Old-fashioned energy bars are often overprocessed and loaded with calories, but some companies are offering a healthy alternative: food bars. Made from simple, wholesome ingredients like fruits, nuts, and legumes, these bars are a great choice for taking on day hikes or simply for snacking on the go. Here are our favorites.
Clif Nectar, Cherry Pomegranate (Organic)
$16 for box of 9; clifbar.com
Dates and cashews give this bar a smooth texture and subtle sweetness, the perfect foil for intensely flavored sour cherries and pomegranate juice. Our panel enjoyed the “great kick” of tartness, and marveled at the amount of taste it offered with just four ingredients.
Oskri organics, Sesame bar with Date Syrup (Organic)
$17 for box of 18; oskri.com
This bar’s robust toasted-sesame flavor and addictive crunch won it many fans. Dates and brown-rice syrup balance the natural bitterness of sesame seeds without being overly sweet.
Larabar, Cashew Cookie (Raw; Non-GMO)
$27 for box of 16; larabar.com
Our tasters loved the delicate flavor and flaky texture (“It eats like a cookie,” one commented). Made from just two ingredients — cashews and dates — it packs a healthy dose of vitamins, protein, and fiber without any additives. The company’s new Jŏcalat line also scored points for its rich cocoa taste.
SOYJOY, Mango coconut (All-Natural)
$13 for box of 12; soyjoy.com
Most soy bars are made with soy protein isolate, a highly processed form of the legume that is stripped of beneficial nutrients. But this one uses ground, whole non-GMO soybeans, keeping their nutrients intact. The fresh-tasting mango, coconut, and papaya made this bar our favorite of the company’s four flavors. Vegans take note: these bars contain dairy and eggs.
Story by Christy Harrison. This article originally appeared in Plenty in June 2007. This story was added to MNN.com in June 2009.