Probiotic Chocolate Bars

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A couple months ago, I received an email offer to try Attune Chocolate Bars. About two lines into the email (where it said a gluten-free snack and chocolate!), I was sold. “Show me the chocolate!” was my response.

Attune says their chocolate bars are “packed with more beneficial probiotic cultures than yogurt (with less sugar than most brands), are low in calories (with 100 or fewer) and have calcium and fiber for better health on the go.” You’ll find more specifics on the nutritional content at the Attune Foods website.

I was told to put these into the refrigerator when I received them. They contain probiotics, so putting them into the refrigerator insures that the probiotics will stay alive and well. (“Un-refrigerated cultures begin to decline within a month.” is what it says on the box.) I did as I was told, but I was really excited to try them so I took one out and read the packaging. I know I was told that they were gluten free, but it was new to me and my habit is to read the labels. I was surprised and disappointed to see a cross-contamination warning about being made in a facility where wheat is processed. So, I put it back into the refrigerator and there it sat until I finally got around to asking the company about this.

I was very happy with their response: “We take the issue of cross-contamination very seriously…. Attune uses only gluten free ingredients in making their Probiotic chocolate bars, but as stated on the packaging, the bars are made on equipment that also processes wheat. At this time, we do not have the ability to manufacture our products in a gluten-free facility but want you to know that every batch of Attune bars is tested by an independent lab called Silliker to verify that the bars meet the gluten free standard of testing less than 5 parts per million of gluten.” Considering that the proposed standard to the FDA is 20 ppm, 5 ppm sounds good to me.

So, I decided to give them a try. They come in seven different flavors:  Dark Chocolate, Coffee Bean Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Dark Chocolate, Almond Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Crisp, Mint Chocolate and Blueberry Vanilla. I started with the dark chocolate and moved on from there.

How do they taste? Like a chocolate bar. I suggest before eating them, that you take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature first. Chocolate is always best at room temperature, don’t you think? They are like small, thin chocolate bars. Not exactly smooth and creamy chocolate, but yummy just the same. I saved the blueberry vanilla flavor for last. It, too, was very good. My only problem with these is that I want to eat more. But, I kept to one a day, and they were soon all gone.

Where do you find them? The email I received said they are kept in the refrigerated yogurt section of more than 3,000 retailers across the U.S. such as Safeway, Whole Foods, H-E-B, Hannaford, Wegmans, A&P, and Bristol Farms. I looked in the yogurt section at our local Wegmans week after week, but couldn’t find them. I should’ve asked for them at Customer Service, but always forgot to do that by the time I got around to the front of the store. It wasn’t until recently that I finally found them. They were in the refrigerated section within their Nature’s Marketplace area. Of course! Why didn’t I think of that sooner? They are being kept beside the organic yogurts and other allergen-free, dairy-type products. I had the option to buy one chocolate bar for 99 cents or buy a box of 7 for $6.69. I went for the box.

They only had one flavor to offer: Milk Chocolate Crisp. That was alright with me. Normally, I would choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate, but I actually enjoyed the Milk Chocolate Crisp best. It reminds me of a Hershey’s Krackel or a Nestle Crunch bar, both of which are not Gluten Free. Attune puts the rice crisps in the chocolate bars, but they are flavored with molasses instead of the gluten-containing barley malt. So now I can eat a crispy chocolate bar and feel like I’m doing my body good by eating probiotics, too. What a great find. I love having these for an afternoon snack. I pull one out of the refrigerator in the morning, and then have it after lunch when I’m feeling that afternoon slow-down. If you are having a hard time finding these at your local grocery store, you can also order them online at www.attunefoods.com.

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These sound really good! Even though we can have gluten, the probiotic quality is very appealing to me – considering my girls and their sensitive systems. I am going to look for them next time I am at the store.

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