A Healthy Snack That Tastes Like a Candy Bar? Good Greens Wellness Bars Reviewed

STACK reviews Good Greens wellness bars to see if they're as tasty and nutritious as advertised.

When you first bite into a Good Greens wellness bar, your initial instinct might be to look again at the nutrition facts—because you'll have a hard time believing that something that tastes this good has so many nutritional benefits. According to their website, Good Greens bars are the answer "in a world where there never seems to be enough time to eat healthy."

The bars aim to be a nutritious snack everyone can enjoy without guilt. We tried out a wide variety of Good Greens wellness bars to see if they're the real deal or if they're just another case of health food hyperbole.

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The front of a Good Greens bar wrapper reads like a health nut's dream. Vegan. Gluten free. 10 grams of protein. 5 grams of fiber. Probiotics. Antioxidants. Omega 3. All Natural. No trans fats, dairy, refined sugars, additives or preservatives. And 100 percent of your daily fruits and veggies. Wait, what? How can a 1.76-ounce bar provide 100 percent of your daily fruits and vegetables? Either something's up, or they found some really tiny bananas.

As it turns out, one of the big keys to Good Greens' wondrous nutrition is their "Z-52 Powder."  According to the website, creating the Z-52 powder was the company's first step. Once they did that, they needed to find a convenient and tasty way to get people to try it. (The powder can be bought on its own, however.) And thus, Good Greens wellness bars were born.

The powder provides "essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more." I had never heard of many of its 52 different ingredients, things like Nova Scotia dulse, acerola berry and milk thistle extract. But the Good Greens website provides an explanation of every ingredient.

Thanks to that, I now know that Nova Scotia dulse is a red seaweed high in iodine and protein, acerola berry improves circulation and is high in vitamin C, and milk thistle extract improves liver function. The impressive nutritional properties of many ingredients in the powder are what allows Good Greens to claim their bars contain "100% of Your Daily Fruits and Vegetables." When you look at the nutritional facts of a Good Greens bar, there's a lot to like.

Each bar is packed with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Each bar is a good source of muscle-building protein (every variety contains at least 10 grams). Each bar is under 200 calories, free of cholesterol and low in sodium.

A lot of good things are going on here, but Good Greens bars aren't perfect.

They're all fairly high in sugar (most varieties have 14 grams), which isn't ideal, but most energy or protein bars contain a significant amount of sugar. They also contain a fair amount of fat and saturated fat (which is another common issue with similar bars). If you're not highly concerned about your sugar or fat intake, Good Greens bars seem to look the part of a nutritious and benefit-packed option. But with all of those super healthy ingredients in there (I'm thinking of you, barley grass), they've got to taste terrible, right?

Good Greens bars are currently available in 11 different flavor varieties, ranging from Chocolate Peanut Butter to Pomegranate Acai. Of the 11 varieties, five are dipped in dairy-free dark chocolate and five are dipped in soy greek yogurt. I sampled each variety.

The bars have a phenomenal texture thanks to their Greek yogurt or dark chocolate coatings, which lends them a firm, grease-free exterior. That initial firmness gives way to a tender and chewy inside which features an occasional crunch (likely thanks to the inclusion of real ingredients and soy protein crisps). The complement of the chewy, fruity interior with the dark chocolate or Greek yogurt exterior works really well.

Each bar lives up to its flavor name, which means your favorites (and least favorites) will largely depend on what flavors you traditionally enjoy. I really liked the Chocolate Coconut and Pumpkin Spice varieties, but again every flavor was enjoyable.

The bars are sweet, almost to the point of feeling like a guilty pleasure. I genuinely believe you could pass off many of the varieties as candy bars.

You can actually taste the evolution of Good Greens when you bite into their Wildberry bar. After developing the Z-52 powder, it was the first flavor the company sold. It's not covered in Greek yogurt or dark chocolate, it has a greasier texture than the later varieties and it lacks that initial firmness. It's still pretty tasty, but very similar to a lot of other bars on the market. The addition of the Greek yogurt and/or the dark chocolate is what I think takes the taste of Good Greens bars from good to great.

Good Greens wellness bars seem to live up to their promise of being a healthy and delicious snack. The amount of vitamins and minerals they pack through their Z-52 powder is astounding, and the protein content is a plus for any athlete. Good Greens shouldn't be thought of as a replacement for real fruits and vegetables, but they do offer a nice complement to them.

If your diet isn't already overloaded with sugar, or if you try Good Greens bars as a replacement for a high-sugar snack (candy, cookies, etc.), the nutritional benefits you'll receive are immense. If you're someone who's looking to make a positive change in your diet but aren't quite ready to start munching on kale, or just a health conscious person with a sweet tooth, give Good Greens bars a try.

Good Green wellness bars are available at goodgreens.com and you can check here to see if they're in a supermarket near you.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | VITAMINS | HEALTH | CHOCOLATE | FRUITS AND VEGETABLES | VEGETABLES | GREEK YOGURT | YOGURT | WELLNESS | DARK CHOCOLATE