3558 Lee Rd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44120
|Cost:||$29.98 per box (12 bars)|
It’s no secret that many don’t get the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables – especially busy college students. Convenience reigns supreme among students and really among many who have a busy lifestyle. It can be quite a task to consume enough whole fruits and vegetables every day – especially for those who may not really like them to begin with.
These problems are ones Good Greens attempts to resolve with a variety of different snack bars that claim to contain 100% the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables while also being vegan, gluten free and perhaps most importantly, tasty.
Thanks to a new market, we were able to sample several of the Good Greens snack bars. In an effort to promote healthier lifestyle choices, the Ohio State University removed unhealthy snacks at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year and replaced them with reportedly healthier snacks. Among them are snack bars by the Good Greens company, based in Cleveland, Ohio and owned by OSU alumna Dr. Sangeeta “Tina” Mahajan MD and her husband Katen “Keith” Pabley.
But do these bars live up to the claims? We carefully divided and tried each of the bars to examine and sample, ranking the bars on flavor, consistency and texture as well as checking out the health claims made and the process by which these bars are made. I don’t think anyone can argue with the convenience: the bars are comparable in size to other ‘health food’ bars on the market and are individually wrapped.
We were provided with six different flavors of the Good Greens bars to sample. Most of the bars had a strong rice-base that made them somewhat gritty and gave them a consistent flavor base, yet thanks to the other ingredients the bars still managed to be soft and chewy – much like a dry brownie. Despite the many forms of sugar in the bars, they’re all only very mildly sweet.
The Raspberry Chocolate bar doesn’t have much of a raspberry flavor – it’s very mild. The chocolate is a bit stronger than in the other bars.
The Peanut Butter bar was similar to the raspberry. The peanut butter itself was very mild and the bar tasted mostly of chocolate and rice with a hint of peanut butter.
Our favorite by far was the Chocolate Mint bar. While having less of a chocolate flavor than the others, the mint was strong and complimented the chocolate and rice flavors very well.
The Chocolate Chunk bar, ironically, had the least chocolate flavor of all of them and was also much crunchier than the others.
We had high hopes for the Chocolate Coconut bar, as we love chocolate and coconut, however the coconut flavor was barely detectable and mostly came in as an aftertaste.
The Wildberry is the most unique of the bars – very moist, chewy and sticky and contains no chocolate at all. It still has a rice base, but also has dried fruits added and tastes exactly like that.
Good Greens bars have no shortage of buzzwords on the package – namely the bars are Vegan, Gluten Free and contain 100% of recommended daily fruits and vegetables. The bars are definitely Vegan – not an animal product in sight on the list. The ingredient list also contains no gluten-containing items, however in the fine print is the warning that the products are manufactured in the same plant as nuts and wheat – which, while being a minor concern for most, is a big concern for very sensitive sufferers of Celiac’s.
The bars manage to have 100% daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables thanks to this formula they call Z52. The formula is made by grinding up fruits and vegetables, drying them and creating a mixture that can be added to the bars. I’m not sure how this affects the flavor of the bars since they all have it in them.
In A Nutshell
Good Greens’ health bars in general were rice bars with various mild flavorings pumped up nutritionally by the Z52 formula, making them full of vitamins and minerals. The rice flavor wasn’t a detractor – we were neutral to it in most bars and actually liked it in a few where the flavors complimented each other, but people who don’t like the rice flavor in candy and health bars might not enjoy it. We were, however, disappointed how mild the flavors were – such as the coconut bar which had a lot of potential but fell only because it was simply too mild. They definitely still tasted like ‘health food’ bars, but were among the better we’ve had. They weren’t the best, but we definitely enjoyed them. If given the Good Greens bars, we likely wouldn’t turn them down however it’s not a product we would actively seek out. It may come down to whether or not you’re a vegan or find a flavor of their you particularly like.
Some might call it nitpicking, but we also think they shouldn’t claim to be gluten free until the bars are manufactured in a plant that doesn’t also process gluten-containing products. Having had personal experience with some people with extreme gluten sensitivity I can attest it really does make a difference.
Want to see more pictures of the Good Greens bars? Check out our Good Greens gallery on our Facebook page. While you’re there, be sure to Like us too!
Disclaimer:We were given these samples for free for this review. This review reflects our honest opinions of the product.