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We Ate It: Custom-Made Energy Bars from YouBar

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/26/2009 10:34 AM   :  113 comments

I am a BIG fan of bars. Energy bars, breakfast bars, granola bars--you name it, I like it! They're portable and great for eating before or after the gym, during a long afternoon meeting or on a road trip.

Recently I learned about YouBars, which are customized bars. I contacted the company and asked if we could sample some products. They let me design a bar for us to try (and you can, too!) and then sent along some of their more popular bars.
UPDATED: YouBar's co-owner just contacted me. He is offering dailySpark readers a 10% discount!

He wrote: "Thank you so much for the wonderful article about our company. We
have received quite a response from your readers.

I was reading over the comments on the article and I noticed that
people thought the bars were a little out of their price range. I
would like to extend a 10% discount to your readers. All they have to
do is type in "dailyspark" in the coupon code section of the shopping
cart page and they will receive the discount on the entire order."



What they say:
"After years of being enthusiastic consumers of commercially available nutrition bars, L.A. mom Ava and her USC business student son Anthony got fed up with buying mass-produced bars that reflected generic tastes.

"Ava wanted bars that weren't too sweet with loads of protein to fuel her days teaching snowboarding and bellydancing. Anthony, a marathon-running athlete, needed high carbs and no milk products (he's allergic). The nutrition bar craze went wild at the beginning of the new millennium, but the number of commercial bars Anthony and Ava (that's us!) could eat actually decreased....So we took the bar by the horns and began making our own nutrition bars at home. It was as though we'd died and gone to heaven, except for the dishes we had to clean! We finally had nutrition bars with the exact ingredients that we wanted free from preservatives and corn syrup, freshly made and as delicious as Mom Ava's fluffy wholegrain pancakes. And they never got boring either: smooth, crunchy, chewy, sweet and savoury to suit any mood!

"We began making customized nutrition bars for the rest of our family and friends' the response was great. (Dad didn't even mind the messy kitchen!) We learned we weren't the only ones fed up with eating mass produced bars. Almost everyone we knew lit up at the possibility of creating bars tailored to their own tastes and dietary dreams. And so You Bar was born.

"We've been making our own nutrition bars for over two years and now you can too. Try creating your own nutrition bar it's fun, easy, fresh and most importantly tastes like you want it to with the nutritional content that you choose. You are what you eat (as Nana used to say), so choose!"



What we say:
  • Our bars had the YouBar recommended base of almonds and dates, rice protein, almonds, walnuts, organic flaxseeds, dried blueberries, cocoa powder and agave nectar. My blend will be different from anyone else's!

  • You can include tons of ingredients: Start with a base, add nuts/seeds, protein powders, dried fruit/berries, grains/cereals, and seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, and coffee powder. You can even add infusions such as bee pollen, fiber or stevia. I had so much fun trying to pick out a

  • These bars are good. I really like them! Iím allergic to peanuts, so I like that the base is almonds. They remind me of LaraBars, which I LOVE. I love that I can make custom blends. I think these would be a cool birthday gift for a friend--or a neat favor for wedding guests.

  • They're higher in calories than a granola bar; I liken them to an after- or pre-workout protein bar. I think they taste delicious, like they are full of REAL, healthy ingredients.

  • It was actually really good. I was a little hesitant because sometimes I hate energy bars. But the consistency was good, not flaky and it filled me up. I like the fruit mixed in, it provided a moist refreshing taste. It was extremely filling, I ate the bar around 5:30 and was full until about 9. Good for energy and to keep your workouts going.

  • It tasted great, actually. My only complaint is it is a little small... and so sweet that it makes me want to eat more food now that I'm done! Maybe better for a snack than for breakfast. Now I know! In any case, I haven't had that style of bar before, but I like it.

  • These bars are a little pricey, but I think they are a neat product--and a delicious one. I would definitely eat these again, and I would recommend these to anyone with a food sensitivity and allergy.

