Off The Shelf: Protein and Nut Bars – Part I

16 Dec

Bag of almondsSometimes the BusyFoodie needs to grab a quick, nutritious (and tasty) snack. Nuts are known for satisfying hunger, protein bars are perfectly packaged to be thrown in any purse or bag, and nut bars are like a happy marriage of the two. Here’s what I like to keep handy:

Not all roasted nuts are created equal – often, nuts are overly salted or oily. Almond Expressions Roasted Salted Almonds are perfectly lightly salted, and not greasy at all.

For a more indulgent snack, Q’s Nuts (Somerville, MA) roasts peanuts, almonds, cashews and pecans with a variety of natural ingredients. I first discovered Q’s Nuts at Eat Boutique in Boston, and immediately fell in love with the Banana Foster Pecans – they really do taste just like bananas foster!

When it comes to a quick grab-and-go, toss-in-your-bag snack, Larabar Über Sweet and Salty Fruit and Nut Bars manage a good balance of taste and nutrition. While many granola or protein bars pack in tons of sugar along with ingredients you can’t pronounce, Über bars have short lists of recognizable ingredients, and they also taste great (unlike many protein bars). They are also gluten-free. The Bananas Foster reminds me of Q’s Nuts’ pecans. The Cherry Cobbler really tastes like a mouthful of cherries, and the Apple Turnover is a terrific mix of dried apples. walnuts, and raisins with a hint of cinnamon. Sadly, these are currently available in the United States, but not yet in Canada.

Luna Bar

If you’re craving baked sweets, Luna bars (made by CLIF Bar & Company) might just hit the spot. The Chocolate Peppermint Stick and Nutz Over Chocolate flavours pack enough chewy, chocolatey goodness to make you feel as if you’re eating a brownie. In fact, there is a Caramel Nut Brownie version. Though Luna Bars are marketed as nutrition bars for women (containing calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, and iron in addition to the usual protein and fiber), my boyfriend thought they were pretty yummy, too.

Luna Bar- unwrappedInside a Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar – the texture is a bit like a vegan brownie.

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