Son of Grok

Larabars

January 6th, 2009
larabar

Doesn't that pile of cocoa and coconut look delicious?

I know, I know.. no post for 4 days! I am a sucky blog host. And I have been promising a post on Larabars for a while now and not delivered. So here it is!

When reader Brynith contacted me to ask my opinion on Larabars, I chuckled to myself and put on my immediate skeptic hat to go start debunking some corporate health food. I was pretty surprised with what I found.

First off, what is a Larabar?A Larabar is basically a packaged health/energy/candy bar that you can find in most health food stores now.  Their website is www.larabar.com

I grabbed my list of naughty chemicals that most processed foods have and went over to the Larabar website to begin debunking.Wow, was I in for a shock. All of the Larabars had about 6 or less REAL FOOD INGREDIENTS and nothing more! No sodium dicophizonate or cabrodetrohypropolyne. No sugar, cane juice, evaporated cane juice, organic evaporated cane juice, pygmy fair trade organic evaporated cane juice… oh well, you get the point.

An example larabar has the following ingredients:
Pecan Pie Bar: Dates, Pecans, Almonds
No that’s not a typo… those are the three ingredients.

Pro’s:
-As you can see, the bars all have whole, real food ingredients. They are all healthy ingredients too, consisting mostly of nuts, unsweetened fruits and spices like cinnamon.

Con’s:
-The base of all of the bars are dates. This can make the bars kind of high in natural sugars. Most of the bars are in the 20′s gram range for sugar. Still, natural sugar kicks the crap outta refined sugar any day.

-The bars are small. Way smaller than I expected once I saw them.

Final Verdict? For an already made/ready to buy snack, these bars are a great option. I would stick to the bars that are lower in natural sugar and don’t contain concentrates (Pecan Pie, Cashew Cookie, Banana Bread, Ginger Snap, Apple Pie, Chocolate coconut). I would still prefer a much more filling bar based on nuts myself. I make a pretty good one that I will post for everyone very soon. But for a ready from the store product, I applaud Larabar. Definitely a step in the right direction!

Have you tried Larabars? What is your take on them?

26 Responses to “Larabars”

  1. BEE

    That’s me! That’s me!

    Thanks for the review- I love these things, and knew they were good by ingredients, but like you said – was way suspicious about the sugar. They’re one of the few things that are (somewhat) wholesome that I can get in bulk at Costco. Hooray for saving money!

    Also- I never seem to be very satiated after eating them, but my bf and I take them camping- and they’re a great middle-of-the-hike snack for quick energy that isn’t chemical laden.

  2. Son of Grok

    Bee,
    Thank you for informing me of them. As I said… the bars are tiny. I can’t see them as being to satiating or satisfying.

  3. Roger De Rok

    Maybe the levels of natural sugars were the reason the portion size is small?

  4. Son of Grok

    Roger De Rok,
    I am sure that is probably the case. Hence the problem with using dates as the base.

  5. chris

    I’m sure there are instructions on this floating around the internet somewhere, but with so few ingredients in them, I’d imagine it wouldn’t be terribly hard to “roll your own”.

  6. Son of Grok

    Chris,
    I am sure you can. I think I am actually going to try to one up the larabar myself with something less sugary. I will let everyone know if I am successfull ;-)

  7. Robert M.

    You need _something_ to keep the bar together, either a shelf-stable fat or sugar.

  8. Son of Grok

    Robert,
    Totally agree. That is the prupose of the dates. The bars I make are from a fat (better in my opinion). Good observation.

  9. Marc Feel Good Eating

    I’ve tried one and it was pretty good.
    However…..it’s a pretty large jolt of sugar. For what do you need that exactly? If you are extremely active (like tri athlete)…maybe a pick me up. But if you are eating paleo/primal/EF, your body doesn’t need it imho.
    Wow that was pretty opiniated for my usual calm self ;-)

    Marc

  10. Son of Grok

    Marc,
    Such strong coonviction. I am impressed! Lol. I agree. I bet you will like my recipe for bars. They are pretty involved to make (which i know you don’t have a problem with) but they are awfully worth it.

  11. Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit

    Hey SoG,

    I was shopping at Whole Foods one day and they were passing out little pieces of these bars. I couldn’t get a real good idea about them from the squirrel bite they gave me, but I like the fact that the ingredients are rock-on-whole-food-only!

    All the Best,

    Andrew

  12. Son of Grok

    Andrew,
    The entire bars don’t look much bigger than a squirrel bite themselves lol.

  13. Roger De Rok

    For the sugar content I’d rather eat a mango and a handful of raw cashews.

  14. TrailGrrl

    They are not bad if you are in a pinch, and they are gluten free. All those bars taste really excessively sweet to me now. I’ve lost my taste for them and would rather get a pack of nuts.

    Looking forward to your recipe.

    TrailGrrl

  15. Son of Grok

    Roger,
    I agree. Good plan.

    TrailGrrl,
    I haven’t actually tasted them but looking at the sugar content I would say that they are probably too sweet for me to.

  16. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Recipe: SoG Bars

    [...] this talk of Larabars got me excited about showing you all the bars that I make. This recipe is adapted from this recipe [...]

  17. Kat

    What about Purebars? They’ve got a bit more ingredients, are raw and use some sweeteners like agave nectar but are less sugar overall than Larabars. My kids and I really like them. Anybody try these?

  18. Son of Grok

    Kat,
    The brown rice protien and agave nectar is enough to keep me from wanting to eat a “pure bar”. The first 2 ingredients in most of the bars are dates (like the larabar) and agave nectar (sugar). The rest of the ingredients look ok though. You could definitely do worse. I think I would stick to a handfull of nuts and berries or SoG bars like most of the commenters so far.

  19. Matt

    They’re dinky and a little on the pricey side, but I liked the ones I ate. Will likely try the others.

  20. Son of Grok

    Matt,
    I am sure it still beats a snickers bar or the like! Thanks for the comment.

  21. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Recipe: SoG Primal Peach Patties

    [...] already pointed out that Larabars tend to be a little high in natural sugar. So what can you do when you get a craving for a mobile, [...]

  22. gcb

    My wife and I have been eating Larabars for about the last year and a half, since we found them in an upscale grocery store (so upscale that they call themselves a “market” instead). We read the ingredients on EVERYTHING, so we were really excited to find these. Lately I have become concerned about the amount of sugar in them (diet-and-exercise-controlled diabetic), so I limit myself to one a day.

    They have one advantage – they are incredibly portable. We often grab a couple if we’re going on a car trip of more than an hour’s duration, just in case we get hungry in the middle of nowhere. You can toss one into your knapsack or briefcase, keep ‘em in your drawer at the office, etc. I don’t know if they have any sort of “best before” date – they never last long enough in our house to find out.

    As regards the cost – if you can buy them by the case that does bring the cost down a bit. (A store near my work sells the bars for $2.99 each, but a case (of 16?) sells for $29.99.

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  24. D man

    I usually eat Larabars within 30 min before, or 30 min after intense exercise. Usually not a snack choice for the middle of a work day. Also, I think they are actually pretty filling myself, but not a replacement for a meal. I certainly don’t feel like eating anything else right away. Just remember, its an energy bar, so don’t eat it if you don’t intend on using the energy its going to give you.

  25. Beautiful Boobs

    some energy bars are just too sweet for my own taste. is there a sugar free energy bar? :”.

  26. Bel

    I looove these things! And was wondering if they r as great as I thought. Good thing for this blog! For me the size is perfect holds me over when I can’t get my hands on food right then, or if I’m wanting dessert. But if u come up with something just as tasty and even better I want some!

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