Wednesday, December 28, 2011

0 to 100 in Six Bites

I don’t eat fast food. If I munch on junk, it's because I don’t have time for a sit-down meal or there’s nothing better available, I’m always sorry afterward. I like to get my nutrition in the form of real food, well-prepared and minimally processed. But sometimes life makes that difficult. Good Greens has a solution: an energy bar. So what, you say. There are plenty of energy bars out there to choose from. But this one has three reasons to recommend it.

They are made in a factory in Girard, Ohio, by Purus Health, a company with offices in Launch House, a business incubator in Shaker Heights. Supporting local enterprises, especially small startups, is important. Basically, buying these power bars energizes your body and the regional economy.

The nutrient profile on this product is pretty amazing, especially given its iPod-like dimensions. Each bar measures only 4 inches by 1.5 inches and is about 1/2 inch thick but contains 10-12 grams of protein and 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, which deliver a bounty of vitamins and antioxidants. They’re low on the glycemic index, gluten fre and vegan. No trans fats but lots of fiber and probiotics. The secret is a patented powder (also available for purchase and used in smoothies at Liquid Planet) that has more stuff in it than most people’s pantry and fridge combined: 52 ingredients to be precise. Sort of like nano-technology applied to food.

And lastly, they taste pretty good. Sunflower seed paste holds everything together. It has a nice nutty flavor and contributes to a soft chewy texture. Three of the four flavors (raspberry, coconut and peanut) are covered in chocolate (can’t go wrong there, and in fact the one version without it, wildberry, does seem lacking compared to the others). There’s a slight grittiness I’m not crazy about in all of them and a little palate coating effect that bugs me, but these are tolerable considering the payoff: something I can eat on the run that seems like dessert, quells hunger and is actually good for me. The regular Good Greens bars are soy based, but there is another kind made with brown rice that I have not tried. I was told two new flavors are in the works. The bars are available at Marcs, Heinens, Mustard Seed Markets and Murray Hill Market. You can order them online from Amazon, too, or the company’s website. Prices vary, generally between $2 and $3 each. Seems like a good investment to me.