    Nutrition:
    Nutrition will vary based on what you use in your bar. We had a lot of nuts and seeds, so our calories and fat are higher than the average granola or cereal bar.


    Price: $38.87 (for 13 bars) plus $7.99 shipping
    Where to buy? www.youbars.com


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    Comments

    • 63
      The price is way too much for me to justify. Cool concept, but I can't imagine spending that much on a bar. I'll stick with the cheaper versions or maybe try making my own for fun. - 3/27/2009   3:56:37 AM
    • AMARANTHA2
      62
      The discount is nice but these are too expensive for me, although it is a fun concept. I'm going to look at the site.

      I've made protein bars at home and there are lots of recipes online for doing this, but having customized bars professionally packaged and made just for you does sound like fun, but I couldn't justify that price. - 3/27/2009   12:22:03 AM
    • GOAL142
      61
      I do not think they are all that expensive if you compare to the money people pay for garbage like candy bars, gum/mints,cakes, ice cream, cigarettes, plastic junk, diet drinks, etc. Especially if this is a meal replacement...I like chocolate chip Clif Bars which are 99 cents, but I would gladly pay more for a great bar that I get to customize!! Also, just go ahead and try to make bars on your own! I am a chef and I get organic stuff at wholesale and it is VERY expensive and time consuming. By the time you do all your driving/shopping, pay retail, cook if neccesary, put together, and individually wrap you will have quite a bit of money and time wrapped up into it. On the plus side, you will know what exactly is in it. - 3/26/2009   11:29:57 PM
    • 60
      I would probably try them once but with the shipping fee it makes the bars well over $4.50 each and probably more with the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Canadian. A little too pricey for me but is a wonderful idea. - 3/26/2009   11:17:24 PM
    • IZEFIA
      59
      I'm allergic to peanuts as well, but also almonds and hazelnuts. I can't eat anything that's even touched peanuts, so that rules out pretty much any bar ever made on shared equipment. I like everyone's comments who make their own bars... whenever I get some free time in a kitchen I'll have to try that! - 3/26/2009   11:17:02 PM
    • 58
      Way too expensive! I'd make my own, or eat Kashi or Cascadian Farms bars. - 3/26/2009   11:13:50 PM
    • 57
      I won't even try them, they have way too much sugar in them for me. - 3/26/2009   10:56:48 PM
    • 56
      Sounds like a tasty but expensive treat. - 3/26/2009   10:44:23 PM
    • 55
      Too pricey for me. Also, I'm lactose intolerant and have other food sensitivities. Not for me. - 3/26/2009   9:50:42 PM
    • 54
      As interesting as they are, they're a tad pricey. That and if you read their FAQ they can't guarantee that the things people are allergic to won't come across what you order. So I'd be aware people with allergies, you may order something but since they do deal with other products it may've came in contact with each other. - 3/26/2009   9:39:18 PM
    • NUNANA
      53
      3.60 is a real turn around! - 3/26/2009   8:38:21 PM
    • 52
      Stepfanie - I'm allergic to peanuts too. Does the site say whether the almonds are raw or roasted? Often times, other nuts are roasted in peanut oil, so I try to stay away from roasted nuts. - 3/26/2009   8:05:42 PM
    • 51
      With 17g of sugar in these bars, I will consider another bar first. :-( - 3/26/2009   7:17:46 PM
    • 50
      Pricey - 3/26/2009   6:57:20 PM
    • SARAKIL1
      49
      Sounds like another fad.... for rich people.... lol - 3/26/2009   6:50:12 PM
    • HOPEFUL308
      48
      I just ordered some!! I love that I can pick the ingredients!! I have IBS, so other bars aggravate my belly too much to eat them!! I am so excited!! - 3/26/2009   6:29:33 PM
    • 47
      They are a bit expensive for me - but I can see how they could be worth it for people who have allergies to the common bars found in stores near them. I happen to like and enjoy things that I can get at a cheaper price so I will just stick to those. Very cool idea though! They have protein shakes you can make too! - 3/26/2009   5:55:53 PM
    • 46
      I think these look great! I just checked out the website and will probably get carried away...! - 3/26/2009   5:16:07 PM
    • STEPFANIER
      45
      Please note that you can customize your bars if you have allergies or prefer a lower-fat bar. The nutrition info here only reflects our bar. - 3/26/2009   5:06:10 PM
    • 44
      Ouch! On both the fat grams and the $$! I will stick to my own energy bars (56 grams net weight), 158 calories, 5 grams fat, 20 grams carbs, and 10 grams protein. Only cost 50 cents to make. - 3/26/2009   4:58:42 PM
    • 43
      DUSTY - if you follow the link to the website, you'll see that you can make a bar completly without almonds. You can choose different things for the base (like cashew butter or soynut butter) and actually skip the almonds altogether! These would be really great for those with allergies! - 3/26/2009   4:52:23 PM
    • 42
      Stepfanie,
      I don't care how small they are... I so love the idea. OK, I can't afford them right now... but I love it! I can't wait to get my pennies together an order my own special blend. Hmmm maybe for my dd's b-day? : )
      And it is sooooooooooooo awesome that they've offered a 10% discount. I so showed up on this dailyspark at the right time!!!!! - 3/26/2009   4:17:43 PM
    • STEPFANIER
      41
      I just received this kind note from the co-founder of the company:

