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Product Review: The Good Bean – The Fruit & No Nut Bar

Most energy bars are made with nuts. It’s nice to see a healthy, tasty granola bar made without nuts. This is great news to people who have nut allergies!  Not only nut free, these bars are also gluten free, low GI and contain no GMO ingredients.  I am loving these bars! These bars are truly a wholesome and filling snack for any time of the day.

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The chickpeas give these bars lots of fiber and 5g of protein per serving, and at the same time have less fat than many nut-based bars. Currently there are 3 flavors available: Apricot Coconut, Fruit & Seeds Trail Mix, and Chocolate Berry. The website says “New Flavors Coming Soon” – I can’t wait!! These bars have great texture and flavor, and did not taste like a mouthful of beans. Chickpeas do not have very much flavor to begin with, and they actually have a slightly nutty flavor, which I think is what makes these bars work so well.

My favorite bar was the chocolate berry (surprise, surprise). It is a perfect combination of fruit and chocolate and not overly sweet like many chocolate flavored bars, I absolutely loved this combo. There is enough chocolate to satisfy a sugar craving without being overbearing; I did not feel like I was eating a dessert bar. This bar is more solid than the others.

Surprisingly, the Apricot Coconut Bar didn’t taste too sweet either, but at the same time satisfied my sweet tooth. The bar has a chewier texture than the other bars, but still not very dense and a little crunchy. I love the burst of coconut flavor I started tasting a few bites in. Yum!

The fruit and seed bar was the final and third bar I sampled. This bar was the gooiest of all 3. It was also noticeably drier than the other two bars, perhaps due to the seeds?  I loved the minimal amount of cranberries, and the wonderful pumpkin flavor.

The texture is very similar to a nut filled granola bar – crunchy and wholesome, but not as heavy, which I prefer. Another plus to being nut free is the amount of fat per bar, 4.5-5g, is much less than a nut filled bar, average of 10-13g per serving. If you are curious, check out The Vegetarian Resource Group list of energy bars nutrition. This is a great chart to compare the nutritional content of different bars.

My one complaint is the amount of sugar, 11-12g. Brown Rice Syrup and pure can sugar are two ingredients I wish were left out. Since January I’ve been on a Candida Diet – no yeast, no fruit, no added sugars, low carbohydrates, etc. – and I am not supposed to eat anything with more than 6g of sugar per serving, and unfortunately these bars far surpass that maximum. So until I am allowed more sugar back in my diet these are off limits for me. Which is too bad because I really enjoyed them! (This post was written before my diet started.)

In addition to the bars, I also sampled the Crunchy Chickpea Snack. I’m so happy these do not have yeast, and are low in sugar with only 2-3g per serving. I used to snack on Saffron Road’s Wasabi Chickpeas, which honestly got a bit too hot for me sometimes, but that all stopped in January when I began my yeast free diet. (Click here to check out my review of Saffron Road products) These chickpeas have a nice crunch, but not as hard as nuts. These make for a handy snack to keep in my desk drawer or purse. One day I even added some to my salad, which gave it an extra crunch and extra protein to keep me energized for the day!

Other flavors available are Cracked Pepper, Smoky Chile & Lime, and Sweet Cinnamon. These are also low in fat (2g) and high in Fiber (6g) and Protein (6-7g). They are available for purchase online at Spencer’s Market 1 2.5oz bag for $2.69 ($3.11 on The Good Bean website).

The Good Bean products are available at many Whole Foods (not Brighton, grr!) and Health Food Stores. Around Boston you can find them at The Whole Foods at Fresh Pond and Newtonville. For other store locations, click here.

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I've been on a gluten free diet since January 2009. It's been an adventure, and a challenge at times. I love to go to new restaurants and try new foods, and being gluten free can make eating out difficult at times. But I will not let my dietary restrictions get in my way of finding new restaurants and products. These are my stories of being a young women in a big city, eating out and trying new foods, all while NOT eating gluten. Like I said, it's an adventure and you are welcome to come along... Please note that as I try to eat gluten free 100% of the time, my intolerance is not as severe as others so please use caution when dining at restaurants that are not certified gluten free.