Larabar Review of the 7 Best & Most Popular Flavors For Tasty Snacking (Pure, Simple and Gluten Free)
Energy bars are the first option for many eating on the go or just before they hit the gym or even just for that afternoon pick-me-up. But many of these energy bars are full of sugar which results in an energy slump later, and they often contain artificial ingredients and animal products too...
If the thought of putting those ingredients into your body is making you want to just give up or give in, don’t stress, you aren’t without options.
This is where Larabar comes in.
These wholesome and tasty energy bars were created by Lara Merriken. She wanted to see products on the shelf that are free from allergens and made from healthy ingredients that are sustainably sourced.
Still wondering whether you’d like to give them a go or not?
Read on for our Larabar reviews and a full rundown of everything you want to know about Larabars.
- Tastiest Larabar Options - Comparison Table
- Some of the Best Larabar Flavors
- The Pros and Cons of Larabars
Tastiest Larabar Options - Comparison Table
|1. Larabar Cashew Cookie||
Perfect for Whole30
|2. Larabar Coconut Cream Pie||
|3. Larabar Cookie Dough||
Flavor in Every Bite
|4. Larabar Apple Pie||
Real Apple Pie Taste
|5. Larabar Peanut Butter Cookie||
Great When a Bit Warm
|6. Larabar Blueberry Muffin||
|7. Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip||
Good But Not Very Tasty
Some of the Best Larabar Flavors
Our Verdict: Best Overall
The Cashew Cookie bar is made up of only two ingredients: cashews and dates. They are soft and easy on your teeth. Taste-wise, they are delicious, but the dates overwhelm the cashews a bit which is a bit disappointing if you were expecting something that tastes more like a cashew cookie.
- 220 calories (48g bar)
- 12g of fat of which only 2.5g is saturated fat, no trans fat
- Low in sodium, 15g of sugar
- 25g of carbs, 5g of protein, 2g of fiber
- Some iron and magnesium
2. Larabar Coconut Cream Pie
Our Verdict: Perfectly Chewy
If you love coconut, you will enjoy the Coconut Cream Pie. The flavor and slightly gritty texture of coconut is prominent and feels almost like a slightly chewy brownie. The coconut mixes so well with the other ingredients.
The bar made out of dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s not overly sweet since there is no added sugar, but is delicious none the less.
- Unsweetened Coconut
- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 210 calories (48g)
- 10g of fat of which 7g is saturated fat, no trans fat
- Low in sodium, 20g of sugar
- 28g of carbs, 3g of protein, 4g of fiber
- Contains a little bit of iron and potassium
Our Verdict: Best in Flavor
This bar is actually chocolate chip cookie dough flavor and if you like chocolate, this one is for you. The chocolate flavor comes through nice and strong and the texture is almost like firm cookie dough.
The chocolate chips melt in your mouth as you eat the bar and if you have a sweet tooth, but are trying to lessen your sugar intake, this bar contains some added sugar but very little.
The ingredients are simple: cashews, dates, semisweet chocolate chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), and sea salt.
While Larabar now uses dairy-free chocolate chips, this wasn’t always the case so you may want to double check that the packaging says vegan and dairy-free before purchasing if you can’t eat dairy or are vegan.
- Chocolate Chips* (Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Vanilla)
- Sea Salt
- Also may contain milk from chocolate chips
- 200 calories (45g bar)
11g of fat of which only 3g is saturated fat, no trans fat
55mg of sodium, 6g of sugar (of which 3g is added sugar)
25g of carbs, 4g of protein, 3g fiber
Contains some iron and potassium
4. Larabar Apple Pie
Our Verdict: Most Fruity Flavor
Apple and cinnamon are a great combination. The apple pie flavor combines dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened apples, raisins, and cinnamon to bring you apple pie with a slight crunch.
The cinnamon is quite strong and for some, it might be too much, but overall, a great dessert flavor that you can eat guiltlessly.
- Unsweetened Apples
- 200 calories (45g bar)
- 9g of fat, only 1g is saturated fat, no trans fat
- Low in sodium, 18g of sugar, no added sugar
- 25g of carbs, 4g of protein, 4g of fiber
- Contains some calcium, iron, and potassium
Our Verdict: Best in Smoothness
While they don’t taste exactly like a peanut butter cookie, they do have a mild peanut butter flavor that blends well with the dates. It also doesn’t have that crunch that you might be looking for if you feel like cookies, but they are still delicious and enough to satisfy that craving.
This bar is made of only three ingredients: dates, peanuts, and sea salt.
- Sea Salt
- 220 calories (48g bar)
- 12g of fat, only 2g of saturated of fat, no trans fat
- 85g of sodium, 17g of sugar, no added sugar
- 23g of carbs, 6g of protein, 4g of fiber
- Contains a little bit of iron and potassium
6. Larabar Blueberry Muffin
Our Verdict: Real Blueberries
Not into chocolate? The blueberry muffin flavor is nice and fruity. It depends on your taste, but these are pretty close to the flavor of an actual blueberry muffin. They have an almost soft cookie-like texture which is nice if you want something with a soft almost muffin-like texture.
The ingredients consist of dates, cashews, unsweetened blueberries, blueberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, and vanilla extract. Despite not adding any sugar, this bar is just sweet enough.