      "Thank you so much for the wonderful article about our company. We
      have received quite a response from your readers.

      I was reading over the comments on the article and I noticed that
      people thought the bars were a little out of their price range. I
      would like to extend a 10% discount to your readers. All they have to
      do is type in "dailyspark" in the coupon code section of the shopping
      cart page and they will receive the discount on the entire order.

      Thank you once again for such a wonderful article.

      Best,
      Anthony"
      - 3/26/2009   4:12:18 PM
    • 40
      Sounds interesting, but it leaves me out as I am allergic to almonds. Why oh why can't someone come up with an energy bar that does not contain almonds? Easily 80% list almonds somewhere on the label. - 3/26/2009   4:10:56 PM
    • 39
      I don't think they seem all that expensive- if you add the price plus shipping and divide that by 13 you are looking at 3.60 a bar, which where I live isn't to much different than a protein bar however it doesn't sound all that great to me, I think making them yourself makes you realize how healthy they are which makes me not want them (like a kid you never tell them they are eating healthy food) - 3/26/2009   4:07:47 PM
    • DEBJARMON
      38
      Costs way too much!! - 3/26/2009   3:47:18 PM
    • ELLEN-1
      37
      Too expensive for me. - 3/26/2009   3:34:40 PM
    • 36
      What a great idea! I am a bar aholic so this is a great idea IMHO. The price is a bit high but I am sure they are worth it. - 3/26/2009   3:22:19 PM
    • 35
      I love that you can design you own bars with whatever ingredients fit your particular dietary needs!!! Personally, I make my own bars but love the concept and wish I had come up with it first!!! Coincidently they are located in my neighborhood so I see their place when I'm out running!!! - 3/26/2009   3:11:46 PM
    • MICHELLEDSMITH
      34
      That's really expensive for 13 bars. and probably expensive to make too hmm I don't know. - 3/26/2009   3:02:28 PM
    • 33
      I hope it tastes good~ - 3/26/2009   2:48:10 PM
    • EMILYEATS
      32
      I've been eating my you bars for a while and love this company (they have amazing customer service) and the bars. These are on the high end of market rate but in the grand scheme of things quite worth it. Spending an extra dollar to have exactly what I want in a bar and nothing i don't (high fructose corn syrup and preservatives) is really worth the money. I buy organic so why not buy custom? - 3/26/2009   2:36:45 PM
    • 31
      I don't think I'll be trying these anytime soon. However, on the positive side, it looks like there is no high fructose corn syrup in them. That is really good! Is this the high price you have to pay to avoid HFCS? I hope not but fear that it is. - 3/26/2009   2:29:41 PM
    • 30
      Wow, that's pretty expensive....but if I can get mine vegan, I might have to give them a try! - 3/26/2009   2:11:49 PM
    • 29
      Too pricey for me I'll have to skip it. - 3/26/2009   2:03:23 PM
    • KHALIA2
      28
      I agree with most that they are overpriced but I love the ingredients in them. It would be wonderful if I could make my own. I still would love to sample one from the company. - 3/26/2009   1:59:19 PM
    • 27
      wow! very very expensive. I will stick with the generic 100 calorie 2 gram of fat bars that I get at walmart. Has nuts with a bit of choco chip, fiber and protien, and they are only about 4 bucks for 24 of them. - 3/26/2009   1:53:27 PM
