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A girl bites into a bar… mega-review!

January 24, 2012

Thanks for all the kind comments on my recipe testers’ photos post! You’ll be seeing more Practically Raw sneak peeks on here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Today, I’ve got a whole slew of snacks to share with you, of the “bar” variety – protein bars, energy bars, snack bars, etc. First up: PureFit protein bars.

I’ve reviewed PureFit bars before, a long time ago, but what’s changed since then is that they’ve officially gone gluten-free! Of course, they also still contain no dairy, whey, artificial sweeteners, or hydrogenated oils, and the nutritional stats are the same: 18 grams of plant-based protein per bar.

The Almond Crunch and Berry Almond Crunch flavors are my faves, but since today is National Peanut Butter Day, I’ll show you a pic of the PB bar. All the flavors are delightful, though, and super-filling.

Some new-to-me bars I tried recently are Good Greens Bars.

Each bar is packed with their Z-52 superfood formula, purportedly containing 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables, and nice amounts of protein and fiber to boot.

I tried the Wildberry bar first, and was a little surprised to find that it seemed like a pretty standard dried fruit bar. Not bad, but not mind-blowing.

The other three flavors, though, are a different story! The Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Coconut (shown below) taste more like candy bars than nutrition bars, with chewy, melt-in-your-mouth fillings and a light coating of chocolate on the exterior. I would buy these three varieties again in a heartbeat!

That’s It fruit snack bars are different from the other bars here. They include no nuts, grains, superfoods, or anything else, for that matter; they’re literally just fruit!

The cherry bar, for example, contains 1 apple and 10 cherries. They’re chewy enough that they take some time to eat, but at just 100 calories a pop, they’re a great fix for a sweet tooth.

A very unusual new bar I got to sample recently is Thunderbird Energetica.

The ingredient lists are nice and short, and what’s more, all three varieties are soy-free, gluten-free, agave-free, added-sugar-free, non-GMO, and vegan, with 2 servings of fruit per bar. They also come in compostable wrappers and are – get this – shaman-blessed. Whoa!

They’re very dense and satisfying, and I love the flavor combos: Cherry Walnut Crunch, Cacao Hemp Walnut (shown below)…

…and Cashew Fig Carrot (shown below)! Thunderbird Energetica bars will definitely be making more appearances on my snack shelf in the future.

These last two aren’t exactly “bars,” per se, but they ARE handheld, all-natural, fruit-and-nut-based sweet snacks!

Awhile back, I had the pleasure of sampling raw cookies by Derrick Sky.

These gluten-free, soy-free, vegan cookies are absent of sugar, dairy, and additives. All the ingredients are in their natural state, crafted at low temperatures to keep the flavor, nutrients, and vitality of the food alive and jumping. With flavors like Meyer Lemon, Oatmeal Raisin, Coconut Macaroon, Chocolate Midnight Sky, and (my favorite) Snickerdoodle, these cookies make deliciously decadent (yet surprisingly healthy) snacks. They’d also make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart!

Lastly, I’d be surprised if any of you weren’t familiar with Chunks of Energy. They’re all vegan and gluten-free, and some are raw and organic as well. They’re sold in bulk as little poppable squares at most health food stores (I’ve posted about them before), and with the seemingly endless flavor varieties they offer, you’ll probably have a hard time choosing a favorite.

I think I know my fave, though: the Carob Supergreens, which you’d never guess contains spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass. The Cacao-Goji and Chocolate Almond Chip chunks, though, are fantastic too!

QUESTION: Of all the bars/snacks shown above, which would you most like to try? (Perhaps in the form of, say, a giveaway? Hint hint!)

3 years ago this week…
Peanut butter banana bread
Tofu parmigiana alla marinara
2 years ago this week…
Roasted potatoes with garlic-cumin aioli
Pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies
1 year ago this week…
P90X week 3: hearty winter meals
Mini microwave peanut-pumpkin protein cake
Hot Raw Chef contest + caramel-fudge brownies

76 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2012 10:28 am

    how do you pick just one? They all look fabulous!!! πŸ™‚ Might I also suggest Two Degrees? – if I had to choose one though, it would be between the Thunderbird Energetica and Good Greens

  2. Sara Floyd permalink
    January 24, 2012 10:42 am

    Wow, they all look great! I would love a giveaway, as I’d like to try these. That’s it looks good, but those Good Greens look awesome!!

