I was happy to connect with ZonePerfect at this year’s Type-A Parent Conference, after which I was contacted about reviewing their Perfectly Simple nutrition bars. It’s taken me a while to actually post this review, but I’d stuck some of my Perfectly Simple bars into my bag when I went to BlogHer – a perfect time to give them a try!
What’s So Special About Perfectly Simple Bars?
In addition to being a good source of protein (10g per bar), Perfectly Simple bars contain only 10 ingredients or fewer and are a good source of at least 17-19 essential vitamins and minerals. They come in three flavors: Peanut Crunch, Cranberry Almond, and Toasted Coconut. While I like both cranberry and almond, I’m not really a fan of fruit in this form, so I preferred the Peanut Crunch and Toasted Coconut flavors. If you’re curious about the whole 10 ingredient thing, here are the ingredient lists for all three flavors:
- Peanut Crunch ingredients: peanut butter (peanuts), invert evaporated cane syrup, soy protein isolate, date paste, rolled oats, and coconut.
- Cranberry Almond ingredients: soy protein isolate, apple juice concentrate, sweetened dried cranberries (sugar, dried cranberries, sunflower oil), date paste, roasted almonds (almonds, high oleic sunflower oil), dried pomegranate seeds, and cinnamon powder.
- Toasted Coconut ingredients: invert dried cane syrup, date paste, soy protein isolate, toasted coconut, roasted almonds (almonds, high oleic sunflower oil), whey protein isolate, and natural vanilla flavor.
My local grocery store does not carry more than two flavors of the original ZonePerfect bars, although the store locator says the Perfectly Simple bars should be available there, but I could find them at our local Target.
How Do Perfectly Simple Bars Taste?
I love both peanut butter and coconut, so I was happy to report that both the Peanut Crunch and Toasted Coconut flavors were almost as good as eating candy bars. I say “almost” in a way that implies they are quite delicious even though they are not covered in chocolate. (Sometimes only chocolate will do.) There was something pleasantly caramelly about the Toasted Coconut bar, probably from the way they use the cane syrup. And since I am very particular about food textures, I’m happy to report that I had no weird texture issues with the Perfectly Simple bars.
As these are nutrition bars, I like to eat them for breakfast. My sweet tooth enjoys unhealthy things like donuts and chocolate chip muffins on a semi-regular basis, so swapping baked goods for something that actually contains protein and other healthy stuff is a good move for me. I’ve also swapped out my bedtime snack (I need to take my nighttime meds with food) with a ZonePerfect bar on several occasions. (Although the chocolate chip cookies have been too tempting to pass up this week.) And lacking the motivation to actually prepare something for lunch today, I opted for two ZonePerfect bars and a bowl of cottage cheese.
I’ll confess that I prefer the Dark Chocolate Almond ZonePerfect bars to the Perfectly Simple bars I tried for this review, but I would never pass up the Peanut Crunch or Toasted Coconut bars if offered to me. As a matter of fact, I was perfectly content to snack on them during this year’s blogging conferences, where breakfast and lunch were uncertainties and I needed a lot of energy to keep me going through a full day of sessions. If you’re more conscious than I am about buying products with simpler ingredients, or if you’re not as much of a chocolate fanatic as I am, I’d highly recommend giving these a try for a more nutritious snack. Or, you know, as a supplement to the bars that are coated in chocolate.
Tags: food, nutrition, review