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Calorie Count Blog

Food Review: Chewy Granola Bars


By tanyapt on Jul 06, 2010 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

By Tanya Taylor, PhD

I have been traveling almost every week for the last month, including twice to California and back from NY (a 5 hour flight) in 2 days. Tell me some snacks aren't necessary with that schedule! I figured I would use the opportunity to review some nutrition bars, so I picked up a (box) of Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar and Quaker True Delights Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond Chewy Granola Bar.


Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar


Kashi says this all natural bar is a combination of their unique blend of Seven Whole Grains and Sesame together with whole, roasted nuts, succulent, sun-dried fruit, and a touch of wildflower honey.

(1) Describe the taste

I liked that this bar was sweet but not too sweet. The ingredients were really able to shine through, from the big chunks of almonds to the slightly tart cranberries, which provided a nice change in texture from the rolled grain & oats base.

(2) Describe the texture

This bar was indeed chewy as described, and sticky, with extra crunch when I bit into the almonds.

(3) What did you like about it?

I liked the fact that the sweetness wasn't the only thing that this bar had going for it. And I loved the appearance of the bar – the fact that I could see some of the components so I knew there really are sunflower seeds & cranberries in this. Also the fact that this bar has protein (6 grams) and fiber (4 grams – 14% of the daily value) is a plus.

(4) What did you not like about it?

The size of the bar is a bit small, so for me, it wouldn't be a filling snack by itself.

(5) Did it satisfy your hunger or did you want something else as well?

As I mentioned, by itself, this bar wouldn't satisfy me, but I could see myself reaching for this when I feel for something sweet, and pairing it with some hot tea as a nighttime snack; or an apple; or crumbling this over some plain non-fat yogurt – even more of a protein boost.

(6) How does this food compare to similar and competing products?

The nutrition statistics are typical for a nutrition bar, with the 35 gram bar providing 140 calories, 5 grams of total fat and 6 grams of sugars. Most granola bars don't have much fiber and protein, so that's definitely a plus to buying this brand over a few others. (See the Nutrition Facts food label for Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar.)


Quaker True Delights Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond Chewy Granola Bar

Quaker says, “With the surprisingly rich flavor combination of dark chocolate chunks, luscious raspberries and whole almonds, you might not be able to stop yourself.”

(1) Describe the taste
This dark chocolate taste is really the star of this show. It's very present both in taste, and in appearance as it's studded in big chunks throughout the bar – which is very sweet (much sweeter than the Kashi bar above), and I thought a little heavy on the cinnamon – which I actually love.

(2) Describe the texture
The bar is true to its name – a chewy granola bar.

(3) What did you like about it?
If you're a chocolate fan, looking to satisfy a craving for something sweet, but without as much fat and sugar as a candy bar would have, then this is your guy.

(4) What did you not like about it?
 This bar was maybe too sweet for me – corn syrup is the 2nd ingredient, followed by semi-sweet chocolate chunks, which has sugar as the first component, crisp rice, where sugar is the 2nd component, almonds, brown sugar, oligofructose, honey (i.e. sugar, sugar & more sugar)… you get the picture.

(5) Did it satisfy your hunger or did you want something else as well?
Like with most other 35 gram granola bars, I tend to pair it with something else to make a more filling snack.

(6) How does this food compare to similar and competing products?
This bar has 1 gram less fiber, 4 grams less protein (only 2 grams), and 2 grams more sugars than the Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar.  (See the Nutrition facts label for Quaker True Delights Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond Chewy Granola Bar.)

Summary
I liked both bars, but I preferred  Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar because it isn't as sweet, and the nutrition facts are a little better.


Your thoughts....

Do you have a favorite nutrition bar?


Tanya Taylor founded Iateapie.net in 2004 while working on a PhD in Food Science and Nutrition at Auburn University (Alabama). Shortly after graduation (in August 2006), she moved to Ann Arbor, MI and started working as a Food Chemist.  She recently  relocated to New York where she continues to run Iateapie.net, along with IntheGym.net, which features workout playlists.

Calorie Count follows About.com's Ethics Policy when it comes to reviewing products.



Comments


I LOVE Kashi brand! Their cereals make sure I actually have breakfast!



mmm I'm gonna pick me up some kashi bars!



I concur on the Kashi bars. They also have a new "Mocha Almond" that is really good, especially if you're a coffee fan.



Fiber Plus Antioxidant bars have 9g of fiber and 120-130 calories.  They taste fantastic, too.



Im sceptical granola, normally has quite a lot of calories, often contain honey to combine the oats together.

but i suppose some brands are healthier than others...



The only bar that's a staple in my house is Kashi's Honey Almond Flax bar.  It's sooo good.  Plus, most other bars that I buy aren't as good as the regular granola I make at home.  I always eat with an apple or something, but it serves me by itself for an hour or so, also.



I love, love, love granola bars! They're a perfect way to rid yourself of any sweetness cravings. It sucks that there are so many unhealthy ones out there that you've got to watch out for. But personally, I love Fibre One Oatmeal and Peanut Butter granola bars, and also the Kashi Peanut Butter ones. What can i say? I'm a sucker for peanut butter.



I love the Earnest Eats baked whole food bar. The Almond Trail Mix flavor is soo soo good. This bar is made with organic whole oats, almond butter, oat bran, raisins, cranberries and pumpkin seeds and other good stuff. This is not a cheap granola bar (about $1.25 a bar) but worth the price. No chocolate to melt when traveling on hot days. I order them by the case of 12 from vitacost.com



I really like Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidant bars. also

So many of the granola bars have soy in them, and I can not tolerate the soy. but i can get by with this bar [if you stay with just one. Smile]



I'm a big fan of the Fiber One Oats & Strawberries with Almonds bars. 140 cal, 9 grams of fiber. Very filling.



