Friday, December 12, 2014

Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Granola Bars

As you know, I eat a lot of snacks, and in particular, I like to have different types of bars on hand for whenever I find myself out and about, and needing something quick and easy to munch on.

I was intrigued by the granola bars from Rickland Orchards, as they are all coated or drizzled with various flavors of greek yogurt.  Basically, taking the idea that people often eat greek yogurt topped with granola, and turing it into a portable form.  Rickland Orchards also makes greek yogurt coated pretzels, almonds, granola bites, and caramels.
Blueberry Acai.
"Two nutritional rockstars - blueberry, acai - plus oats, granola and a Greek yogurt coating."

The bar base is made of honey roasted granola, soy crisp nuggets, and almonds sweetened with brown rice syrup and honey, plus dried blueberries in this case.  Drizzled on top, and completely coating the backside, is the "white" Greek yogurt coating.  I'm not sure where the acai was, as it wasn't listed in the ingredients.

The granola was basic sweetened oats, unremarkable.  I didn't care for the taste, nor the texture, of the soy crisps.  The crunch of the whole almonds was a nice touch.

But the real issue here was the sweetness.  It was just out of control sweet.  The base was too sweet, and the "Greek yogurt coating" was way, way too sweet.  I couldn't manage more than a few bites.
Next I tried the strawberry, basically exactly the same as the blueberry acai.  The bar was again made of granola and soy crisps, sweetened with brown rice syrup and honey.  The top was again drizzled in "Greek yogurt coating", and the entire bottom was coated in it.  It was again cloyingly sweet, and the Greek yogurt coating's first ingredient is sugar.  The strawberry flavor came from "strawberry shapes", made from apple puree, strawberry puree, and strawberry juice.

I was starting to feel a bit deceived.  Yes, it did contain "strawberry" I guess, and technically some yogurt, but, not exactly what I expected from an "orchard".  It did contain 7 grams of protein and only 8 grams of sugar, so not quite as unbalanced as I expected, given the taste and ingredients.
Pumpkin Spice.
During the fall season, when Pumpkin Spice was popping up everywhere, even Rickland Orchards made a Pumpkin Spice bar.

It started with the same base of honey roasted granola and soy crisp nuggets, sweetened with honey and brown rice syrup, with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried pumpkin.

This bar didn't taste nearly as sweet as the others, I think due to the pumpkin seeds and their slight bitterness.  The spicing also helped cut the sweetness, and did indeed have classic spices you'd associate with pumpkin: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg.

It was better than the others in that it wasn't as sweet and actually had some interesting flavors in it.  But, it was really hard, not nearly as soft as the others, and almost difficult to bite into.  The best of the "white" yogurt coated ones, but, I still wouldn't want another.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Next I moved on to the chocolate greek yogurt coated ones.  Yes, for real.

"Dark Chocolate Flavored Greek Yogurt" was the coating on this one.  Um, what?  It tasted like chocolate, but I have no idea where the yogurt was.

Anyway.  Still made from a base of soy crisps and oats, with a few large chunks of peanut mixed in.  I liked the peanuts, but I've realized that I really just can't stand soy crisps.

It wasn't too sweet like the others, so that was nice.  And chocolate and peanut butter are obviously a great combination.

But ... I still didn't like it.  Soy crisps.  Meh.  I need to stop trying products with soy crisps.
Caramel with Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Flavored Greek Yogurt.
Another one with the magical "dark chocolate flavored greek yogurt".  Again, yes, it was coated in chocolate, but I failed to detect any chocolate flavor.  There was a secondary drizzle of caramel as well, sweet, but not quite as cloying as the white yogurt bars.

The base again had whole almonds along with granola and soy crisps.  The almonds helped mask the soy crisps flavor.

Again, I just don't care for the product in general due to the soy crisps and the sweetness, but, the caramel and chocolate were at least decent. 
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