Lara Bars Review

by Ann on May 18, 2009

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Lara bars make a great, nutritious snack.  They’re for the most part made of Dates, the fruit from the package (apples, cherry, banana…) and nuts which means there is no added sugar and they’re gluten-free, raw and vegan.  That’s it, they’re very simple and since they’re not covered in chocolate, a great snack to throw in your purse.  The date is sticky so it holds together well through travel.  If you’ve only tried a few flavors and weren’t sure about them, I just wanted to run down the list of all the flavors I have tried so you may want to give them a second chance if you weren’t enthralled with your first try.

  • Cherry Pie:  Surprisingly delicious!  Cherry flavored things typically taste like medicine to me or are too overwhelming.  I do not like cherry pie itself but luckily, this Larabar doesn’t taste like a cherry pie.  The dates mellow out the cherry flavor and the almonds provide the right crunch and accompaniment to the cherry.  My toddler liked this flavor the best and kept stealing it from me.  He spit out most other flavors but banana, which he only wanted a couple of bites of.
  • Banana Cookie:  Well, it’s good, but for me it’s easy to cook with banana and I’d rather have something with banana and chocolate or peanut butter.  So, overall impression, good, but just banana.  It sort of tastes like a super-dense and moist banana bread.
  • Pistachio:  The dates were too sweet and don’t go so well with pistachio.
  • Gingersnap:  Tastes like more of a spice cookie than a gingersnap, lots of clove.  Just ok.  If you like spice cookies, you’d probably love them.
  • Apple Pie:  Yummy!  The tartness of the apple goes really well with the date, raisins, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon Roll:  Bland, doesn’t taste like a cinnamon roll, or much of anything really.
  • Chocolate Coconut:  My old favorite.  I used to buy dozens of these but then I took a long break.  If you like chocolate and coconut, I think Larabar did a great job of getting this right with no added sugar by using unsweetened cocoa and unsweetened coconut. 
  • Coconut Cream Pie:  Honestly, how in the world did they get this so creamy?  It’s actually too rich for me.  I liked the flavor but just a couple of bites and the creaminess is overwhelming.  It’s just some coconut oil but it really made it creamy.  Healthy and smart, but creamy.
  • Lemon Bar:  The lemon is too bland or lemon-flavorish rather than real, I think it needs lemon peel and more/different bran of  lemon juice concentrate.
  • Peanut Butter Cookie:  Doesn’t taste like a peanut butter cookie.  Doesn’t taste like peanut butter to me at all.  You can taste the peanuts but this has the potential to taste like an awesome pb&j but it was just too bland for me as well.
  • Cashew Cookie:  Yum!  Cashews are pretty rich but the rich flavor of the cashew went nicely with the dates.  A good combo but I could only eat half due to the richness of both flavors together.
  • Pecan Pie:  The initial bite is a tad sweet and obvioulsy date - but as you keep chewing, the pecan does come through and is mighty tasty.  If you’re a pecan lover, the you can definitely taste the pecans here, but the date flavor is strong as well.  I like it!

A few years ago, I tried the Jocalot version that Larabar makes, and the available flavors at the time were too bitter and not flavorful enough.  Maybe I’d like the newer flavors but I don’t really feel like giving them a try.  If you love these Larabars to death you may want to make your own.  Just ground up some pitted dates in your food processor and add whatever dried fruit or nut.  I’m sure it would work best if you had a dehydrator to get the right flavor without having to buy sweetened dried fruit.  I’m not going to make them since I definitely can’t eat these in bulk.  I like dates but in small quantities. Personally, I’d rather just buy some lara bars when I feel like it.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine May 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for the review! I love these bars-have you found them anywhere else than Whole Foods?

2 Ann May 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Yes! They’re also at Hy-Vee in the health section, probably at Bakers…not sure? I assume they’d also be at No Name as well. I seem to only be at Whole Foods and Hy-Vee when I buy them though.

3 Don Davidson May 19, 2009 at 11:39 am

As I clicked onto your site, guess what I’m eating? An apple pie Larabar! Just picked up an 18 ct. variety pack from Costco yesterday.

4 Ann May 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm

That’s funny! The Cherry Pie and Apple Pie and Cashew varieties they have together are perfect! I sort of wish that there would be less cashew and more of something else, but a great three flavor variety. Costco (or Larabar) were pretty smart in putting those flavors together. Actually, the reason I thought of reviewing these is from my Dad’s Costco pack. I stole one of each:) With permission of course.

5 Laura June 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

These are my favorite bars EVER! If I ever get brave enough to try to recreate a bar, these would be them. Excellent review! :)

6 LaraLover April 26, 2011 at 6:21 am

You’re nuts!!!! The peanut butter cookie is awesome. The cherry pie is soooo sour, gross! Peanut butter and jelly are delicious, also!

7 Ann April 26, 2011 at 8:42 am

LaraLover- I wonder if they changed the ratios and I should give them another shot. It’s a good thing they make so many flavors so our different taste buds are all happy!

8 Healthnut November 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

So far, I tried peanut butter cookie, cashew cookie and cherry pie. I didn’t care for cashew cookie or cherry pie. But I absolutely loved peanut butter cookie. I am afraid to try other flavors because of it’s unique taste but I think I will try apple pie and banana cookie next time.

9 Bonnie March 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I LOVE the blueberry muffin LaraBar!! By far my favorite!! Occasionally, I crumble it into a Blueberry Chobani for a snack!!!!!

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