- Vanilla Extract
- 190 calories (45g bar)
- 9g of fat, only 2g of saturated fat, no trans fat
- Zero sodium, 17g of sugar, no added sugar
- 27g of carbs, 3g of protein, 3g of fiber
- Has a bit of iron and potassium
7. Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Our Verdict: Best Combination
For many chocolate lovers, this will be one of the best combinations. The "romantic" Peanut butter and chocolate together. ;)
These are a little more flavorful than the peanut butter cookie flavor and because of the chocolate chips which contain a little bit of added sugar, they are sweeter too. They also have a slightly chunky texture.
They are made simply from dates, peanuts, semisweet chocolate chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), and sea salt.
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips* (Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Vanilla)
- Sea Salt
- 210 calories (45g bar)
- 12g of fat, only 3g of saturated fat, no trans fat
- 65mg of sodium, 17g of sugar (of which 4g is added sugar)
- 23g of carbs, 5g of protein, 3g of fiber
- Contains some iron and potassium
The Pros and Cons of Larabars
- Made from natural ingredients, you can pronounce all of them and know what they are
- There are very few ingredients, the bars all have 9 ingredients or less
- 99% of the ingredients which include nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, chocolate (yes, real chocolate can be healthy), and spices, are healthy
- The ingredients are kept as true to their natural form as possible
- Great for a quick snack to tide you over or breakfast when you’re in a rush
- The ethics of the company are clear in their products (clean, minimally processed, healthy snacks catering to a wide range of people)
- Larabars are fair trade so they are good for the environment too
- There are over 20 flavors!
- The bars can be a bit greasy from the coating used to prevent them from sticking to the wrapper.
- Due to the bars being all natural and free from preservatives only buy them from reputable suppliers as they can get moldy or dry out from improper storage and don’t last long after the best before date.
- The textures can take some getting used to if you prefer firmer or crunchier bars.
- Can’t be used as a protein bar or meal replacement.
- The main ingredient, dates, can be a bit much for some people.
Overall, despite the cons, these bars are great. They taste great and you can feel good about giving them to your family and eating them yourself. As you will see below, they really care about their customers and making the world a healthier place one delicious and wholesome treat at a time.
Are Larabars Vegan?
The Original Fruit & Nut Bars are entirely plant-based. There is no gelatin used. Even the chocolate chips used are dairy-free now.
So be sure to double check the ingredients list of any Larabar products that you buy or just check the front, they are marked as vegan on the front.
What About Other Allergens and Special Diets?
They cater for a large variety of special diets. While you do need to double check the ingredients, especially for nuts, you will find that most of their products, including the bars are:
Do Lara Bars Have Added Sugar?
Most of the Larabar products don’t contain added sugar. They are sweet but it’s due to dates and the other fruits used in the bars.
Of course, this means that there is still sugar in the bars, but sugar from fruit doesn’t spike your blood sugar like added sugar would largely due to the fiber content of the fruit.
Dates are one of the healthiest ways to sweeten dishes despite their sugar content. They are very nutritious. They contain:
- A little bit of protein (2g per 3.5oz)
- Vitamin B6
- Quite a bit of fiber (7g per 3.5oz)
You do need to check the labels though if you want to avoid added sugar, for example, the chocolate varieties do contain a little bit of added sugar. It usually equates to a teaspoon or a little bit less per bar when this is the case.
Is Larabar a Protein Bar?
Larabars don’t contain enough protein to be considered protein bars. They only contain around 4g of protein per bar on average which is not enough if you want to use them as a protein supplement; unlike some protein powder drinks, which as an example is the Orgain Organic Protein Powder or even the flavorful Fitmiss Delight .
Is a Larabar a Meal Replacement?
Besides being rather small (a Larabar Original Fruit & Nut Bar is only 45 g, the minis are even smaller at around 22g), the small amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals wouldn’t be able to replace a normal healthy meal.
Calorie wise, they provide around 200 calories, so you will definitely get some energy from them.
Because they are made from real fruit, nuts, spices, and the occasional vegetable, they do contain the nutrients that these ingredients contain, but they are not in the same quantities as a whole fruit would be. Vitamins, in particular, are present in small amounts.
The nutrients also vary depending on which bar you get since the ingredients do differ from bar to bar except for the dates.
If you are in a hurry, these will be able to tide you over in a pinch. But, they work far better as a snack or as something to eat with other food items. They can give you that quick boost of plant-based energy you need before a workout, but as a recovery snack, one bar will not be enough.
If not a snack, how about a guilt-free dessert? Yummy!
How Are Larabar Bars Made
The selected fairtrade ingredients are all blended together, flattened, and cut into bars and then packaged. The dates are what binds them together. You really can trust that you are getting all natural ingredients that go through minimal processing.
The best part is that all you have to do is open the wrapper and dig in! No need to buy all the separate ingredients yourself and chop up all the nuts and dates yourself :)
What is the Best Larabar?
That really depends on what you prefer. Flavors range from fruity to dessert and cookie type flavors. If you prefer to have no added sugar, there are flavors that you may want to stay away from. You also need to take your allergies into account.
With all the flavors and how affordable these bars are, you don’t need to worry about piling nasty ingredients or those that exploit animals into your body when you’re eating on the go anymore.
They make great lunchbox treats and are the perfect snack. They go well with coffee, tea, juice, fruit, cereal, sandwiches, or just as a standalone snack.
There are so many flavors and taste preference is very subjective, so you might as well try them all! I recommend starting with the Cashew Cookie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Last Updated on July 16, 2020