myself just taste the food, I liked it. This one does have sea salt, so the cinnamon really pops at first bite. There is no missing the spice in this one! That said, dates are the predominant flavor, with the cashews and almonds playing second and third fiddle. The vanilla really adds a nice afterthought to the overall taste though. Tony guessed it was “cinnamon spice”.
Pumpkin Pie – I detected a faint scent of pumpkin that made this one alluring. The bar was a little drier than the others, but not in an off-putting way. Just less chewy and less “date-y”. It was nice that while still ever-present, the dates weren’t as prominent. I did note some pleasant spices, but just a pinch of sea salt (again, sodium-free) would really heighten these flavors. There was a pumpkin pie-ish vibe, and it was good, but somehow I feel like dates and pumpkin really aren’t a match made in flavor heaven. The two almost competed and didn’t marry as beautifully as I’d hoped. That said, I think many pumpkin fans would really like this one. Tony immediately guessed this one was “pumpkin”. I just recently learned that he’s really not a pumpkin fan, so this one wasn’t tops on his list.
Gingersnap – With a passion for potent spices, I can easily say that ginger snaps are tops on my cookie list. So, did it taste just like a ginger snap cookie? Well it isn’t a cookie that’s for sure, but the boldly spiced scent was heavenly, and the potent ginger and cinnamon punch certainly gave this bar a ginger snap flavor that I positively adored. My only complaint was the dash of cloves used, when it probably should have been a pinch. The cloves lingered on with a strong aftertaste. If this component was toned down, then the Ginger Snap Larabar could very well be my perfect “bar.”
Mimicking the Apple Pie Larabar (my “pie” favorite) in texture and complexity, the Ginger Snap Larabar was soft and chewy, yet nutty and easy to break apart. It even looked somewhat more attractive as far as bars go. Like the Apple Pie Larabar, this one was about as complex as Larabars get, loaded with dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Cashew Cookie – For my final Larabar venture of the week, I dove into the Cashew Cookie for yet another breakfast-on-the-go. Considering the hour, it was a nice mellow bar that worked for my sensitive early morning taste buds. This is another super-simplistic creation, like the Pecan Pie Larabar, consisting of just two ingredients, dates and cashews. It was a very nutty creation, nut erring too much on the date side. Also, since cashews have a creamier consistency, I felt that this bar had a bit more fluidity in flavor than the Pecan Pie. But, cookie flavored? I didn’t even get the slightest vibe of a cookie. It was really, a fairly neutral bar, not bad, but nothing exciting either. Of the cookie-inspired varieties I was definitely more impressed with the Ginger Snap, but I may have to get my hands on the Banana Cookie Larabar for a full “cookie” comparison.
Cherry Pie – After reading several rave reviews, I was eager to taste what the hype was about. A breakfast mishap created the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, first thing in the morning really wasn’t the best time for this particular bar, at least according to my taste buds. The unsweetened cherries mixed with the dates created a subtle sweet undertone with a slightly shocking tart taste. There were little visible nuts and the occasional small chunk, but the fruit was the overwhelmingly dominant taste. I liked the texture, which was soft and pliable without being overly chewy or adhering to my teeth. No real crunch was to be found, the nuts merely added some interest to the texture.
Really, I did like it, and there was a definite cherry pie sort of vibe, which amazed me since only dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries graced the ingredient list. However, at 8am the tartness was a bit too much for my sensitive morning palate. I may give this one another try for an afternoon snack
For the second bar, another breakfast opportunity arose. Thinking on my toes, I went for the Apple Pie Larabar, assuming that the apple and cinnamon mix would be a much better “my taste buds aren’t quite awake yet” choice. It was definitely a good decision. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it … it had that wonderful apple pie smell, and even tasted quite a bit like apple pie filling, if you use your senses a bit. The apples possessed only a natural hint of tartness that was easily combated by their own sweet juices.
The texture of the Apple Pie bar was less chewy than the Cherry Pie version, possessing more of a nutty blend (yet still soft and forgiving) that broke apart easily with each bite. As a date, nut, and dried fruit fan, I would call the Apple Pie Larabar an overall palate pleaser. The ingredient list was simple yet fulfilling – dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon.
Sensing a strange theme, I randomly grabbed the Pecan Pie Larabar when searching for an afternoon / pre-workout snack. Seriously, I really did not notice that they were all pie flavored until I grabbed this one, to prove how unawake I was when I went for the other two! Rivaling the simplicity of the Cherry Pie Larabar, this one contained only dates, pecans, and almonds. Having only tried a pecan pie once in my life, and too many years ago to really remember, I am probably not the best person to reference any similarities between this bar and the real thing. Nonetheless, I must confess that I was slightly under-whelmed by the Pecan Pie Larabar. It tasted like, well … dates and nuts. Early in the morning it was surely sedated enough, and luckily I like dates and nuts, but from my standpoint, it is more worthwhile and cost effective for me to simply grab a handful or two of dates and nuts. I also found it odd that while there were a few very big nut chunks in the bar, they were all chunks of almonds! Really, I cannot speak on a pecan pie’s behalf, but it would seem to me that almonds would not be the prevalent nuts in one, lest the name be changed to almond pie.
