Monday, 16 September 2013

Cereal Bars Reviewed

IntroductionFruit BarsCereal BarsProtein Bars

I'm using 'cereal bars' as a catch-all term for bars based on rice, oats, and even seeds. Generally, these are bound together with a mixture of sugar syrup and oil.

9Bar (sweet)

Calories per 100gCalories from Protein
523 - 57610.9 - 14.0%

Original •  Peanut • Nutty • Flax
Fruity • Pumpkin • Organic

The 9Bar range is made of 30 - 60% seeds (the difference is made up with nuts in the nutty ranges), bound together with a little oil and sugar. The Peanut and Fruity bars are vegan; the rest of the current range contains honey. Most of the flavours in this range have a carob topping, which I was surprised to find I really enjoyed. I didn't much like carob when I was first introduced to it as a "chocolate substitute", but in its own right it's rather tasty, and the flavour works well with the seeds. They're not too sweet, which is also a bonus.

9Bar (savoury)

Calories per 100gCalories from Protein
546 - 55314.3%

Sweet Chilli  • Anglesey Sea Salt • Cracked Black Pepper

The 9Bar Savoury range is the only savoury product I encountered on the whole of my energy bar quest, so I was particularly happy to discover them: sometimes, you just don't want any extra sugar. These vegan bars are 75-80% seeds, and the Sweet Chilli bar has loads of spices to ramp up the flavour. I can see these becoming a firm favourite of mine. They're quite high calorie, but they have a decent amount of protein, and loads of important micronutrients.

Eat Natural bar

Calories per 100gCalories from Protein
408 - 4924.6 - 10.3%

Almonds, Sultanas & Hazelnuts
Cranberries, Macadamia Nuts & Dark Chocolate
Peanuts, Cranberries & Milk Chocolate 10 other flavours

You can almost read the ingredients of an Eat Natural bar by looking through the window of the packet: puffed rice, whole nuts, and chunks of fruit are the order of the day. The only down-side of this is that the reason everything is visible is that it's stuck together with syrup: they're all very sticky and sweet, with a correspondingly higher calorie count compared to similar bars. Several of the bars feature as much as 20% chocolate, which is delicious as a treat (the Cranberry, Macademia & Dark Chocolate is my favourite) but you wouldn't want to eat it every day. None of these bars are vegan - there's honey even in dark chocolate varieties, which is a shame.

Dorset Cereals bar

Calories per 100gCalories from Protein
364 - 4594.5 - 7.4%

The Dorset Cereal Bars are a chewy cereal bar made with a mixture of oats, rice, and wheat flakes. My favourite flavour was the Blackcurrant, Cherry & Raspberry bar, which was packed with juicy, tangy fruit pieces, which offset the sweetness. Unfortunately this range isn't vegan, as the recipe contains butter (and in some cases honey).

Wild Trail bar

Calories per 100gCalories from Protein
325 - 3326.2 - 6.8%

Cranberry • Raspberry  • Orange & Apricot • Cherry

Wild Trail Bars straddle the fence between cereal and fruit bars, as they consist of grains stuck together with a puree of dates and raisins. The manufacturers, however, have chosen to market them as a cereal bar and to emphasise the wholegrain content. My favourite was the Orange & Apricot flavour, which has a wonderful citrus taste.

IntroductionFruit BarsCereal BarsProtein Bars

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