Lärabar brings a taste of cherry cobler to Über line

Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler
Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler

Product: Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler – $1.99

Who can argue with a snack that tastes like a classic summer dessert?  You won’t find a lot of people complaining about that.  Least of all me.  As we all know…I love dessert.  Love it.  I could skip a meal if it mean a bigger dessert (that would be the trade-off).  Of course, getting dessert isn’t easy for the gluten-free vegetarian…so I take what I can get.

With that in mind…I found myself awake on a race morning, having just eaten my cereal and knowing that I was going to need a little more closer to race time to see me through the race.  If I don’t fuel about 30-40 minutes before a 5K, I normally find my stomach growling at the start of the race or halfway through.  Nothing can throw you off your running mojo like hunger in the middle of a run.  And with a 5K race, GU and Sports Beans are a bit excessive.  It’s 3.1 miles…it’s not a half marathon.

That being said, I tend to come prepared for such things with my snack bars and protein bars.  This particular morning, I found myself busting open a box of Lärabar Über that I picked up at the grocery store on Manager’s Special.  I mean…the Über line is completely all natural, gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, have no added preservatives, fillers, colorings, and no added sulfites.

LOVE that.

So, about 40 minutes before I was to start off on this 5K jaunt Saturday morning, I broke out my fuel, being my Lärabar Cherry Cobbler Über.  My roomie (who was up and there to cheer me on) decided we would split it.  So, I broke it in half and she took a bite.  Being that she’s not big on cherry anything, the fact that she kept eating it was a good sign.

Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler
Lärabar Über Cherry Cobble

My turn.

Oh.  Yeah.

This fruit and nut bar is hearty, made with chunks of fruit and nuts, rather than having it all ground together like the standard Lärabars.  I love being able to see the full bits of dried cherries, raisins, and dates mixed with the almonds, cashews, and pecans.  I love the rich flavor that the brown rice syrup, the salt, and the honey bring to the bar itself.  When you take a bite of this bar, you actually get the illusion that you are eating an actual cherry cobbler.  That’s exactly what it tasted like.  And with the blend of fruit and nuts, nothing is too overpowering.  Nothing at all.  It is a nice balance of sweet and salty and one that settled perfectly into my stomach before a hard run on hilly roads.

I love how nutritious these bars are as well.  Despite tasting like a dessert, the Lärabar Cherry Cobbler Über bar will only set you back 190 calories and 12 grams of fat, most of which is provided in the healthy form from the nuts.  This particular variety offers of 14 grams of protein and no cholesterol.  Yeah!  Despite the addition of salt, the brown rice syrup, the dried fruits and the nuts, there is only 135 mg of sodium in each bar.  That’s amazing.  And while this does have 12 grams of sugar, I’m relatively certain that mostly comes from the dried fruits that are used and the brown rice syrup and honey that help bind the bar together.

In the end, what you have is a tasty bar that actually satisfies your hunger, keeps you going, and is nutritionally sound.  And…it tastes like dessert.  What could be better?

Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler (unwrapped)
Lärabar Über Cherry Cobbler (unwrapped)

Schär’s Chocolate Hazelnut Bars a grown-up, gluten-free KitKat of awesome!

Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bars
Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bars

Product: Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bars – $4.99+

The first time I ever had one of Schär’s amazing products, I was in Los Angeles, California.  One of my besties, Tawn, came down from Fresno and when I walked in the house, we hugged, we hugged more…and she looked at me and said, “I have gifts for you!”  What she brought out of her luggage was a thinkThin bar and one of Schär’s Chocolate Hazelnut Bars.

I, naturally, ate them when I needed a snack or was at a restaurant where there were no real options for me.  That being said…I didn’t blog about the gift snacks…because I devoured them before I took pictures of them.

Well, I remedied that already with the thinkThin bar…but the Schär wafer treat had yet to see it’s day in the blog spotlight.

Tonight…that changes.