  3. Tamikko permalink
    January 24, 2012 11:00 am

    mmm, yum! I’ve never heard of Chunks of Energy before but they look delish. I would pick the Cocao-Goji. I really need to look into making some. How nice it would be to have a quick energy snack that you can just grab and go.

  4. January 24, 2012 11:13 am

    I’m usually not much of a “bar” girl, but that chocolate coconut one sounds amazing! Also, those raw cookies are so cute– I’m a sucker for good packaging. πŸ˜€

  5. January 24, 2012 11:42 am

    Hmm, anything chocolate looks good to me, esp when combined with greens — but Amber, looking at these things, I have a lot of these ingredients in my kitchen — how about some instructions and recipes for making a variety of your own bars/balls?

  6. January 24, 2012 11:52 am

    ooh, the Good Greens look fab and the Thunderbird (great name) both now on my ‘to go hunt down’ list. thanks πŸ™‚

  7. January 24, 2012 12:18 pm

    Love the bars! Haven’t tried a number of these… tops would be Thunderbird (blessed by a Shaman!) and Good Greens (Z52 sounds stout!)

  8. bitt permalink
    January 24, 2012 12:32 pm

    Thuderbirds #1, then the raw cookies #2. I am hungry for a bar now…

    • January 24, 2012 12:41 pm

      I love that the Thunderbird bars are agave-free, and that the Derrick Sky cookies are seed-based rather than nut-based, for a change.

  9. Maya permalink
    January 24, 2012 1:05 pm

    Pure fit sounds like something I need for the nutrition and the protein! nice selection of yummy goodness πŸ™‚

  10. Maya permalink
    January 24, 2012 1:15 pm

    On second thought. I’m loving that chunks of energy supergreens is soy-free! Checked out pure fit ingredients and it’s fairly heavily soy based.

  11. January 24, 2012 1:34 pm

    Wow, I’ve never tried the raw cookies! Those sound amazing… especially meyer lemon. πŸ™‚
    Great review, thanks!


  12. January 24, 2012 3:37 pm

    Ooo – all yummy looking. I tried the Thunderbird Energetica at a store demo at Whole Foods and liked them so much that I bought the Cherry Walnut and Cashew Fig bars to have with me during my volunteer stint at the 2012 Marathon Olympic trials a couple of weekends ago. I never know if there will be vegan food available (there was – huge fruit and veggie trays, among other foods, for the athletes and volunteers. Thank you USOC!)
    They were good. Let’s go with something different here – I’d like the Chunks of Energy; they look like great on the go finger food for my next volunteer gig.
    Thanks for the ‘hint hint’ giveaway.

    • January 24, 2012 3:53 pm

      That’s great that they had healthy vegan food available at the marathon trials! I used to be a marathoner myself…miss those days sometimes πŸ™‚

      The Chunks of Energy ARE great “finger food”…the only problem is, it’s easy to pop 2, 3, 10 of them at a time before you know it!

  13. maddie permalink
    January 24, 2012 4:04 pm

    i really want to try good greens chocolate peanut butter! what was your favorite flavor?

  14. January 24, 2012 4:51 pm

    I have some of the carob and spirulina chunks of energy in my pantry now! I love those. The Good Greens bars look great.

  15. Tamara Lukie permalink
    January 24, 2012 6:43 pm

    wow did you go to Bar Heaven!!!! WOW!!
    I’d have to say I’d love to try the That’s It or Chunks of Energy (but I”m in CAD, so I don’t think you send it up north) 😦
    Still love the review!!

    • January 24, 2012 6:52 pm

      Bar Heaven is right! πŸ˜› I’m not sure which of these are available in Canada, but I’m sure each of their sites would be able to tell you!

  16. rudy permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:14 pm

    I really want to try the Thunderbird Energetica bars. I saw them reviewed on another site. They look tasty and satiating.

  17. January 24, 2012 8:41 pm

    The “That’s It” bars look nice! There are so many out there that are made from dates and nuts. I can’t have all that fat ALL the time!! Though they’re good too πŸ™‚ But I guess the nuts give you a little extra something….

  18. January 25, 2012 12:07 am

    WOW!! I keep seeing all of these amazing bars in the blogosphere, but they are nowhere to be found in stores near me 😦 I really want to try those PURE Fit bars!! Especially the almond one.

    • January 25, 2012 10:34 am

      Aw, sorry to hear that Char! Sounds like you just need to come visit me in the Midwest and we can go bar shopping together πŸ˜›

      • January 25, 2012 1:22 pm

        Do they have some of these at the Whole Foods down there? I was wondering where I could buy some.

