on April 25, 2010
Allow me to give you some frame of reference on me: I'm not a vegan or even vegetarian, or sufferer of Celiac Disease. If I fell into either one of those camps, I would instantly raise the rating at least a star. But since I'm not adverse to occasionally ingesting an artificial ingredient or two, I'll give you the straight dope on this very healthy snack bar.
The ingredient list is quite impressive, if only for the fact that someone who doesn't have a chemistry degree can understand it. That in itself is refreshing. They've even got a YES/NO breakdown printed next to the ingredients that goes something like this:
YES!: Certified Organic, Gluten-Free, Full Serving [of] Fruit, Organic Protein, Rich in Omega-3s, Good Source of Fiber, Raw, Vegan
NO!: Refined Sugars, Gluten Dairy or Soy, Cholesterol, Trans Fats, Preservatives, GMOs, Artificial Nothin'
WOW! 5-STARS SO FAR! Let's tear this thing open!
At first glance, it looks just like holiday fruitcake that's been mashed with a rolling pin. Mmmmm... Maybe that's why it doesn't need preservatives and the expiration date is almost a full year in the future. Smells a lot like fruitcake, too. I lost my first test subject (my wife) on looks and smell alone. (Minus 1 star for lack of family appeal -- I don't count the kids' outright rejection.)
The first bite redeemed the bar. It's tastier than I'd anticipated, full flavored and sweet without being powdery or sugary. I think I might like this.
The second bite lost the other star instantly. I felt like I almost broke a tooth on a rather large fruit pit. Guess I should have paid closer attention to the disclaimer on the wrapper that states, "May contain pieces of nuts, shells, stems, or pits." I found a stem in the other half of the bar.
As good as this fruit bar may be for me, I don't think I should have to strain it prior to eating it. I have enjoyed similarly nutritious bars in the past and not one thought of seeking a dentist.
Though the PURE BAR is EVERYTHING they promise (pits and all), I'll probably do some more "research" (read: taste tests) on other healthy snack bars before buying a case. I will, however, recommend this bar to a family member who needs a Gluten-free diet, because it tastes significantly better than most Gluten-free snacks I've sampled.
Just be careful and take small bites.
on August 9, 2009
I struggled with rating this bar a 3 or a 4. Taste is only about a 3, but quality of ingredients in providing a healthy and edible alternative to a candy bar rates it a solid 4. Below is the gist a a review I wrote for Larabar Fruit & Nut Food Bar, Cherry Pie comparing it with the PURE Wild Blueberry Bar.
When I was searching for a healthier between meal afternoon snack I read a lot of reviews for a lot of products. I wanted something with few ingredients, not "fortified" and with some nuts in it. I settled on the Larabar Fruit & Nut Cherry Pie bars and the PURE Bar Organic Wild Blueberry Living Food Bar. I love cherries and I love blueberries so they seemed like good choices.
The stats of the bars are very similar, weight (both 1.7oz, not 1.8), calories, fat, sugars, etc. The PURE has more protein at 6g vs 4g. The Larabar has no sodium while the PURE has just a bit at 5mg. The Larabar is thicker, the PURE bar is wider. Visually the Larabar appears to have more nuts in it, which doesn't seem to jive with the protein stats. The PURE bar has a grittier texture while chewing so maybe more of the nuts are finely ground.
1st ingredient is dates for both followed by almonds and then cherries for the Larabar and followed by blueberries and various nuts, organic agave nectar, rice protein and lemon juice for the PURE bar. One would think with the extra ingredients in the PURE bar they were added to tweak the flavor or give it a fresher taste, but the flavor of the Larabar is better than the PURE by a pretty good margin. It has a much fresher and lively taste. I have to say the PURE bar is a bit cardboardy tasting to me and has a drier mouth feel. It is not bad, in fact my 2 youngest kids eat them readily, just not nearly as good as the Larabar. I think the tartness of the cherries in the Larabar kick up the flavor vs the milder blueberry flavor of the PURE (maybe the lemon juice add as an attempt to kick up the PURE bar flavor and tartness?). In fairness I should probably review the PURE Cherry Cashew bar but I much prefer almonds over cashews so don't plan on ordering any from Amazon. If I stumble on the PURE cherry in a regular store I will give one a try though. I still get both auto shipped from Amazon for variety sake, but am looking for a better tasting blueberry bar w/ basic ingredients including nuts.
For grins here is a comparison of the Larabar, PURE, Snickers, Hershey's and Maruchan Chicken Ramen noodles in a few categories. Stats are listed in the order I listed them in the previous sentence.
