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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zing Gluten-Free Power Bars

Zing bar

I don't really like power bars.

People keep telling me that I should pack them in the car, tuck them in my pockets for long days away from home, and definitely stash them in my suitcase when we are traveling. I have tried. I don't really like them.

A couple of months ago now, when the light was still high in the sky at 9 pm, Keren stopped me. You might know Keren better as Frantic Foodie, and that she is. How the woman organizes dozens of food-related events in Seattle, while she has a baby younger than Little Bean is way beyond me. I'm often exhausted by 6 pm. Keren seems to just thrive on this beehive of activity that is always swirling around her.

Along with this, Keren seems to know everyone. And she wants to connect them all together.

So she stopped me and said, "You have to stay for a few more minutes. I have to find Minh-Hai. You have to try our bars." We waited. We talked with Christine, who was selling chanterelle mushrooms nearby. But I sort of dreaded the encounter, I'll admit. You see, I really don't like power bars (or snack bars, or whatever bars people call them). I've recommended some here, because I know other people like them, and I want to point out the best of them. But in that moment, I didn't need another bar.

Minh-Hai smiled as she reached out her hand. And then she handed me some Zing Bars. "We would love for you to try them. They're gluten-free."
I smiled, said thank you, talked with her for awhile. She's lovely. I forgot the bars and focused on her.

And when we got home, I put them in the cupboard.

Just a few weeks ago, Danny was gone at work, and Little Bean was running me ragged. She wasn't sturdy enough to stand at the counter yet and help me cook. We had no hand-held food in the house. Everything needed to be prepared. So I reached for one of these in the pantry and took a bite.

Wait a minute. What?

These are good. I mean, good. I mean, they taste like actual food. The chocolate peanut butter tasted like a clean Reese's cup. I almost thought it was candy, except it was not too sweet.

The fact that they're full of good fats, important proteins, free of hormones or anything artificial? That's great too. Zing Bars were created by a team of four registered dieticians, who designed them to be wonderfully healthy and ridiculously tasty.

That they are.

I loved the cranberry-0range and almond-blueberry as well. But if I needed a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon, a slight pause before taking off after the toddler again? I'd reach for one of those Zing chocolate peanut butter bars in a minute.


Blogger Sue90 said...

Too bad they are made in a factory that also makes products containing gluten. This is enough for me NOT to try them.

October 27, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Shauna said...

Sue, I looked at that too. But after reading about their factory, I felt much better. From their site:

"Our Manufacturing Practices
Zing bars are produced at a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified facility. We take our gluten free status seriously, and routinely subject all Zing flavors to gliadin analysis at an independent laboratory. All Zing flavors test below 5ppm gliadin, which is the lowest amount detectable with current technology. In addition, the Cranberry Orange and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavors are routinely tested for milk protein. Let us know if you'd like to see copies of these laboratory tests."

I know that companies are required to say if gluten is used anywhere in the factory, even if it's in completely different rooms. I also know that several of the folks who invented the Zing Bar have to eat gluten-free themselves. So I feel safe with them. And I have never had a reaction.

October 27, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Jen Yu said...

Shauna, have you tried Lara Bars? My friend introduced me to them - gluten free! They are mostly dried fruits and nuts. I LOVE THEM (and I loathe most power bars). Just another one you might want to try.

October 27, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I agree with Jen about Larabars. Paul first bought them because they have no sodium; we keep buying them because they taste SO good. (My favorite is the cherry pie; yum!) We also like KIND bars, which are nuts, fruit and honey, and are also gluten-free, low-sodium and delicious.

October 27, 2009 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Cathi said...

They sound great, I'll give them a try. Do you know where I could find them in Southern California? Have a peaceful evening!

October 27, 2009 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Although I would rather eat proper meals, I also LOVE Larabars. They have very few ingredients - usually just dates, an apple or cherries or a banana, almonds or walnuts. Delish!

October 28, 2009 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

i love Larabars too, especially the cherry pie and apple pie ones. they don't add sugar either! come in lots of flavors. Wal-Mart and Whole Foods carry them, plus you can buy on their website. i eat a "bar" pretty much every day. i keep them in my car, purse, etc.

October 28, 2009 at 5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! I am a Lara Bar fan too, just finished a chocolate hazelnut one, tasty clean pure food! Great for traveling or to eat before going to the gym.

October 28, 2009 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger Allison the Meep said...

Nice! I just saw these recently and was wondering if they would be good, but didn't feel like spending the money to find out, in case they were bad. I tried Kind bars once, because they were recommended by someone, but they tasted old, like the nuts had gone rancid or something. Maybe it was a bad batch, but it was enough to make me not go back.

