As a blogger, I had that awesome moment. One day, someone e-mailed me and asked if I would review their product. Me. This simple girl whose only been doing this for a year, and is grateful to her followers for thinking she says something worth reading. I was WAY excited.
Enter Live Smart Raw Bars. I've tried their Flax bar in the past, which were really great. Unfortunately they contain oats, which I didn't notice until after I devoured mine. I'm one of those celiacs who is still oat intolerant. I'm special.
So I was really excited to notice that these bars are NOT made with oats. These raw, handcrafted products are all made with pure and simple ingredients, with no preservatives or additives. The ingredients are words you can pronounce and readily know as actual food. Plus, they are a Michigan company. Support local!
In short, these bars are real food. They're also soy free, lactose free, trans fat free, Non GMO, Yeast Free, and Peanut Free. So feel free to eat them!
Raw Bars come in 4 different flavors- Chocolate Suicide, Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, Power Fitness and Original Fruit and Nut.
I tried the Chocolate Suicide first. Actually, the timing of these products to my house was perfect. I had to make a quick trip to Cleveland, and this bar was exactly what I needed on my drive from Michigan to Cleveland. It had the perfect amount of chocolate along with their "high energy fruit mix" - a combination of hazelnuts, almonds and dried fruit- that kept my blood sugars under control and kept me satisfied until I reached my destination. And that chocolate was EXACTLY what I needed while I was slightly stressed in trying to navigate the Ohio Turnpike. I would DEFINITELY buy these again.
I tried the Cranberry Pumpkin Seed next. When I bit in to it, I was hoping it would be reminiscent of Thanksgiving. While it did not mentally transport me to my grandmother's house, it was enjoyable and again, kept me feeling satiated.
A few days later I tried the Power Fitness bar. Have you ever tried something and been pleasantly surprised how much you enjoyed it? I wasn't thinking it would taste bad, but I was just really overwhelmed about how much I really liked it. Actually, I was at work and one of my clients looked at me kind of odd as I vocalized, "Wow, this is really good!" The dates lent a great sweetness that's not overpowering, and I imagine it's the coconut and almond butter that made it so enjoyable. In all honesty, I couldn't pinpoint what I liked about it so much. All I know is that I liked it, and that's enough for me.
I finished off my samples yesterday by enjoying the Original Fruit & Nut bar. At only 195 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein, it's a snack you can feel great about eating. It has less than 50 mg of sodium, less than 3 grams of saturated fat, as well as NO sugar alcohols. There are no worries about putting things into your body that will be detrimental. In fact, ALL of these bars have these same health stats.
I did end up contacting Sandy Kaplan, an executive of the company, as the fine print on the packaging states "Facility may have traces of peanuts, tree nutes, soy, wheat and milk." Obviously, as a celiac, I had great concern about the possibility of wheat. She reassured me that their facility was certified as gluten free through GIG. She stated that "in the event of cross contamination by their suppliers," they post that disclosure.
So thank you to Sandy Kaplan and the Raw Bar staff for sharing their hand-crafted products with me and the world. Visit www.livesmartbar.com to find the nearest location so that you can purchase them for your self.
* Although these products were sent to me free of charge, I was not monetarily reimbursed. All of my views and comments are honest and are my own. *
Labels: Michigan made, product review