Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Picky Bars

If you are not in the know, Picky Bars hail from our backyard – Bend. They were the brainchild of some bad ass athletes – Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas, along with their friend Steph Bruce – who wanted to create something that was easy to eat at all points preceding and following a workout, and even during. You can read their Founder’s Story, but basically the three of them desired to created a bar that combined real food ingredients with performance qualities, was easily digestible, and, because Steph has Celiac Disease, something gluten-free. Thus, Picky Bars was born.

Picky Bars don’t feel like your typical bar. They are soft to the touch – even through the wrapper – not a hard, dense concoction. There are clearly different ingredients in each of the 9 types of bars, but the primary features are dates and some sort of seed or nut butter which are designed to provide athletes with fast-acting carbs, long-lasting fats, and a bit of protein, to keep you satisfied and fueled at the same time. And at under 200 calories, they are a solid caloric option as well. We were sent three options to check out – All-In Almond, Lauren’s Mega Nuts, and Smooth Caffeinator.

Lauren’s Mega Nuts was the very first flavor that was made in Lauren’s home in Eugene. It’s like a mild take on a PB&J sandwich, and harkening back to comfort food while out on a run is never a bad thing. The taste is not overpowering (it’s not like you just swallowed a glob of creamy peanut butter), but a little light flavoring – combined with cinnamon and chocolate chips – makes this probably my favorite of the trio. Smooth Caffeinator provides a little bit of a kick, combined with hazelnut flavoring to keep the taste more neutral (maybe it tastes like a snack of coffee and Nutella). I found the All-In Almond to be a nice middle ground of sweetness and saltiness which – with a concoction of dates, almond butter, cranberries, apricots, and chocolate chips – that’s quite the feat. It’s almost like a trail mix of sorts in bar form.

Having never really delved into Picky Bars before, I can tell you I will ABSOLUTELY checking out the rest in their catalog – they just sound delicious. And if they are anything like these three, I know I will be loving them.

Picky Bars also has other options like their brand new granola, and oatmeal, as well as awesome bundle options.

You should be able to find these with relative ease using their Store Locator.

Items: Picky Bars


  • $2.75/bar
  • $27.50/carton of 10
  • Picky Club = $1.92/bar

Follow Picky Bars on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you to Picky Bars for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Matt Rasmussen (1554 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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