This will be a nice addition to Larabars for me.

October 28, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Jaime T said...

darn! those bars have whey in them, which doesn't agree with my stomach. They sound great, although there's a bit more fat than I normally like for those kinds of bars.

My favorite was Luna bars but they are not gluten-free. Lara bars are ok, but not great (although most flavors ARE gluten-free). They sort of taste like just flavored processed dates, with nuts lol. I've never been able to eat more than half a lara bar at a time because the flavor and sweetness is bit overwhelming.

October 28, 2009 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Tasty Eats At Home said...

Ooh yay another gluten-free bar that doesn't taste like cardboard. Power bars are gross, if you ask me - and I tried some ThinkThin bar a while back that was positively awful. It also had a bunch of sugar alcohols in it, which I think made it taste so bad, but also is not good for my digestive system. These sound promising! I love Larabars and some of the Kind bars (especially the chocolate sesame one...yum!). While I don't do a lot of convenience foods, these are a life saver!

October 28, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

I also find Lara bars to be too sweet to eat a whole one at once. And I LOVE sweets. But they are tasty and gluten free. I would be VERY interested to try these new bars. I am hoping for more of a protein bar. Thanks for sharing Shauna!

October 28, 2009 at 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Zing bars are good. Comfort bars are the only other protein bars that taste good and are good for you. Full of protein and fiber. As for the fruit and nut bars you might as well just buy fruit and nuts!!

October 28, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

JamieT - I think at least one of the bars has rice protein instead of whey. Check their site.

I bought a variety box and have tried the cran-orange (quite good) and am looking forward to the rest. They've even switched to gf oats for their oatmeal bar so they're all gf now!

Glad to find a cleaner protein bar since going g-f last month (and I don't eat soy so some other options are out). I like the Lara bars but they're more like a dessert (high cal and low protein) even for the good fruit and fat. Each has its use and audience, just glad to see this one join the pack.

October 28, 2009 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

Sounds like "Zing" is going to be a big name for Gluten Free! Cambridge, MA has Zing! Pizza and Cafe Zing, both of which have gluten free options. The pizza rocks! (The baked goods are yummy, but too sweet) Now I'll have to try Zing bars!

October 30, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna, your quote about Zing's manufacturing processes implies that the chocolate peanut butter bars are dairy-free as well as gluten-free. But they contain dairy. I was really excited when I first heard about these, but most of them contain dairy, and the others all contain a lot of nuts.

November 3, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I love Zing bars. A couple of the flavors are dairy-free (peanut butter chocolate chip and cranberry orange). I personally don't mind dairy (just can't do gluten or soy, which is unfortunately in most bars)and the Chocolate PB is also my fave - love that it's an organic DARK chocolate coating. I've noticed these bars keep me satisfied a lot longer than most fruit and nut bars like Larabar.

November 6, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For nearly $3 a bar I hope the Zing bars are good! I will stick with Lara bars . . .

November 15, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous daveg said...

yeah..I find it curious that most of these have dairy/soy in them. I'll try some out..but dairy usually doesn't work out so well...

November 22, 2009 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not a fan of power bars either, but I've always wished I liked them because they would be so convenient to bring along with traveling. I have a vacation coming up in February - so I'll keep this recommendation in mind.

January 3, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked the website- $3.50 EACH? They better be good for that price! I wish they weren't so expensive, otherwise I would try them. My grocery bill is high enough as it is.

April 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger lbmann said...

Happily, the Zing peanut butter chocolate bars don't have any dairy. Last summer my 13 year old daughter & I went to Europe (we are both GFDF) and we took exactly 28 Zing bars with us - - one per day for each of us. That's exactly the kind of security I needed to travel through Paris, Switzerland and Berlin with my girl- - it turns out that our trip was fabulous and filled with great food; we didn't actually need most of those Zing bars, but boy we ate them anyway. True chewy love.

May 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Kari Miller said...

I recently tried these at whole foods! They are the best bars I have ever had, hands down, gluten or no gluten. I love finding things like this that I can turn to when I need something to eat!

June 14, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I'm not gluten-intolerant, but am desperately allergic to corn and somewhat less sensitive to wheat and milk. I have to be as careful as any celiac. Didja know even cosmetics and supplements often contain or are derived from corn products? Yeah.

Anyway, I love love love Kind bars! They're really satisfying and can carry you that extra few hours to your next meal. The price is much better than Lara Bars or Zing Bars, just $1.50 (ok, that's still a lot, but almost worth it).

October 26, 2010 at 6:43 PM  

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