VeggieGirl tried and reviewed the Apple Pie for us!
While I love having fortified energy bars (like the Odwalla Super Protein bar) on hand to supplement my vegan diet and higher-calorie needs for my workouts, sometimes it is nice to alternate a fortified bar with a nutrition bar that is very pure, with minimal processing. When I discovered the Larabar at Whole Foods, I knew I had found such a bar. My attention was immediately drawn to the bold statements plastered on the front of the label, about this bar: “1 Serving of Fruit – No added sugar – Unprocessed – Raw – Non-GMO – Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Soy Free – Vegan – Kosher.” My, what an impressive résumé for the Larabar – quite an over-achiever. While there was no question in my mind that this bar was nutritionally-sound, I still had to see if its taste was up to par.
After just one bite, I was completely sold on this bar – it is PACKED with pieces of almonds and walnuts, has a sweet (but definitely not overly sweet) apple and cinnamon flavor, and has a nice, chewy texture. Overall, a very pleasing experience for my taste buds – all while nourishing my body, as well!
Hannah got her hands on a newer Larabar flavor:
Peanut Butter Cookie – it was just as incredible and nutty as you might hope. Admittedly a bit greasy and crumbly, all textural failings are swiftly forgotten as that intense, unadulterated peanut flavor spreads itself across your palate. Large pieces of peanuts surface every now and then to contribute a satisfying crunch, and trust me, it really does satisfy! Impossibly filling for such a tiny snack, one of the babies can keep you going for hours. Now, if only they came out with a chocolate version for this one…
Coconut Cream Pie was the unexpected favorite in this batch. Incredibly rich with coconut flavor, I daresay it’s the next best thing to eating the fresh fruit itself. Studded with nuts and coconut flakes and yet so soft that it’s almost like eating raw cookie dough, I couldn’t get enough of these. As a fair-weather coconut enthusiast myself, I’m betting that even those wary of this tropical delight will even enjoy these bars.
Cinnamon Roll – I grabbed this one right away simply thanks to the imagery of the title alone. I positively adore cinnamon, so to open up that shiny wrapper and inhale a plume of the spicy scent was the best first impression the bar could have made. Yielding easily to the teeth, it had a wonderfully soft, tender texture, accompanied by the delightful contrast of crunchy nuts. This time, instead of the off-putting bitterness that I had found in the other raw food bars, there was the most amazing sweetness that seemed to wrap around my entire tongue and tickle my taste buds. It was simply unbelievable that there was no sugar added, but it really was just the perfect amount of natural sugar to enhance all of the other components as well. After getting halfway through the bar, I swore that I really could taste the pastry of its namesake, too! How on earth they created the flavors of that decadent dough in only 6 unprocessed ingredients is beyond me!
Banana Cookie – So simple but so good, this combination of bananas, raisins, and walnuts tasted just like… Well… Bananas, raisin, and walnuts! A beautiful thing indeed, it was a delight to have real food in a compact form, shelf-stable and easy to grab on the go. Again, the sweetness was really incredible but still entirely natural, like a banana so ripe that it must have sported a solid black peel, but without any of that unpleasant mushy texture! Needless to say, I just loved this flavor.
Encouraged by such a delicious offering in a category that was looking more and more dubious by the minute, I couldn’t wait to chomp right into my next bar, this time snapping up the Apple Pie flavor. Tinted a slightly red color thanks to the pigment found in apple skin, the smell of cinnamon also wafted up from this bar, albeit slightly more subdued. Lightly fruity and mildly spiced, I’m sure that fans of the previous flavor would also enjoy this one, as they were really quite similar. The occasional large almond chunks were wonderful surprises though, and the mellow apple overtones were enough to give it character all its own.
Joanna Miller of Sugar Savvy:
Key Lime Pie: The inclusion of almonds, coconut and lime juice along with the cashews give this bar a more dessert-like quality and extra punch. It really did have a key lime pie hit, and I would gladly eat it for a snack or dessert.
Lemon Bar: Similar to the Key Lime Pie in sensation and taste. Yet another bar featuring the cashew. (What’s so great about cashews, anyway?) I’m not feelin’ the cashew, here, but the almonds, dates and lemon juice supplies the needed zip.
At my local Whole Foods, one Larabar cost $1.79 – a little high for one bar, but the price is more than justified for everything the Larabar is (the statement on the Larabar website says it all): “[This vegan, raw-food bar is a] delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices – energy in its purest form. Made from 100% whole food, each flavor contains no more than six ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.” I highly recommend visiting www.larabar.com for complete information about the company, the other Larabar flavors, and the nutrition standards of this superior nutrition bar.
The Facts on Larabar
Certifications: The Original Larabar varieties are Certified Kosher Pareve.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, the Original Larabar varieties are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Some varieties are made without peanuts and paleo friendly. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and 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 Larabar website at larabar.com.