Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bar

When I eat, I like volume. It needs to be big. Unfortunately, when you’re in Walmart looking at a box of granola bars you can’t tell what size they are until you open it up. Based on my previous experiences with Kashi granola bars, I figured these Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered bars had to be a pretty good size...

I was pretty disappointed with how small it was as soon as I pulled it out of the box this morning, but I didn’t have time to grab something else because I was running out the door on my way to work. It’s really light, and even shorter (although slightly wider) than the little 90-calorie Special K cereal bars, which never fill me up. I’d estimate the size to be about half of the Crunchy! bars. It kind of made me wonder what they crammed in there to give it only 20 fewer calories.

Well anyway, I got to work and unwrapped it and...WOW. It smelled amazing! Like rich, dark chocolate. There was no nutty smell at all, although the peanuts are right there on top. There aren’t too many, but that’s OK with me because I not a huge fan of nuts in my chocolate (it’s much better by itself). I give them points on appearance because it looks exactly like the picture on the box.

So before I started drooling, I took a bite and--WOW, it’s hard to chew! I was overwhelmed by the granola part, which definitely keeps you busy for a while. It got stuck in my teeth forever and my tongue got sore from trying to get it all out. The dark chocolate was pretty underwhelming, which was a disappointment after the smell. I mean, I could taste it, but I could taste the granola more. It sort of works better if you flip it upside down before you put it in your mouth, that way you’re mostly tasting the chocolate.

About that granola. I got suspicious of (and annoyed with) it, so I peeled off the layer of chocolate (I also picked the peanuts off...) and tried the granola plain. Sure enough, it had NO taste! It was something I wouldn’t even consider eating all by itself. The upside was that I got to eat the chocolate all by itself next, and it was delicious! Very, very fudgy and decadent.

Just for the sake of comparison, here’s how the website describes this bar:

"Who doesn’t love savory peanuts and rich chocolate together in one? Our Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Bars are made with chewy granola, roasted peanuts and peanut butter, then layered with real fruit spread mixed with dark chocolate. A sprinkle of roasted peanuts and bits of chocolate tops them off. Each bar has 7 grams of fiber* and 4 grams of protein. (*4.5 total fat per serving)"
The only thing I agree with here (well, apart from the nutrition information) is the “sprinkle of roasted peanuts and bits of chocolate” part. I definitely did not taste peanut butter and I’ll be darned if there was fruit in that dark chocolate. I also don’t know if I could call the granola “chewy”; it actually kind of reminded me of cardboard, but that may have been the taste.

So obviously I’m not the biggest fan, but this bar isn’t a total loss. As always, it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives and it does have some redeeming nutritional stats like the 4g each of fiber and protein. I could definitely see where it would be useful for getting your chocolate fix without the sugar and other junk in a candy bar.

There are two other flavors: Dark Chocolate Coconut and Pumpkin Pecan. Unfortunately neither appeals to me in the first place, and after eating this one I don’t think I’ll try them.

Taste: 4--Mostly bland, with a hint of dark chocolate that isn’t proportionate to the thickness of the topping. The topping alone, however, is heaven :)
Texture: 3(granola)/10(chocolate)--The granola is just exhausting to chew, but the chocolate has a very rich, fudgy consistency.
Health: 7--Contains fiber and a bit of protein, good for a chocolate fix without lots of sugar.
Eat Again? Only because there’s still a whole box left in my basement. After that, I’ll stick with the goLean Crunchy! bars and Life Choice.

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