During a major gluten-free closeout at my local grocery store, the entire section it seemed was on sale.  So, while out grocery shopping that night, we piled our cart full of everything that was marked down and on closeout, fearing that the gluten-free section was being taken away from us…or shrinking.  That wasn’t the case.  I think they were moving out old stock to make room for a lot of new stock and new items.  We didn’t know that at the time though.

One of the items that were tossed into the cart of gluten-free madness was a package of the Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bars.

Memories of my time in Los Angeles crept back to me immediately.  Happy, happy memories.  But, other products had to be used up before I got to these…and so…they sat…and waited.

But today was the big unveiling of the Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bars.  I couldn’t really recall what they tasted like anymore.  That trip to California happened over two years ago.  I remembered finding them delicious though, so I wasn’t too concerned about taking this item to work for my afternoon snack without a backup plan.

Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar (individual)
Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar (individual)

I had been anticipating my 3 p.m. snack most of the day.  Every time I opened my desk drawer, the Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar was sitting there…tempting me.  But…I behaved and waited until the appropriate time.  But once the clock struck 3 p.m., all bets were off!

First of all, I love how this is the actual size of a candy bar.  The picture on the cover shows a treat that resembles those little wafer cookies (the ones that come in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry that you devour as a child).  So, already this bar is like that…but on steroids.  After splitting it in half, and taking the required picture for the blog, I took my first bite.

Oh. My. Gluten. Free. God.

Rich.  Decadent.  Light.  Fantastic.  Heaven in chocolate-covered wafer form.  One bite and I knew this was a treat to be savored.

It tasted like the awesomeness that would emerge should a KitKat Bar mate with a Ferrero Rocher.  Honestly.  It was more of a dessert than a snack when it came down to it.  That’s not knocking the bar in the slightest.  It was melt-in-your-mouth awesome from the first bite to the last.  I let my teammate, Andrea, try some and she also loved it.  She’s very picky…especially with gluten-free foods…but this one only garnered compliments.  My roomie also tried a little portion of it…and she too enjoyed it.

Really…it’s a decadent mid-day pick-me-up…or a sweet treat when you are craving something rich, smooth, and chocolatey.  The wafer crackers are thin and lend a slight crunch.  The hazelnut cream is the perfect amount to lend its flavor without overpowering the rest of the bar.  And the milk chocolate that surrounds this treat…exceptional.  Schär managed to find the perfect balance between snack and dessert.  This was definitely a decadent mid-afternoon snack.

It’s also not the healthiest option I’ve ever brought with me for that 3:00 p.m. munchie attack.  One Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar packs 200 calories and 12 grams of fat.  Like I said…It’s much more like a dessert than a snack.  And perhaps that’s how these should be treated.  But, at least these are made with recognizable ingredients, have no preservatives, no gluten, no wheat, and no eggs.

Super smooth.  Super rich.  Super delicious!

Super Schär does it again…wrapping up hazelnut goodness in a simple chocolate coating.  The results…sweet chocolate-coated wafer nirvana.

Mmmmm…it tastes as good as it sounds!

Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar (unwrapped and split open)
Schär Chocolate Hazelnut Bar (unwrapped and split open)

No pastry shell needed for Lärabar Über Apple Turnover bar

Lärabar Über Apple Turnover
Lärabar Über Apple Turnover

Product: Lärabar Über Apple Turnover – $1.99

All the taste of an apple turnover without the guilt-laden pastry shell.  I kid you not.

Welcome to the wonderful new line from Lärabar.  In early 2012, Lärabar launched their new line of protein bars – the Über.  In four flavors, this product combined sweet and salty flavors of classic desserts and brought them into bar form.  No joke.

And after a 10 mile run the other day, I was hungry and needing something to satisfy my stomach while I went to an eye appointment before getting a late lunch.  I happened to pick up one of each flavor of the Lärabar Über bars on Manager’s Special at my local grocery store.  Super sale on a product that is gluten-free…yeah, I’ll buy that.  And since they had an abundance of each flavor on the market, I grabbed one of each.  The Über bars are available in Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster, Cherry Cobbler, and Fruit and Nut Roll.

