Do nut free energy bars exist?

Update (11/18/2016): Go check out my updated and much improved nut free energy bar article, Nut Free Energy Bars. They exist!


For a long time now, I’ve been kind of flailing at this whole balanced nutrition thing and being really physically active has only made me flail even more. Therefore, I figured it was time to take a look at energy bars… again. For most people out there, energy bars are a no brainer. Grab one that sounds appetizing and with the desired amount of nutrients and go. But for cool kids with nut allergies like me, it’s a totally different story. We get to stare at the deliciously named snacks and sulk. It’s a sad existence devoid of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, PB&J sandwiches, and trail mix.

As most people are probably aware, stuff like peanuts, almonds, and walnuts are absolutely chock full of protein, so energy bar manufacturers tend to gravitate towards those types of ingredients instead of things like soy protein, whey protein, and other types of nut-free proteins. Why? Well, I’m thinking it has a lot to do with price, taste, and appearance. If you aren’t cramming a bar full of peanuts, what else can you put in it?

But anyways, back to us nut allergy peeps. I decided recently that there MUST be some nut free energy bars out there, so I started looking and looking at the places I normally shop. Pretty quickly I found a bunch and decided it was review time. So… enjoy.


NOTE: All of these energy bars came with the “May contain traces of nuts” warning, so if you’re seriously overwhelmingly and epically allergic to nuts (we’re talking like anaphylactic shock), this list won’t work for you.

Clif Bar – Chocolate Chip: $1.00 at Stop & Shop

Don’t be intimidated by the odd and sometimes unappetizing shapes of Clif Bars. I swear they’re actually pretty good!

Very reminiscent of a chocolate flavored rice krispie treat, and that’s pretty awesome. It has a pretty pleasant flavor throughout especially with the chocolate chips and sweet chewiness. Surprisingly satisfying and makes for a good afternoon snack. Also important to note, this is now Rob’s favorite which works out well since Chocolate Brownie is my favorite. Muah-haha!

Nutritional information can be found here (select the flavor).

Clif Bar – Chocolate Brownie: $1.00 at Stop & Shop

This energy bar is by far my favorite, and I’m always slightly sad when I realize I’ve come to my last bite. It tastes just like a brownie, but denser and more satisfying bite after bite. It has a really consistent dark chocolate taste throughout, but it isn’t overpowering at all which makes it really ideal for a snack anytime of the day.

I’ll admit I’ve been eating these for breakfast for the past week, and they pretty much rock at keeping my mind off snacking for a few hours. Oh, and totally helps with that whole sweet tooth issue!

Nutritional information can be found here (select the flavor).

Balance – Cookie Dough: $1.25 at Market Basket

Ugh! Thanks to being a rock climber, I actually do know what chalk tastes like and I’m fairly sure chewing on my chalk ball would taste better.

The Balance Cookie Dough looks pretty appetizing when you first open up the wrapper since all you see is what appears to be chocolate. Even a bite in, it still looks good with cookie dough as far as you can see. But it’s all a sad imposter. It doesn’t taste like chocolate or cookie dough. Fail.

I also have no idea if this would satisfy hunger cravings or not. I didn’t make it that far, but feel free to check out the nutritional information here.

LUNA – S’mores: $1.25 at Market Basket

Good texture, but the flavor just really wasn’t close to a s’more at all. It tasted like a marshmallow and graham cracker free campfire treat, and that just defeats the purpose of calling it a s’more, right? I ate it, but it was about as filling as a granola bar.

Check out the nutritional information here.

Zone Perfect – Chocolate Mint: $1.49 at Hannafords

Holy flipping mint. I have some bad news and good news on this one. The bad news, it tastes like an energy bar. The chocolate (again) really doesn’t taste like chocolate and everything else has that chalky thing going on. Way too dry for my liking and about as filling as eating a rice krispie treat sans marshmallow.

The good news? You’ll have the mintiest breath ever after eating this bar.

Check out the nutritional information here.

Clif Bar – Cool Mint Chocolate: $1.00 at Stop & Shop

Even though Chocolate Brownie is still holding its place as my favorite, Cool Mint Chocolate almost edged it out. It’s that good! You’re going to very quickly forget exactly what you’re eating as it tastes like a perfect blend between Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and a very perfectly satisfying brownie. Also completely kicks hunger’s behind.

Nutritional information can be found here (select the flavor).

Do you know of any other nut-free energy bars I should try? 
What other allergies out there make energy bars difficult?

29 thoughts on “Do nut free energy bars exist?

