Cute and tasty!
In addition to tons of sweets, companies often send us samples of snacks and meal replacement bars– “healthy” alternatives to the gooey, fatty, sugary (and easy-to-abuse) pastries my sweet tooth craves. Generally speaking, if I’m not going to eat a cupcake, I’d rather have a tangelo or an apple but in an effort to explore the gray area between total indulgence and health nut, I gave these “treats” a whirl. Here’s what I thought of Mareblu Naturals, ProBar, and Raw Revolution.
Mareblu Naturals is a line of dry roasted, very lightly salted nut treats held together by a touch of evaporated cane juice and/or brown rice syrup and, in the case of several varieties, spiked with dried fruits. The bulky bite-sized chunks of crunchy sweetness conjured images of trail mix and peanut brittle candy overcoming their differences and uniting for peace in the form of a healthy treat. Mareblu Naturals treats were popular with the Happy Hour crowd at Trophy Bar and they were a nice treat for those times I just wanted to mindlessly snack while watching YouTube. The only downside is nuts are fattening (a serving of my favorite, the CranBlueberry Trail Mix Crunch, contains 13 grams of fat per tiny 1/4 cup serving) and one bag contains 4 servings which could easily be consumed by a less conscious or hungrier snacker. I suppose this could be remedied by repacking single servings in little ziplock baggies, but then again I’d miss the superdurable, resealable package as well as the supercute drawings that adorned it. Choices, choices.
ProBar is a line of organic whole meal replacement bars. I think the greatest thing ProBar has in its favor is its packaging, which features gorgeous drawings of the fruit and nut ingredients. Kudos to the manufacturers for resisting the urge to use neon colors and the very tacky image of someone hiking, surfing, or doing some other outdoor or extreme activity that seems to plague most meal replacement bars! But the kudos don’t end there– these things are delicious! I consumed several varieties of new Sweet & Savory line while running errands around the city but I looked forward to eating them even when I wasn’t on the go. Unlike many other meal bars I have tried, ProBars aren’t loaded with sugars, the texture isn’t that of dried up cookie, and it’s tasty and nutritious enough to satiate both my palate and my body’s needs. Clearly someone here realizes that eating a meal replacement bar doesn’t need to be a total act of desperation.
Raw Revolution is a line of organic live food bars created by a registered nurse/ natural foods chef. The Chocolate & Cashew bar made me question if I had not just bitten into a supermoist brownie. Indeed, these treats are raw indulgence but without the empty calories of a candy bar or brownie. Because I was still hungry and unsatisfied after eating one (I guess a few nuts and some dates don’t cut it for me as a meal replacement), I can’t really justify eating an entire full sized bar which has about 280 calories (150 of which are fat). Still, I think half of a full bar or the new smaller Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar is perfect when a snack attack lurches between meals or for dessert.