The Triathlete staff has tried a lot of bars over the years, and after putting more bars through our taste testing process, these six all got the thumbs-up from our testers.
CLIF Organic Trail Mix Bar
There’s “a lot going on in there,” said one taste tester—in a good way! These USDA-certified organic fruit and nut bars feature ingredients such as almonds, wild blueberries and coconut and have a satisfying nutty crispiness (Wild Blueberry Almond won the taste test). A perfect filling snack for traveling, they’re gluten-free and only 200 calories. $1.69, Clifbar.com
These nut butter and honey-based bars were the hands-down taste test winner, thanks to their crumbly peanut butter cookie-like texture and nutty-sweet taste. The staff favorite flavor, almond butter, is like “a more justified way to eat a spoonful of almond butter,” said one tester, thanks to the organic honey plus a long list of superfood ingredients, such as kale and kelp. The blend of carbs and protein (and crave-able taste) make it a perfect post-workout recovery food.
PowerBar Harvest Energy Bar
The newly updated Harvest bars, with cleaner ingredients and new packaging, provide energy during workouts. The staff favorite strawberry crunch flavor is made with roasted almonds and peanuts plus rolled oats and honey in a PB&J-like flavor combo. The texture is light and crispy, like a cereal bar, and is dipped in a yogurt-like coating (others have a chocolate coating).
The dried cherries, cranberries and raisins in the Sunny Uplift flavor combine with gluten-free oats, almond butter and puffed brown rice for a sweet (and healthful) treat with a soft, chewy texture. All MacroBars are vegan, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic and are made with only whole-food ingredients.
Kinetic Koffee Gearhead Go-Bar
Baked at Kinetic Koffee in Northern California, these handmade bars have just eight ingredients, including walnuts and honey, and taste just like a buttery pie crust (probably because they contain butter). They’re deliciously sweet and rich, and their high carb content makes them great fuel for bike rides (these bars have a higher fat content, however).
Mrs. Barr’s Gourmet Granola Barrs
We love the “oatiness” of these granola bars, which are handmade in small batches. Testers enjoyed both the original N-Barr as well as the dark chocolate-slathered D-Barr, both of which have a delicious coconut flavor and aren’t too sweet. With oats and locally sourced honey, they make a tasty pre-workout snack.
$21 for six, Mrsbarrsnaturalfoods.com