I love the Fiber One bars. My favorite flavor is Caramel (140 calories and 9grams of fiber)- but some of the other flavors are good too.



My favorite granola bar is the Fiber One Chocolate and Oats. Yummy!! Satisfies the chocolate craving and has 140 cal and 9 grams of Fiber. Fiber has been huge for me in losing weight, so I am always checking the fiber count.



I swear by the Kashi Bars the new pumpkin one is my favourite!!



I am a big fan of the Fibre1 Oats and Chocolate bars...140 cal, 3.5 g Fat and 5g Fibre.  Satisfies my chocolate craving almost always.



I use fruit, Kashi Bars, FiberOne Bars, and Nature Valley Bars in instead of candy bars when I get a "sweet tooth".



 I tend to lean toward the ones with the most fiber.  I like both the FiberOne and FiberPlus bars.   I pair them with berries(mostly blueberries) for a great afternoon snack.



I recently discovered the Chex Mix Bar.  The only flavor I've tried is turtle, but I was pleasantly surprised by the taste.  Although, how can you go wrong with chocolate and carmel, right?  This 35g bar has only 3.5g of fat, at least a 1.5g less than every other snack bar I've tried.  With 2g of protein and 4g fiber it's similar to other snack bars.  Other stats  you need before buying a case at Costco and then getting home to find it doesn't meet your specs: 130 calories per bar, total carbs 26g, sugars 11g.



my snack drawer @ work is filled w/ a variety of kashi bars: chewy, cereal, & crunchy. the crunchy is actually 2 thin bars & i like to eat 1 around 10am & the other around 3pm. i think this keeps me from feeling famished before lunch & dinner which helps me avoid overeating. my favorite flavors are the honey toasted 7 grain, cherry dark chocolate, & blackberry graham. delicious & nutritious. lol!



I also like the Fiber One Oats and Chocolate Bar. It is a little low in protein but has 9 grams of fiber (140 calories. It is a very filling snack but can cause gas. I find the taste to be very good. The other bars I like are Cliff MoJo Bars. I like the Mountain Mix and the Peanut Butter Pretzel ones the best. They are a sweet/salty snack. And with 9 grams of protein (180 Calories) they are a very good snack. I work as a nurse and find these bars to be a nutritious, tasty and quick snack at work. They are also great when I am craving something sweet (cookies) in the afternoon or evening.



i totally agree about the fiber plus bars.  they are very tasty, and they satisfy both my snack time hunger and my sweet tooth.



FiberPlus Antioxidants Dar Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Chip are my favorites!  So filling at only 130/120 calories and they taste great! 



LOVE LOVE LOVE all types of Kashi chewy bars. My favorite right now is the Peanut Butter but I think I might try the pumpkin one next. I have one a day with yogurt and a green tea. YUMMY!!!! And I always keep these in my car or in my purse so that if I am hungry I have a bar instead of getting fast food. Does the trick every time.



Not that it matters, necessarily,  but Kashi is owned by Kelloggs .



I am a fan of Kudos with Snickers! Might not be the best in nutrition but it sure beats eating the orginal Snickers.



I like granola bars too but my mom said I can only eat it seldom or i will become fat...Frown



Cliff Bar's Mojo bars are where its at!  I usually try for a 1:2 protein to carb ratio so these fit the bill.  Bar w/ an apple = tasty snack or meal :o)



gotta say, no fan of granola bars, i think they are just full of sugar and and apple with half a handful of almonds would do your nutritional side a lot better than a cereal bar coated in honey, yoghurt or chocolate..



I don't use granola bars but I do use Kashi Cinnamon harvest cereal. But my complaint with kashi is not in the goodness of their foods but in their overuse of sodium chloride, when potassium chloride would be just as useful, for whatever their purpose is and doesn't raise blood pressure and cause swelling. There are 95 mg. of salt in this bar. Doesn't seem like much but add up all the other salt in naturally growing food and I'd prefer not adding that 95!



Yes I used to eat the Kashi cherry/chocolate, loved it... but quit when found out Kashi owned by Kellogg.

My new "energy bar" is Larabar, there are lots of types, my favourites apple, cashew, and pecan  - same protein (6 g) and fibre (4 g) as Kashi - high in sugar (18 g) and fat (13 g), calories 210-230 - but no sodium which is a big consideration for me.



Nutri Grain Apple Cinnamon bar at 37g delivers 130 calories: 3g TotFat, 0Chol, 105 mg sodium, 24g carb, 2g fiber, 12g sugars, & 2g protein - it is pretty good & satisfies for an occasional sweet treat w/milk.  Some of the crunchier bars are too crunchy for me.  This bar is more cakey.



I agree, I love the Fiber One oats and chocolate.  They are so tasty and satisfy my sweet tooth.



I got some bars (Bora Bora) at Costco that are organic, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and gluten free. The Tiki Blueberry Flax is really tasty with 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 180 calories.



I love the Cliff Mojo bars as well, I always keep a box around, especially for a pre-workout snack. I like the mountain mix. When I need a chocolate fix, I love the Kashi dark chocolate and coconut!



I think Kashi's bars are definitely a huge step forward in the bars for anyone. I have a Sis who is a new diabetic and is going to use Atkins bars which are very impressing considering the very low sugar content and high protein count. Clif and Luna bars are higher in calories than the other bars but for a long flight it may be a good alternative. I did look at Zone bars and they do have very impressing NI results ad also would serve a good purpose on a long trip. Much smarter alternatives in the snacks on planes and also very portable.

 Just very happy to see so many to choose from. Special K also has some very tasty low cal bars that taste very good and I have lost eight on them.



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