I love trying new gluten-free products and I love sharing my favorites with you! Luckily there are so many great ones coming out every day — we finally have gluten-free choices! Unfortunately, there are still some bricks out there in every category, but let’s focus on the positive!
I’ve reviewed some of the latest and greatest gluten-free granolas and bars, and would never steer you wrong! These are the ones you really must try for yourself, so have a read, see what suits your fancy and look for these on your favorite store shelves soon!
(To read about how I conduct product reviews, and about how I determine if a product is truly “gluten-free,” have a look at this post first)
Gluten-Free Granolas & Bars
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you must know that I love GlutenFreeda’s Instant Oatmeal. It’s definitely one of those “makes you feel like a normal person” foods. You know what I mean – you can carry your little packet of instant oatmeal to work or school like everyone else and make comfort food in the microwave in minutes. Delicious flavors, easy and quick – what’s not to like?
So now GlutenFreeda has taken this same principle and applied it to Granola. Individual packs that you can carry on the plane for a snack, take with you on business travel or carry in your purse for a yummy, nutritious snack. Lots of flavors, and all the ones I tasted were good. Gluten-free granola has come a long way from that cardboard box taste, and several companies now offer a product I’d gladly share with non-gluten-free houseguests. My homemade recipe is still my personal favorite, but there’s nothing like the ease of having something tasty that’s already made for you. Certified gluten-free and fortified with flaxseeds, this is a great product from a great company I love to support.
Love Grown Foods™ -
While we’re on the subject of granola, this new Colorado company that really excited me. Certified gluten-free from the get-go, I am already loving how they’re grown!
This is the perfect brand for the California crunchy granola lifestyle, but I hope it makes it out east in full force soon! My favorite flavor was Apple Walnut Delight … or was it Sweet Cranberry Pecan? Never mind. They were all good and the company has got it right, using no artificial ingredients, no GMOs, no preservatives and no transfats or hydrogenated oils. Lots to love!
This company was founded on the idea that snack bars can be healthy, delicious, gluten-free and not tip the scales. Their Crunch-Mixed Nut bar was really good, and with 70% less sugar and 80% more protein than most fruit and nut bars, I guess I did feel pretty good about eating it!
They also have High Protein Bars and Bites, but I haven’t tried those yet. Most of their products contain dairy, but some, like the Mixed Nut, are vegetarian (they contain honey so they aren’t vegan). All contain some kind of nuts. These products are not certified GF, but they are made in a facility that does not use glutens in other products. They have coupons on their website too, so be sure to check it out!
While I don’t generally consider bars to be a meal replacement, they have a very important place in our gluten-free lives. Let’s face it: having a safe snack in your bag is an important part of living gluten-free. The fact that I can find Kind Bars at any Starbucks and many other handy outlets, makes these an easy gluten-free staple for me. (If you buy on-line though, it is 15% cheaper than retail).
While Kind Bars aren’t “new,” they did roll out some great new flavors at Expo. My favorite new Kind Bar (I gravitate toward the dairy-free ones) is Apple-Cinnamon-Pecan. Kind also introduced some nutritionally enhanced flavors in their “Plus” line: antioxidant-boosted ones include Cranberry-Almond and Pomegranate-Blueberry-Pistachio; protein-boosted flavors include Almond-Walnut-Macadamia; their calcium-boosted flavor is Mango-Macadamia; their omega-3-boosted flavor is Almond-Cashew-Flax; and their fiber-boosted flavor is Blueberry-Pecan. Yuh-um.
If you’ve read any of my books or articles on living gluten free, you’ll know that at any given time you can usually find a LaraBar in my purse! My kids love these bars too, since they don’t have the seed and nut texture of many other bars – they’re more like a chewy cookie bar than a granola bar (this way I can tell them they are desserts — pretty sneaky!).
Larabars come in tons of flavors and they provide a handy snack for moments of desperation when you might be tempted to cheat! Their newest flavor is Blueberry Muffin and it’s a winner in my book, but my favorite flavor today Peanut Butter & Jelly. Yesterday it was Key Lime Pie. I think tomorrow will be Carrot Cake. Pick a day, pick a flavor – they’re all good.
Pure Fit® Bars -
If you are used to the texture and consistency of the protein bars often used by atheletes, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that the Pure Fit bars are chewy and dense, but not necessarily in a bad way. They are super high in protein and potassium and contain no artificial ingredinets or sugar alcohols. They would not be what I would consider as “low carb” or “low cal,” but this would be a great, gluten-safe recovery bar after a hard workout (I just ate one after my run, actually!). I always like to see these at the nutrition stores and gyms so that I know I have a gluten and dairy-free choice.
These bars are all in the 40/30/30 nutrition plan (ratio of carbohydrates (40%), fat (30%) and proteins (30%)) and are not supposed to be a meal replacement, but rather a nutritional supplement. While not all new, flavors range from Peanut Butter Crunch to Berry Almond Crunch. All bars are gluten-free and vegan. While they are not certified gluten-free, they are made in a facility that does not handle gluten.
Zing Bars –
To follow up with my original posting, as promised, I’ve added some reviews where I tested products after returning from Expo West. One of these great products is Zing Bars. These products are all natural, gluten and soy-free, and are made with low glycemic ingredients, developed by nutritionists with taste in mind. Fabulous news: they are produced in a recently certified Gluten-Free facility and have been certified Gluten-Free by GIG! The certification logo will be on their next run of packaging demonstrating that their entire product line is gluten-free to less than 10ppm gluten.
My favorite flavors (I clearly had a hard time choosing!): Cranberry-Orange; Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip; Oatmeal Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Coconut (flavors in italics are also dairy-free). I think I would really like the Almond Bluebery too, but someone else (aka my sweetie) got to it before I had a chance to try it! The other flavor that one of my kids definitely snagged out from under my nose: Chocolate-Peanut Butter. (that combination never lasts long in my house!). These bars were super tasty and got me through a couple post-work-out recoveries without leaving a funny aftertaste. Each bar has at least 10g of protein and between 3-6 grams of fiber! I’m super excited about having another great bar to add to my list of “must have” emergency foods in my purse or gym bag!
Right now, they’re even offering to ship you a sample with free shipping, if you’d like to try for yourself!
LUNA Protein Bars -
Back in my pre-gluten-free days, my favorite bar was Luna’s LemonBar. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a gluten-free lemony substitute yet, but I’m quite happy to report that Luna’s protein line is now gluten-free! So far I’ve tried their Cookie Dough, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Chip flavors (they have 2 other flavors). The entire Luna line is designed with women in mind, so the bars are heavy on vitamins women need; their protein line also boasts 12 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 200 calories per bar. The bars do contain whey, so they are not dairy-free, but they are kosher.
Like most protein bars, the consistency of these bars is thick and sticks to your teeth a bit, but they taste good and are pretty filling. Luna’s distribution is widespread as well, so ought to be easy to find one on the run!
(See my Intro to Expo and my philosophy behind my reviews, as well as my other new product reviews on Frozen Gluten-Free Breads, Gluten-Free Ready-Made Meals, Gluten-Free Cookies, and Gluten-Free Baking Ingredients!)