PureFit Bars Review

by Sherri Koehler on October 17, 2011

Just before Vida Vegan Con I was contacted by Emily from PureFit asking if I’d like to try out some of their vegan nutrition bars. I told her I would since I occasionally have a bar before going to the gym or pool and sometimes if I’m running too late to get breakfast in the morning. Eventually a pack of bars came in the mail with one of each flavor bar to try out.

Peanut Buttery

They went up into the cupboard for a little while because I just hadn’t had a situation come up where I’d usually have a bar. Then along came the first morning of VegFest and I overslept! I was scheduled to volunteer at the membership booth for NWVeg both mornings of the event and I went flying out the door on the first morning, grabbing up a PureFit Peanut Butter Crunch  bar as I went.

Uniform texture, very smooth, but not pasty.

The bars are the kind with a smooth texture and consistency, I think that’s because they are based on a soy protein isolate. There’s little crunch bits, soy crisps, here and there. The bar was very peanut butter-y, a good thing in my book, and not overly sweet. I enjoyed it between processing waves of new members (hurrah!) during a very busy 4 hour shift. The bar kept me from being hungry until 1pm when I finally got to enjoy lunch from Homegrown Smoker.

Wish this had more of an almond flavor!

I had the Almond Crunch bar a couple of days later at my office, again as a breakfast stand in when I realized I was out of something. This time I found the bar a little too sweet for my taste and I’d prefer a more intensely almond flavor coming through. This bar also has the little soy crisps, which I like (and was happy to discover is a common feature in all the bars). The little crispy bits helped balance the sweetness. The peanut butter one was a real hit that I’d really hoped for more from this one besides just candy-bar-sweetness.

Sweet + Maple Intensity

Next up was the Granola Crunch bar and I have to say this one was the one I liked least. I did finish it, mostly because it also was my breakfast option that morning and I didn’t want to face my busy morning hungry. I found the maple flavor in this bar to be way too sweet and nearly artificial. It just overwhelmed the whole bar with overly intense, overly sweet maple flavor. Little soy crisps — check… but I just couldn’t get past the taste.


Mildly Sweet and Chocolaty!

After the sweetness of the Granola Crunch I was a little put off and worried the final two flavors would follow the “too sweet” route, particularly because I’d been told the Berry Almond Crunch was the sweetest of the bunch. However, these really have made a great, quick breakfast option and in on the next very busy morning I grabbed up the Chocolate Brownie bar on my way to the office. I was really pleased by the rich chocolate flavor of this bar and was happy it turned out to be much more mildly sweetened. It was really pretty satisfying.

Nice Berry Flavor!

I put off the Berry Almond Crunch because of the comment about it being the sweetest. I’m also very picky about berry flavoring in food; most times this flavor tastes way artificial to me. This bar turned out be far less sweet than I feared and had a pleasant berry and almond flavor. It faintly reminded me of mixing granola into yogurt. I found myself really enjoying the flavor of this last bar.

The Pros:

The bars totally kept me from getting hungry, cranky and less-than-functional. They were generally tasty and nice to eat; no pasty or stickiness about them. I like that I can get them on Amazon, where they work out to $2.05/bar — which isn’t bad (I have an Amazon Prime account, so for me a box of these would be shipped Second-Day for free). These ended up making a good breakfast on-the-go for me, which is probably how I’d most likely use them. I liked 3 of the flavors quite a bit, with the peanut butter being the leader and the berry second. I found the chocolate one very satisfying and could see having it as part of my lunch or to enjoy after a good workout.

The Cons:

Only in 3 shops in the Portland Metro area right now, and I stress “metro area” — they’re out in the burbs. I admit that I’m not a huge fan of the whole “soy protein isolate” approach. It is pretty seriously processed stuff and I tend toward the more “real food” approach, which is to say less processed and closer to a whole food. I found two of the flavors, the almond and the granola, to be far sweeter than I like for something that’s supposed to be an energy bar.

I’d also note that these shouldn’t be considered a low-calorie snack. Most are 200 or more calories and the peanut or almond ones have a fair bit of fat in them. That’s why I tended to put these as a good breakfast option, augmented with a little fresh fruit.

The “Cons” aside, I’d pick these bars up once in a while. I will certainly keep them in mind while travel as something I could pick up and take with me on long flights.

I appreciate PureFit giving me a chance to try them all out!

Pictures taken entirely with my DroidX phone, which didn’t always know how to handle close-up shots of shiny wrappers!

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