Tag Archives: larabar

Gluten-Free Product Reviews

Every so often I am approached by various companies who offer me different food products to review on the blog.  I’m pretty picky about the products I review – if it doesn’t sound good to me or isn’t allergy-friendly I won’t review it.  Recently, Zen Monkey and Larabar sent me some new gluten-free items to try, so here are my latest gluten-free product reviews.

gluten free product reviews granola yogurtFirst up, Zen Monkey.   Zen Monkey has a line of breakfast products that combine yogurt, oats, and fruit.  The texture can be a little off-putting at first, but if you have ever had overnight oats or even muesli, it’s very similar to that.

The current Zen Monkey product line comes in three flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, and Strawberry.  Each container is two servings (140 calories per serving) and comes in a reusable Tupperware container which is perfect for a breakfast on the go.

gluten free product reviews zen monkeyOut of all the flavors I tried, I liked the Apple Cinnamon the best.  The strawberry and blueberry flavors were a bit on the sweet side for me, but if you like a strong berry flavor, then I’d definitely give them a shot.  I also felt that half a container wasn’t enough for a full serving.  If I was having breakfast on the go, I’d probably eat the whole container for a more complete breakfast.

gluten free product reviews zen monkey oatsSo would I get the Zen Monkey products again?  I really like the concept and love how convenient the packaging is, but honestly I don’t know if I would get them again.  It’s pretty easy to make overnight oats at home, and I usually have enough time most mornings to eat breakfast at home before I have to rush out the door for work.  But if you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast option (and like yogurt) then Zen Monkey might work for you.  They do have a pineapple flavor coming out soon which I would be interested in trying.

The second of my gluten-free product reviews is Larabar’s new vegan “Renola.”

gluten free product reviews renolaLarabar recently released a new line of grain-free granola that is made with GMO-free fruits, nuts and seeds.  The renola comes in individual packets, so it’s perfect to take around for a snack on the go.

gluten free product reviews renola bowlI had the berry flavor with some almond milk one afternoon as a snack and it was delicious!  It doesn’t have the same cluster factor as traditional granola, but the flavor is spot on and each pouch clocks in at 200 calories and less than 10g sugar.  If you have a hard time with portion control when it comes to granola (which I do), then the renola is perfect for you.

And I just so happen to think that the renola makes a fabulous crumble topping over some grilled pineapple and ice cream.

Gluten Free Product Reviews RenolaI can definitely see myself buying more of Larabar’s renola in the future – it’s perfect for travel and a great way to sneak in a quick breakfast or snack without too much fun.  Plus, I love that it is gluten-free and paleo-friendly – both bonuses in my book.

Any gluten-free products you are loving out there?  What else should I try?

Larabar ALT and Crossfit

I always know it’s going to be a good day when I receive a package from Larabar on my doorstep.  This package wasn’t any ordinary package because it contained the brand-new Larabar ALT flavors!  Last month I had the chance to sample the Larabar Uber flavors, so getting the ALT bars was like Christmas in July (or May, if you will).

LarabarALT_FlavorsSo what’s so special about the Larabar ALT?  Protein, baby.  The Larabar ALT flavors contain 10g of pea protein, which is awesome because most protein bars out there are made with soy protein, which I unfortunately cannot have.  In addition to having a decent amount of protein, the Larabar ALT flavors are vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, and non-GMO.  Plus, the wrapper is 31% renewable. Apart from the Larabar ALT, we recommend this review by The Green Forks of the best pea protein powders. It is what has been helping people who are allergic or cannot consume soy to get the desired body they are striving towards.

The bars come in four flavors:  Lemon Pound Cake, Cinnamon Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Cookie and my personal fave, Pumpkin Pie.  All of the flavors have many of the same ingredients as the traditional Larabars, but also contain brown rice syrup, brown rice flour and sunflower oil.

LarabarALT pumpkin pieTexture-wise, the bars are a bit drier than the traditional Larabar, and you can tell they are more dense.  I really enjoyed the flavor of the bars, and love the fact that they have the extra protein.

These ALT bars actually came at the perfect time since the Englishman and I just started crossfit and could use a little extra protein.  And speaking of crossfit, how are wall balls so hard?  Please tell me those get easier.  I’m really enjoying the classes even though I spend most of the time flailing about trying to keep up.  Now I see how people can drink the crossfit kool-aid.

But back to the Larabar ALT bars.  If you are looking for a protein-packed bar that’s made with all-natural ingredients you can pronounce?  Then this bar is for you.  I know I’ll be adding these to my regular snack bar rotation.

Thanks Larabar for the goodies!

Larabar Uber Bars

Larbar and I go way back.  When I first found out I had food allergies, the bars became my go-to snack since they were free of corn and soy.  I packed them on long airplane rides, took them on work business trips and always had one in my purse in case I needed a quick snack.  When the company offered to send me some of the new Larabar Uber Bars to try, I was quite excited.

larabar-uber-barsThe thing I love most about the Larabar products is the basic ingredient profile.  The original Larabars contain nine ingredients or less, and steer away from any artificial ingredients.  I always have the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Coconut Cream Pie and Cashew Cookie flavors stashed at my house.

The Larabar Uber Bars have the same ingredient profile as the original bars, only they are sweetened with honey and brown rice syrup which gives them a much chewier texture.  They reminded me a bit of the Quaker chewy granola bars, only with a MUCH better (and healthier) ingredient list.  The Larabar Uber Bars are also a bit more dense since they are made primarily with different nuts.

larabar uber bar toasted nut rollI sampled four flavors – Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster, Cherry Cobbler and the Roasted Nut Roll.  While they were all good, the Cherry Cobbler and Roasted Nut Roll were my two favorite flavors.  I had the Cherry Cobbler as an afternoon snack prior to an evening workout, and it kept me satiated until dinner much later, and I loved the wide variety of nuts in the Roasted Nut Roll (especially the Macadamia nuts).  I definitely foresee adding the Larabar Uber bars into my regular Larabar rotation.

Thanks Larabar for sending me the Uber Bars to try!