First up, by the scientific method of grabbing the box in front…was the Lärabar Über Apple Turnover Bar.

Lärabar is known for making their products strictly from fruit, nuts, and spices/seasoning.  That holds true with the Über bars.  In fact, the Apple Turnover variety has 9 ingredients in them.  That’s it.  And they are all things you could find in your pantry.  It’s true.  They are composed of walnuts, dried apples, brown rice syrup, raisins, dates, pecans, honey, sea salt, and cinnamon.  That’s it.  Nothing unrecognizable.  Defintiely not made up of chemicals that you’d have to Google to figure out what they were (if you dared!) or something completely unpronounceable and unknown to anyone but a chemist.  I love that about Lärabar.  What you see is what you get.

The Lärabar Über Apple Turnover bar contains only 190 calories for the entire bar.  It contains 11 grams of fat, but is very low in sodium (125 mg) and serves up 3 grams of protein.  Not too bad, overall.

The best part…the Apple Turnover bar tastes just like an apple turnover would.  Seriously!  It’s fantastic.  The combination of dried fruits, nuts, and seasonings really lend that illusion that you are eating a sinful pastry.  But you’re doing it at a fraction of the calories and fat.  Honestly, you won’t even miss the flaky, fattening pastry crust.  I fell in love with it at first bite.  And so did my roommate.  We both agreed that the apple flavor is there, without dominating.  All of the ingredients get their time to shine, and when they are together…you really feel like you’re sitting down to a fantastic pastry.  Just…without the guilt.  Love that.

These bars are soft, chewy, and provide a hint of sweet/salty flavor to each bite.  Not to mention, the Apple Turnover Über bar is gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, made from all-natural ingredients, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, has no added sulfites and no preservatives, fillers or colorings.  It’s wholesome and all natural and for that, I feel confident continuing to purchase products from Lärabar.  Not only do they fit my dietary needs, but they are delicious as well.

If you love to indulge in a dessert but want to do so without the guilt, I recommend the Lärabar Über Apple Turnover bar.  And if you are gluten-free…I also recommend this variety.  Honestly, you won’t even miss the pastry crust.  Just indulge in the moment and savor every bite.

Lärabar…the Apple Turnover bar is Über delicious!

Lärabar Über Apple Turnover (unwrapped)
Lärabar Über Apple Turnover (unwrapped)

Another Lärabar treat with Apple Pie flavored bar

Lärabar Apple Pie (snack size)
Lärabar Apple Pie (snack size)

Product: Lärabar Apple Pie – $1.99+

It seems apple pie is everywhere these days.  I guess it just comes with the time of year.  Apples are always in season, but so many people associate them with the fall/winter.  It is, after all, the height of apple cider time.  And I do love apple cider.  Heck, I just love apples.  One of my favorite desserts is apple crisp, after all.

That being said, yesterday was another race morning.  Nothing big.  No reason to cream an entire protein bar down my throat before the run.  Thankfully, I have a bunch of Lärabar mini bars still in my run-snack drawer.  And the next one up just happened to be…Apple Pie.

I packed this away in my bag to take with me to eat an hour before the short 4K run.  After all, the race wasn’t long…but I knew the cereal I ate when I woke up wouldn’t last through to the 9:00 a.m. start time.  I always come prepared with a bar on race days now.  There is nothing worse than standing at that starting line and hearing your stomach rumble.  Or worse…being halfway through and realizing your cereal has burned off and now…you’re running on fumes.  Best to just properly fuel.

So, the Lärabar Apple Pie Mini Bar accompanied on my drive over the river to Louisville, Kentucky and the park that was hosting the run.  I actually pulled into the park exactly an hour before the race started.  So it was perfect timing.  Out came the Lärabar.  I unwrapped it and took a small bite.

