Bars are life. I literally eat bars every single day. When I wake up at 5 a.m., a quick bar is the only thing I have time to eat (and digest!) before hitting the pavement for a run or heading to the gym. I eat bars as snacks at my desk during the work day. I eat bars before my afternoon yoga classes. I crumble bars onto my smoothie bowls. I stash bars in my purse and in my car for emergency snacks. Nothing makes me feel more insecure than the notion of becoming hungry and not having a quick and easy food source. Bars have saved me from a full-on hangry breakdown on so many occasions.
My bar consumption is varied, ranging from granola bars to dessert bars (hey, Luna bars!) to protein bars. But my very fave are raw fruit and nut bars. They're usually made with nothing but dried fruits and nuts, so they're the healthiest option, and they're typically the most filling since they're more than just empty sugar calories. Enter Wunderbars — quite possibly the most perfect raw fruit and nut bars!
Wunderbar is a small company owned by Jen Liang. She makes bars using farm-fresh, organic ingredients. They're non-gmo, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and most (not all) flavors are vegan. A few contain honey, so vegans should be mindful of that when perusing the Wunderbar selection. Fortunately, there are so many vegan flavors to choose from!
Jen sent me a selection of her vegan bars to sample and review! Over the past few weeks, I've been working my way through them all. Since they're super-fresh, she recommends consuming them within 7 days, but there were so many that I just couldn't eat them all that quickly. So I stored them in the fridge, and they stayed fresh and perfect.
Not only are these bars tasty — think Larabars but nuttier and not so cloyingly sweet — they're also gorgeous. Jen decorates the bars with strips of dried fruit, coconut flakes, peanut butter spread, and fresh, raw granola.
My very fave was the Peanut Butter and Jelly (slow-roasted peanuts, dried cranberries, dates, and oats) because it tasted exactly like a PB&J sandwich. But a close second was the Dirty Snowman (slow-roasted peanuts, shredded coconut, dates, oats, black sesame, and activated charcoal) because it tasted like a Chick-O-Stick!
I was also a huge fan of the Fig N' Chia (mission figs, chia seeds, raw sunflower seeds, dates, and oats), which reminded me of a healthier Fig Newton.
Other vegan flavors include Carrot Cake (also VERY good!), Apple Walnut Pie, Almond Apricot Tart, Mochalatta, Spicy Banana (this has cayenne pepper!), Coconut Twist, Beetlicious Ginger Candy (another personal fave!), and Gooey Granola. Jen also veganized her Peanut Butter Brownie bar for me (delicious!!) by leaving out the honey.
These bars are available individually on the Wunderbar website, but you can save a few bucks by subscribing to a monthly Wunderbar box or choosing a six-bar or 10-bar sampler pack. The sampler packs are themed, so you can choose, say, a box of the fruity bars or a box of the chocolate-containing bars. They're a little on the higher end, price-wise, at $3.50 to $4 a bar, but remember these are handmade and all organic, and your dollars are supporting a small, vegan-friendly company.