Calories: 190, 190, 280, 210, 380
Total Fat: 8g, 9, 14, 13, 14 Saturated Fat: 0.5g, 1, 5, 8, 7
Sugars: 21g, 20, 30, 24, 0
Protein: 4g, 6, 4, 3, 10
Sodium: 0mg, 5, 140, 35, 1540 !!!
UPDATE Nov 11, 2009 PURE has changed this bar.
I got my regular shipment and noticed the bars came in a newly shaped box and new packaging. Total fat went from 9g to 8g and they eliminated all sodium. Total carbs edged up to 26g from 25g. Protein remains 6g and calories at 190.
The BIG CHANGE is that "Organic Wild Blueberries" drops from the 2nd item listed on the ingredients list to the 5th! Blueberries are now after not only dates but walnuts, cashews and rice proein concentrate. Bumping up the nut content would not be a bad thing, but since the total fat actually decreased and carbs increased, I think the nut quantity actually decreased along with the blueberries, but the date quantity increased. This seems to basically be a date bar w/ nuts now and some minor blueberry content. I'd love to see the actually quantity of blueberries in this bar. Ironically, I can actually see blueberries scattered in the new bar, whereas the old bar was more of a dense blended mush. The bar is noticeably lighter in color now (and density)...more tan than blue. The new packaging implies a longer slimmer bar shape, but oddly the actual bar is shorter, wider and a tad thicker...package marketing? The total weight is unchanged at 1.7oz. I'm still looking for an alternative blueberry bar...I imagine cost is a big factor in blueberry content. My 2 kids will still eat these but they noticed the change right away and are not impressed.
on April 22, 2010
As a person who is more involved with health and nutrition than the average person that has also purchased raw food bars before, I was happy that this was offered though the Amazon Vine program and I glady ordered the sample. It tastes good and it claims to contain "nothing cooked, nothing processed," but that is not the simple truth. The bar contains "agave nectar" which does not occur naturally. It is not unprocessed and it is in fact, a highly cooked and processed sweetener. It is derived from processing and cooking the core of the blue agave plant for many hours in order to break down its starches into sugars. Agave nectar was originally touted as a "healthy alternative" to table sugar, but it is potentially much worse than table sugar on your body. It is essentially a super high fructose syrup, just like high fructose corn syrup, but with a much higher fructose content. Typical high fructose corn syrup used in soft drinks is about 55% fructose while agave nectar contains a whopping 85-90% fructose. First of all, I don't understand why they thought they needed to sweeten this "raw" bar, and second, they used "agave nectar" which sounds good to the uninformed, but it is not a raw ingredient and it has a very high fructose content. I think they used "agave nectar" to hide the additional fructose (or sugar) on the label. There is controversy, but fructose and particularly agave nectar may be bad for you.
You can research for yourself, google "agave nectar bad"
and look for entries from "foodrenegade," "nourishedkitchen" and "living-foods"
You can also google "fructose bad"
check out the hits from "about" and "the american journal of clinical nutrition"
Fructose and in particular, High Fructose Corn Syrup are the subjects of much controversy today. There are studies that conclude that there is no appreciable difference between sucrose and fructose to our bodies (and of course, fructose is a component of sucrose). There are also studies that indicate fructose may be problematic. Regardless of which camp you're in, "agave nectar" is a hidden source of fructose in this bar and it is not raw. The fact that the manufacturer of this bar claims "nothing cooked and nothing processed" is nothing short of fraud.
on November 17, 2006
This bar is the closest thing I've ever experienced to eating a brownie fresh from the oven in a packaged food. I have no idea how the folks at Pure Bar managed to make a chocolate bar that tastes so much like baked goods, using only raw and living ingredients, but it's wonderful that they have, and I mean to buy several more cases. Any of the store bought brownies you've had won't satisfy you like this will - Entemanns and Hostess are not nearly as delicious and warm-tasting, and the health food and energy bars I've had that are chocolate flavored always end up tasting like wheat germ or oats. It's easy to carry, one bar fills me up, and as a chocolate fan, I am happy to see that Pure Bar uses raw cacao powder - the real deal, and not carob chocolate substitutes. You can definitely taste the difference. This particular Pure Bar product makes for the best tasting snackfood or dessert I've ever eaten out of a wrapper, and unless you're on a completely raw vegan diet, it's going to be better for you than whatever meal you ate just beforehand! If you like chocolate like I do, you're going to love this. It's a soft, gooey brownie, pure and simple, walnuts and all.
on March 9, 2015
Good tasting, a bit richer than most Pure bars. Pretty convincing "brownie". No powdery taste like some other brand of bars.
