Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Starbars are surprisingly delicious snack bars that truly are good for you

Every once in awhile you come across a food product that piques your curiosity and simply begs you to try it. For me, Starbars was once such product. I learned about Starbars from an email I received from a public relations firm. Intrigued, i started researching the bars online and decided that I needed to give them a try. I read that "Starbars™ healthy food bars, combine raw, organic ingredients and the most powerful "superfoods" with a taste that people love."

Up until now, I have never followed a raw or organic diet and have only taken a superficial look into "superfoods". I have always been the type of person to eat what I want, when I want and damn the consequences. Now that I am turning 41 in less than a month, my attitudes toward food are changing-I am wanting to eat healthier and enjoy life just a bit longer. When I was offered the chance to receive samples of Starbars, I eagerly accepted!

I was the lucky recipient of 4 full size bars: Beauty, Brain, Detox and Libido. Each bar is made with a unique blend of raw, organic, whole food ingredients that work together to improve different parts of your life:

  • Beauty (Apple berry chia flavor) "Glow from the inside out with the raw organic Beauty Bar. This gluten-free foodbar offers the powerful combination of omega-3 rich chia seeds along with antioxidant-packed blueberries and pomegranate, superfoods which aid in the synthesis of collagen and beautiful skin." These bars are made with green apple, dates, chia seeds, blueberry and pomegranate. I admit, I was most skeptical about trying this particular bar and saved this sample for last. The idea of eating chia seeds seemed weird to me, as these are the seeds used for growing the familiar Chia Pets so many of us give as gag gifts during the holidays. I was expecting a gritty, grainy bar similar in texture to a Fig Newton-kinda gooey with annoying seeds mixed throughout. I was soooo far from the mark! This bar was so packed full of fruit and flavor I was blown away. And no annoying seeds to get in the way of my enjoyment. It turns out Chia seeds are much smaller than I was anticipating and I hardly noticed their presence in this amazing bar. Some bars claimed to be filled with fruit and let you down with an occasional dried berry or sliver of fruit, but the fruit in these stand front and center. Soft, flavorful and in abundance! 
  • Brain (Mint chocolate chip flavor). "An invigorating combination of cacao, peppermint and supergreen foods full of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids make up this raw organic food bar. Stimulates mental alertness, promotes clarity, preserves memory and increases brain power." These bars are made with peppermint, almonds and cocoa. I wasn't sure what to expect from a health bar that is mint chocolate chip flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised by this bar. It was rich, chocolatey, crunchy and just plain good! 
  • Detox (Strawberry Apple Ginger flavor) "This fresh combination of raw ginger, strawberries and chia seeds in the raw organic Detox Bar is designed to combat free radicals and eliminate harmful toxins. Detox today to feel pure, cleansed and energized with this healthy gluten free food bar." These bars are made with green apple, strawberry, ginger and lemon. This was the first bar I sampled and my second favorite of the batch. Once again, the fruits were flavorful and made their presence know, as did the ginger. What I was most pleasantly surprised at was the very up front, in your face presence of ginger. So many times ginger takes backstage to other ingredients and is barely noticeable. Not in Starbars it isn't! Ginger is front and center and adds a delightful warmth to your mouth as you eat these bars. 
  • Libido (Chocolate covered raisins flavor) "The Libido Bar raw organic food bar is comprised of the superfoods, cacao and maca. This gluten free food bar is sure to increase energy, endurance, physical strength, enhances mood and libido. Maca is a great way to remineralize the body and naturally supports hormonal balance." This bar contains coconut, dates, cocoa and raisins. I was a little uncertain about trying this bar as well, as I am no fan of dates, but I am glad that I did! It offers a rich, chocolatey, chewy bar that bursts with flavor. I didn't notice a boost in my libido, but my taste buds were singing for more. This was the chewiest of the bars I tried, but it is made with raisins and dates, so that was to be expected. 
The Starbars line of products is a definite must try in my opinion if you want to add healthier snacking options to your diet. I can see adding Detox and Beauty to my diet as a strive to take better care of myself. They are the perfect size for snacking and the seeds, nuts and fruits in them do an amazing job of quieting hunger in between meals. I can also see these as a part of a healthy breakfast for anyone on the run. 

I only have two complaints about the products-packaging and price. I love the bright colors and clear photos of the foods used in these bars, but I think the photos need to include ALL of the key ingredients instead of just three. Had I realized that the Brain bars contained almonds, I would have let someone else sample and review that particular bar for me as I am very allergic to almonds. I gave the ingredient list a cursory glance and looked right over the almonds on it and proceeded to snack myself into analphylactic shock. I always read the labels of the foods I am trying to make sure they are safe before I proceed, but as I didn't see almonds pictured on the label, I merely glanced at the ingredient list. I know better, but I did it anyway and paid a hefty price.

My other complaint is price-Starbars retail on the company website for $47.88 for a case of 12 ($3.99 each). I realize that such high quality ingredients command a higher price, but my concern is that Starbars are too expensive for the average consumer. For me personally, they would be an occasional treat, not an every day snack, no matter how good they are for me compared to similar products in the market place.

After sampling the Starbars, I am considering trying their sister product, Juice Doctor Cleanse. Spring is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to clean out my system for a summer full of fun! For more information about Starbars, please visit the company website, Facebook fan page and Twitter feed

Super Foods Used In Starbars and Their Properties:

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