Evolving Wellness

Holistic, Natural, and Green Approach to Optimal Wellness

Review: LaraBar Jocalat Organic Cocoa Bars

A while ago I shared with you one of the best whole, natural food bars out there today, called LaraBars. LaraBars are raw, unprocessed, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, kosher and extremely delicious!

However as my taste buds continue to evolve, as I trek on with zero refined sugars and even more raw and unprocessed food, I have noticed that they have become almost too sweet for me. Hence I decided to look for other options and then discovered that LaraBars also come in the Jocalat line, which is based on organic cocoa powder, and thus should not be too sweet.

Jocalat is a fair trade certified chocolate in its purest form. Each bar brings together a variety of fruits and nuts alongside the cocoa bean, and each flavor contains no more than seven simple ingredients. The bars are of the typical high natural quality that Larabars are known for up to this point. They are rich in flavors, all organic, and like the general LaraBars have no added sugars, nor do they contain any dairy, soy or gluten. The bars also provide one serving of fruit, are 90% raw, non-GMO, kosher and of course vegan friendly. Read here for more details about Jocalat.

The bars come in 6 different deluxe and amazing flavors. They are as follows:

LÄRABAR Jocalat, Chocolate, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 16)

LÄRABAR Jocalat, Chocolate Mint, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 16)

LaraBar Jocalat, Chocolate Orange, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 16)

Larabar Jocalat, Chocolate Coffee, 1.7-Ounce Bars, 16-Count

Larabar Jocalat, Chocolate Cherry, 1.7-Ounce Bars, 16-Count

LÄRABAR Jocalat, Chocolate Hazelnut, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 16)

So far, I have only tried the orange and mint flavors and enjoyed both equally. The cocoa taste is more on the bitter side, naturally as it is pure cocoa bean without added sugar, but it is balanced out well by the dates and other flavors. The mint flavor was especially pleasant, as chocolate-mint usually goes. In many ways they remind me of the chocolate version of the Weil bars. Naturally of course these tastes are a little different than what many are used to and may not be well-liked by everyone, especially those with a strong sweet-tooth.

The bars have a somewhat drier texture than the original Larabar, but it is still enough chewy, tender and a little crunchy thanks to the nuts.

The list of ingredients is great and all of the sources for the ingredients are explained in detail on the LaraBar site, except for the actual sources of the orange, mint or vanilla flavors. One must also not forget that the cocoa bean does have caffeine, but the mint and the orange appear to have the lowest amounts of it in their bars. I would generally advise to avoid the coffee flavor as it is the highest in caffeine.

In conclusion, while I do not feel that we should be relying on any bar, no matter how minimally processed or healthy it is for an everyday snack, these do make a great option to have on the go, on a hike, or enjoy as a so called “treat” from time to time, as they are highly nutritious and as natural as a bar like this can get.

As an aside, I have just recently found out that the LaraBar company was bought last summer and is now owned and run under the General Mills umbrella. I will admit to you that, that makes this product less attractive to me, despite all of its wonderful features. I am not sure how their small company philosophy and customer service was before, but I will tell you now it is lost in the midst of a great processed food giant and I am not sure if and for how long, the old LaraBar quality will be maintained.

Ingredients (Cocoa Orange)

  • Organic Dates
  • Organic Almonds
  • Organic Cocoa Mass
  • Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Organic Orange Flavor

Nutritional Information (per 1 bar – 48g)

  • Calories = 190
  • Fat = 10g
    (Monounsaturated = 5g, Polyunsaturated 2g, Saturated = 2g, Trans = 0)
  • Carbohydrate = 25g (Sugars = 18g)
  • Fiber = 5g
  • Protein = 4g
  • Cholesterol = 0g
  • Sodium = 0g
  • Potassium = 290mg
  • Iron = 10%
  • Calcium = 4%

Ingredients (Cocoa Mint)

  • Organic Dates
  • Organic Almonds
  • Organic Cocoa Mass
  • Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Organic Vanilla Flavor
  • Organic Peppermint Flavor

Nutritional Information

(per 1 bar – 48g)

  • Calories = 190
  • Fat = 9g
    (Monounsaturated = 5g, Polyunsaturated 1.5g, Saturated = 2g, Trans = 0)
  • Carbohydrate = 25g (Sugars = 19g)
  • Fiber = 5g
  • Protein = 4g
  • Cholesterol = 0g
  • Sodium = 0g
  • Potassium = 280mg
  • Iron = 10%
  • Calcium = 4%

Packaging

The bars come individually wrapped in multi-layer wrappers that keep the bars fresh for about 12 months. The bars come in roughly 50g sizes.

Price (as of this posting)

  • $2.00-$3.00 CAD per bar at local health food stores across Canada
  • $33.78 CAD/$25.99US for a 16 pack on Drugstore.com
  • $26.39 – $ 35.92US for a 16 pack ($1.64 – $2.25 US per bar) on Amazon.com
  • $19.95 US for a 3-flavor variety 18 pack ($1.10 US per bar) on Amazon.com

Availability

  • Health Food Stores across Canada, US, Europe and other countries in the world
  • For a store near you, see the LaraBar Store Locator
  • Amazon.com
  • Online stores

The Good

  • Excellent variety of flavors
  • Pleasant Tastes
  • Good texture
  • Raw
  • Organic
  • Minimally processed
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Sugar and Sweetener-free
  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • High Fiber
  • Fair Price

The Bad

  • Taste and texture will not be enjoyed by everyone
  • Source of flavors is not clearly explained
  • No longer a small-family run company
Published Feb 20th 2009
Updated May 25th 2014
Evita Ochel
Author Evita Ochel
Evita is a consciousness expansion teacher. Her diverse passions and expertise include being a writer, speaker, holistic nutritionist, web TV host, and author of the book Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition. Her health oriented teaching focuses on natural, whole, plant-based and organic nutrition for optimal health and longevity. Her spiritually oriented teaching focuses on consciousness expansion and heart-centered living for optimal joy and inner peace. Evita is also the creator of several online publications: Evolving Beings, Evolving Wellness, Evolving Channels and Evolving Scenes, as well as Healthytarian—a lifestyle for the well-being of the mind, body and spirit.

Search