If you’ve ever visited a health foods store, then you’ve no doubt noticed plenty of Larabars lining the shelves of the protein bar aisle! They’re a common favorite among athletes, hikers, health enthusiasts, doctors, and other health “nuts.”
However, are Larabars vegan?
Yes! In fact, ALL Larabars in production is 100% vegan. They’re all made from simple plant-based ingredients like fruit, nuts, veggies, dates, salt, and natural plant-based oils.
They’re also naturally sweetened with fruit and dates, so you never have to worry about any white sugar being used in your Larabars!
It can often be hard to find good vegan protein bars. Most so-called “healthy” bars contain copious amounts of dairy, sugar, or both. Even many of the more natural brands use honey as a sweetener, which is non-vegan since it comes from exploited honey bees.
So, I was incredibly happy when I found out that Larabars are all vegan!
In today’s post, I’m going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Larabars, explain what they’re made of, and give you a bit of background on the founder. These may just become your new favorite snack…
Is There Dairy In Larabars?
Believe it or not, dairy is very common to find in protein and energy bars. This is because one of the most prevalent ingredients used in protein bars is whey protein.
Whey protein is a powdered dairy by-product that’s pure milk protein. It’s separated from milk during the cheese-making process and is one of the most commonly used forms of protein in shakes and bars.
Thankfully, Larabars are 100% dairy-free! Since the company is committed to using all-vegan, plant-based ingredients, you never have to worry about milk or dairy by-products like whey or casein in your snacks.
Are Larabars Considered Raw Vegan?
The “raw vegan” diet has become incredibly popular over the last few years. Once it made its way into Hollywood diets, it took the rest of the vegan world by storm.
The raw vegan diet consists of only eating raw plant-based foods. Raw vegans do not consume cooked vegetables or starches like rice, pasta, or bread.
While the raw diet can be very healthy, it’s also very challenging, as you’ll be forced to get most of your carbs and protein from plants. You won’t be able to eat any cooked beans, vegan “meat,” or other forms of processed plant protein.
Everything must be 100% uncooked and raw.
By definition, Larabars are raw vegan, as the bars are never cooked. All of the ingredients are raw, natural, and cold-pressed into bars. This process never involves using chemically-processed additives or cooking.
The idea behind the raw vegan diet is that consuming raw veggies is healthier than cooked veggies. Raw veggies have more fiber and nutrients, which are often lost during the cooking process.
The raw vegan diet isn’t for everybody, though, as it’s very challenging. However, it’s a great way to challenge yourself, and I think that all vegans can benefit from incorporating more raw foods into their diet (even if you don’t go full-on raw vegan).
Are Larabars WFPH (Whole Food, Plant-Based)?
Larabars are one of the few energy/protein bars on the market that are 100% WFPB! This means that they’re made from pure whole foods and 100% plant-based.
In fact, the only thing that’s not plant-based in Larabars is the natural sea salt that’s added as flavoring. This constitutes such a small portion of the bars, though, that it doesn’t really count.
Are Larabars a Healthy Snack?
Larabars are incredibly healthy! Compared to other mainstream brands of energy bars, Larabars contain far fewer ingredients, are preservative-free, and don’t contain any unhealthy additives whatsoever.
In fact, most Larabars contain fewer than seven ingredients. Many of the company’s best-selling flavors only contain three or four ingredients!
When you eat a Larabar, it has the same nutritional value as if you ate a balanced handful of nuts, fruit, and veggies. All of the raw ingredients are just pressed together in a delicious palm-sized snack.
In fact, the recipe is so simple that you can actually mimic it and make your own at home using very simple ingredients:
What Are Larabars Made Of? Ingredients Unwrapped
At this point, you’re probably wondering exactly what Larabars are made of. As I mentioned, they’re all made with remarkably incredible ingredients by a young female entrepreneur named Lara.
In 2000, Colorado native, Lara, grew frustrated with the selection of energy and protein bars available at the grocery store. Even the so-called “healthy” bars contained loads of sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
So, she started making her own energy bars to help her power through her long mountain hikes. Eventually, the locals got interested and started buying the hand-wrapped snacks that she made in her own kitchen.
