Monday, August 3, 2009

Review: Pecan Pie Larabar

Finally, a food post on my 'food' blog!
Seriously folks. 
Today, I tried my first Larabar. I have been very excited about these because the brand is widely loved in the food / fitness blog world, with flavors like Pecan Pie (which I will review here), Key Lime Pie and Coconut Cream Pie. "Any food that's named after pie is fine with me!" says my sweet tooth. Also, as someone named Laura I just love products that seem similar to my name. Laurabar? Love it.
Anyhoo, I tried the Pecan Pie bar and the texture was interesting... cake-y and dense, almost like a dessert bar or blondie, with little chunks of pecans and almonds. It didn't really taste like pecan pie to me, but the flavor was smooth and pleasant. The word 'wholesome' comes to mind as well. I was pleased with myself when I looked at the ingredient list: Dates, Pecans, Almonds. That's all! No preservatives or any other ingredients. Most of the baked goods I make at home have more ingredients than just three.
The downside? Perhaps because of the fact that there are just three ingredients, this bar is lacking in the nutrient department. I see 10% of the daily value of Magnesium, 6% of Vitamin E, 8% of Phosphorus, 8% of Thiamin and 15% of Copper are provided here. That's right, if you're looking for a great source of Copper - Larabar is it! There is some Calcium provided, but it's just 4% of the daily value as is Iron, Riboflavin and other nutrients. I am aware that with a natural product with three ingredients, the reason these amounts aren't higher is because there isn't any vitamin sludge added in... but just sayin', I tend to expect more.
A big thing I look for with packaged bars is protein - this bar has only 3g of protein. ***WRONG BUZZER SOUND*** Fiber = 4g which is great - though I like it when companies note which amount is water soluable / non-soluable and Larabar does not make that distinction. The bar has 16g of sugar which is OK...
The deal breaker for me with this is that there is 14g of fat in this bar, 1g of which is saturated. Now, I love my nut butters which are high in fat, and this bar is made of two types of nuts... however 14g of fat boils down to about 20% of my fat intake for the day, and I am not sure I want to use my fat allowance on this bar! It'd be great for days when I don't feel like eating raw nuts or adding nut butter to my breakfast, however those days are few and far between :-D
Oh and the bar weighs in at 200 calories, which for me is on the high end for anything low in protein. 120 of said calories are from fat. Is it bad that I'd rather eat a serving of dates / almonds / pecans instead of this bar?
There you have it. Pecan Pie Larabar = A+ for ingredients, B+ in flavor, C in protein / fat ratio, D for nutrients provided and I probably won't purchase it very often. 
I do have the Lemon Bar and Coconut Cream Pie flavors to try out, so watch for a review in the next week or so. Cheers!

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