Raw Crunch bars give health nuts an option

The bars look and taste somewhat like compressed blocks of birdseed.

Ingredients such as sea salt, goji berries, macadamia nuts, raw honey, and, of course, many types of seeds – flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower – make for a grainy texture that is nutty and rough on the tongue.

Raw Crunch bars, the product of a small North Carolina company called Body Engineering Inc., are the latest in a pool of strange energy foods I have put to the test. Touted to contain “no artificial nothin’,” the bars are said to be uncooked, unprocessed, enzyme-rich, and made batch by batch each day in a kitchen by hand.

Six years ago, with a goal to create a new type of energy bar, the founders of the company ( rawcrunchbar.com) set upon a singular and humble objective: To make a bar with a full list of ingredients “we could actually pronounce.” The first bars were baked in a home kitchen, packaged in Saran Wrap, and sold to friends.

Today, Body Engineering has a line of bars that come in flavors like blueberry, cranberry, goji, and dark chocolate. They are dehydrated rather than cooked and have a five-month life on the shelf. The company says the dehydrating process does not manipulate the natural enzymes and antioxidants found in the bars’ ingredients.

I taste-tested the company’s line and came away liking the bars quite a bit. These are not your normal sweet energy bars, nor do they taste like granola. The goji berry flavor is semisweet and nutty but with the hint of a grassy taste underneath and tinged slightly with sea salt.

Raw Crunch bars, which cost about $2.50 apiece, are grainy and seedy, and they have that simple “healthy” taste I associate with raw bulk ingredients and co-op grocery stores.

They contain about 150 calories per bar with 10 grams of fat and a bit of protein. For outdoors activity, these bars are best used in the “meal-replacement” category, rather than for quick energy. Eat them in place of a PowerBar, gorp or other filling, on-the-go food.

As an alternative to more-processed energy bars – or, even better, as a stand in for candy – the Raw Crunch bars are a healthy option that should not disappoint. The sweet, salty, nutty taste is unique. Just try to forget you’re eating something that looks like birdseed when you take that first bite.

On the Web: gearjunkie.com

Click here to comment on this story »

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: 50 years of ski swap

The fastest Inland Northwest skiers and snowboarders who’ve collected the most medals are no match in hero status to the founders and perpetuators of the Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol’s annual Ski Swap. Without the Swap, many families could not afford regular upgrades in equipment – …

Recent blog posts

Video: Eastern blue jays have taste for West

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Eastern blue jays have been trickling across the Rockies to the West for years.  Birders are resigned to the invasion, saving them driving miles for an addition ...

Resorts offer ski passes to fifth graders

WINTERSPORTS – Once again, fifth-grade students are being treated like royalty at most Inland Northwest ski resorts, with free skiing and other discounts. The Fifth Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport, ...

Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »

Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801