      • January 25, 2012 1:54 pm

        I haven’t seen the PureFit bars at my Whole Foods (though they may have them at the bigger 91st and Metcalf store), but I HAVE seen them, believe it or not, at Hy-Vee! Not even in the health market section – just right next to all the “normal” protein bars. πŸ™‚

  19. January 25, 2012 12:56 am

    Considering the complete dearth of good vegan protein bars or raw snacks in Australia, I honestly would love to try all of these. Actually, well, not really the just-fruit ones. I’d rather just have fresh fruit than those, to be honest!

    I also love how the PureFit ones looks like scary chemical protein bars but are actually wonderful. Yay!

  20. January 25, 2012 2:22 am

    Good Greens Bars sound amazing and I like the ingredient list…lots of berry power, probiotics and oh yeah, all that superdelicious dairy-free dark chocolate! Thanks for the excellent review!

  21. January 25, 2012 7:33 am

    The PureFits look like MetRXs – I miss those. Now I know what to look out for!!

    • January 25, 2012 10:39 am

      They taste very much like typical, non-vegan protein bars – which, to me, is a good thing, because I miss those too sometimes!

  22. Katie M. permalink
    January 25, 2012 10:05 am

    The Thunderbird Energetica bars look interesting!

  23. January 25, 2012 12:51 pm

    I’m interested in the energetica or the “that’s it” bars. I’ve had chunks of energy. I had an allergic reaction to one with spirulina. 😦 So, now I’m cautious about their whole line. Sadness. Much sadness.

  24. January 25, 2012 1:21 pm

    Aside from those awesome looking raw cookies, I’d like to try those Thunderbird Energetica bars for two reasons: 1) awesome name and 2) cacao hemp walnut. I’m so down.

    Well, and those chocolate coconut pure fit bars look good too. πŸ™‚

  25. Kendra permalink
    January 25, 2012 10:26 pm

    Definately the cashew fig carrot thunderbird bar. Yum.

  26. January 25, 2012 11:41 pm

    I’m jonesing for some of those Good Green Bars! =P

  27. January 26, 2012 12:42 am

    So so jealous! I havn’t seen anywhere the variety of bars over here in New Zealand !
    My pick is Thunderbird energetica, simply because the packing could not be any cooler!

  28. January 26, 2012 12:18 pm

    I think I’d for sure try those Thunderbird bars!!! All look so good and clearly there is such a wide selection of bars out there that I’ve been missing out on! lol

  29. Sue permalink
    January 26, 2012 2:38 pm

    You get me into so much trouble – I just ordered the Thunderbird and That;s It Fruit snacks! I think reading your blog is costing me money πŸ˜‰ Seriously, I really appreciate your reviews, I always know I can trust your reviews and really look forward to finding out about new, vegan products, that I might not otherwise ever hear about.

    Also looking forward to your cookbook. Congrats on your success!

    • January 26, 2012 2:51 pm

      Uh-oh! Hehe. I’m happy I get to introduce you to yummy new products! I’m very glad to hear you trust my opinions/tastes. πŸ˜€

  30. January 27, 2012 11:33 am

    I can’t wait to try the That It’s bar!

    I didn’t realize that you are doing P90X and I’m so curious about it…do you have a post about it?

  31. January 27, 2012 3:45 pm

    I must confess that I am obsessed with vegan bars, mainly the raw ones. I love those Good Greens Plus bars, and Hayden can’t get enough of the That’s It. fruit bars. Haven’t tried the others yet.

  32. January 27, 2012 10:41 pm

    Hi Amber! Your site was recommended to me today through Twitter, so I checked it out and I’m a fan! I also decided to tag you for the 11 Random Game… You post 11 random facts a bout yourself, answer 11 questions I’m asking, and then post 11 questions of your own for whoever you tag. Let me know if you participate!

  33. January 28, 2012 11:22 am

    wow! good to know about all these-thanks!

  34. January 28, 2012 12:31 pm

    I’m definitely intrigued by Thunderbird Energetica – I wish they were available in Canada.

  35. January 28, 2012 5:58 pm

    PURE FIT!!!!!! OMG, these bars look amazing!!! Girl, your giveaways are BANGIN’!!!


  36. January 30, 2012 8:39 am

    You can never have too many health snacks! I’ve been very stuck on the same set of bars lately, so it would be great to try something new. I’m particularly curious about the Good Greens Bars- Never seen them before.

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