Friday, March 18, 2011

The BAR Exam

No I am not taking that BAR, but I am examining a product for you! LÄRABARs. They are a
“delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from 100% whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients.”

AND they are VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE!! Something that I can eat, enjoy, and reap health benefits from is definitely something I will sign up for! Here is some information from their website about their products that you can check and see if they are something that would fit in your diet:

Pure and simple, just as nature intended.

I had heard a lot about these little guys and decided that I had to try them. Now, usually my snacks aren’t store bought bars of any sort. Most granola bars on the market at packed high with unnecessary sugars and ingredients I would never put in my body! Plus, a lot of them are hiding gluten between their corn syrup sated grains. No thank you.

Larabars are truly different though. Their mission statement says it all:

“At LÄRABAR, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. And what you eat is healthiest and most satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.”

GLUTEN FREE/CELIACS LÄRABAR and JŎCALAT are Gluten Free. They have no gluten-containing ingredients, and we have manufacturing controls in place to ensure that there are no cross-contact concerns. We also periodically verify our practices using Gliadin gluten testing.

RAW DIET LÄRABAR products are made by a simple process in which fruit, nuts, and spices are ground and mixed together. They are not baked or cooked. We use simple ingredients, as close to their natural state as possible.

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN LÄRABAR and JŎCALAT are made entirely from plant-based foods. Though the vast majority of chocolate chips in the world are made with dairy, soy or both, we specifically asked our supplier to provide us with chocolate chips which are Vegan—containing no dairy. While no dairy products are used to make our chocolate chips, they are made on a line which also produces chocolate chips made with dairy products. Due to the potential for cross-contact between the types of chocolate chips made at the facility, the chips we use may contain trace amounts of dairy from those other chips; thus we cannot claim that our chocolate chip flavor varieties are Vegan.

All well and good. But how do they TASTE? That is the most important part right? My husband and I tried four different flavors. I tried peanut butter and jelly, and blueberry muffin. The Blueberry Muffin had blueberries, cashews and dates with a dash of lemon and vanilla. Soft and chewy with a hint of crunch, this Blueberry Muffin was less than 200 calories! My PB&J with the crusts cut off (hehe) had dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries and a touch of salt. Oh and the bonus? It comes with 6 grams of protein! My husband picked Cherry Pie and Apple Pie. Oh, you gotta love that man of mine. His sweet tooth won’t be packing anything in the tummy though! Cherry pie larabar consists of unsweetened cherries, dates and almonds. Apple pie contains cinnamon and raisins, almonds, and walnuts. He said both were absolutely delicious. I’ll trust him.

The LÄRABARs were chewy, decadent, tasty, and very filling! No where near a power bar consistency that most people find disgusting. I personally always liked them at a track meets but to each his own. I suppose it did kind of resemble a rectangular block of poo.

I am always fascinated by the stories behind the idea. Why the ingredients? Why that consistency? What sparked the need for the product? Where were you when it popped in your head? Lara, the founder of Larabars (naturally), shared her story:

“It started out as just a hike, no different than countless others I've taken into the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Little did I know I was about to come up with a mountain of an idea: Combine wholesome ingredients such as fruits and nuts to create a food product that's tasty, healthy and convenient.

In that instant, in May 2000, LÄRABAR was born. After scouring the aisles of grocery stores and noting popular flavors of ice cream and cookies, I delved into my own product development. Natural foods, I believed, should be fun and enjoyable as well as good for you. With friends and family serving as focus groups, I tinkered with recipes until a consensus on yummi-ness was reached.

The next step was to launch a company to market what would initially be five delicious LÄRABAR flavors: Cherry Pie, Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, Banana Cookie, and Chocolate Coconut Chew. I also assembled a sophisticated manufacturing arm...what amounted to be a Cuisinart and a rolling pin. The first batch of bars I produced for retail had to be sealed by hand — all 500 of them!
Thank goodness we have machines for that job today. After all, we're producing millions of LÄRABAR's every year! They are a wholesome indulgence you can feel good about eating

And "feeling good" is what it's all about. Believe it or not, I used to be a junk food junkie — until I discovered how natural foods enlivened my mind, body and spirit. A passion for healthy living soon followed, and continues to be a driving force behind everything I do professionally and personally. I really appreciate the opportunity I have to make a positive difference in the world we live in.

Health is indeed your greatest wealth.”

Great Story. I love storytime on cloudy days like this. I look forward to trying more flavors and hope that you give these natural gems a shot as well!

No comments:

Post a Comment