Okay…it actually does taste like apple pie.  I can safely say that because my dessert last week was gluten-free apple pie.  Honestly…this was just like having a slice.  Really good.  Although, even though it tastes like apple pie…it isn’t one of my favorite ones.  Maybe it is the underlying hint of cinnamon that just kept creeping into my palate.  But, while it was good, some of the others have been far better.  But, it can be hit or miss with protein bars.  That’s not to say this one wasn’t good.  I would eat it again if it were offered to me.  I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it.  It’s just really not up to par with the other ones that have come before it.  (Cashew Cookie is still my absolute favorite!)

So, a little information about this little protein bar.  The Lärabar Apple Pie Mini Bar is comprised of of six ingredients.  That’s it.  These are dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon.  I knew there was cinnamon in there.  All together, you sort of get this illusion that you are biting into a slice of apple pie…crust and all.  The apples really shine.  And the cinnamon gives it that warm flavor to it, though I found it a bit overpowering at times.  As for the nuts and the raisins and dates…it just lends to that illusion of crust and filling.  The texture was soft and yes…this one was delicious, despite not being one of my favorites.

The mini bar offers you 90 calories and 5 grams of fat.  It only has 2 grams of protein to it.  Not much on that protein, now that I look at it.  The full-size bar, however is a bit more.  It would set you back 190 calories and 10 grams of fat.  With it, you would get 4 grams of protein.  But…it is definitely filling and the fiber count (3 grams in the mini; 5 grams in the full-size) is the reason for that.

Again, this was a really good bar, it just wasn’t as amazing as some of the other ones I have eaten.  That being said, if you love apple pie…then you will truly love taking a bite into this bar.

Lärabar Apple Pie (snack size)
Lärabar Apple Pie (snack size)

Lärabar’s Peanut Butter Cookie just like the real thing…only better

Lärabar Peanut Butter Cookie (snack size)
Lärabar Peanut Butter Cookie (snack size)

Product: Lärabar Peanut Butter Cookie – $1.99+

Two of my favorite things – peanut butter and cookies.

I thank Lärabar every time I open one of their bars and experience the promised flavor on the package.  The thing is…they do this with simple ingredients…no more than 9 to a bar.  The amazing thing is how much they actually taste like what they are setting out to make the bar taste like.

This past weekend, I took along a mini Lärabar to eat about 30 minutes before the start of a 5K race I was running.  I have found this to work.  Too often I’ve just had cereal before a race and I end up finding myself starving just before the start or at least a mile in.  That’s no good.  I want to have energy before a race.  These…do the trick.

I grabbed three to choose from and ended up going with the Peanut Butter Cookie variety at chow time.  I was pretty pscyhed about this one.  Why?  Well, as I said…peanut butter and cookies are two of my favorite things in life.  And here they were…together…in the form of a gluten-free protein bar that I am able to eat.

The Peanut Butter Cookie Lärabar is made up of three ingredients.  That’s it.  Peanuts, dates, and sea salt.  Seriously.  The snack size bar contains only 100 calories and 3 grams of protein.  It has 6 grams of fat in it, brought to you mostly in part by the peanuts.  But that’s a healthy fat and something your body needs regardless.

So now that I’ve given you the nutritional rundown, how exactly did it taste?  Moist.  Fresh.  And soft.  And yes…it was just like eating a very soft peanut butter cookie.  The flavor was spot-on!  Three ingredients…and Lärabar totally delivered on it.  This bar was chewy and tasted like it was fresh off a cookie sheet.  The best part was the balance of flavor.  While I love peanut butter and could totally eat it out of the jar on a spoon (and do that on occasion, LOL!), I didn’t want this to taste like that.  And it didn’t.  It honestly tasted like a peanut butter cookie.  And it was love at first bite.  I devoured it faster than I probably should have…but it was delicious and I was hungry.  Therefore…nom.

