Hello all! I am so very excited to create my first post on this blog. As a disclaimer, I must say that I am not a registered dietitian or any kind of medical professional, but merely a girl who has a mild obsession with nutrition bars! With that being said, let’s get into it.
I decided to have my first nutrition bar review be the Banana Bread flavor of Lärabar for a couple of reasons. First of all, Lärabar is the first nutrition bar brand that I started eating and led me on to discover other nutrition bar brands. I bought about twenty Lärabars at my local grocery stores prior to going on vacation because they were on sale for only a dollar a piece. I was extremely nervous about finding vegetarian food on my vacation because the areas that I visited (various parts of the American South) were notoriously non-vegetarian and I thought that it was probably a pretty good idea to bring some of my own food in the case that I couldn’t find anything to eat. I also chose to review this specific bar today because I had been looking for the Banana Bread flavor for about two and a half months. I couldn’t find this flavor at any of my local grocery and health food stores and was absolutely ecstatic when I finally found it. This flavor of bar is highly regarded among the general public and I knew I must try it based on the praise it receives and my love for banana bread.
Before I discuss the flavor of this bar, I think its important to talk about this bar’s nutrition bar “stats”. The vast majority (if not all) of the Lärabar products (including the classic Lärabar, Über, etc.) are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, and Kosher. The banana bread flavor is most definitely all of those things, and the majority of the above attributions factor into why I love Lärabars so much! The fact that these bars are Non-GMO and Vegan is especially important to me. I try to eat Non-GMO as much as possible and I would like to one day transition into Veganism from Vegetarianism. These bars are 230 calories with 11 grams of fat, 20 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. I would not consider this bar to be a meal replacement for any meal other than breakfast due to its relatively low amount of protein. The amount of fiber is pretty good and probably one of the best parts of this bar as far as macronutrients go. As an added bonus, the bananas in this bar provide 430 milligrams of Potassium. The amount of sugar and fat is pretty average for a bar that’s this many calories, but I always do wish the calorie count, sugar, and fat was lower in Lärabars. They tend to be around 200 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 20 grams of sugar but I only eat one a day at most so I don’t feel too extremely guilty about that. I justify the sugar, fat, and calories in this bar because there are only three ingredients in this entire bar! Almonds, dates, and unsweetened bananas make up this bar and this is probably the major reason I love Lärabars; the original versions all have no more than nine ingredients and all of the ingredients used are things that are naturally occurring in nature and not made in a factory or comprised of synthetic chemicals like many other bars. It’s hard to find a bar with so few ingredients as Lärabar! Each bar also has a quarter cup of fruit in it which is about 12% of the daily recommended serving of two cups of fruit.
Okay, moving on to the flavor of this bar! This bar had a wonderfully strong banana taste that paired beautifully with the dates and almonds. It wasn’t quite as yummy as an actual slice of banana bread, but the banana taste was definitely prominent and delicious. The dates provided sweetness and made the texture chewy and soft like all Lärabars are. The almonds made the texture a bit crunchy as well and made the bar heartier. The almonds made it a banana nut bread, but I would have preferred walnuts instead as to stay true to the typical banana nut bread. The flavor of this bar was extremely well-balanced and made me feel nostalgic about the Sundays I spent at my Grandmother’s house eating her homemade banana nut bread. Another great bar from Lärabar which definitely ranks highly among the rest of their bars for me.
While I covered this lovely green mineral before (see http://on.fb.me/1Hl3vnM), this wonderful 15 cm across natural aggregate of fibrous crystals is a stunner. Formed by the alteration of limestones by hot brines spat out of a cooling iron rich granite that was stewing in its own juices after reaching its buoyancy point in the crust of the Earth in one specific Siberian locality, it was named after the supposedly delicately textured wing feathers of the highest order of angels. The fibres could be cut into catseye stones, but it would ruin a wonderful mineral specimen, something I’m generally against (though for the record, I have nothing against cutting river rolled pebbles and angular cleavage fragments, just lushly formed crystals)