Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Luna Bar Caramel Nut Brownie

So I walked into Wegmans on Sunday with a coupon for $1.00 off four Balance Bars and came out with four bars, none of which were Balance Bars. Go figure.

Anyway, one of them was the Luna Caramel Nut Brownie bar. I’ll admit I’ve never understood all the hype about Luna bars, but if you’re a woman looking for a protein/nutrition bar, you can bet someone will recommend them. They’re Clif’s nutrition bar “for women.” According to the website, it’s “more suited for us,” being “smaller and with fewer calories.”

To be honest this all comes across to me as rather sexist. As if we can’t handle a regular Clif bar! (This girl can!) And I don’t know about you, but when I want a nutrition bar I want a BIG one! The result of all their marketing pitches is that I’ve been in the minority shunning the Luna bars.

Well, anyway, I like caramel and I like brownies so I decided to put aside my biases and see if they’re really as good as everyone says they are. The website describes this flavor as “Rich chocolate brownie goodness drizzled with creamy caramel.”

Well, it was promising from the start:

So pretty! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a frosting done better, and to top it off the bottom is coated in chocolate. It actually looks like Kashi’s Chocolate Almond goLean Crunchy! bar, except with the delicious-looking caramel frosting on top....

And the smell! It’s almost mocha-ish, a very deep chocolate aroma. OK, I’m drooling, better get on with it before I short out the keyboard....

Everything that this bar promises in sight, smell, and description, it delivers in taste. It was WAY chocolatey! That was the dominant flavor, which wasn’t a bad thing at all! The chocolate is just as deep as the smell suggested, surprisingly rich for something with a rice crispie base. The caramel was subtle, like it only came from the frosting, but it was definitely present in every bite. The nuts were kind of scarce; I didn’t hit any until I was about halfway through the bar. When you do hit a walnut, the flavor comes through all that chocolate easily. But I like it just fine without. :)

On top of that, the texture was a pleasant surprise. I was ready for a big crunch like the Kashi bars, but this was way softer--softer even than a Rice Crispies Treat! But it was crispy too, because of the base...it’s really hard to describe, but it’s like a brownie in every aspect except that it’s crispy.

OK, now I see why Luna bars are so popular. This could seriously be a dessert. I felt like I should be guilty eating it for breakfast, but it has so many nutrients that I didn’t even care. Forget about letting your kids have Pop Tarts before school, shove a Luna bar in their hands!

This is going back on my shopping list for the future. It’s just a shame their advertising backfired and it took me this long to try one!

Taste: 10--WOW chocolate OOH caramel...is this breakfast or dessert? (Oh yeah there is a little bit of nut.)
Texture: 10--crispy, but at the same time soft and brownie-ish...if you can imagine a crispy brownie?
Health: 9--there’s no disputing the label “nutrition” bar. It has 8g of protein along with fiber and other nutrients that are apparently essential for women, plus it’s 70% organic. GoodGuide agrees, giving it a health score of 8.9.
Eat Again? An easy yes!

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