The Peanut Butter Cookie Lärabar is gluten-free, kosher, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan.  It’s also delicious and now one of my current favorites!  Looking for a quick bite on-the-go that is good for you, delicious, and like eating dessert without being a dessert?  Try the Peanut Butter Cookie Lärabar.  You’ll be hooked like me.

I sort of wish I had more…

But…on to the next flavor…

Lärabar Peanut Butter Cookie (snack size)
Lärabar Peanut Butter Cookie (snack size)

Brownie Crunch by thinkThin a chocolate and protein packed treat

thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar
thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar

Product: thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar – $1.99+

I had just finished running my fastest half marathon yet.  And I was in the land of chocolate.  Seriously.  It was just after the Hershey Half Marathon.  I had downed my protein shake in the recovery area and had returned to the hotel to take a shower.  But before doing that, I needed to get some further protein into my body before continuing on with the day.

With me, I had packed a thinkThin High Protein Bar.  This flavor was Brownie Crunch.  While I liked the Chocolate Fudge well enough, Brownie Crunch sounded even more intriguing.  So, after a well run race…I tore into my chocolate-coated protein bar with gusto.  I mean, in the land of Hershey’s chocolate…you best be eating some chocolate.

First bite…and it was like biting into a tough chocolate-coated brownie.  Honestly.  I think it was frozen from being out in the chilly weather that morning, but man…my jaw got tired of chewing it after awhile.  The flavor was good.  No aftertaste of protein on this one.  But, it was very chewy…again, I do think much of that was from being out in 43 degree weather for over 2 hours.  But after running 13.1 miles…my jaw really wasn’t feeling the chewing.  I powered through it though…and gobbled it up.

As far as protein bars go, thinkThin definitely provides a tasty alternative to the other brands out there.  What I love about these, aside from being gluten-free, is the 0 grams of sugar in each bar.  Do note, however, that the Brownie Crunch is listed as having 12 grams of sugar alcohol.  Aside from that, this protein bar will set you back 230 calories and 8 grams of fat.  You will get 20 grams of protein, however, in each bar.  And that…is fantastic.  Especially for someone like me…who is a gluten-free, vegetarian athlete.

Due to the high value of protein in this bar, it does make for an excellent meal replacement.  The fiber content is low, so this would also be a good option pre-workout/run.  I don’t know if I can do chocolate before a run, but this might be something to experiment with.

So, of the protein bars I have tried, this has been one of the better ones.  The texture was a little tough for me, but again, I don’t know how much of that was exposure to cold air.  That being said, the flavor was great and I enjoyed bits of almond that were incorporated into the brownie filling to give it a little crunch.  Overall, one of the better ones yet.  Still not up to the Peanut Butter ones…but this one I’d buy if none of the others were available.

Looking for a meal replacement bar or a boost of protein for pre- or post-workout?  thinkThin is definitely the way to go.  Falling in love with their bars one trial at a time.

thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar (unwrapped)
thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar (unwrapped)

KIND Fruit & Nut Delight a delight to see while on the road

KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar
KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar

Product: KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar – $1.99+

My co-worker and teammate at the office provided me with my first KIND Bar…which I ate without blogging about.  Why?  Because I didn’t have the resources available to properly document the occasion.  And she also provided me with my second KIND Bar…which I also devoured and didn’t take the pictures necessary to blog about it.  Silly me.

But, it is because of her that I have discovered this amazing gluten-free snack bar.

So, thank you, Andrea!

As luck would have it, while on my trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, we stopped off at a travel oasis in Pennsylvania to grab something light to eat for lunch.  Well, all of the restaurants that were featured at this place didn’t have anything that I would be able to eat.  But, thankfully, the attached gas station had a travel center, which I ducked into and started to glance around to see what they had that I could use as a snack for lunch.

And in with the granola and protein bars…there, shining like a beacon of gluten-free goodness…was the KIND Fruit & Nut Delight bar.  And I couldn’t have been more excited to see that than I was just then.

