Bright Bar — A Different Kind of Energy Bar

Not your typical energy bar. Bright Bars taste like real food.
Not your typical energy bar. Bright Bars taste like real food.

I’ve had my share of energy bars, but I’ve never had one quite like Bright Bar.

Unlike so many others, it’s not rubbery, nor cookie- or candy-like. Instead, it’s like shredded fruits and veggies packed and held together in bar form. The bars are a whole lot less sweet tasting than others, and actually taste like real food.

The Los Angeles company was founded by Brenden Schaefer, an avid cyclist and yogi, who was looking for a good-tasting, good-for-you snack bar. When he couldn’t find one to his liking, he decided to create his own, made with organic produce.

He likens the products, which are also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, to cold-pressed juice, but in bar form.

I had a chance to try samples recently of the 2.5-ounce bars. The Veggie and Fruit Bars come in four flavors: Carrot Pineapple, Kale Apple, Carrot Blueberry, and Sweet Potato Blueberry. And they are revelatory. The texture is like the leftover pulp you get when making fresh-pressed juice, so there is pulp and soft fiber. But the bars are actually made from the entire fruit and veg, not the spent mash. As a result, one bar is fairly filling, in a way that I don’t usually find most other energy bars are.

The Blueberry Sweet Potato tastes intensely of blueberries. The Carrot Pineapple tastes bright and tangy with fruit. The Kale Apple is probably my favorite. Sure, it may look like a green swamp creature, but the taste is that of a bowl of kale salad with fresh apple slices in it. There is remarkable perky apple flavor that gives the bar a very fresh, vivid taste. There are almonds in it for a nice added crunch, too.

The bars are best stored in the fridge.
The bars are best stored in the fridge.

The Veggie & Fruit Bars have about 160 to 180 calories, depending upon the variety, 4 grams of protein, 30 to 80 grams of sodium, 7 grams of fiber, and more than 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.

The bars are best stored in the fridge. That may sound like a hindrance, but you can keep one in your backpack or purse for a day before eating it. In fact, they’re best enjoyed at room temperature, so let one sit out on the kitchen counter about 15 minutes to soften up a little before taking a bite.

Its new Clean Protein Bars can be kept out of the fridge longer — for a week. They come in three varieties: Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Chocolate Sea Salt (made with almond butter).

They get an extra boost from pea, pumpkin, and brown rice proteins. They have a slightly dry texture yet still melt in your mouth. Even with chocolate and nuts, they are noticeably a lot less sweet than you’d expect. Instead, they border on savory tasting, with the additions of spinach powder, kale powder, and maca powder.

These are higher in calorie (about 280 per bar) than the Veggie & Fruit bars, owing to the oil in the nuts. They have about 13 grams of protein, 35 milligrams of sodium, and 17 grams of total fat.

Find the bars in the refrigerator section at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Or on the Bright Foods site for $48 for a box of 12 bars.

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