Tuesday, November 26, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars

I have an affinity for almonds- they're my favorite nut, when it comes down to it. I also have an affinity for dark chocolates- they're my favorite variety of chocolate, when it comes down to it. I also have an affinity for mochas- they're my favorite coffee drink, when it comes down to it. 
At least I THINK they would be... I haven't had what my mom calls "frou-frou" coffee drinks in years. But hey, it's coffee with milk, sugar, and cocoa- what's not to like? So I decided to give these Dark Mocha Almond Bars from Kashi a chance when I was at the grocery store debating what granola bars to taste-test for the week. One 7.4 oz. box containing six 1.2 oz. bars cost $4.09.
One 35g bar contains 130 calories, 35 of them being from fat, 3.5g of total fat, 0.5g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0.5g of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 90mg of sodium, 21g of total carbohydrates, 4g of  dietary fiber, 1g of soluble fiber, 3g of insoluble fiber, 6g of sugar, and 6g of protein.
This bar takes up a considerable surface area, but it isn't very dense. It's light, and there's clearly a lot of space for air when you bite into it. The oats are all colored with some sort of brown substance. At first, I thought this substance was maybe some chocolate flavoring or something, but I figured it had to be the "brown rice syrup" found on the ingredients list because the oats didn't taste very chocolately at all. This bar isn't very sticky, thankfully, but it's also pretty dry in texture. The oats make this bar chewy, while the Kashi soy grahams add a bit of a crunch. The almonds add some crunch as well, and are hidden in broken chunks throughout the bar. They were not simply sitting on the top of the bar like how they'd been advertised on the box.
This bar's taste didn't remind me of chocolate all that much, which was pretty disappointing. I suppose the only time I tasted chocolate was when I had gotten some of the chocolate chips in my mouth. I liked the chocolate chips, and they were my favorite part of the bar- they definitely had a dark chocolate taste, with a slight espresso bite. I love the flavor combination of chocolate and coffee, and it was pulled off well with the CHIPS in this bar. But like I said before, this bar didn't have much of a chocolatey flavor the rest of the time, neither much of a coffee flavor either (But I'd have to say the coffee taste was the more prominent of the two).
I liked the almonds, because they broke up the oats and added some zest to the bar when I bit into one. They also brought a salty backdrop to the bar, but unfortunately, this bar didn't have much of a sweetness for the saltiness to complement.
Anyway, this wasn't my favorite granola bar, and I was actually a bit disappointed with this one since it didn't really emulate a flavor of anything. Simply speaking, it was very mild in taste. The coffee and chocolate flavors supposed to be here didn't really pop (except for the chocolate chips on top), and this bar just wasn't very sweet in general. The almonds were nice n' salty, but there weren't very many of them here, and it's not like the bar needed a lot of salt because there wasn't a lot of sweet either. The chocolate chips were sweet and flavorful, but maybe they could've been placed inside the bar instead of all them just sitting on top, so that that flavor could be more equally dispersed. Not a delicious bar, and I'm sure there a plenty of other tastier ones for a coffee-chocolate fix, but at least it was edible and a relatively healthy option. I mean, 6g of protein IS nice... And Kashi IS organic... Buuuut, even for all that, I'd have to give this bar just a 5.5/10.

What Kashi granola bar is YOUR favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!
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