Rating: 4.3 out of 5 –
Freedom Foods started in Melbourne, Australia in 1990 when there were very few allergen-free foods on the market. So, they took the matter into their own hands creating cereals and snack bars “free from” the most common allergens. The company has been a mover and shaker in the land down under for over a decade and in 2009 moved into their allergen-free facility in Stanbridge, Australia that is free from wheat, rye, barley, triticale and nuts. A few years later in 2013, the company’s allergy and vegan-friendly products became available in the United States. With more than 20 products, the allergen friendly company continues to grow and recently launched their line of digestive health nutrition bars.
The digestive snack bars from Freedom Foods contain BARLEYmax. BARLEYmax is a non-genetically engineered whole grain grown only in Australia that contains more fiber and more various types of fiber (insoluble, soluble, and resistant starch) to support gut health. These fibers are prebiotics that feed healthy bacteria in your body and of course the more food you have for the good guys, the more good guys you have in your system.
Barley Plus Bars are available in six flavors including Maple & Nut Toasted Muesli, Cranberry & Nuts Toasted Muesli, Pink Lady Apple & Macadamia Toasted Muesli, Pink Lady and Chai Spiced, Almond & Cranberry, and Wild Berry & Yogurt Bars. All varieties are vegan except the Wild Berry & Yogurt Flavored. I ordered the Pink Lady and Chai Spiced bars on Amazon because I was intrigued to try out this new whole grain (BARLEYmax) and I really loved that they were high fiber with very low sugar (only two grams of added sugar per snack bar). Keep reading to see how they taste and how the nutrition stacks up or check them out yourself on Amazon.
HOLY YUM REALNESS! Rip open the package and prepare to be greeted with smell of warm baked apples. Honestly, I wasn’t totally sure what to make of this unique flavor combination, Pink Lady Chai Spice, but the smell is all apple and all amazing. There are thick whole grain barley flakes and large pumpkin seeds throughout the bar – and not just a couple here or there but literally the entire vegan nutrition bar is loaded with distinguishable, real ingredients. The nutrition bar looks like something I’ve made out of my own kitchen more than a packaged product.
The first bite is chewy, wholesome, hearty, and pleasantly apple-y but without being overpowering apple or artificial flavored apple taste. In fact, I don’t taste the “chai” flavor at all and I would simply call this the Pink Lady Apple and Cinnamon bar because there is a hint of cinnamon (but not much).
The whole grain barley flakes do not taste like the cooked and pearled barley that I’m used to in soups or pilafs. Instead, the barley tastes a lot like whole grain oats just a bit chewier and heartier. The barley flake is slightly thicker than an oat flake – and you likely wouldn’t even notice this unless you’re a big foodie like me. You’d probably just think the bar was made out of oat flakes and dried apples. So, if you like apples and oats, you’ll love the flavor of this Barley Plus Bar.
Overall, the plant-based high-fiber bar is on the smaller side but I found it to be incredibly satisfying and filling as a snack (that’s thanks to the nine grams of fiber per bar!).
The Freedom Foods Barley Plus Bars remind me of what a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar should be – high fiber, whole grains, and full on deliciousness without a bunch of sugar and sweeteners.
I could eat two or three of these in one sitting and although that would be A LOT of fiber at once, I could see these bars being scarfed up by kids and adults alike. It’s a tasty, real way to add fiber and nutrition without processed, hard to digest fibers like chicory root extract. We’ll get into the nutrition in the next section, but these Freedom Foods Barley Plus Pink Lady Apple bars are freaking amazing – get them on Amazon by clicking this link.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, know that 9 out of 10 Americans do not eat enough fiber. The recommendation is 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 36 grams of fiber for men. Most Americans eat less than 10 grams of fiber per day. But you know what’s really great? There are nine grams of fiber in one Freedom Foods Barley Plus Pink Lady Apple Bar. Six of those fiber grams are soluble fiber to help reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars, and promote a healthy gut. Speaking of health, did you know that about 70% of your immune system is in your gut? That’s right, feed your gut fiber that organisms love to feed off of and multiply to stay healthy.
Each bar has only 120 calories with three grams of fat. There are some pumpkin seeds and canola oil but in general the ingredients are wholesome and low in fat.
The bars are very low in sodium with only 15mg of sodium per vegan snack bar making this a great choice for anyone! Most traditional snacks (salted nuts, chips, crackers, etc) contain an excessive amount of salt that is not beneficial for the body.
There are 17 grams of total carbohydrate per bar but again there is a whopping nine grams of fiber in each bar! That means the Barley Plus snack bar will have a much lower impact on glucose levels and will help keep you satisfied in between meals. The fiber in these bars tends to be easier digestible than chicory root fiber in many other products, but if you tolerate beans/legumes, garlic, onion, and leeks without wind building up, you should be just fine. If this is a concern, start with a third or a half of the bar for your body to adjust to these prebiotic fibers. Start improving your gut health with the prebiotics in this high-fiber vegan snack bar, available on Amazon.
The Non-Vegan Review
Barley to the party! Who doesn’t love barley!? It’s a total stud of a super food. If you ever get the chance to have barley pancakes, do it! But, I digress. Let’s talk about these apple pie spicey chai delicious Freedom Foods Barley Pink Lady Apple & Chai Spice Flavored Bar. Ain’t that a mouthful. I think they almost ran out of room on the wrapper for the longest bar flavor name ever. These Freedom Pink Lady bars are like eating the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie. The perfect bar to settle into a long Autumn of apple picking, baking, and drink tea by the fire. Great wholesome grains and fat pumpkin seeds these give these Freedom Foods Barley bars a hearty texture. Gotta hand it to the Aussies, they know how to make a bar. I wish more Australian bars were available in the U.S., because they do have some really tasty bars. As usual, you can get these on Amazon by clicking on this link. Non-vegan husband out!
If you are looking for a super tasty vegan snack bar, Barley Plus Bars are a winner. If you are looking for a portable, convenient way to improve your gut health, Barley Plus Bars are a winner. If you are ready for refreshing low sugar snack, Barley Plus Bars are a winner. There is just no getting around these winners y’all. I can’t wait until you try the Barley Plus Pink Lady Apple Chai Spiced Snack Bars – comment below and let me know what you think!