Friday, April 24, 2009

Product Review: Heart Thrive Energy Bars

Last week when I was at Whole Foods Market perusing the bakery section, a cute package with a heart on it caught my eye. Colorful lettering and the words "Nutritious Meals to Go" sparked my attention. Heart Thrive Energy Bars come in a package of two heart-shaped cakes - they are so cute, which is reason alone to get them! I am always looking for energy bars that aren't too high in calories. I like to stash them in my purse and gym bag for use after workouts or on days when I am too busy to eat all my snacks and meals at home.

The "too high in calories" part gets to be a problem. Many energy bars out there have as many calories as a full meal! Which is fine if you plan to use a bar as a meal...But I usually don't. I'd rather have a meal. Bars to me are snacks. I don't waste 300 calories on a snack that most likely isn't going to keep me full for more than an hour.

What about the bars that have under 200 calories? Hmmm. Usually they are boring and small. I can eat one in 3 bites and be hungry again half an hour later. They usually don't contain a significant amount of protein or fiber. This is not the case with Heart Thrive. I was excited to read on the package's nutrition facts that each cute little heart is made mostly of oats and dried fruit, with a calorie count around 150! Perfect for my needs! They come in many different flavors; I purchased the date flavor to try. Now I am wishing I had bought one of each, because the bar was delicious! The flavor of oats and dates mingle pleasantly in this bar. It's sweet but not too sweet, with a smidge of cinnamon and ginger. It has a tiny bit of chalkiness from the soy protein, but I am willing to forgive that based on the superior nutritional stats this bar boasts. In general, this bar is like a denser version of an oatmeal cookie.

The date flavor bar clocks in at 158 calories per heart and offers 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The Weight Watchers points (3) are printed right on the package! I ate my first one right after a hard run at the gym. I was on the way home in the car and had stashed these in my gym bag. Along with a bottle of water, this made for a satisfying and filling post-workout snack. It left me full for a couple of hours, and with only 11 grams of natural sugars, I didn't experience a sugar crash afterward.

I definitely look forward to trying some of the other flavors of Heart Thrive bars. The other flavors are: Raisin, Cranberry, Apple, Apricot, Poppyseed, and Chocolate Chip. You can order right from their website at You may order individual flavors or a mixed assortment. Note that the chocolate chip has a slightly higher calorie and fat content than the fruity ones. These bars are vegan, Wheat free, Dairy free, low fat, contain no GMOs, artificial ingredients, or preservatives, and are high in calcium. All around a great addition to any healthy diet!

I ate my bars just pretty much right out of the package, but the web site has suggestions of other things to do with these bars. I think next time I might try warming one in the microwave and eating it with a spray or two of ICBINB and some sugar-free maple syrup!

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