Monday, October 04, 2010

I Was Looking for a Good Bar
and Found Great Stuff, Instead!

Did you know that there are four types of snack bars? (I didn't.) Are they really all that different, or are these various appellations just marketing tools?

• Energy bars (aka "power" or "sports" bars), were created for marathoners to give them a portable, energy-boosting snack.

• Protein bars are basically just energy bars, but with added protein.

• Diet bars were designed as a meal replacement or snack for people who are dieting. Their calorie and nutritional content varies, depending on the type of weight-loss plan they're intended for.

• Meal replacement bars are intended to fulfill the nutritional value of a low-calorie, but still often high-fat, meal.

To me, they're all just "snack bars," something to you can reach for quickly, and a convenient way to obtain some calories or quiet a growling tummy when traveling, at work, or anytime real food is not available. This means I generally only eat them when hiking or on an airline flight. For my husband, who cannot seem to eat enough food to get the calories he needs, they're a quick, easy way to get some more calories into him in between meals. So he really depends on them much more than I do, and I'm always on the prowl for the next tasty vegan snack bar. Mark will eat one just about everyday, and he likes to eat one specific kind of bar at a time. After a few months he will grow tired of them, and I am off in search of his next replacement bar.

We've been through quite a few of them. Not in any particular order, we've consumed:

Raw Revolution Bars
Pure Bars
Lara Bars
Pro Bars
Luna Bars
Vega Bars
Prana Bars
Ruth's HempPower Bars
Macro Greens
Smart Monkey Bars
Optimum Bars
Just Great Stuff

The very cake-like Optimum Bars are my person favorite, as they seem more like dessert than a snack bar. But as I said, I don't eat them very often. Most recently, Mark has transitioned from Raw Revolution Bars to Just Great Stuff Bars, and my taste buds very much approve of his newest choice!

I love the raw goodness of Lara Bars and Pure Bars, but Just Great Stuff Bars seem to raise the flavor level up a few notches. Betty Lou's, Inc. makes Just Great stuff Bars, and I've found them at stores in three varieties: Organic Fruit & Veggie, Organic Superberry Açai, and Organic Cacao Açai.

See how fruity, nutty, and chewy-looking the Strawberry Açai bar is:

And now I see that they make a fourth flavor, Organic Chocolate Dream Greens, made with dark chocolate, dates, raisins, bananas, cashews, carrot, spinach, kale, and broccoli sprouts. That sounds like a pretty powerful nutritional punch, for a little 180-calorie snack bar! Since I haven't yet seen these in stores, I'll likely be ordering them online!

Not everything Betty Lou's makes is vegan, but they do have some other wonderful vegan snacks, many of which are great for kids, like their Organic Hippy Happy Apple Harmony Bars, (don't you love that name?), and their Gluten-free Strawberry Fruit Bars, which are low in fat and taste like delicious oversized strawberry Fig Newtons.

I also really like their North Shore Smackers—dark chocolate and almond butter patties wrapped around oats, crispy rice, and spirulina, and sweetened with agave and rice syrup taste more like dessert than a snack!

You can order their entire vegan lineup right here.

I was looking for a good bar, but I found Just Great Stuff and a whole lot more! Have you tried Just Great Stuff Bars yet? What's your favorite snack bar?


Anonymous said...

Only you could make a snack bar look scrumptious! The fig cookie and spirulina patties look really good, too!

jenni-fur said...

I rarely eat snack bars, too, but you do make all of these look very tempting. I'll definitely be checking them out the next time I see them at the store. Thanks for sharing!

Kari Romo said...

Hi Gail. Thanks for your comment on my blog about the Blueberry Biscuits. I really like your site and will definitely be back:) I'll have to look for those new snack bars in the store!

Millie said...

what a great informative post...thank you.

Helen said...

I always throw a bar in my gym bag, as there often isn't time to eat before or right after a workout. I'm looking forward to trying all of these. They do look tasty.

Ijeoma said...

Those Strawberry Fruit Bars look so yummy!

VeganMarr said...

Just try saying Hippy Happy Apple Harmony Bars 3x fast!!! ;-)

The Strawb Fruit Bar looks delish...and I tried to buy Smackers at Locali in LA recently but they were out! Will try again.

My fave bars are Cliff MOJO Mountain Mix; Luna Iced Oatmeal Raisin; Larabar Banana. :-) Has Mark tried those flavors?

These look pretty good so I will watch for them!

Angel said...

I saw these at Whole Foods the other day and was wondering whether or not to try them. Now I know that I will. Thanks for the timely post!

Millie said...

I am planning to spotlight and feature throughout the month of November cookies that vegans can enjoy for the Holidays. These cookies are all made by my blogroll vegan friends.

I would like to include you as one of my blog guests for that month.

Every 4 days I will highlight one of my vegan bloggers from my blogroll with one of their best holiday cookie recipes. I will highlight their blog on my blog for 4 days.

I will post the written information they sent me for the month of November for 4 days. Then I will highlight another blogger friend. Once I have highlighted you, you then need to post it on your blog sending your blogger friends towards my blog to see your guest post.

Make sure your recipe is not complicated.

If you are interested to join me on this month of great vegan or raw cookie recipes please email me all the information I have requested by October 20th.

Your entry must be in writing and sent to me via email. I need you to send me a photo of yourself and a photo of your family. In your summary tell me a little bit about yourself, where yo live, your marital status, your career and of course your recipe complete with a photograph of your cookies.

Thank you.

john said...

This is John and I am the V.P. of sales here at betty lous inc and also Betty Lous son!The Hungry Vegan had recently done a review of our Betty Lous latest greatest product called the "Just Great Stuff Bars" which btw..The Fruit and Veggie flavor has the antioxidant equivalent to 11.5 servings of fruit and veggies.Just great Stuff, is the name of the newest group of bars but it's really all the ingredients we choose from to make, Just Great Products!Email me at to take adavantage of a discount that me and the Betty Lous Team would like to offer the Hungry Vegan audience.
800 242 5205 said...

Holy moly those bars look awesome!!! I just tried Betty Lou's almond butter balls this weekend from a HFS by my parent's and they were SO good, I've never seen any other Betty Lou's product though so thanks for this post! The bars we've been enjoying lately are Odwalla spirulina, and the Raw Revolution new greens bars (apple cinnamon is my fav) I really want that North Shore smacker =D Will be going to the site now...

stephanie said...

I live in McMinnville Oregon, the HOME of Betty Lou's!! I ADORE their Vegan products! They are wonderful and all taste fabulous! I love that I can support a LOCAL business also! I appriciate their commitment to producing quality products that are such healthy alternatives also! Everyone really should try the Just Great Stuff bars and the Fruit bars are soooo yummy! Just like a big fruit newton! I HIGHLY recommend all their products!

Linda said...

I love the Just Great Stuff bars! The Chocolate Dream Greens is my favorite!