Square One

A nutrition bar that leaves out all the right things

It's not always what's in a snack that counts; sometimes it's what isn't.

Behold Squarebar, a new Bay Area-based line of nutrition bars ($36 for 12) with a healthy laundry list of exceptions. Formulated without gluten, dairy, soy or high-fructose corn syrup, the bars are organic, vegan and, perhaps most important, more satisfying than the average grab-and-go snack.

Each of Squarebar's three flavors–cocoa coconut, cocoa almond and cocoa crunch–is sweetened with coconut nectar; the bars' coating of high-quality chocolate doesn't taste waxy or artificial. Our favorite is the cocoa crunch, which has a slightly toothsome, hearty texture that comes from organic brown-rice crisps.

Unlike many other vegan snack options, the bars provide 12 grams of complete protein, thanks to the addition of brown-rice concentrate. And Squarebars launched with a Non-GMO Project verification, which means that the company's snacks contain no genetically modified materials.

Consider it another reason to go the square route.