May 29, 2012

Luna Review Series 1: Luna Bars

Today starts the Tell it to Me Tuesday, and I’m starting it right: with a three week review series of Luna Bars.
A couple of weeks ago, I contacted the public relations coordinator at Cliff bar and just asked if they ever worked with bloggers for reviews. Wouldn’t you know that they do?
Now you all know my love obsession with Luna, but surprisingly, there were several flavors that I hadn’t tried yet, mainly because for some reason our local stores don’t carry all the flavors.
So, I got a box in the mail of the flavors I hadn’t tried yet, mostly some of the newer ones.
Todays’ review is on the Luna Bar, and the flavors I have dubbed cookie bars.

Before I hit the review, here’s what LUNA has to say about the bars:
Created by and for women, LUNA bars were the first bar just for us, with the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. Wholesome nourishment and delicious indulgence, they are made with 70% organic ingredients and just plain yummy!
They are also

  • High in calcium, folic acid, vitamin D, and iron (the Core 4)
  • Rich in antioxidants A, C, E
  • Contain 9g protein, 3g fiber
I received the Chocolate Chunk, but just happened to have the Peanut Butter Cookie, and Chocolate Dipped Coconut around.

Peanut Butter Cookie
I haven’t actually had the chance to try this one before last weekend. The PBC is not one of the first flavors, but it’s not the newest flavor either. I stumbled across it at my local Kroger’s and thought to myself perfect timing.

Luna describes it as peanut buttery delight with hints of creaminess and a light peanut crunch. I describe it as delicious.
I was super busy writing and researching on Saturday morning, so by the time I tore myself away from the computer, I hadn’t had breakfast yet. Enter, the Peanut Butter Cookie.
It has 180 calories, 6g fat, 26g carbs, 3g fiber, and 9g protein. I think I ate it around 10, and then didn’t eat lunch until late afternoon. It held me over until then.
Usually, I’m more of a sweet breakfast person than savory, and on the weekends, I don’t always get up at the crack of dawn so my breakfast pattern is off. Luna fits in perfectly.
This bar reminded me of a fancied up version of a rice crispy treat. When your mom made them for you as kids, did she ever throw peanut butter in there? Mine did occasionally as a treat, and I’m thinking the Luna PBC bar is like the grown-up healthy version of that snack.
It’s more crispy than other Luna bars, which I really liked. And the bottom is covered in that peanut buttery delight.
Um delicious.

I most definitely recommended this bar for either a quick breakfast or even mid-morning snack. You won’t be disappointed in the flavor, especially if you’re a PB lover like myself.
This is definitely a believe ‘em, and  it gets a 9.5*

Next up is the Chocolate Dipped Coconut
The PR coordinator offered to send me this flavor, but luckily, my local grocery store carries this flavor.
The CDC is a fairly newer flavor, as in, two bars ago (I think) and since chocolate and coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations, I pretty much have been snacking on this flavor since it came out.
Luna describes it as a deliciously decadent combination of toasted coconut and chocolate.
I call it the healthy version of that one girl scout cookie that’s oh-so-delicious-yet-so-not-healthy because it tastes just like a Samoa cookie to me.
Which pretty much means I’m in love.

The CDC has 190 calories, 7g fat, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, and 9g protein. So, a little bit higher on the calorie count that the PBC, but it’s worth it if you like coconut (you’re missing out Wonder Woman!)
This bar for me is more of an afternoon snack-pick-me-up kind of treat. It’s got the nice, oatsy crisp bite to it, (but definitely not too protein-y or fiber-y tasting) with a solid layer of chocolate on the bottom AND swirls on top. Not to mention the caramel like glaze and toasted coconut so kindly covering the top surface. I mean, just look at it. Doesn’t just looking make you feel guilty?
But that’s the best part.
This one definitely tends to be a little bit more sweet than the other bars I have tried, but, again, my sweet tooth it happy. I’d recommend a good glass of water instead of a Frappe with this one though. Don’t want to overload yourself.
This is definitely a believe ‘em, and  it gets a 10* (10.5 if I could…it might just be in the running for my favorite flavor right now)

Last up is the Chocolate Chunk
This is one of Luna’s newest bar flavors and they describe it as their nutritious take on the classic chocolate chip cookie with big, mouth watering chunks of dark chocolate.
It carries 180 calories, 5g fat, 26g carbs, 3g fiber, and 9g protein.
So a little healthier than your typical bakery cookie.
I really was not sure what to expect with this bar because I’m currently trying to perfect my own chocolate chip cookie. But I was pleasantly surprised.
When I opened the wrapped, it smelled like a cookie. And let me tell you, I was commuting on a smelly public bus. But I still got that whiff of chocolate chip cookie.
I could immediately tell that it met the promise of being full of chocolate chunks, and unlike other Luna bars, there was no icing/glaze layer.

After a few bites, I realized it wasn’t entirely like a homemade cookie, but it was in the running. I mean, it had a really good aftertaste, which for me was important. There wasn’t any lingering protein/fiber/fake flavor.
I didn’t want to vomit the flavor back out. I actually tasted like I had eaten a cookie (I know… weird explanation, but if I just said it was good, would that make you want to try it?)
Unlike some of the other Luna bars, I found this one to be a tab bit dry. it could be because there isn’t any chocolate glaze on the bottom of the bar, but the chocolate chunks really helped with the dryness. They were everywhere!

I mean, here’s the thing. The other side of me is a baker. I love my sweets. But, too much isn’t a good thing especially when I’m training. Yet, my sweet tooth needs fed practically every day. And since I’m in school again, what’s better than an after school snack of milk and cookies?
Oh, you know… my health.
So, this bar is definitely my new go-too
I get that chocolate chip cookie aftertaste my sweet tooth needs. I mean, I feel like I ate a cookie (by my taste buds) but my mind/stomach knows it was so much better for me.
it’s filling enough for an afternoon pick-me-up, and I can hold on until dinner without the guilt.
This is definitely a believe ‘em, and  it gets a 9*

That’s is for round 1 of my Luna reviews.
Up next week is the Protein bar.
Passing the Baton: What do you think of the LUNA bars in general? Have you tried any of these newer flavors? If so, how do you feel about/rate them? What’s your favorite flavor overall? 
* Disclaimer. I was not paid to write this review. I received some of the LUNA bars, fair and square, from the company. The others I purchased myself. All of the thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone based on personal tasting of the product. 100% honesty. As part of this series, LUNA was not promised a positive review, they just happened to get it.