One day last month I found myself walking down a local supermarket aisle that, and I kid you not, ran the whole one side down the length of the store, totally devoted to boxed snack bars.
I was in complete awe. You see, this was my first official visit to the "Healthy Snack" aisle. My initial goal was to find a simple energy bar that had all the good things and none of the bad things I needed for that 3:00 "I need to eat something FAST" time of day.
When it comes to a new food, I will read every label of every product I can literally "get my hands on". This aisle? was totally ridiculous. There was no way I could justify buying that many samples.
I knew I had to get smart and narrow down the choices I thought would be good. After massive research to check a dozen sites for comparisons about Top 10 Energy Bars (especially with the obligatory New Year resolutions to loose weight and exercise), Top 10 Power Bars, Best Health Bars and the "Eat This, Not That" articles, I still had no direction. I did what most people do, I tried one granola bar, 1 energy bar, a fiber bar, oh, and a breakfast bar, 2 snack bars, 1 travel bar, a hiking bar, and I copied 4 recipes for homemade bars.
A week of intense research and careful deliberations left me with the sad truth that at this pace only the squirrels and birds will have enough energy to make it through this winter. I even found a granola bar in my glove compartment, buried and glued to a receipt dated when I last bought tires.
When That's it Nutrition made contact to ask if I would be interested in trying a few samples of their fruit bar, I thought hmmm, why not. I had nothing to loose.
I am happy to report that a good first impression doesn't always apply to job interviews, first dates or restaurant reviews.
If the edible product was anywhere near as good as the presentation packet, I would be one happy, healthy snacker.
While I received 4 of their top sellers, they do have a total of 9 different fruit bars. That means, 9 different fruits.
Each bar is made of only two ingredients: Fruit and Fruit .... Seriously That's It!
Before I even took a bite, there were three things I immediately loved. Only real fruit (no glues, stabilizers or fillers), an 18-month verified shelf-life & no worry that I would find one melted and attached to the lining of my purse.
NASA approved these for space travel. What kid wouldn't think that was cool? I was impressed.
Before I get into the nutritionals, I will tell you what my test testers had to say.
I gave my husbands walking group 3 of each flavor to sample under one condition. They needed to try a piece from the fruits they thought they might not like and if they had children, share one with them.
It was interesting to hear the results since they mimicked those of mine.
1. They tasted exactly like those fruit roll-ups the kids love.
2. While kids loved the bars made with the most common favorite fruits (blueberry & strawberry), the adults (including me) raved about the bars made with coconut & mango.
Now for the attributes.
Calories: 100 (coconut 110)
2 servings of fruit per bar
Gluten Free, Vegan
Low GI <55 p="">Kosher
and best of all,
I was concerned that as with most new products, availability and inventory would be limited but I found a whole section at my local Shop-Rite. You can find them at Whole Foods, Publix, Starbucks, Costco, Raleys, Albertson's and these other retailers.
My favorite part about this experience is that I know exactly what is going into my body and there is no longer guilt, just pleasure. We honestly eat one every afternoon. I can't wait to try the other 5 fruits. I already have a few website recipes bookmarked along with a few ideas to create my own.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to run to the store for bird seed.