Monday, September 21, 2015

JIF Creamy Peanut Butter Bar

JIF Creamy Peanut Butter Bar (5 for $3.79, Kroger)
1.4 oz / 40 g
Ingredients: rolled oats, sugar, corn syrup, palm and palm kernel oils, why protein isolate, partially defatted peanut flour, isolated soy protein, peanut butter, glycerin, milled corn, corn syrup solids, natural flavor, honey, fructose, calcium carbonate, salt, fruit juice concentrate, water, soy lecithin, reduced mineral whey powder, canola oil, skim milk, molasses, salted butter, sodium citrate, fruit and vegetable extract for color, cocoa processed with alkali, tocopherols. 

Calories: 190
Cals from fat: 70
Total Fat: 8g (12%)
Sat Fat: 4g (20%)
Sodium: 150mg (6%)
Total Carb: 21g (7%)
Fiber: 1g (4%)
Sugar: 10g
Protein: 7g

I eat JIF peanut butter so I naturally picked up a couple of boxes of these - this is what they are counting on, really since the actual bar is not really going to sell itself. It is a standard chewy granola bar with a sort of peanut butter icing covering both the bottom and the top. The texture is fine although the coatings are a little much - sickly sweet and chock full of chemical flavor. I count at least 7 different sweeteners in the ingredient list and at least 5 other things I wouldn't be able to identify in nature. Calcium carbonate is an antacid so I guess maybe they are predicting this will give me heartburn? 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kind Popped Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

Kind Popped Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (5 for $4.29, Fresh Market)
1.2 oz / 35 g
Ingredients: oats, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, quinoa, oat flour, tapioca syrup, dried cane syrup, honey, canola oil, chocolate liquor, sugar, brown rice syrup, gum acacia, sea salt, natural flavor, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, vitamin e. 

Calories: 140
Cals from fat: 40
Total Fat: 4.5g (7%)
Sat Fat: 1g (5%)
Sodium: 95mg (4%)
Total Carb: 24g (8%)
Fiber: 2g (8%)
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 3g

A thin, squarish, chewy granola bar supposedly set apart by the popped sorghum it includes. The ingredient list reads like a whole grain dream, or a feed trough. It tastes sort of how you'd expect - the various grains lend a sweetness and a variety of textures that are very interesting but ultimately sort of just "grainy." The chocolate chunks are a welcome addition. Overall this bar is ok, at least a little novel for its choice of feed grains. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Special K Salted Pretzel Chocolate

Special K Salted Pretzel Chocolate (6 for $2.50, Publix)
0.88 oz / 25 g
Ingredients: rolled oats, corn syrup, pretzel pieces, rice flour, sugar, fructose, palm kernel and palm oil, chocolate, dextrose, glycerin, sorbitol, cocoa powder, cocoa, natural and artificial flavor, salt, molasses, soy lecithin, sea salt, malt extract, whey, mixed tocopherols, BHT, nonfat milk, wheat starch. 

Calories: 100
Cals from fat: 20
Total Fat: 2g (3%)
Sat Fat: 1g (5%)
Sodium: 65mg (3%)
Total Carb: 19g (6%)
Fiber: 1g (4%)
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 2g

You know, this is really low fat. It is also pretty dry. I think this is a Special K "thing" - that they are low fat and dry. This is a very standard granola bar - just oats and chocolate chips and stuff, no icing or weirdness. The chocolate chips are better than most. There is sort of surprisingly little chemical taste here, the bar is pretty tasty. Just dry. Also, because they are only 100 calories each I usually end up eating two of them. Well played, Special K. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nature Valley Nut Crisp Almond Dark Chocolate

Nature Valley Nut Crisp Almond Dark Chocolate (6 for $3.99, Kroger)
0.89 oz / 25 g
Ingredients: almond pieces, sugar, roasted peanuts, rice flour, vegetable oils, roasted sunflower seeds, flax seed, cocoa, salt, rice maltodexterin, barley malt extract, soy lecithin, milk, natural flavor, oil of rosemary. 

Calories: 130
Cals from fat: 80
Total Fat: 9g (14%)
Sat Fat: 2g (9%)
Sodium: 160mg (6%)
Total Carb: 11g (4%)
Fiber: 2g (7%)
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 3g

Even Nature Valley isn't immune from the marketplace - they are now selling bars in transparent wrappers and with a window in the box, just like Kind! But they haven't stooped as far as Clif - the box is still green and wide like a normal nature valley box. 

This is a crunchy bar with chocolate on the bottom. It lives up to its name - it is extremely nutty and doesn't really taste like the normal nature valley crunchy bars. The bar is extremely small (presumably to make up for its caloric content). This is problematic - it is a reasonable number of calories but it is really not satisfying on its own, I ate two instead. I feel like it might not have killed them to throw a handful of rice krispies in the mix to add some mass. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Quaker Real Medleys Apple Nut Harvest

Quaker Real Medleys Apple Nut Harvest (5 for $4.49, Kroger)
1.34 oz / 38 g
Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, whole grain rolled wheat, whole grain rolled rye, molasses, soybean oil, natural flavor, apples, ascorbic acid, citric acid, cashews, tapioca syrup, walnuts coated with rosemary extract, cranberries, honey, sunflower oil, water, glycerin, salt, cinnamon, soy lecithin. 

Calories: 160
Cals from fat: 50
Total Fat: 6g (10%)
Sat Fat: 1g (4%)
Sodium: 80mg (3%)
Total Carb: 25g (8%)
Fiber: 2g (8%)
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 3g

Well it seems even Quaker is trying to get into the "premium" granola bar game occupied by Kind - these are packaged minimally in transparent wrappers and while they haven't stooped as far as Clif they are certainly going for about the same thing. But in the end this is just a slightly nicer quaker bar - a little bigger, with slightly better ingredients (can I hear it for walnuts coated with rosemary extract? oh, yes). It doesn't have the texture of a Kind bar or Clif Mojo; it has the texture of a Quaker bar - the same familiar chewy feel that you're used to from them. This isn't really a bad thing - in fact, I'm happy to have another solid choice at the market and always knew Quaker had room to up their game a little.