05/11/15 update: Two bars have been moldy upon opening. I'm hoping that we haven't eaten moldy ones before without noticing. We've both had some stomach issues, but since we've only eaten about half the package, who knows if the two are related. Too late to get a refund/exchange with Amazon. I guess I'll have to stop stocking up on food from Amazon, but I hate running out of something. I also like to have a variety, but the variety packs cost more.
on July 16, 2013
Ugh. I am so sad. I discovered these delicious bars a couple months ago and really enjoyed the strong cherry taste, even though they were mainly dates. I liked that they were vegan, raw, non GMO, and all that good stuff. So, I bought a whole box at my local store! That's how much I loved these! Too bad they changed the recipe and now they taste like dates and walnuts - no cherry flavor in sight. Not interesting or delicious, and the higher quality ingredients have been moved way down the list. I happened to have an "old" one in my desk drawer (best by March 03 2014) which I used to confirm my suspicions that the formula had changed.
Old (delicious) version:
Ingredients: Organic Dates, organic Cashew Butter, Organic Cherries, Organic Rice Protein Concentrate, Organic Walnuts, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Almonds.
Made in Canada.
Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International.
200 Calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg sodium, 220mg potassium, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 15g sugar, 7g protein.
New (yucky) version:
Dates, Cashew Butter, Brown Rice Protein, Agave Nectar, Cherries, Walnuts, Almonds, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Lemon Juice Concentrate.
(All ingredients are certified organic via a * next to them and a statement below the ingredients list.)
Made who knows where, because it doesn't say anymore.
Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth.
190 Calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg sodium, 250mg potassium, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 17g sugar, 6g protein.
So, they taste like nothing now, have more sugar, less protein, and more processed ingredients - brown rice protein sounds processed to me, as does concentrated juice.
Let me again express my disappointment in this change. I am sure it is a cost cutting measure but did they not taste test before putting the new bars on the market? They do not taste like cherry AT ALL. I will not be buying these anymore, unless Pure comes to their senses and reinstates the old recipe. My quest for a vegan, delicious, minimally processed bar continues.
on September 4, 2010
I love these bars. I basically live off of them. HOWEVER, this is now the second time that I have ordered them from Amazon where the internal boxes of bars have had bugs in them. They looked somewhat like ants, but I wasn't sure what they were. Just gross little crawly things creeping around inside and outside of the box. I say beware because the bugs are tiny and you might think that they're not there when you open the package. My advice would be to let the internal box of bars sit outside your cupboard on a counter for a day and see if you notice any bugs before you co-mingle the box with your household food. Gross, gross, gross. So unhappy because other than that, these bars are great. But I will never order them online from Amazon again. Thank g-d Trader Joes and Ralphs are starting to carry this brand.
No refined sugar, no gluten, dairy or soy, no cholesterol, trans fats, preservatives or anything artificial, sounded great to me but....I tried this PURE organic cherry cashew bar from Amazon and all I can taste is the overwhelming rancid nuts. I have to rate this item based on my experience, so sadly I can only give it one star. Not much else I can say based on what I tried other then all the ingredients listed are good simple and organic. Problem with all these natural foods which contain nuts especially raw nuts is that they are extremely volatile and have 0 shelf life because there are no preservatives. Too bad something with the best of intentions can't make it to the public to enjoy before going bad. These bars sound really good and probably are if you are lucky enough to get one that hasn't spoiled, I haven't been that lucky.
on April 20, 2010
Considering the ingredients, I'd rather snack on a mix of high quality dried cherries and nuts than on a bar that is mostly dates (note: dates are listed 1st in the ingredient list, with cherries 3rd). Dates are a fine fruit, but for a bar named Cherry Cashew, I expect, well, cherries & cashews!
Though the flavor was OK, the crunch of nuts was totally lost in the heavy, chewy mixture that was the basis for the bar.
The pre-packaged bars are definitely convenient (grab and go). Still, for my money, I'd prefer buying dried fruit & fresh nuts in bulk, mixing up a batch to my taste, then storing in small reusable containers to throw in the lunch bag or purse during the week.
on December 6, 2015
I cancelled my orders of these due to quality going down over the months as I have subscribed to this being delivered monthly.
I ordered it for nutritional value to begin with. However, my kids who are not picky by any means, hate these. Second, these are super sweet and super sticky chewy, so deffinitely not good for your teeth. At this point I'm left with 3 stars for a rather expensive product.
To top it off, and that is the non negotiable deal breaker, several bars contained mold in a package. Needless to say, I had to toss them out without eating. That happeped over a couple deliveries. Now I am finally returning this last one, as it is not a fluke but a continuous issue with this product. Not worth risking my health and money.