These 200-calorie, plant-based protein bars taste nothing like the chalky vegan bars you're used to

These 200-calorie, plant-based protein bars taste nothing like the chalky vegan bars you're used to

TruWomen Protein Bars

TruWomen Facebook

  • Plant-based protein bars are nothing new, but ones that taste good are hard to come by.
  • TruWomen makes plant-based nutrition bars that are under 200 calories and provide 12 grams of protein per bar.
  • We tried a variety of the bars including glazed donuts, key lime pie, and peanut butter, and we really liked the chewy texture and fun flavors.

The protein bar industry has been growing consistently over the last few years thanks to a demand for on-the-go snacks that fit the needs of busy, health-conscious people.

I jumped on the trend a while ago, but rarely do I find a new company that causes me to rearrange my hierarchy of nutrition bars - and TruWomen has done just that.

The company's line of plant-based protein bars come in seven flavors, using natural ingredients like brown-rice protein, cassava flour and almond butter as protein sources. The colorful packaging is enough to make you want to take a bite, and fun names like "Whipped for Key Lime," "Smother Fudger Peanut Butter," and "Zamn Good Zesty Lemon" sound tempting from the start.

All that being said, I've encountered plenty of nutrition bars with fun flavors and cute packaging that still don't meet the mark in the flavor department. I'm happy to say that's not the case for TruWomen bars. Rather than those disappointingly dry, crumbly vegan protein bars, these bars are thin, chewy, and coated in an icing-like layer that adds just the right amount of natural sweetness.


Nutritional information and ingredients

When the company was in its first stages of creation, they asked female consumers what they wanted in a healthy snack bar. They received an overwhelming amount of responses that highlighted three characteristics: great taste, adequate protein, and real ingredients. In addition to working within these parameters, TruWomen ensures that their bars are gluten-free certified, vegan certified, certified kosher, and don't include dairy, soy, or artificial flavors.

All of the flavors have an average of about nine ingredients, and they all clock in at 190 to 200 calories per bar. One of their more popular options, the "Smother Fudger Peanut Butter," has 12 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar. Most of the bars reflect a similar nutrition label. The sugar content is a little high since they are sweetened with natural cane sugar and not sugar alcohols like maltitol, xylitol, or sorbitol - but this also means less digestive issues on your end.

Protein sources include cassava flour, brown-rice protein concentrate, and roasted almond butter. You'll find other ingredients like cane sugar, sunflower oil, lecithin, and natural flavors in most bars.

How TruWomen bars actually taste: our reviews


TruWomen Facebook

Tester: Sally Kaplan, Insider Picks editor

Flavors: Smother Fudger Peanut Butter, Zamn Good Zesty Lemon, and I Scream for Orange Cream


Review: I love these bars so much I've bought more since first testing them. After I ate one, I was convinced they'd be filled with dairy and processed ingredients (because how could a plant-based, natural protein bar taste so good?), but it turns out they're vegan and full of ingredients I recognize. Cassava flour, brown rice protein, and pea protein are just some of the base ingredients I'm happy to be eating every time I open a bar.

I've tried the chocolate peanut butter, lemon, and orange creamsicle ones so far, and they were all delicious. The texture isn't gritty the way a lot of vegan protein bars are - instead they're chewy and thin, kind of like a flatter Larabar with a thin layer of icing.

Tester: Grace High, Insider Picks commerce analyst

Flavors: Saltylicious Almond Love, Red Velvet Ready, and Smother Fudger Peanut Butter

Review: I really enjoyed these bars. The chocolate-based ones were especially good! The ingredients are natural and minimal, while the taste is more like a sweet treat. They didn't keep me as full as a heavy-duty protein bar, but would be a good addition to your diet if you're looking for a healthy sugar fix with a little protein and clean ingredients. - Grace High, Insider Picks Commerce Analyst

Tester: Megan Foster, Insider Picks fellow

Flavors: Oh Oh Cookie Dough, Daydreaming About Donuts, and I Scream for Orange Cream


Review: When I find a bar I enjoy, I like to stick with it. It's only once in a blue moon that I add a new one to my repertoire, but the TruWomen bars just scooted their way onto my list. Since I don't personally prioritize natural ingredients or low sugar alcohols, I tend to veer toward the artificially sweetened bars. Thankfully, all three of the bars I tried from TruWomen were on the sweet side, but I was surprised to see that the company didn't have to use any fake processed ingredients to achieve the great taste.

They are small enough to fit in my bag or pocket, but substantial enough to keep me full for a few hours. I've already told upwards of ten people about these bars and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. - Megan Foster, Insider Picks Editorial Intern

The bottom line:

As far as we're concerned, these are some of the best protein bars out there in terms of taste and texture. They're chewy, sweet but not overly so, and they feel indulgent despite being vegan and packed with protein. If that's what matters to you, shop away.

Buy TruWomen bars on Amazon, from $15 for 6

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