editors taste test the latest in healthy eats

Refuel with an energy bar that tastes just right—and packs in all the nutrients you need post-workout. You can build your custom bar with the fruit, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners that suit your taste. Cherries, apricots, almonds, and pumpkin spice filled me up with my favorite flavors after my morning run—plus, I could eat the bar dashing out the door en route to the office.

The product: Element Bars ($35.88 for 12 custom bars; available online at

The taste factor: Its up to you! Start with one of four bases: sweet and salty oats and nuts, crispy soynuts and rice, honey toasted oats, or blended dates. Add in your favorite fruits (pick from apricots, cherries, blueberries, and bananas, among others) along with your preferred nuts and seeds (including almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and more). Finish with natural sweeteners like honey, agave syrup, chocolate, or maple syrup. And if you still need to bulk up your bar, protein, omega-3, fiber, and vitamin boosts are available.

A variety of sweeteners, bases, fruits, and nuts lets you create a bar just as sweet or salty as you like. And unique mix-ins like bananas, cinnamon, dates, pumpkin seeds, and maple syrup keep the flavor combos endless.

The health factor: These bars get baked with natural ingredients such as non-processed oats, fiber-rich fruits, and heart-healthy nuts—and without artificial sweeteners. So, all the calories in these bars fill you up with the healthy nutrients you need.

Plus, customizing your bar lets you pack in the ideal amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats depending on how the bar fits into your eating plan.

Editors' pick: I loaded the chewy (sweet and salty) base with cherries, apricots, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice, and brown rice syrup. The cherries added a pop of tartness to my sweet and salty bar. Have fun—concoct a bar you love!

Why we love it: Lots of choices! Mix up a nutritious new recipe every order for a quick breakfast or snack thats easy to grab and eat on the go. At nearly $3 each, these energy bars make a bigger dent in your wallet than others like Luna Bars or Power Bars (available for less than $2 each)—but they are worth the splurge if you crave a tasty energy bar made just for you.