It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

TRC GF Choco Chip Cookies
Photo credit: Antonina Lackey

These beauties are a preview from our upcoming cookbook. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, made without refined sugar, 100% plant-based, and 100% delicious!

 

Thank you for the time we spend together!

Gina and Antonina

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Here’s One of the Ways We Beat Our Sugar Cravings

We ate blueberry muffins, peanut butter cookies, coconut cream pie, pecan pies, and more; all without refined sugar and totally satisfying.

Maybe you’ve heard of Larabar? They’ve been around for a long time, getting it just right.

You know how we love to pass on a good tip for living a healthy, balanced life.  Today we have twelve.

We added Reiki to the bars before tasting. We know that made them even better!

 

Here are Antonina’s Larabar rankings:

Call me cheesy, but I feel like Larabars need commercials with us, the exhausted humans, wondering: what would be a quick, healthy snack? Enter the magical Larabar! There are Larabar commercials. I’ve seen them – they’re cute!

I grab Larabars (I keep them in the snack section of my pantry) for snack and for breakfast. I’ve tried an array of Larabars. Ones with added sugar, but most of them are added sugar-free. For this review we focused only on the ones without refined sugar.

Right on the package these gems say they are non-GMO, gluten free, vegan (big plus), dairy free, and soy free. That opens a pretty big market nowadays with special diets.

You can find them through our Amazon affiliate links here for you convenience (if one was available), or at a lot of chain stores like Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, and even Walmart. I’ve been lucky to even find some boxes of them at the 99 Cent Only stores. GASP!

Here are my top 12 Larabars!

12. Blueberry Muffin
-Just 5 Ingredients: Cashews, Dates, Apples, Blueberries, and Vanilla Extract
This did not taste like a muffin AT ALL to me. My daughter seems to enjoy them very well.

11. Carrot Cake
-Just 9 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Raisins, Pineapple, Unsweetened Coconut, Carrots, Cinnamon, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
This does taste like a carrot cake indeed.

10. Key Lime Pie
-Just 6 Ingredients: Dates, Cashews, Almonds, Unsweetened coconut, Lime Juice Concentrate, and Dried Lime Juice Concentrate.
I used to be a big fan of key lime pies, and this Larabar doesn’t exactly deliver on the flavor. If you like things that do taste like lime, I would still highly recommend this one. Green dye free besides the packaging.

9. Pecan Pie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Pecans, and Almonds
When I was a vegetarian I really liked those Two-Bite Brownie brand pecan pies. It took a couple more bites for me but the pie was decadent. This Larabar does not let you down. It is pleasantly moist and chewy. I’m not going to entirely say gooey but it is on its way there.

8. Chocolate Coconut Chew
-Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened Coconut. I would like to note that the cocoa is Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA.
I am a HUGE fan of anything chocolate coconut. Anything Almond Joy please. Since I have kicked added sugar and kissed it goodbye I do not get the pleasure of indulging in anything chocolate coconut as often. Until the chocolate coconut chew came into my life. It sometimes has full almonds to munch on in there (yay good fats).

7. Cherry Pie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, and Unsweetened Cherries
Funny story about this one during a staff meeting. There was the question: “What is one thing you can’t live without under $10?” written on a white board. Everyone signed in and I wrote my name happily and “Larabars” next to it. My manager at the time had told us that some of us needed to explain what some of the things were because he didn’t know what a “Larabar” was. Immediate laughter but I was like “OMG! Let me show you!”…I slipped one into his locker after I discovered a box of the Cherry Pie Larabars with a note on it from him. <3. No, he never told me if he liked it or not! I really think these hit the flavor of cherry pie right on the nail. They can be a tad sour at times depending on how ripe the cherries were during production of the bar. I like it. One of my favorites!

6. Coconut Cream Pie
-Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Unsweetened Coconut, Almonds, Cashews, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
Let me just say this: with being vegan – there goes any chance of ANYTHING cream pie. Unless you get into your kitchen and whip up some coconut cream! We’re talking non-perishable here though. Probably a little bit of a hassle to make a vegan coconut cream pie. I would try it, but could I do it without added sugar? Something I would have to figure out. I was first eating this one on my way to work and a good quarter of it dropped on the floor in front of a group of people. I felt comical thinking I should have fallen to my knees and yelled “Noooo!”, but I resisted the urge. Nonetheless, it was a freaking good Larabar.

