Saturday, December 7, 2013

REVIEW: Atkins Advantage Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Recently, my mum and step dad have been on a low-carb diet. I'm not a follower of the trend, but I like to watch others do take it on. Basically, in a low-carb diet, you can eat anything and everything you want, as long as it's low in carbohydrates. I know that might SOUND easy- you can eat all you want of cheese curds, string cheese, steak, chicken, pork, bacon, fish, eggs, nuts, cream, beef jerky, yogurt, milk, most vegetables, most dressings, some types of mayonnaise even, as long as they're low in sugars -and everything seems fine and dandy, but then you gotta think of everything you CAN'T eat. Pizza, bread, pasta, chips, muffins, granola bars- NO SUGAR. NO SWEETS. WHATSOEVER. Nothing even CLOSE to sweets. NOT. EVEN. CEREAL.
That would just right-out kill me! I love my precious Cinnamon Toast Crunch WAY too much to give it up. See, this diet would never work for me. And now my step dad is all bummed out, because HE can't eat any of the foods HE wants at the moment. I thought I'd never see the day where that man would get tired of cheese.
But in the darkness that is the Atkins Diet, there is a ray of light with Atkins' frozen meals and bars. And only for the low, low price of $8.29 on the Atkins site (sarcasm intended), you too can have an 8.5 ox. box of five 1.7 oz. low-carb, Peanut Butter Granola Bars. Highway robbery, I know. But at Woodman's, these only cost about $6.99, which is clearly a better deal.
 A 48g bar contains 210 calories, 100 of them being from fat, 11g of total fat, 3g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 240mg of sodium, 70mg of potassium, 18g of total carbohydrates, 5g of dietary fiber, 1g of sugar, 11g of sugar alcohols, and 15g of protein. Also contains various values of assorted vitamins and minerals. Only 3g of net carbs, for you low-carbers reading.

This is a large product when it comes to granola bars, but this is a ment to be a meal replacement bar as well, so OF COURSE its going to be big. Well- at least I'd HOPE so. But yes, this bar was big in terms of surface area AND density, and it definitely LOOKED like it could make for a satisfying breakfast or small lunch. I was having mine as a big snack, but I could see myself replacing a sandwich with this bar or something like that.
Anyway, this granola bar is composed mostly of soy nuggets stuck together in a big mass, with real peanut pieces studding the exterior and insides of the bar, along with a small amount of rolled oats. I honestly didn't see any oats but I guess that's only to be expect with a low-carb bar. But the lack of oats DOES raise the question of whether this deserves to be called a "granola" bar or not. The bottom was covered with a tan, peanut buttery icing of sorts.

Texturally wise, this bar was chewy and easy to break apart, but also contained some crisp from the soy nuggets. The soy nuggets had a bit of a powdery, protein-y feel when chewed for a long stretch of time. The peanuts added a crunchy 'n chewy feel, and the icing on the bottom was very creamy and melted in my mouth.
This was a pretty sweet bar, not super sweet, which I guess is okay because I don't really think that was the true objective of the bar. It's more of a nutty taste, which means the sweetness is downplayed more to make way for a natural peanut flavor. And I didn't mind that at all , really. Except for the fact that this bar could very well drop the "butter" in the name and still have a VERY fitting title. I mean, peanut butter isn't as nutty in taste as this bar was, and it is sweeter to boot. The one quality this bar had that really matched the traits of peanut butter was the creaminess, which in this bar's case came from the icing on the bottom. Get rid of that, and this Atkins bar wouldn't be so deserving of the "butter" in the name. Speaking of the icing, it didn't add much in terms of flavor. It might've been slightly sweeter than the rest of the bar, but I don't know- the icing was very mild.

Maybe this review makes my view towards this bar sound a little lukewarm, but I actually enjoyed it quite a lot, believe it or not. It had a strong natural and nutty flavor to it, and was mildly, yet satisfyingly sweet for such a healthy, low-carb bar. The icing added a delicious creamy texture, and overall this bar felt very hearty and filling. I think you'll definitely love this one if you're a big nut/PB fan. I'm not even the biggest fan of peanut butter, and I really liked this bar. These are a bit pricey though, so I would recommend staying away from these bars if you're unsure of your feelings toward peanuts. But don't think this will be like a real granola bar- this has obviously got more of a protein bar feel going on than a granola bar feel. This bar doesn't have very many oats or anything that would make it granola-y, but I think most people will be able to look past that and enjoy this bar, especially if you're on a low-carb diet and dying for something sugary-like and sweet, like my poor, cheese-overridden step dad.
And if you're reading this, dear step dad of mine... Mmm, ceeeeeereal (Evil laugh, then smashes a fistful of Cinnamon Toast Crunch into face).
I would give this Atkins bar a 7.5/10

What Atkins products do YOU enjoy? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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