And…this was a flavor I had yet to try!  Even better.

The KIND Bar that I found was the Fruit & Nut Delight.  This snack bar is a scrumptious mix of  healthy mixed nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts and walnuts) with dried apricots and raisins.  It wasn’t the ideal flavor that I would have chosen, but it was all they had.  It was also gluten-free, so I figured…yes…this would be my lunch.

The KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar sets you back 180 degrees for the entire bar and 11 grams of fat, which seems high, but keep in mind that much of this fat comes from the nuts, which are truly a healthy fat.  This bar also provides a 5 gram punch of protein.

And…despite not being a flavor I would have chosen on my own…I loved it.  The nuts and fruit, with the addition of gluten-free puffed rice and honey and other seasonings, was a perfect blend of salty and sweet.  Everything about this bar was delicious.  There was the right amount of flavor with the blend of nuts, and it wasn’t overly salty.  True, this bar does contain 11 grams of sugar, which I do find high, but much of that probably stems from the honey and the dried fruit.  So, I give that a pass.

I really wanted to feel safe eating my food before the half marathon I was running and I knew that I could trust KIND Bars to deliver a safe, delicious, and relatively healthy gluten-free snack.  I wasn’t worried about having a bad reaction to it.  It is even labeled as gluten-free.  And with all the nuts and the protein hit…quite filling as well.

With every KIND Bar that I try, I fall more and more in love with it as a product.  Every flavor has won me over..and this was the very first one I had without some sort of chocolate being involved.  And guess what…it’s been my favorite.

Thank goodness for companies that put out gluten-free snack bars that are healthy, delicious, and safe for those of us who just can’t grab a granola bar or a protein bar without checking the ingredients first.

KIND Bar…I tip my hat to you in thanks.  And can’t wait to try more of your bars in the future!

KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar (unwrapped)
KIND Fruit & Nut Delight Bar (unwrapped)

Nothing processed and nothing artificial in Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch granola

Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch
Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch

Product: Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch – $3.49+

You know what granola goes great with?  Yogurt and fruit.  Seriously, it’s one of my favorite things to make in the morning.  My yogurt parfaits are legendary.  But in order to build a beautiful and tasty parfait, you need a solid, delicious base with the granola you choose.

While out grocery shopping the other day, the manager’s special table included a bag of Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch granola.  I had previously enjoyed a bag of their Sweet Cranberry Pecan granola and was pretty excited about this one because of that.  Besides, I love raisins and I love almonds…so this had to be good.

On Monday morning, I got to find out.  It was a frantic morning already as I took to attempting to caramelize apples for the parfait, get my morning coffee going, and get the gluten-free muffins warmed up and iced for breakfast.  Needless to say…I had too much going on at once.  However, the bright spot of the morning was I got to try the Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch.

I tore into the bag and happily reached inside to snag a few of the clusters to eat on their own.  This would give me a sense of the flavor associated with it.  Let me tell you…this variety of Love Grown Foods granola is fantastic.

The granola mixture itself is a combination of whole almonds, plump raisins, certified gluten-free oats, honey, organic agave syrup, coconut, sunflower seeds, canola oil, flaxseed, pure vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt.  What emerges is one of my favorite granola to date.  The whole almonds give this granola a nice crunch to the mix.  The raisins are sweet.  The coconut is the perfect addition to help tame the sweetness from the hone, agave, and raisins.  What emerges is a healthy blend that is filling and just simply…delicious.

Love Grown Foods was created by a couple while attending the University of Denver.  Each of the young entrepreneurs brought a knowledge of healthy living, healthy eating and love of an active lifestyle to the kitchen.  And why not?  What emerged was a perfected recipe for granola that started off with simple sample packs and grew from that into a business.  And who can argue with a company that delivers amazing flavor in each handful that isn’t tainted at all by artificial sweeteners or sugar.  Their granola is sweetened by either honey or agave.

