In our pursuit of being the ultimate guinea pigs for you, today we taste-test two new snack bars—Barre bars and Gnu Flavor & Fiber bars that boast uber nutrition and a delicious taste. Who will win? Read on for this bar-a-licious head-to-head competition…
Barre workouts are all the rage these days with lots of ladies wanting to look like and work out like ballerinas. So it makes sense that we’d be game to be fueled like them, too, right? That’s the idea of two professional ballet dancers who created Barre bars.
On first taste, these remind us a lot of Larabars. They kind of look like one and taste like one. And like Larabars, they’re made with whole-food ingredients (think agave, cocoa, cranberries, dates, oats, pecans, sea salt, sunflower seeds, walnuts). However, they’re also loaded with superfoods like flax seeds, hemp seed and electrolytes. Nutritional bonus!
Friendly for vegans, 75 percent raw and free of common allergens such as soy and wheat, these each have about 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (all healthy), 4 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein and 15 (or more) grams of sugar. While we definitely wish there was more protein and less sugar, for the super-active lady (they were made by professional ballet dancers after all) these are pretty good. And you seriously can’t get a better ingredient label; you’ll recognize everything on it.
The Barre bars come in three flavors: Pirouette Cinnamon Pecan, Black Swan Chocolate Berry and Ballerina Spirulina. The names are super cute, and they all taste good and sweet—without tasting too sweet. I wish Pirouette Cinnamon Pecan had a touch more cinnamon and spice, but Ballerina Spirulina was definitely one of the best tasting algae products I’ve ever had. And Black Swan Chocolate Berry? Well, that one was my favorite by far. Dark chocolaty with bits of tangy cranberries, it’s a for-sure winner. At $2.50 per bar, these will cost you a pretty penny, but at least you know you’re buying real food for your money.
Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber Bars
This isn’t our first time trying Gnu Flavor & Fiber bars, but since it’s been a couple of years (Dang, we’re old! Get our dentures, quick!), we thought we might as well try its three new dessert-inspired flavors: Blueberry Cobbler, Blondie and Carrot Cake, which are said to be “the tastiest way to get the most fiber with the least investment in calories and sugar.” We’re always down for a better-for-you dessert!
And these bars are certainly sweet. With 12 grams of fiber (Ahem, that’s 48 percent of your daily value, so do not—I repeat do not—eat more than one or two in a day unless you want to become besties with the porcelain throne) and 130 to 140 calories each, they’re filling and have an all-natural ingredient list that’s much longer than Barre’s but still pretty dang clean (there’s wheat, but no high-fructose corn syrup, soy or dairy). With about 3 grams of fat each, plus 3 grams of protein and 10 grams of sugar, we also wish these had more protein and less sugar, but the amount of fiber is pretty darn rad.
And let’s talk about the sugar. Despite having less sugar than the Barre bars, Gnu Flavor & Fiber Bars taste much, much sweeter—and much, much more like dessert. For me (who tends to like things that aren’t super sweet), I found the Blueberry Cobbler to be very blueberry but actually too sweet for my liking. The Blondie flavor was much more mild, but still too sweet for me. However, the Carrot Cake? Holy cow, I could—and now do—eat this as dessert. Chewy, hearty and kind of chunky (like all good carrot cake should be), it’s just perfection. And I’d totally pay $1.99 for one.
So, who’s the winner? Barre wins in the nutrition bar and the overall taste category, making it the winner! However, the Carrot Cake Gnu Flavor & Fiber Bar in and of itself gets a very, very close second.
Have you tried either of these? Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Share your thoughts! —Jenn