These energy bars actually taste like real food …

These energy bars actually taste like real food …

Kate’s Real Food sent me an assortment of bars. Not shown here – my favorite, the Tiki bar with coconut and mango. Pam LeBlanc photo

Samples of energy bars, sports drinks and gels arrive in my mailbox all the time. Usually, I stash them in a bin in my pantry and dole them out as needed.

They’re fuel, that’s it.

But last weekend, during a speedy trip to the coast, I tossed a few Kate’s Real Food bars into my bag. And when I ripped open the Tiki Bar flavored one and took a bite, I actually looked twice at the wrapper.

The Kate’s Real Food Bar tasted, as its name suggested, like actual food, instead of the dense, chewy globs that got me through last year’s Texas Water Safari. I might even suggest that it tasted a bit like a trip to the tropics, with bits of dried mango (my fave!) and coconut (wait no, that’s my fave!).

The 2.2-ounce bars (one bar equals two servings, according to the label, but I wolfed down the entire bar because apparently I’m a glutton) are made with organic ingredients, brown rice flour and honey. I ate mine plain, but the website shows lovely pictures of them crumbled up (a fancy restaurant would probably call it “deconstructed”) and sprinkled on yogurt or embedded, along with blueberries and strawberry slices, on a cream cheese-slathered piece of toast.

Each serving – again, the bar equals two – is gluten free and has 3 grams of protein and about 150 calories. Double those numbers if you’re a normal human.

Here’s my normal stash of energy foods. I’ll put the Kate’s Real Food bars on top from now on. Pam LeBlanc photo

According to a press release, the namesake Kate was a ski bum in Jackson Hole (hey, that’s where I met my husband!) in the 1990s. She couldn’t find an energy bar that tasted great and also fueled her adventures, so she made her own.

Voila, Kate’s Real Food. The hand-rolled bars are made from organic and sustainable ingredients.

Besides the Tiki Bar, the menu includes the Handle Bar with dark chocolate, cherries and almonds; the Stash Bar with peanut butter, hemp and flax; the Bivy Bar with lemon and coconut; the Grizzly Bar with peanut butter and dark chocolate; and the Tram Bar, with peanut butter and milk chocolate.

They sell for $2.49 each at


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