Their food is produced with love…and that is something that is evident in the flavors and care that goes into their products.  The granola is out-of-this-world good.  And without all the additional sugars that normally go into granola, this is one of the best ones out on the market.  In fact, a serving of 1/4 cup will only set you back 130 calories and 6 grams of fat.  There are only 7 grams of sugar in a serving, which is fantastic for granola, which is usually heavy on the sugars.  Thanks to the almonds, a serving also provides a hit of 3 grams of protein.  Gotta love that.

And I do.  For real.

Love Grown Foods is my go-to granola these days.  They taste great and are good for you.  Baked and created with love…and it shows.

Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch
Love Grown Foods Raisin Almond Crunch

thinkThin Chocolate Fudge a protein-packed rich chocolate treat

thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar
thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar

Product: thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar – $1.99+

I’m a vegetarian and gluten-free athlete.  This means I run.  I run often.  I run hard.  I run far.  And this means that despite my diet, sometimes meeting specific diet requirements, like the right amount of protein, can be a challenge.

Well, be that as it may, thankfully there are options out there.  One such option are the protein bars offered by thinkThin.

This past weekend, I went on my final training run before the Hershey Half Marathon, which I am running on Sunday.  That means I needed to clock 10 miles.  And I did it…in record time.  However, running long often depletes the body of important nutrients.  For me, replenishing my protein stores is of highest importance.  Chocolate milk is ideal, but I’m also lactose intolerant, and the chocolate soy/almond/rice/coconut milk options don’t have enough protein per serving to help with muscle repair.

So, after my run, I drank down one of my vegan chocolate protein shakes and then tore into one of the thinkThin bars I had in my drawer of fuel for before/after my runs.  On that particular Saturday…it was the thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar.

thinkThin describes this particular protein bar as a smooth, rich, classic fudge flavor.  Well, after tearing into the bar and taking a bite, it definitely is rich and smooth.  The classic fudge flavor, however, might be a little bit of an exaggeration.  Let’s face it…protein shakes and protein bars have that strange protein-ish flavor to them.  And even this bar, as decadent as it is, tastes like protein.

But…this is a protein bar…so of course it’s going to have that bit of an aftertaste.  With all that being said, what the bar is is a creamy, chocolatey, rich middle coated in (my personal favorite part) chocolate.  Mmmm…chocolate.  I am a chocoholic and this…this bar was truly satisfying in that aspect.  Overlook the aftertaste and what you have is a chocolate bar with nutritional value.  It’s like candy…but good for your body (and soul, let’s face it!).

The thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar is packed with 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar.  You know what?  That’s my favorite part of the thinkThin bars.  Lots of protein…no sugar.  I love it.  I am a sugar addict and as an athlete, I try to cut out as much of it as possible…but I love ice cream and chocolate too much sometimes.  So this is a nice change of pace when it comes to a protein bar.  This particular bar will set you back 240 calories and 8 grams of fat.  These bars are naturally gluten-free and with it’s lack of sugar…pretty much guilt-free too.

The important thing to remember here is that this is a meal replacement bar.  I ate mine for breakfast post-run.  And it did the job just fine.  I was satisfied and full until my lunch that afternoon.  So, the flavor is a bit…off.  You know what?  I can deal with the strange aftertaste.  The creamy, rich texture was reminiscent of fudge and the chocolate coating helped provide that illusion.  Would I buy this one again?  Sure.  But only after I exhaust the peanut butter varieties.

If you are an athlete, a diabetic, gluten-free, or just looking for a meal supplement bar, thinkThin is one of my favorite varieties to go with.  They are packed with flavor, good with texture, and don’t bulk up their products with added sugar.  Gotta love that.  Go ahead…indulge.  It’s not every day chocolate fudge comes with such benefits to the body!

thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar (unwrapped)
thinkThin Chocolate Fudge Protein Bar (unwrapped)