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October 06, 2006

Bars Galore

Bars

I'm often overwhelmed by the mile long display of snack and meal replacement bars, usually located near the checkout area of your average health food store.  Yup, doesn't take much.  I'm also sucked in by cute, clever package design.  Like I said, doesn't take much.  However.  I find that after I've spent sometimes 2 or 3 bucks for one of these tempting little packages, promising low glycemic protein boost snack satisfaction, I'm often let down after the first bite.

We do find that bars are a really handy tool for the celiac lifestyle. Good to keep a few in the shoulder bag for those emergency moments when you're hungry and trapped, with no possibility of a healthy gf snack available within a 12-mile radius.  Because of the apparent ongoing bar boom, you no longer have to sacrifice taste for survival.

We haven't tried them ALL (that would require lotsa $$), but we've tried many. Here are a few that keep us comin' back for more.

Andi_1
ANDI Bar
Proceeds from the purchase of this bar go to support the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention. A gluten and casein-free diet is effective in the treatment of autism, and ANDI works hard to spread the word and help those families facing the tremendous difficulties that come with raising children with developmental disabilities.  We really love the crispy/chewy tasty satisfaction that these gluten, casein, soy, corn, GMO-free protein-packed (15 grams!) bars deliver.

Bumblebar_1
Bumble Bar
Need some extra Omega 3s?  Fun and seedy Bumble Bars are a crunchy and gooey bar that contain organic sesame and flax seeds, so they're also fiber rich. And it's all held together with brown rice syrup. There are so many awesome flavors, like Chai, Lushus Lemon, and Chocolate Crisp.  We always have a box of these around.

Clif_nectar_1
Clif Nectar
My dumb Union Square Whole Foods doesn't carry them (I'm working on it), but you can find Clif Nectar Bars at most Whole Foods and health food stores around the city. These decadent bars satisfy the urge for something rich and satisfying. So good, they make me feel like I'm being bad, but I'm not really because Nectar's rich sweetness comes from organic dates and other fruit. Nuts add some crunch AND good fats and protein. Nectar is a satisfying in-between-meal treat that won't send your glycemic index on a rollercoaster ride.

Omegasmart
Omega Smart Bar
This bar is, as the name suggests, the smartest and most serious on my list.  The OmegaSmart bar is a perfect balance of healthy carbs, protein and fats which equals a great energy source .. for a boost or even as a small meal replacement. The OmegaSmart company is a small family run business in New Hampshire which grew from the belief that changes in diet can reverse many health conditions. Their bars are recommended by doctors and nutritionists.  Oh, and they also taste great! Many flavors to choose from, the texture and taste reminds us of a big soft cookie. You can find them at Whole Foods (not the lame Union Square location), glutenfree.com (link is on our right side bar), or order from their website.

Oskri_1
Oskri Bars
Super crunchy and sweet, Oskri Bars are great for when you need that 3 p.m. happy treat during a blah 9-5 office day. An interesting twist of the taste buds comes with two flavors that include black cumin or fennel in the Sesame Bar mix.  The sesame seeds are glued together with either brown rice syrup or molasses, for an iron and calcium kick. We also really like their Honey Bar series .. rice syrup and honey combined with various nuts, seed and dried fruit are yummy little protein energy snacks for a celiac on-the-go! I buy my Oskri Sesame Bars at Whole Foods (yes, the Union Square actually carries them), and their Honey Bars I order directly from Oskri.

Go ahead and share any close friendships you may have with your favorite energy bar.  I know how they can provide a real safe feeling when you're out there on the celiac road of life.

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KindBars are also awesome and available at well-stocked Duane Reades, in addition the Whole Foods and other "healthy" markets. Try the Almond/Apricot . . . hmmm . . . goooood.

LaraBar, it's marked Gluten Free and it's just nuts and fruit and yummy, I like Banana Cookie.

Fabu review!

I adore LaraBars - gluten, soy, dairy, corn, egg-free. vegan and raw. yum.

We keep some around at all times (unless we're playing with someone with a nut allergy!). We especially love the Lemon Cookie and the Pecan Pie. Cashew Cookie and Cherry Pie are a close second, though.

I agree, we just recently tried KindBars and they're really good and really easy to find. And LaraBars were our first love from long ago ... [cue wavy-lined flashback effect] http://celiacchicks.typepad.com/celiacchicks/2004/08/theres_a_new_ba.html

Thanks for sharing your fave bars!

Thanks so much for this list of GF bars. I'm always so confused with the large amount of bars to choose from that I'm unable to make a choice! I end up just moving along and not buying any at all. Your photos of the bars that are safe will help me choose the next time I'm looking.\
:)

Kim - I remember your LaraBar love, just wanted to make sure you knew about the amazing new flavors.

Thanks so much for the Clif Nectar review - we found them at Trader Joes yesterday, and we (kids and I) loved them! TJs doesn't carry our favorite LaraBar flavors, so these worked well.

I've actually found LOTS of delis around the city starting to carry the Clif Nectar bars- i just had the lemon, vanilla & cashew one- mmmmm-MMM!!!

Just wanted to let you know, I love the Clif Nectar bars and don't know what I would do without them! And they DO sell them at our Union Square Whole Foods - you need to go upstairs to the seating area level and by the bakery area they have all the bars on the wall and then take it downstairs - I buy them by the case! Enjoy! ps - Trader Joe's on 14th street often carries them too.

Cheryl,
No WAY! I never thought to look up in the cafeteria loft .. thought it was just a seating area. Well, whatayouknow. Thanks so much for passing on the info.

thanks for the info. when i looked, I was so surprised when lo and behold my university cafe actually had clif bars. i'm so happy that there's another snack option for me at school.

also, i'm not sure if this was ever mentioned but Wholefoods has a shopping list of glutenfree products that is on their website. Select your local store and under the left hand nagivation bar is the link "Special Diets". There will be a pdf file with the products available in your local Wholefoods.

Marie- Just make sure you are eating the Clif Nectar bars and not the regular Clif bars.

I just found a new GF bar called PROTRIA. They are also sugar free and taste pretty good. I found them at a store called A Matter Of Health in NYC. You can go to www.protria.com.

I don't know. The way I tend to look at it, if I buy a finished product, I'm trusting the other person to be straight with me about what's in it. If I make it myself, there's no mystery.

Maybe that's a cynical way of looking at things, but I tend to find that there's something to be said for being a little cynical.

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