Friday, April 07, 2017

Nature's Bakery

Yup, more reviews of quasi-healthy snack bars.  This is a big market, as I guess there are lots of folks like myself who are always looking for a convenient snack to stash in our bags.

Nature's Bakery is another such manufacturer.  They make Fig Bars (aka, fancy Fig Newtons) and uh, healthy brownies.  They are all non-GMO, vegan, and kosher. Some of the fig bars are also gluten-free, and they also just came out with an organic line.  Pretty standard mantra these days.

I've tried the Fig Bars and the Brownies, and both were just too healthy for me.

Stone Ground Wheat Fig Bars

"To give you the fuel you need to help power life's great journeys. Oh yeah, and to make it - and your journeys - jam-packed with flavor. With Mother Nature's blessing, we've created perfect harmony among some of her very best handiwork, holding freshness ever sacred. Come explore our tasty, nutritious family of Stone Ground Whole Wheat Fig Bars."
Nature's Bakery makes a line of "Fig Bars", aka, fancy Fig Newton.  They are available in a slew of flavors in addition to standard fig, such as raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, mango, lemon, even apple cinnamon, peach apricot, and pumpkin spice.  They also make several gluten-free varieties.

When I say "fancy" Fig Newton, I mean ones where the ingredient quality and nutrition are taken into careful consideration.  The outer wrapping is a hearty stone ground whole wheat.  The bars are made with brown rice syrup and cane syrup rather than high fructose corn syrup, they are vegan and soy free, and of course are non-GMO.

I'm not sure where I picked up a package of these, I think on a flight at some point?
Raspberry Fig Bar.
"Fueling sweet moments like mastering the two-wheeler—and being the dad behind it all—is our passion. Our raspberry fig bar is a crowd favorite, no matter who’s in the crowd."

The bars are packaged two to a pack, each one larger than a classic Fig Newton, but smaller than something like a Nutrigrain bar.  Together, the two would make up a normal size bar.

It reminded me of a cross between a Nutrigrain and a Fig Newton.  The outer layer was really hearty tasting, like a Nutrigrain, not sweet like a Fig Newton.  As a result, it seemed far more like a breakfast bar than a cookie.

The filling was plentiful, a bit gritty from the fig, but not really my thing.  I love fresh figs, but when put into bar form, I rarely like figs for some reason.  I didn't taste much raspberry.

If you like Fig Newtons, and you wanted a healthier version, I'm sure these were good, but they really weren't my thing.  Ojan gladly took them off my hands.

Double Chocolate Brownies

"Our goal was to create a simple, baked chocolate snack bar made with thoughtful ingredients that you could enjoy anytime, anywhere. You get double the goodness in each bite, a soft baked outside and light chocolate center. So, when you're on-the-go and need a quick-fix to conquer that chocolate craving, tear open a pack to get back on track."
Next up, I tried the brownies.  Like the fig bars, they come in a 2-pack with two small brownies, each 90 calories each.  "Healthy" brownies, made with whole grains and dates, and no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no dairy, no soy, no cholesterol, no trans fats ...

And ... they taste it.

The "double chocolate" brownies come in 4 flavors: raspberry, blueberry, mint, and chocolate (hmm, is a chocolate double chocolate brownie a triple chocolate brownie?)  The double chocolate name seems to refer to the fact that they have both cocoa powder and cocoa butter in them.
Chocolate Double Chocolate Brownie.
"Sometimes life’s everyday simple pleasures can be the most fulfilling.  Feed your craving before enjoying time with your favorite version of fun.  You’re worth it."

I started with the "chocolate double chocolate" flavor.

It was a dense bar that tasted more like a nutrition bar than a brownie.  It was chewy.  The date flavor was just too strong to convince me it was anything but a healthy product.  Did not like.
Mint Double Chocolate.
"Backpack.  Check.  Gear.  Check.  Energy?  You do now.  A better-for-you chocolate snack to help power your adventure.  Where ever the journey takes you."

After the failure of the chocolate double chocolate, I went for mint, hoping that the mint would help save the too healthy taste.

It didn't.  This one was even worse.  It was dry and bitter, and the overwhelming flavor was the "mint", except that it was a very artificial awful tasting mint.  I couldn't even take a second bite of this one.

I have no idea why these market the mint flavor for hikers (and even more strangely, the raspberry for morning workouts, and the blueberry for afternoon).
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