All of the snacks were simple, raw, vegan-friendly bars that contained less than seven natural plant-based ingredients.
She continued to grow her brand and today, she has a large factory manufacturing the same simple recipes that she started with (only now, there are over twenty different varieties). With that being said, all Larabars are made with simple ingredients like:
- Nuts & Nut Oils
- Sea Salt
- Real Chocolate & Cacao (Dairy-Free)
- Herbal Extracts & Oils
Now, let me take a few minutes to break down the purpose of each of these ingredients in this recipe.
Since they’re raw bars, they don’t use any processed plant proteins (such as pea protein powder). Instead, nuts serve as the main source of protein and healthy fats in Larabars. They’re healthy, delicious, all-natural, and contain healthy minerals.
Depending on the variety of Larabar that you’re looking at, you’ll find peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and more used!
In addition to their nutritional benefit, the nuts also add a nice crunch to the bars, making them taste more fulfilling.
Each Larabar contains nearly as much fruit as it does nuts. To make Larabars, the company pressed real, unprocessed fruits, such as strawberries, apples, bananas, and others.
The fruits are never frozen, never cooked, or processed in any way (other than being de-stemmed, of course).
Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, and antioxidants, and also contains healthy, all-natural carbohydrates. Your body processed real carbs from fruit far more naturally than the processed carbs you’ll find in white flour, bread, and other man-made carbs.
3) Sea Salt
Unlike most bars that use plain iodized salt, Larabars only use real sea salt. The nutritional difference between iodized salt and sea salt is negligible, as both forms of salt are processed by your body in a similar manner.
However, sea salt tastes a LOT better! It has a rich, salty, oceanic taste that beats the slightly acidic flavor that you’ll find in iodized salt. T
Additionally, many people prefer sea salt since it’s more natural and organic. Iodized salt is made in a lab, meaning that it’s a far more processed product. Natural plant-based eaters typically prefer sea salt as it naturally comes from the ocean.
4) Dairy-Free Chocolate
Unlike other energy bars that use some form of milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate (which both contain dairy), all chocolate-containing Larabars are made with dark chocolate and other dairy-free varieties of chocolate.
This gives you the natural energy and mood-boosting effects of chocolate without the guilt of consuming dairy and participating in that cruel industry!
Remember how I mentioned that Larabars aren’t made with any refined white sugar? Well, they don’t contain any processed sweeteners either.
There’s no honey, agave syrup, monk fruit extract, inositol, or even organic cane sugar in Larabars. Those are all processed sweeteners, which aren’t considered “raw” foods.
Instead, Larabars are naturally sweetened with mashed dates.
Dates are delicious little fruits that are harvested from date palms. They’re in the same family as prunes, but taste so much sweeter.
When they’re mashed, the consistency is very similar to a delicious pie. They’re also very sticky and fibrous, which helps hold the Larabars together in place of an emulsifier.
6) Herbal Extracts & Oils
Some Larabars may contain herbal extracts, essential oils, and nut-derived oils (such as peanut oil, avocado oil, etc.). These are used to add flavor and texture to the bars.
Larabars are never made with palm oil either. The palm oil industry is very destructive to the environment. So even though it’s technically a plant-based cooking oil, most vegans stay away from any and all products containing palm oil.
Are Larabar Protein Bars Vegan?
Larabar recently released two flavors of protein bars:
- Chocolate Cashew Brownie
- Key Lime Coconut Pie
Unlike the majority of protein bars that use dairy-based whey protein, Larabar Protein Bars are made with all-natural plant-based ingredients and protein. So you never have to worry about any dairy!
Are Larabar Minis Vegan?
Larabar also offers a snack called “Minis,” which are just small bite-sized snacks that come in a big bag. These all contain the same ingredients as the bigger Larabars, so they’re all 100% vegan!
The Verdict – Are Larabars Vegan-Friendly?
Yes! Every variety of Larabar is 100% vegan. The entire company is committed to only making plant-based, vegan-friendly foods, so feel free to eat anything and everything they make.
If you’re looking for another great source of vegan protein, then be sure to check out my review of Ghost Vegan Protein next time!