    • 26
      For me Ice Cream is my trigger. I can eat a gallon in one sitting no joke. So I don't keep ice cream in the house. Once I start I can't stop. - 3/26/2009   1:44:29 PM
    • 25
      I also feel these are too expensive. I like the idea of making my own though and and going to browse the Spark recipes and try some this weekend. - 3/26/2009   1:41:17 PM
    • RAMPANTPANDA
      24
      Eep, pricey! I make my own protein bars at home, but I'm sure they're nowhere near as tasty as these bars would be. - 3/26/2009   1:34:11 PM
    • STEPFANIER
      23
      Please note that though our particular bar is a bit high in sugar, we were concerned about taste over nutrition. You can make your bar however you'd like! - 3/26/2009   1:28:42 PM
    • ITHINKICAN4
      22
      More expensive and higher in calories than my usual bar. Don't think that I will try this product.But very informative article. - 3/26/2009   1:27:34 PM
    • 21
      PS, meant to say energy/protein bars in general are processed, not this particular brand. - 3/26/2009   1:20:17 PM
    • 20
      These energy and protein bars are highly processed and expensive. I'd rather snack on a piece of fresh fruit and some nuts, or some triscuits with low fat cheese. Whole foods have a range of nutrients which are synergistic. - 3/26/2009   1:15:38 PM
    • 19
      They are expensive. But I am not going to make energy bars at home and so I made my own YOGATICHA bar that I absolutely love. I recommend these highly if you have the means for them. My bar is only 180 calories. Sometimes I eat half and save half for later in the day or I eat that for dessert. LOVE em!! - 3/26/2009   1:12:17 PM
    • 18
      I am sure these are lovely, but energy/protein bars are actually quite simple to make in your own home, to your own specifications, with your own needs and tastes built in. There are recipes all over the internet.
      If you dont want that hassle, then $40 might be worth the time and effort you would put in to making your own. - 3/26/2009   1:09:23 PM
    • MRS_ROBINSON
      17
      expensive and not very appetizing. - 3/26/2009   1:05:57 PM
    • CECI88
      16
      I am allergic to tree nuts, so I am out on these. It seemed that they were really high in sugar and fat and EXPENSIVE as some of you have already stated. - 3/26/2009   12:42:04 PM
    • 15
      Yes, the price of these bars is expensive - compared to mass-produced, preservative-laden, un-customizable health bars.

      The image of the nutrition information was one for an already-customized bar, I assume. So choose your ingredients wisely, and you can up the protein and lower the sugar and sweet taste.

      If you eat healthy and watch your portion sizes, a special treat of a $3.60 customized energy bar once a week or so won't throw you into the poorhouse.

      And really, do you want to be supporting PowerBar bigwigs or a small family business trying to provide a really cool product? It costs more than one would think to run a business when you don't buy in massive bulk and mass-produce your items. "In these tough economic times", we should be focusing on supporting small businesses instead of large corporations - the ones that created the problem in the first place. - 3/26/2009   12:31:36 PM
    • 14
      Yep, priced me out of the market, but you have Sparked me to make my own.

      Thanks - 3/26/2009   12:02:46 PM

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