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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > LARABAR Pistachio and Key Lime Pie > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey



Initial Report - February 12, 2008
Long-Term Report - April 1, 2008

Initial Report: February 12, 2008

Name: Sheila Morrissey
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email Address: geosheila(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Goleta, California, USA

I have been backpacking since 2005. Most of my trips have been from one to three nights on trails in the Sierra Nevada or Los Padres National Forest. My pack typically weighs around 25 lb (11 kg), including consumables.

Manufacturer: LÄRABAR
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer’s Website:
Listed Weight: 1.8 oz (51 g) each
Measured Weight: 1.8 oz (51 g) each
Measured Size: 0.5 in x 3.25 in x 1.25 in (1.3 cm x 8.3 cm x 3.2 cm) each
MSRP: US$27.00 per box (16 bars)

Nutrition Facts:
Ingredients: Dates, pistachios, cashews

Key Lime Pie
Nutrition Facts:
Ingredients: Dates, cashews, almonds, unsweetened coconut, lime juice concentrate

LÄRABAR fruit and nut bars are available in 12 flavors (16, including LÄRABAR's JŎCALAT line). The two flavors I am testing are pistachio and key lime pie. Like all of the LÄRABAR flavors, the pistachio and key lime pie bars are made primarily of dates and nuts. All of the LÄRABARs have no sugar added, are unprocessed, raw, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. LÄRABAR also claims that one bar equals "one serving of fruit according to the USDA food guide pyramid".  Each rectangular bar is individually wrapped in a foil wrapper.

So far, I only opened and tried out one of the key lime pie bars. Considering the main ingredient is dates, I think the key lime pie bar has a very light color to it, but that may be from all of the white bits of coconut throughout it. The bar is somewhat sticky, quite malleable and looks as though it is made mostly of coconut and pieces of nuts held together by sticky dates. I'm not familiar enough with key lime pies to say whether it actually tastes like one, but it does mostly taste like lime and coconut, with the other ingredients (even though they come first on the ingredients list) just holding the bar together and providing crunchiness. It tastes sort of like a lemon bar dessert but with lots of coconut. In other words, it's awesome! The whole bar was too much for me to finish while I wrote up this report, so I left it out on my desk overnight. The following evening the bar still looked and tasted the same. It didn't get dried out or stale.


Long-Term Report: April 1, 2008

I ate the LÄRABARs while on school field trips and while on a week-long hiking trip to southern Utah and northern Arizona. I had several all-day class field trips running around creeks in the Santa Barbara area. The elevation on these field trips was just above sea level and temperature was near 65 F (18 C). The Utah and Arizona trip included two backpacking trips and some day hiking. The first backpacking trip was a three-day, 26-mi (42-km) hike in Coyote Gulch, starting in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. On this trip, my pack probably weighed over 40 lb (18 kg). The second trip was a two-day, 21-mi (34-km) hike in Buckskin Gulch and Paria River, Utah and Arizona. My pack probably weighed around 35 lb (16 kg). The elevations for both trips were between 4,000 to 5,000 ft (1,200 to 1,500 m) and temperatures were between 35 F (2 C) and 60 F (16 C). I dayhiked on the other two days at similar elevations and temperatures. For the most part, I ate one bar for breakfast and one later in the day as lunch or a snack while backpacking and day hiking.



The key lime pie bars are awesome. They are so super tasty. Like I wrote in my initial report, they taste similar to a dessert lemon bar but with coconut. The ingredients listed are dates, cashews, almonds, coconut and lime concentrate. The lime and coconut flavors are very strong, leaving the three main ingredients pretty much there only for the bar's consistency.

The key lime pie bars are malleable with a consistency somewhere between taffy and a chewy cookie. The sticky dates hold the bars' ingredients together, individual shavings of coconut can be seen and tasted in the bar, and chunks of nuts provide crunchiness. The large pieces of crunchy almonds throughout these bars make them especially appealing.

Energy & Serving Size
A LÄRABAR for breakfast kept me hiking without feeling hungry during the morning hours. A few hours later, when my energy ran low, I ate a second LÄRABAR. The key lime pie bars are so sweet that it takes me a while to finish one. Most often, I would nibble on a bar for at least a half an hour or more and even then usually end up saving half of the bar to nibble on an hour later. These bars are very filling and held me over until I had some crackers later in the afternoon.

In my opinion, the taste of the pistachio bars wasn't very good at all. I wish I had something nice to say, but really I was just hoping this part of the test would be over with quickly. The ingredients listed are dates, pistachios and cashews. I can convince myself that I can taste all three ingredients in the bars, but mostly the dates just provide the glue that holds the bars together and makes them sweet, and the taste of the nuts is more overpowering but just doesn't taste quite right. In general, I think pistachios are really great and dates make a tasty snack, but the flavors didn't mix well for me in these bars at all.


The pistachio bars are sticky and soft. The dates hold the pieces of nuts together, but the nuts aren't crunchy at all, so the entire bar is just kind of soft. I know pistachios and cashews aren't as hard as almonds, but the squishy nuts just taste kind of stale in these bars. The bars aren't anywhere near their expiration date (November 2008), so I don't think they're actually stale. I'm pretty sure that's how they're actually supposed to taste.

Energy & Serving Size
A LÄRABAR for breakfast kept me hiking without feeling hungry during the morning hours. A few hours later, when my energy ran low, I ate a second LÄRABAR. I most often ate half a bar at a time when opening one for a snack while backpacking and would finish the rest of the bar an hour later. These bars are very filling and held me over until I had some crackers later in the afternoon.

Now I know not to make any generalizations about the taste of LÄRABARs. The key lime pie bars were super tasty but the pistachio bars were borderline disgusting. I liked the crunchy almonds in the key lime pie bars, but didn't like how the pistachios in the pistachio bars seemed too soft. I found both flavors of LÄRABARs that I tested to be very filling as a backpacking snack. It's not necessarily important to me that these bars are kosher, vegan, gluten-free, have no peanuts, and contain only non-GMO ingredients, but all those things do make these bars a good backpacking food option for other backpackers with different dietary restrictions.


This concludes my Test Series. Thank you to LÄRABAR and for providing me with the opportunity to test these bars.

Read more gear reviews by Sheila Morrissey

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > LARABAR Pistachio and Key Lime Pie > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey

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