5. Lemon Bar
-Just 6 Ingredients: Dates, Cashews, Almonds, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Dried Lemon Juice Concentrate, and Lemon Oil.
I have always been a fan of anything lemon flavored or scented. The traditional baked dessert, the lemon bar, usually contains gelatin and powdered sugar. Not exactly compliant to my diet. Larabar to the rescue.

4. Cashew Cookie
-Just 2 Ingredients: Cashews and dates
This bar used to be my absolute favorite. I love cashew everything. Cashews, cashew milk, cashew cheese, etc. Until I found the cashew cookie Larabars. Yum! They even have the Larabar mini duo pack of cashew cookie and apple pie. Perfect for in my purse, going out to dinner with an empty stomach, and for kids.

3. PB&J
-Just 4 Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, Unsweetened Cherries, and sea salt.
This is a whole new twist on fast and flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional PB&J. It is comfort food and sometimes it is seen as junk food. I am ALL for the occasional vegan junk food. This bar manages the texture and flavor of eating a sandwich. I don’t know how, but it does. Great for your kids. Especially the ones that don’t like the crust.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, and Sea Salt
I am so guilty of that occasional peanut butter spoon at midnight. I used to stir a spoonful of peanut butter into chocolate non-dairy milk and eat it that way. Then I would drink the rest of the glass of the chocolate milk. Full of sugar. Both the peanut butter and the non-dairy chocolate milks are full of sugar. I haven’t looked for an unsweetened non-dairy chocolate milk. I love the peanut butter flavor I get when I take one bite of this bar. Yummy in my tummy.

1. Apple Pie
-Just 6 ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Unsweetened Apples, Raisins, and Cinnamon.
Holy crap! The stories I have to choose from to put into a review that will be posted on the internet. I will pick the one that is the funniest. About twice a year I go through airport security with my daughter when she goes to and from her daddy’s house. The last time, I hadn’t entirely planned to go through airport security, but they had granted my mother and me with gate passes. I was worried about the sensible things that TSA would take. My Flonase? My food? Yes, they will take your snacks. I had Larabars in my purse. My mother had Larabars in her purse. I ended up sharing one with my daughter and then giving the rest of mine to my mom who had agreed to stay behind because there were several things to not take into security in both of our bags. The bar that I ate was, you guessed it, apple pie. The blend of apples and cinnamon makes it taste like a baked apple pie.

There you have it! Just in case you wanted to know what I, Antonina, thought of the Larabars. Hope to write more about other things soon for you. Until then, peace, love, and happiness.

 

Thanks, Nina! Now here’s my top twelve Larabars!

 

12. Blueberry Muffin.

The bar totally tastes like blueberries and is one I will grab when I’m craving blueberries and have to run out the door.

11. Carrot Cake.

Really reminds me of carrot cake! Sweet, cinnamon, and chewy.  It would rank higher if number one wasn’t so amazing.

10. Cashew Cookie.

I much prefer the peanut butter cookie, but this one is a must for Antonina and Lilli. The cashew flavor is mild and a little one note.

9. Cherry Pie.

Totally reminds me of a cherry pie! When I’m in the mood for one, this is what I reach for.

8. Chocolate Coconut Chew.

It is chewy and there’s lots of chocolate, but if you’re looking for the classic candy pairing of these two flavors you won’t find as much coconut. Still, good for a chocolate fix.

7. Key Lime.

I like this better than key lime pie. Seriously. Tangy and fun to eat.

6. Peanut Butter & Jelly.

What a pleasant surprise! This is one of the rare Larabars I didn’t know about before our taste test. It has tart cherries and sweet peanut flavor. So yum!

5. Apple Pie.

Cinnamon and apple. Who could ask for more? We always have these on hand. Well, we try to but they disappear pretty fast!

4. Coconut Cream Pie.

Looking for coconut flavor? You’ll find it right here. So good! These do not last long!

3. Lemon bar.

It is as close to a lemon bar as I can imagine without adding powdered sugar to it. Tangy and sweet. I love the texture.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie.

This bar is exactly what you expect from it – loaded with peanut butter flavor.

1.  Pecan Pie!

It’s my favorite by a fair margin. Sweet, gooey pecan flavor. Now you know how to bribe me!

 

Thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what your favorite Larabar is!

 

Gina and Antonina