Many of you know that I love to travel and when I do I normally take along my faithful gluten-free contingency pack filled with some snacks in case I feel like a nosh or the travel gods through a wrench into my plans. So, I am always looking for highly portable gluten-free items to toss into my pack and recently stumbled across Lärabars. No, I have not been living under a rock and know these have been on the market for a while but I was never really a fan of things in bar form – that is until now.
I think it was a gluten-free swag bag that contained a sample of their new chocolate chip cookie dough variety that woke me up the Lärabar universe. I simply could not believe my taste buds and quickly sourced additional flavors: Apple Pie; Cashew Cookie; Peanut Butter and Jelly; and Chocolate Coconut. All of which did not disappoint…
The flavor that started it all, the chocolate chip cookie dough was a standout. I mean it actually lived up to its name. It was a rich mix of cocoa goodness dotted with sweet chocolate morsels – I mean how could you go wrong? The apple pie flavor had a great tartness enhanced by sweet raisins that took the flavor quotient to the next level. There was a nice, subtle undertone of walnut that helped to round out the flavor and take the crisp edge off – it was perfectly balanced. Moving on to the cashew cookie you immediately notice the distinct meatiness of the cashews because that’s really all that was in there with the date base.
Let me just take a moment to call out that the one ingredient that is consistent across the bars is dates. Now I am a huge fan of dates in pretty much any form I can find them in. You should have seen me in Dubai when I fell in love with Bateel gourmet dates and packed my luggage full of their gorgeous boxes to take home. The fact that Lärabar uses dates as their base makes me a very happy camper.
Back to the flavors…
The chocolate coconut bar was a decadent mix of rich chocolate combined with almonds, walnuts, and of course, coconut. This was a real treat and had an incredible texture to it. Saving my personal favorite for last – the peanut butter and jelly. The ingredients were simple: dates; peanuts; unsweetened cherries; and salt. Somehow Lärabar got the proportions so perfect that it actually tastes like a PB&J. I am not going to question how they do it but rather relish the fact that the do.
So, next time you are looking for a gluten-free snack that is made from simple, real ingredients, try one of the bars. Not only are they gluten-free but they are also dairy- and soy-free, Kosher, non-GMO, and vegan. I always have one in my work tote and take a few when I hit the road. Now I just need to work my way through the remaining flavors.