July 2017
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rating various food bars on taste & texture, protein-to-sugar ratio, & ingredient purity


Considering that food bars make up probably at least 1/4th of my diet, I have significant experience with them. So here, have a pile of reviews, rated by overall impression, protein-to-sugar ratio, meal or snack, and ingredient purity. They don't even get tried if they have HFCS, so this should be free of that entirely, except under the powerbar non-recommended list. First, the ones I recommend:

rawrevolutionRaw Revolution Organic Live Food Bars (Spirulina Cashew and Chocolate Cashew are my favs)
Overall: heavy brownie texture, great taste, not too dense, all raw, feels good to the system. Only get spirulina if you like 'green' taste, though.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: varies between 47 and 58 (C not F because it's just fruit juices, which your body is much happier with)
Meal/snack: meal, but short term -- instead of waiting 5-6 hours for the next meal I'll need to eat again in 3-4
Purity: no soy, gluten, GMO, or added sugar, all organic: A++

journeyJourney Savory bars (I've only had the Pizza Marinara so far)
Overall: delicious! it took me eating 2 to get used to the texture (like a slightly fluffier fig newton without the filling), but it's super tasty. It is also delicate, so if you don't want it to crumble, don't just jam it in your bag like I do. Genuinely tastes like pizza.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 100 (A++!)
Meal/snack: meal -- even though it's only 5 g of protein, it's 12g whole grains, so it's lasting energy
Purity: Soy-free, non-GMO, no added sugar, vegan, but possible gluten [oats]: (A)

bumblebarBumblebar (I've tried the lushus lemon and chai almond)
Overall: delicious, easy to eat (not dense/dry), but if you don't like sesame seeds don't try them, as that's the main ingredient. Soft nutty texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 75 to 88 (C to B) and there are several varieties that get 100s
Meal/snack: snack, but short term -- instead of waiting 5-6 hours for the next meal I'll need to eat again in 3-4
Purity: added sugar, soy, but gluten free, non-gmo, and organic: (B)

powerbarPowerBar Nut Naturals : Fruit & Nuts (the other two nut naturals flavors are okay too)
Overall: easy to eat (not dense/dry), the best ratio I've found, lots of energy, decent flavor, crunchy nutty texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 111 (A+++)
Meal/snack: meal.
Purity: contains soy, added sugar, milk, possible gluten [oats]: (C)

kashiKashi TLC Chewy Granola Bar, Dark Mocha Almond (the other chewy flavors are good but don't have as good a ratio)
Overall: yummy, easy to eat (not dense but a little dry), good protein ratio, bad purity, crunchy nutty texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 100 (A+)
Meal/snack: snack (you'll need 2 to make a meal)
Purity: Gluten, Soy, added sugar, milk: (C)

odwallaOdwalla Chewy Nut Bars, Sweet & Salty Almond
Overall: easy to eat (not dense but a little dry), good flavor, crunchy nutty texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 88 (B)
Meal/snack: meal
Purity: No GMO, but added sugar, a small amount of soy, possible gluten: (B)


purePure Organic Raw Fruit and Nuts: Banana Coconut, Wild Blueberry, Chocolate Brownie, Dark Chocolate Berry
Overall: dense (brownie texture) and sweet, but good, tastes like a treat.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: between 28 and 47, but it's all fruit sugar, so (C)
Meal/snack: snack. (I like eating one of these with one of the Kashi chewy bars to make a meal)
Purity: gluten free, organic, non-gmo, no added sugar, soy-free: (A)

If you want to buy them cheaply, go for bulk on drugstore.com and sign up for the mailing list -- about three times a year they have a 20% off their already-good prices on "green and natural" which includes all of these, and anytime you buy more than $35 worth, you get free shipping. I also get things like toothpaste and vitamins there because the prices are better than walmart or kroger.

and the ones I don't recommend:

Odwalla Original (example is Superfood but I ate every variety)
Overall: Good but dense, some of the flavors were way too sweet, heavy brownie texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 18 for superfood, but it's fruit sugars, so (C) 71 for chocolate peanut butter which includes added sugar and palm oil :-/
Meal/snack: meal.
Purity: No gmo or added sugar (in the superfood flavor anyway), but includes soy and gluten: C

KIND Plus Nutrition Plus Nutrition Bars, Blueberry Pecan + Fiber (I've tried a few others which were even more sweet)
Overall: very sweet, easy to eat otherwise. very soft nutty texture.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 70 (C)
Meal/snack: snack.
Purity: added sugar, soy, non-gmo, gluten-free: (B)

Kashi -- GoLean Crisp, Crunchy Granola, Soft and Chewy, Cereal Bars
Overall: delicious but not good for you, eat it like a cookie not like a meal.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 50-75 (F to C)
Meal/snack: snack.
Purity: Soy, added sugar, palm oil, milk, corn, gluten: (F to C)

Clif (example is Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, but I ate many varieties):
Overall: VERY dense. I had to drink at least a pint of water to get a whole one eaten. Flavor was good though. texture kinda like a really dense burger.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 52 (F)
Meal/snack: definitely a meal, maybe a meal and a half.
Purity: contains soy, gluten, added sugar: C

Luna (example is lemon zest, but I ate many varieties)
Overall: VERY sweet, enough to hurt my teeth. Good flavor otherwise, good texture, not too dense. rice crispy texture
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 77 (C) (either they've decreased the sugar since I last ate it 3 years ago, or it tastes sweeter than it is)
Meal/snack: meal.
Purity: contains soy, gluten, palm oil, added sugar: F

PowerBar -- Harvest, Triple Threat, Pure and Simple, Fruit Smoothie, Performance, Protein Plus
Overall: too sweet, too dense, not tasty (except Fruit Smoothie which has way too much sugar)
Protein-to-sugar ratio: varies between 40 and 85, usually closer to 40. (F to B)
Meal/snack: meal
Purity: soy, palm oil, corn syrup (some varieties), gluten, added sugars, milk: (F)

Pure Protein High Protein Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter
Overall: too dense, too full of bad stuff, but the flavor was okay.
Protein-to-sugar ratio: 258 (A)
Meal/snack: meal and a half
Purity: hydrolyzed collagen!! (from animal hides/bones), soy, added sugar, milk (F)
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anrui_ichido ══╣╠══
suesniffsglue ══╣╠══
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.