LÄRABAR – Review

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LÄRABARs are delicious fruit and nut bars, made with simple ingredients (sometimes the ingredients list only includes three foods!). Lara, the founder of the company, had an idea while hiking in the mountains in 2000. She wanted to create a healthy product out of nutritious ingredients like fruits and nuts. The first five LÄRABAR flavors were Apple Pie, Banana Cookie, Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew. Banana Cookie is the only flavor no longer available, though Banana Bread is now an option. In addition to LÄRABARs, the company also makes Über (whole nut and fruit bars), ALT (protein bar, peas are used as the protein source), RENOLA (grain-free granola) and Jŏcalat (chocolate bars with fruit and nuts). All of these products are gluten-free!

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I’ve been enjoying LÄRABARs for a few years now. My go-to flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cream Pie – all delicious! They’re easy to throw in your bag and while they taste like dessert, are actually full of nuts, unsweetened fruit and spices instead of sugar and butter. While I don’t disagree that sugar and butter are delicious, they’re not super healthy. LÄRABAR recently asked me to review some of their products: four LÄRABARs, my choice of what kind.

I decided to choose bars that I had never tried before, some I had not even heard of before. I realized while browsing the LÄRABAR website that my local grocery store carries a very limited selection of LÄRABAR flavors. In the end I chose Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Brownie and Peanut Butter & Jelly. I definitely considered some other amazing sounding flavors (looking at you Cappuccino, Coconut Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookie), but I wanted to try something new. I almost never eat desserts with fruit in them if there’s something better being offered, which would be chocolate. Chocolate trumps fruit for me. Every. Single. Time. So I stepped out of my chocolate crazed mind-set and requested some fruity flavors.

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Before I tell you how delicious each bar was, let’s just admire the packaging. I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging. My husband, Kenneth, often asks me when I pick something up in a store if I’m more interested in the product or the bottle/box it comes in (75% of the time it’s the packaging). I love the bold text and bright colors on these wrappers! Especially the bright orange and yellow of the Carrot Cake and Banana Bread bars. I realize now that my original favorite flavors all come in various shades of cream and tan.

I’m listing and reviewing the bars in order of my least favorite, to my absolute favorite. I enjoyed all of the bars, I just enjoyed some a lot more than others.

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Peanut Butter & Jelly. This one I shared with Kenneth. He likes LÄRABARs, but sometimes has a hard time digesting tree nuts, so he can’t enjoy all of the flavors. He loves peanuts and peanut butter and is one of the few people I know who could eat PB&J for lunch every single day. He thought that the jelly flavor overpowered the peanut flavor. Overall though he felt that the bar does a good job at imitating the classic PB&J.

I agree that the PB&J taste is definitely there, it reminds me of a PB&J loaded with jelly and really chunky peanut butter (without the mess!). Neither of us could tell that the bar has unsweetened cherries in it instead of grapes. I probably wouldn’t buy this bar at the store, but that’s just because there are several flavors I prefer over PB&J. I’m not a huge fan of the PB&J either and I go months without craving it.

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Banana Bread. I’m pretty picky about how I eat bananas. I like them pretty ripe, and never mushy. I think this is why I used to avoid banana bread. I don’t know if my tastes have changed dramatically or if it was just one of those weird food quirks most kids develop, but I really enjoyed this bar. It’s very sweet, the sweetest of the four that I sampled. The banana flavor is strong and the bar is moist like fresh banana bread. I would definitely buy this bar at the store!

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Carrot Cake. If my eyes had been closed when I ate this I would have sworn it was the gluten-free carrot cupcake from my favorite gluten-free bakery, Cherbourg Bakery, just without the frosting. I never choose carrot cake or banana bread when there is a chocolate dessert because I (wrongly) assume no dessert (or snack bar) with fruit or veggies in it can compete with chocolate. I was wrong. I still don’t understand how carrots can taste good in baked goods (dipped in humus or Ranch dressing, that makes sense to me), but I want to buy cases of this bar and stockpile them in my apartment.

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Chocolate Chip Brownie. This bar gets bonus points for being made with Fair Trade certified chocolate, sugar and vanilla. Not that it needed bonus points to begin with. It’s a chocolate brownie with chocolate chips, of course I’m going to love it! This is my new favorite, it’s extra chocolatey with crunchy almond pieces. It was absolutely wonderful. I might start eating this for breakfast.

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The photo below shows you how simple the ingredients in these bars are. You can see chunks of cherry and peanuts in the Peanut Butter & Jelly bar, almond and raisin pieces in the Banana Bread bar, bright orange carrots in the Carrot Cake bar, and big chunks of chocolate and almonds in the Chocolate Chip Brownie bar. Needless to say if I wasn’t hooked already, I definitely am now!

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ohio-120x120LÄRABAR

Address:   PO Box 18932, Denver, Colorado 80218

Phone Number: 800-543-2147

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