ProBar nutrition bar

Sports nutrition bars are everywhere, but the ProBar, which is new on the market, is a different breed.
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Sports nutrition bars are everywhere, but the ProBar, which is new on the market, is a different breed.

For one thing, it's a thick square inside a baggy package. Just fumbling around with it, you kinda wonder what's up. Tear it open. The chunk inside is more like a whole grain bar packed tight with whole nuts, bits of dried fruits, and recognizable grains and seeds -- much of which are raw, organic and unprocessed. The ingredients are blended, not baked, and it's 100-percent vegan too.

And it's big: a full 3 ounces, intended as two servings with 175 calories each, 70 of which are fat and about 100 of which are carbohydrates.

We know there are limitless opinions about whether a bar like this should be high-fat, high-protein or high-carbohydrate, and that's not a debate we are going to enter into since much of it is personal choice. For one thing, this bar is not truly intended to be a bar that you swallow quickly during some on-the-go, high-intensity activity (think 10K runs or other sprint races). As the label clearly says: "endurance, recovery, meal replacement." That means aside from being good for you and great for healthy snacks and small meals, it'd better taste good.

And taste is where ProBar certainly excels. It's so yummy that you may find yourself looking forward to your munch break while on a hike or you'll want to carry one while traveling since it'll be a better meal than some of the stuff found in airports or on planes.

One tester, self-described as "finicky" who has tried about every bar on the planet, called them "scrumptious," although he added he didn't think they were necessarily an "energy" bar for hardcore athletic endeavors.

Said another tester: "Since the bar was chunky, every bite was a new adventure. The bar was not pasty or gritty, so water was not essential after each mouthful."

Another tester who says she doesn't really like raisins or dried fruit was a bit wary, but said she also found that it was very tasty and not too sweet or salty.

"It also survived the heat of my car well," she added describing a past mess from another coated bar that leaked chocolaty goo all over the seat.

One thing to point out is the baggy packaging that is twice the length of the bar. That was astute planning, not a boo-boo. Members of focus groups during two years of development told the maker that they often eat only part of a bar, but tight wrappers don't offer enough material to wrap back around the unused portion. This packaging lets you enjoy a chunk, then stash the rest back in the bag to eat later, knowing you'll not end up with backpack grit, dog hair or dust stuck all over it.

Despite all its good traits, since the ProBar is blended, it can get a bit crumbly and our testers found that once opened, if not stowed carefully, it was easy to end up with ProCrumbles and not a bar -- still most tasty, but a bit harder to deal with.

SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $3 each; $36 for a case of 12

For more information:www.theprobar.com or 435-645-8686

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