For clean eaters like us, the holiday season involves a lot of saying “no.” No to the sugar cookies, no to the pecan pie, no to the gingerbread—at least the conventional white flour/white sugar versions.
So when we find a sweet treat we can confidently say “yes” to, it’s a little piece of heaven. We’re nodding affirmatively to The YES Bar, a delicious, cookie-like snack. Biting into it is sort of like sinking your teeth into a chewy, soft-baked oatmeal cookie, except The YES Bar is free of oatmeal (and all grains), gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn and refined sugar.
The circular bars are the brainchild of Abigail Wald, who first baked them up in her Laurel Canyon kitchen for her son. At 15 months old, he suffered an encephalitic reaction to a vaccine; the strict anti-inflammatory diet he needed to heal meant that Wald was constantly saying “no” to his favorite foods. So one day she combined everything yummy from the pantry that was on his “yes” list—dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate, coconut butter, spices and maple syrup—and The YES Bar was born.
Packed with organic and non-GMO ingredients, the bars ($4 each) come in two flavors that both offer a sweet-salty taste adventure. The macadamia-chocolate flavor combines dark chocolate and macadamias with tart dried apricots and cherries, crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds, Celtic sea salt and more. Ground espresso, cinnamon and cayenne lend the mocha-cayenne flavor its warm spiciness. Two new flavors—strawberry-coconut and black-sesame sea salt—are set to debut at the beginning of 2016.
Let’s just say we know what we’re bringing to the cookie exchange this year.