    1. yes there is a gluten free and nut/peanut free protein bar, check out promix double fudge brownie and cookies and cream, yum yum and 20 grams of protein. My boys have crazy nut allergies and these bars help them with all the sports they do and safe.

  1. Nice list, Jillian! I’m allergic to nuts, but thankfully not peanuts (or any legumes). I’ve taken to making my own trail mix with peanuts, dried bananas, raisins, dates, white chocolate, and sunflower seeds. Take out the peanuts and maybe add in some pretzels, you’ll be good to go!

    1. Good suggestion, Bill! I’ve been trying to find someway of replacing the lack of nuts with some type of protein, so that’s been a challenge. This whole energy bar search is teaching me quite a bit, so I’m sure I’ll stumble across a great substitute soon!

      1. For those peanut and nut allergy peeps…i found a bar double chocolate brownie in the protein section by natures bakery that is NUT free. My 10 year actually likes them but i need to acquire a taste for them…

  2. Beware the Clif bar. While there are no nuts in the ingredients, they all contain a warning that they may contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts. This can be deadly for some with severe nut allergies!

    1. Totally agree! I’m lucky to have an allergy that isn’t really severe, so I can take chances with potential traces. And that’s why I put the warning up right up towards the top of the article. I’d hate to see someone get sick!

      1. Thanks for adding that. The last place you wan to risk a reaction is on a hike miles from anywhere… It’s so frustrating that it’s now easy to find almost-everything-free bars except nut and peanut-free. It leaves us with very few options.

    1. I just ate a Cherry Chocolate Avalanche bar. Absolutely delicious!! I have a tree nut allergy and was looking for something with fiber and protein while on the go. I highly recommend it–even for folks without nut allergies!! I’m looking forward to tasting the other flavors.

    1. Avalanche Bars have no tree nuts or peanuts, and 5 of the 6 flavors have no chocolate. They are made in a guaranteed nut free facility. They all taste great and are really filling!

  3. Promax- gluten free, kosher,great source of energy, 20 grams of protein, tasty bars, my boys have severe allergies to all nuts and legumes. These bars are exciting to them , me and very SAFE.

  4. Clif bars needs to ship you a few free boxes. I’m out to pick up those flavors for my step scouts! Thank you so much!

  5. Ps those allergic to gluten, oats ect may want to.look into RAW bars and products at most granola grocery stores, also hemp and chia products and sprouted live foods, if that fails theres a brand of jerky called KRAVE to die for and I’m a vegetarian lol

  6. I am not allergic to nuts. I just can’t stand them. So, I was having the same problem of finding a protein bar that I would eat. I finally found the OhYeah! Nutrition One Bar. It is a whey protein based bar. It is also gluten free. So far, I have tried 2 of the flavors (White Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Brownie. They are delicious! They have a lot of other flavors that have great reviews. I bought mine at Publix for 2/$4. Here is the link to the company’s website: Enjoy!


    CLIF BAR MINT CHOCALATE May Contain Peanut and other tree nuts.

    CLIF BAR Chocalate chip May contain Peanuts and other tree nuts.

    IF you are going to do a review a quick perusal of the website and ingredients may keep someone from DYING.

    I.E. ME. As such and straight from CLIF. Apricot, Chocolate Brownie, and Hot Chocolate(seasonal) are the 3 that are sterile from nuts and nut machinery.

    Appreciate the effort, but more in depth research needed to be done before this was published along with links to the ingredients on the makers website, BUT also posted here in the article.

    1. Hi TR. So almost all the energy bars I reviewed had that warning on them with the exception of the Avalanche Bars. The ones I reviewed simply had no nuts in the ingredients, so if you have an allergy that isn’t very severe or sensitive – you may be able to get away with them. This is also why the original article and this new article both include warnings letting readers know exactly what you said above. Just to re-iterate what is says, here it is copy and paste from the article: Many of these energy bars came with the “May contain traces of nuts” warning, so if you’re seriously overwhelmingly and epically allergic to nuts (we’re talking like anaphylactic shock), please carefully read the ingredients and warnings listed on the brand’s website before ingesting. I can assure you I did VERY in depth research before publishing this article, took pictures of each of the bars and the ingredient list, double checked the websites, and ate them myself as a person with nut allergies. This was far from a quick perusal.

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About Jillian Bejtlich

Hey! I'm Jillian Bejtlich. I’m a lifelong New Englander with a serious love of the outdoors, adventure, and a pretty serious inability to sit still. I’m plagued by the travel bug, and it seems I’ll try any relatively sane and safe thing once. My big goal in life: Get people outside!