The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: dried fruit (page 1 of 2)

Larabar ALT is here

Another day in Atlanta and another little box arrives in the mail, courtesy Larabar. This one contained the latest addition to Larabar’s wonderful assortment of dried fruit and nut bars – ALT.

ALT from Larabar

ALT from Larabar

Each ALT bar contain 10 grams of protein derived from peas. The wrapper is made from 31% plant-based material. There you have it – a dried fruit and nut bar that is gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, kosher, non-GMO and choc-a-full of protein! Seems like a fabulous deal, no?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the taste. It seemed a little odd in flavor, for lack of a better description. Texturally, it was nowhere as soft as the regular Larabars, feeling more coarse and grainy in comparison.

I am not sure if it is the taste of pea protein or the fact that all four flavor combinations contain peanuts or that the ingredient list now contains brown rice flour, brown rice syrup and natural flavor. I tend to be suspicious of the term ‘natural flavor.’ What does the flavor contain? What is it derived from? And so on…

ALT Bars

ALT Bars

To make a long story short, I am not a fan of ALT. In fact, I have a Cinnamon Apple Crisp Bar and a Peanut Butter Cookie Bar that I need to give away because I don’t think I will enjoy them.

I keep going back to the older Larabar combinations. Currently, my pantry contains one each of the Coconut Cream Pie, Lemon Bar, Cashew Cookie, Key Lime Pie, Banana Bread and two of the Pecan Pie. Clearly, I am a traditionalist.

Larabar Uber

Announcing the latest offering from Larabar, Uber!

I got a package in the mail containing 4 Uber Bars – Cherry Cobbler, Roasted Nut Roll, Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster. Gotta love the cute cloth bag!

Cloth Bag

P and I shared the Bananas Foster. This is what he had to say, “I like that there is some saltiness in there. I would have liked more dates to be included. Way more nutty than I like.” My take? Bananas + Salt is a great combination. A little overloaded with nuts, I agree.

P sampled the Apple Turnover. He thought that the flavors were great but the nut-fruit ratio was too high for his liking.

I ended up feeling the same about the other two, Cherry Cobbler and Roasted Nut Roll. Both bars were waaaay overloaded with nuts. The issue with this is that the bar tends to develop a stale-rancid overtone. I am a big consumer of Larabars, and not a single one so far has tasted stale or spoiled. But two of the Uber bars, I am sorry to report, tasted a tad rancid.

Brown rice vinegar and peanuts are part of the Uber bar ingredient roster. I am no fan of peanuts and I dislike the idea of including them in a fruit-nut bar. I think almonds and walnuts are the best kinds of nuts when it comes to taste, nutrition, health and energy. Peanuts? A firm No. As for brown rice vinegar, I am not sure if it is not an ingredient I’d like to see in a fruit-nut bar. Why add a fermented ingredient to a fruit-nut bar?

Uber Bars

Thanks to Larabar for sending me these samples! I am looking forward to the day when they send me a bar with my most favorite flavor combination – Fig + Walnut + Ginger + Dates. Soon, please? Thank you!

 

 

 

New Member of the Delicious Larabar Family – Cappuccino!

A cute little box arrived in the mail two weeks ago. Nestled in between the attractive red packing straw and the holiday card were four bars from Larabar… Cappuccino! These bars contain dates, almonds, cashews, fair trade certified coffee and vanilla extract. A delicious list of ingredients, I have to admit.

Larabar Cappuccino

Unfortunately, I am not a coffee drinker. I love its strong aroma wafting across the room when my colleague walks in with his cup brimming. I love the strong scent of coffee that hits me as I step inside Starbucks to get a cup of my favorite hot chocolate. I love waking up to the smells and sounds of my mother making a delicious cup of Bru or Sunrise instant coffee for us.

That being said, I have been unable to develop a taste for coffee sold here in the United States. Every time I have ordered coffee (Cappuccino, Mocha, Cafe Latte – whatever!), I have felt its jarring effects. Too sharp and intense, it gives me the jitters. Well, I haven’t gotten coffee from any place other than Starbucks, so I don’t know if my opinion actually counts. Let’s just say that I am highly wary when it comes to ordering coffee. Not to mention the countless options of roasting, brewing, country of origin, etc. Suffices to say that I stick to other warm beverages.

So when I got this package in the mail, I knew that I needed help. Actually, I sampled a tiny piece. It was too strong for me. It’s probably my low tolerance for coffee speaking but I felt a strong sensation of heat rising up in my face, pricking my insides. My breath became faster, heavier. I knew I couldn’t eat more of it.

Cappuccino Larabar

So I recruited a few good friends who also happened to be coffee-drinkers to give me their opinion.

Here’s what T has to say, “There is a hint of coffee smell, though not too strong. The bar appears quite enticing with a nice even look with almonds and cashewnuts identifiable and the dates acting as a binding agent. The bar is good to taste, however, the coffee taste disappears after the first bite and is dominated by texture of the nuts and taste of dates. The texture is quite homogeneous except for a bite or two of almonds interspersed in the bar. The coffee taste differentiation is lost, the bar is indeed very good otherwise. To enhance the taste of coffee in the bar, introducing coffee flavored chocolate would help – maybe small granules or chips.” I love how seriously he took my request!

As per N, “There is an intense taste of coffee and that’s great. But it gets lost amidst the sweetness of dates and cashews. The bar should have been less sweet.”

Here’s what T has to say. “People are not used to the flavor combination of coffee, nuts and dried fruit. It takes some getting used to.”

Here’s what the husband has to say (and I agree with him). “The biggest problem with this flavor combination is that the coffee does not seem to blend it in with the other flavors. It feels grainy and stands separate from the other flavors.”

Thanks, Larabar for sending me your newest flavor! I may not be a fan but I am sure others will be.