I was going to be on a long plane ride to Europe and knew that I’d be facing the inevitable: “Sorry, we don’t seem to know where your gluten-free dinner order seems to be…how about a sandwich?”. Ugh. So, I decided to scope out different snack foods that are specifically gluten and peanut-free. Although I’m not allergic to peanuts, I didn’t want to cause an allergic reaction and some airlines now require that all carryon snacks be peanut-free. Since Enjoy Life makes its products in a dedicated egg, dairy, gluten, soy and peanut-free environment, I knew I was safe to bring on the Very Berry Bar.
The Good: The bar had an excellent texture; it was soft, moist and didn’t crumble apart. This is all quite unusual for an egg, dairy and gluten free bar. I was particularly pleased with the fact that my jaw didn’t get a work out, as this seems to happen with other gluten-free products. Although slightly too sweet for me, my travel buddy seemed to find it just right. While this wasn’t my favourite bar, I’ll admit that it was strangely addictive and I couldn’t help but open another one before the plane took off!
The Bad: This bar would better be described as the “Not so Berry Bar”. I was hopping for a bursting berry flavour and colour, but all I got were some blue or red specs suggesting that there was, in fact, fruit in the bar. The overall size of the bars was also surprisingly small and Linda will let us know if it would be a caloric mistake to have a second one. Although my traveling buddy would not agree, I don’t think it would hurt Enjoy Life to cut down on the sweetness. I say this not just because I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, but also because this product is geared towards children. Studies show that a child’s taste buds can be trained to not like sweet foods by just not feeding them sweet things….that’s what my parents did and it worked!
The Verdict: An excellent choice for traveling on a plane, as Enjoy Life’s facility is free from numerous allergens. While excellent in texture, I think Enjoy Life can do better by adding more fruit, while reducing the sugar. Overall, 2.5 out of 5.
The Nutritional Test
The Good: This bar is great for being gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free and also contains no trans-fats, no artificial ingredients and no sulfites. The ingredients include some whole food derived sources, such as brown rice flakes, date paste and ground flaxseed (a good source of the essential fatty acid omega-3). This bar also contains 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving along with 30% of our daily intake of several B vitamins, making it a fair nutritional snack.
The Bad: Natalka found this bar to be a little on the sweet side and I’m not surprised with the bar having 7 grams of sugar from various sources, including date paste, cane juice and even refined sugar. So, while this treat may satisfy your sweet tooth and has 120 calories (slightly less than many other bars on the shelves), I would be cautious on indulging in seconds or even making this bar an everyday snack.
The Verdict: This bar gets points for its fair nutritional value, lack of preservatives commonly found in pre-made foods and lack of trans-fats. But it loses points for having no organic ingredients and for its sugar content (including refined sugar) for an overall rating of 2.5 out of 5.
We rate this product a overall 5 out of 10. While we extend our kudos to Enjoy Life for helping people with food allergies through its products, the bars loose big points - in taste and nutrition - for its high sugar content.