Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hittin' up the bar... the GRANOLA bar! (harharhar)

Lately I've been having a back-and-forth in my mind between eating "real" food and eating easy processed foods. I'm so thankful that more and more, there is a mix of the two and I'm able to find real foods for sale that are also convenience foods. I mentioned recently that I bought a bunch of granola bars and energy bars and such because they were on sale. Yeah, it was one of those "on a whim" purchases, but I'm glad I did!

This Harvest PowerBar in Toffee Chocolate Chip flavor was actually fairly tasty! I wasn't sure what to expect but it was edible AND enjoyable. Good combo.


I also tried the Triple Threat Energy bar in Chocolate Caramel Fusion flavor, which, by the time I pulled it out of my purse after driving around in the car, was covered in melty gooey chocolate and pretty darn delicious. The ingredients in these don't alarm me, so I feel okay buying them occasionally if I feel the need for a candy bar, haha, because they taste like candy bars but without all the processed crap. However, while the sugar content IS lower than a candy bar, they still have quite a bit of sugar in 'em.

Now, I'd like to talk about this little baby.

The Pecan Pie Larabar is my new favorite dessert. Okay, maybe not - the dark chocolate I bought the other day is almost gone! But oh. my. gosh. THIS THING IS SO GOOD. And when I read the ingredients: dates, pecans, and almonds? THAT'S IT?! I was astonished. Ian, the guy who is all about some pecan pie, also approved. While it's 220 calories for a TEENY TINY little thing, we split it and it was rich enough in flavor and texture that I probably wouldn't want to eat the whole thing anyway. One of my favorite bloggers, The Fitnessista, mentions eating Larabars quite often, so I don't know why it took me this long to try 'em. We tried the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor as well, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I was of the pecan pie flavor. I can't wait to try the other varieties now! 

Honestly, I'd rather have the Larabars than the PowerBars, but they are different monsters. The Larabars remind me of my beloved Chocolate Brownie Pure bars, since both have dates as a main ingredient. These kind of bars are more chewy than the PowerBars, which remind me more of the Nature Valley chewy protein bars I bought (also on sale!). 

It's great to have these kind of products to grab when you're on the go. They are easy to eat, tasty, and fulfilling - at least to my little tummy, haha! But part of me still says, "you can do better." I made it past the Snickers, to the tiny little Quaker Dipps granola bars, to the Nature Valley roasted almond granola bars, to the Pure and Larabars of simple simple simple ingredients. So, it's progress. But, I've seen recipes for homemade granola bars, so I know it can be done. I suppose that's the next step on the trail of convenience foods. With how much I enjoy the convenience of this type of food, I don't see myself forgoing them any time soon, but a homemade variety would be interesting to try. 

Your turn! Tell me: Have you ever made homemade granola bars? Do you have a recipe I HAVE to try? Or recommend another healthy-ish granola bar I should be on the lookout for?

☮ ♥☺
~ Cara

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