Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Kashi GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Caramel

I love caramel. And chocolate. So something like this, which can pass for breakfast at work, seems to have been made just for me. Plus it’s all-natural, like the rest of Kashi’s products, so I don’t have to feel too guilty about eating chocolate so early in the morning.

According to the website, the line of GoLean Crunchy! bars uses “a combination of protein and fiber to help you stay satisfied.” They also “contain a specific blend of nutrients, including calcium, folic acid, iron and vitamin E.” Sounds good!

Don't worry, no crumbs on the keyboard!

“The delightful crunch of caramel corn meets the indulgent smoothness of chocolate.”
You can see the pieces of popcorn mixed in there among the usual granola-ish mix. It has a decent coating of chocolate on the bottom, although this particular bar wasn’t very even--see that little bare spot? Usually there’s a better distribution of chocolate. But other than that, I’d say it looks pretty appealing...this definitely passes the visual test!

When you open the packaging, you kind of have to peel the bar off the wrapper. They are a little sticky, I’m not sure if it’s the caramel or whatever is holding the bar together. It’s definitely not messy, though, so a very acceptable snack for at work or on the go.

There’s a faint caramel smell, but I can definitely smell the chocolate. Oh, thinking about caramel makes my mouth water! And the taste doesn’t disappoint. The chocolate is pretty dominant at first, with the caramel as a nice complement, but the aftertaste is most definitely, entirely caramel. Just like the description says, very crunchy! I could maybe see where if you were trying to eat it fast your jaws would get tired from chewing, but I like to savor my food so this works for me :)

The only complaint I have is the popcorn pieces. They don’t match the texture of the rest of the bar, and they’re a lot harder to chew. They don’t break, they just kind of get squashed and they get stuck in your teeth. No crunch here--it’s sort of like biting down on an extra-hard sponge. Luckily, because they’re so big you can easily spot them before you take a bite. (Sometimes there’s a rogue one hiding under the surface, though.) I usually spend some time dissecting the bar and picking the popcorn pieces out so I can eat them first and get them out of the way, like so:


Overall, this is still one of my favorites. Definitely one I always have around and a go-to for breakfast (or after-dinner snack). Plus with 8g of protein and 6g of fiber, you know you’re getting good fuel for your body (although I wouldn’t label this a “protein bar,” as the packaging suggests). Good job on this one!

The GoLean Crunchy! Bar is available in four other flavors: Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Pretzel, and Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

Taste: 10--chocolatey and caramel-y, doesn’t disappoint!
Texture: 8--minus a few for the popcorn.
Health: 7--It’s got fiber, protein, and other nutrients; the sugar and fat content may make some people leery. The GoodGuide review gives this a 6 for health because of the high sugar.
Eat Again? Absolutely!
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