Vegan Protein Bar Breakdown
Certain situations in one's life require protein bars. If one is a vegan, it can be incredibly frustrating trying to find a protein/energy/meal/nutrition bar with... protein. When I first started traveling a lot, and needed a solid pre-workout vegan breakfast option (never count on vegan options being available when traveling), I spent hours in the supermarket and finally found Odwalla’s Super Protein Bar – which at 210 calories packs 14g of protein – an amazing improvement on all of the vegan “protein bars” that were clocking in at 2g of protein for 300-400 calories – I can get more protein in a slice of bread, thanks. After tiring of having the same flavor and bar every day, I moved on to Clif Bars, which come in a multitude of delicious vegan flavors and have an average of 240 calories with 10g of protein.
Then came my Yoga Teacher Training. Did I ever need protein bars for that, and of course, everything that came after! I spent more hours and hours in my health food store poring over food bar labels, desperately seeking vegan options that could keep me going over the course of the day without weighing me down.
Here’s what I came up with:
*Taste Grade takes into account: overall taste, texture and variety of flavors.
My Favorites for Protein:
Clif Builder’s Bar: 20g of protein in this bad boy. So friggin’ good – I would eat the Chocolate flavor for dessert any day – tastes like a candy bar (an incredibly filling candy bar.) These get me through the most physically strenuous days without the slightest dip in my energy levels. Awesome.
The Simply Bar: The Cinnamon bar contains 16g of protein at a mere 140 calories and has the taste and texture of a rice crispy treat! Bonus: each flavor (all good) contains only 8-10 ingredients that are all natural (organic “where possible”) and the soy is non-GMO, they are high in iron and gluten-free. Super easy to digest (“designed with a gastroenterologist”), the lightness of these bars allows me to keep going physically with no down time of feeling heavy or sluggish.
PureFit Nutrition Bar: 18g of protein and 220 calories in each flavor. Great consistency: super dense and chewy. While I very much don’t care for the Berry Almond Crunch (tastes “artificial” to me), and the Chocolate Brownie is so-so, the Almond Crunch is like a moist, delicious marzipan cookie. – love it. These bars really pack a punch for energy and keep me going through a super physical day.
My Favorites for Flavor:
Raw Revolution's Spirulina & Cashew: It has same taste and texture (really moist and dense) as a spirulina pie from a raw vegan bakery. Their Chocolate & Coconut is a close-runner-up: an uber-decadent chocolate indulgence. Out of this world yum. Bonus: with all live, raw and organic ingredients, you can feel good knowing you are feeding your body all sorts of healthy! These bars are gluten and soy free.
LaraBar's Cherry Pie: Insane. Any flavor Lara makes that goes well with dates, a main ingredient in all of their bars, is fantastic. Super dense, and pretty moist, with 19 flavors to choose from, there is something for everyone. Each bar contains only 2-9 ingredients (100% whole food) and are free of gluten and soy.
Clif Bar's Carrot Cake: An all time favorite, has stood the test of time. I have eaten hundreds of these and still get excited when I open a new wrapper. (I also love Peanut Butter Crunch, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, and Chocolate Brownie.) Clif is the benchmark for flavor for me.
Points for Originality:
Luna Bar: Specifically targeted towards women, these bars “contain folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals, that are essential to a woman’s everyday needs, while being entirely natural and as organic as possible.“ In keeping with the Clif family tradition, Luna Bars are delicious: crispy and light with a generous dose of frosting for a sweet tooth.
Wine Time Bar: “The only gourmet chocolate bars containing resveratrol, the antioxidant in the skin of red grapes that makes drinking red wine so good for you. Each bar has more resveratrol than 50 glasses of red wine.” In addition, these delicious chocolate bars contain protein, are super high in fiber and gluten free.