Sunday, March 1, 2009

The "Bar" Exam

If there's one thing you'll learn from a glance in my pantry, it's that bars have a special place in my heart. I have bars coming out of my ears. I have boxes of bars piled so high, you'd think I was planning for the end of the world. There are 3 flavors of Fiber One bars, Nature Valley granola bars, Quaker toffee almond granola bars, Luna bars, Luna Sunrise bars, Clif Z-Bars, Soy Joy bars, and a handful of "reject" bars I never polished off. Perhaps one could even venture to call it a collection?

I must say, however, I am partial to those of the Luna, Luna Sunrise, and Clif Z-Bar varieties.

Luna Bars are Out of This World!

The Luna and Luna Sunrise lines are both great because they sell a wide selection of flavors. Most of them include a soy rice crisp that comprises the bulk of the bar, along with a sweet layer along the bottom and, in the Sunrise flavors, a fruity layer across the top. Although I am indifferent when it comes to high fructose corn syrup, I know that for some, HFCS's mere existence is criteria enough to shy away. For such individuals, you can sleep well at night knowing this ingredient is something neither Luna nor Luna Sunrise bars contains.

  • No HFCS or artificial sweeteners
  • 3 g fiber/Luna bar or 5 g fiber/Luna Sunrise bar
  • Good source of (soy) protein, low glycemic index (32-50)
  • Many flavors include various seeds and nuts
  • Nutritious with many vitamins and minerals
  • No bad after-taste
  • Contains whole grains
  • Some flavors come in mini versions
  • Portable, fast nutrition


Best Flavors:

  • Luna Sunrise Blueberry Bliss
  • Luna Sunrise Strawberry Crumble
  • Luna Cookies 'n Cream Delight
  • Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick

Worst Flavor:

  • Caramel Nut Brownie

Clif Z-Bars Put the "Z" in "CraZy Awesome!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, contrary to the box's advertisement and what Trix would have you believe, this bar is not just for kids. Clif Z-Bars have a wonderfully oaty, dense taste and a perfect proportion of flavors at your tastebuds' disposal. If you have not tried them before, I say get up from your computer NOW, put your keys in the car, and drive to the store to pick up a box! Hurry, time's a tickin', because you should not waste another minute of your life not knowing what you're missing.


  • Dense and oaty
  • No bad after-taste
  • Sweet without being too-sweet
  • Portable and fast nutrition
  • NOT just for kids!
  • Excellent source of many vitamins and minerals
  • 3 grams fiber/bar
  • No HFCS
  • No hydrogenated oils
  • Organic


  • A bit pricey (again, see the previous post "Running the Numbers at Wal-Mart and Target" for cheaper deals)

Best Flavors:

  • Chocolate Brownie
  • Chocolate Chip

Worst Flavor:

  • Apple Cinnamon (truly the worst flavor...I DO NOT recommend it!)

I am a bar fanatic, but I must admit, there are still many flavors I have yet to try. These include Luna's Berry Almond (it's consumption is pending, as there is one calling to me in the pantry), Iced Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Raspberry, Dulce de Leche, Chai Tea, Peanut Butter Cookie, Chocolate Pecan Pie, and Toasted Nuts 'n Cranberry. That's 57% of the flavors I cannot account for! In the Clif Z-Bar department, my local grocery store, which is selective in the flavors it carries, has robbed me of the oppurtunity to evaluate the Spooky S'mores, Blueberry, Honey Graham, and Peanut Butter Z-Bars. So my question for you, reader, is: What are your favorite flavors and why?

As you can see with the Luna, Luna Sunrise, and Clif Z-Bars, the pros far outweigh the cons. And remember, Clif Z-Bars can be enjoyed by anyone of any age, just as Luna bars are far from being gender-specific. Luna says their product is the "entirely whole natural nutrition bar for women." Psh. I say real men eat Luna bars!


  1. I love the Z Bars. I agree about expense though. I try to just buy a few bars and then make my own.

  2. Wow thanks for these great reviews! :) I love the zbars too and the kids ones are the best flavors. :0 They are pricey though that's for sure.