By Stephanie Schoenster
Energy bars: They can be convenient and good for you, or little more than candy bars lurking in wholesome-looking wrappers. If you eye the long rows of bars at the grocery store and wonder how to choose the right ones, good news; we scoured the aisles and found some new ones with that perfect mix of clean ingredients and great taste. Stash one of these in your bag for solid, sustained energy on-the-go.
Known for their fruit and nut bars, KIND has now transformed your favorite smoothie flavors into convenient bars. Instead of sipping your Pineapple, Kale, and Spinach or Mango-Apple smoothie, toss one of these “pressed” bars (shown above) into your bag. And now you can feel good about buying these bars for another reason: KIND CEO Daniel Lubetsky has pledged $25 million to create an organization called “Feed the Truth” that will promote health policies grounded in science-based nutrition studies, instead of corporate influence. ($8.19 for 4 bars; available on Jet.com.)
GoMacro was started by mother-daughter team Amelia Kirchoff and Jola Sonkin, following Kirchoff’s experience with breast cancer. Both started following a macrobiotic diet and baking treats with grains and fruit grown on their family farm in Wisconsin. GoMacro bars are organic, vegan and gluten-free, made with real-food ingredients like nuts and nut butters, coconut oil, and spices. GoMacro recently launched Thrive, smaller bars with around 200 calories and a somewhat crunchy texture, studded with an ancient-seed blend that includes hemp, quinoa and flax. A portion of their proceeds goes towards benefiting a variety of organizations such as the Poplar Animal Sanctuary and supporting the local agricultural scene in Southwestern Wisconsin. ($26.26 for 12; available online.)
Made with a mix of high-quality raw ingredients, including sprouted ancient grains and adaptogenic herbs, these chewy, tasty bars have no refined sugar or preservatives and are certified organic and gluten-free. They’re so fresh, they require refrigeration, so keep one in the fridge at the office instead of carrying it around in your gym bag. Our favorite flavor is the Vanilla Bean with Blueberries, but they’re also available in Chocolate and Mango. ($39.99 for 10; available online.)
The eco-chic compostable packaging is what caught our eye at first, before being drawn in by the bars’ two unique flavors: Apricot Pepita and Cherry Pecan. Even the nut-butter base of these bars is homemade. We love their texture; it’s a combo of melt-in-your mouth creamy with a bit of crunch from puffed quinoa and cacao nibs. They’re great snacks on their own, of course, but we also love crumbling a bar over yogurt or a smoothie bowl. ($23.70 for a pack of 6; available online.)
True to its name, Simple Squares keeps it, well, simple, with a whole-food base of just 5 organic ingredients: nuts, honey, sea salt, vanilla, and spices. And yet, you won’t get bored with unique flavors like Sage, Rosemary, and Chili Pep (there are also classics like Coffee, Coconut and Ginger). These bars are great after a workout, on the go and even as a healthier dessert. ($36.00 for 12; available online.)
These whole food bars are delicious and nutritious, just the way nature intended. Loaded with superfood ingredients such as organic almond butter and cacao chocolate chips, Manna bars are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free friendly. Manna means “angel’s food” and each bite is definitely heavenly—soft, chewy and surprisingly crispy from organic quinoa crisps. Not only are Manna bars nourishing bodies and minds around the world, they have funded over 25,000 liters of clean drinking water for mothers and children in developing countries with their Kickstarter campaign. Our favorite flavor is the Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip. (You will receive 2 bars when you donate $10.)