Pure Bars: Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and a BIG Selection
I still remember my first encounter of the “infamous” Pure Bar, many conferences ago. It was a gluten-free event, and at least four different people inquired, “Have you checked the Pure Bar booth yet?”
Among the couple hundred exhibitors on hand, Pure Bar was definitely a crowd favorite. Alas, when I finally made my way over to their samples, only one flavor was left to trial. And as you can see, they have so many to choose from! So I filed it away as a snack bar to review in the future.
A year, or two, or maybe even three, have passed, but at last the day has come for a full Pure Bar review. On the upside, they now have more product lines to choose from, with Ancient Grains joining the mix.
Organic Ancient Grains Pure Bars
Right away the Ancient Grains Pure Bars captured my attention with their much lower sugar content. Each full bar has just 6 to 8 grams of sugars, but still packs in 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of “healthy” fats. It’s so hard to find low sugar bars these days, let alone ones that have a nice sweet flavor, but these fit the bill.
As for texture, the Ancient Grains Pure Bars are firm (not date-based like the others), granola bar-like, and a touch dry, but they have lots of chewy, grainy, crispiness throughout. The “ancient grains” blend in each bar includes quinoa, crispy brown rice, amaranth, flax seeds, and hemp seeds, and they are lightly sweetened with a mix of tapioca syrup, agave nectar, and cane sugar. I sampled the following flavors:
Peanut Butter Chocolate (pictured above) – This Pure Bar has a nice pleasant chocolate flavor tempered by the peanut butter and smattering of actual peanuts. A natural combination that isn’t overly dessert. For me, it wasn’t a love, but definitely a strong like.
Triple Berry Nut – The most granola bar-esque of the bunch, the grains were quite evident in this sweeter snack. I really liked the dried berries, I only wish there was more of this fruit and a little less of the sweetener.
Chocolate Chunk Nut – Nicely sweet and gently chocolate with generous almond and walnut pieces, a smattering of little semi-sweet chocolate chips, and an underlying peanut butter + chocolate taste. Tasty and a little indulgent; it would be perfect if the consistency was a little more tender or a little more crispy/crunchy – it was lost somewhere in the middle.
Organic Fruit & Nut Pure Bars
These Fruit & Nut Bars are grain-free, date-based bars that are sweetened a touch further with tapioca syrup and spiked with nuts and various fruity flavors. I found them all to be just a little too sweet for a regular energy bar, and would love it if they would skip the sweetener altogether and just stick with the fruit and nut combo.
Nonetheless, there were several flavors that I quite enjoyed as a treat, and it was nice that they were each spiked with brown rice protein and chia seed protein for a little extra staying power. I sampled the…
Banana Coconut Bar – This had a delightful sweetness with little bits of interest throughout, from chunks of walnuts down the the fine texture of coconut flour. Somehow the overall flavor didn’t really hit me as tropical, but earthy, warm and pleasantly flavorful.
Wild Blueberry – Perhaps my favorite Pure Bar of this lot, it had a great blueberry flavor, firm consistency, and was a little less sweet than some of the others. Spot on!
Cranberry Orange – Softer, chewier, and more intensely fruity than the others, this flavor was brimming with zest! I quite enjoyed the flavor rush.
Dark Chocolate Berry – The chocolate flavor in this Pure Bar was a little off for my tastes and didn’t really meld well with the underlying fruit and more prominent berries.
Cherry Cashew – Very cherry! Disclaimer: I’m not a lover of dried cherry bar flavors. But for those of you who are, this sweet, soft, and chewy Pure Bar had just a few little nut bits scattered about.
Apple Cinnamon – Mmmm! This could be tied for first with the Wild Blueberry. Each bite offered the essence and vibe of warm apple pie but with a nutty delivery. Probably the nuttiest of the bunch with loads of notable walnut chunks throughout and chewy bits of dried apple.
Cashew Coconut (pictured above) – This is the newest Pure Bar flavor in the Fruit & Nut group. The coconut flavor comes through in the end aftertaste, and it is rich and pleasant, but the first flavors to hit my tongue were sweetened dates and protein powder. I didn’t taste the creamy love of cashews (they are probably blended in, as they seemed to be overpowered by the other ingredients). If they could amp up the cashews and coconut for a better flavor meld, I’d be sold!
Certifications: Pure Bars (all of the Ancient Grains and Fruit & Nut varieties) are certified organic, non-GMO verified, certified gluten-free, and certified OU kosher parve.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Pure Bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
Source: Alisa Fleming, GoDairyFree.org