Wednesday, December 25, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bar

Now, I've reviewed Kashi's Apple Cobbler Soft n' Chewy Bar, and also more recently their Berry Muffin Soft n' Chewy Bar, so now it's about time I try what I think to be the tastiest-sounding of the three: The Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bar. Anything with chocolate in the name is way better sounding than anything with fruit in the name- at least in my fair opinion, but that's just me. I found the Apple Cobbler bar to be good, and the Berry Muffin bar to be meh, so we'll see if the Banana Chocolate Chip can grade even higher on the Sweet & SavoRi numminess scale. A 7 oz. box with five 1.4 oz. bars costs around $4.09.

A 40g bar contains 130 calories, 25 of them being from fa t, 3g of total fat, 0.5g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0.5g of polyunsaturated fat, 1g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 110mg of sodium, 25g of total carbohydrates, 4g of dietary fiber, 10g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Just like all of Kashi's other Soft n' Chewy Bars, their Banana Chocolate Chip is made with actual apple and pumpkin purees, but this bar also exclusively adds banana puree to the mix. This bar is still a bit odd to me though, since both apple AND pumpkin puree appear before banana in the ingredients. Shouldn't banana appear first in a BANANA Chocolate Chip Bar? Whatever.
All of Kashi's Soft n' Chewy bars are made with real veggies, but the addition of them is minuscule (there isn't even a specific vegetable listed on the ingredients panel). 

This bar's smell reminds me of chocolate banana bread, but the scent doesn't exactly pop out at you. You'd have to actually lean down and sniff it to get a good whiff of the aroma. This bar is studded with shaved oats on the top surface and is a darkish brown in color. The insides are a mild yellow with tiny dark chocolate chips and crunchy bits dispersed throughout.
Like the name suggests, this bar is soft and chewy in texture, and also pretty thick and dense. It also has a strong bread-like feel and is rather dry and crumbly. It's like, I need a glass of water while eating this thing- it's that dry. Starting out, I found this bar to taste pretty mild in both banana and chocolate respects, but as I ate I found the tastes to grow stronger and by the end found the bar to taste a lot like banana bread, just less sweet. The banana flavor is particularly strong, and I couldn't even taste the apple and pumpkin purees Kashi uses. The dark chocolate chips were mildly sweet, and easier to taste when eaten by themselves, but there were good accents of chocolate in each bite of this bar. There were a lot more chocolate chips than I thought there would be in this bar too- at LEAST enough to get in some chocolatiness every bite, even if you were to take very small ones. The chocolate chips also had a smoothness to them that counterbalanced out the crisp crunchiness of some crunchy bits found here and there in the bar. I'm not sure what the crispy bits were, but they were more than likely Kashi cereal pieces. The oats on top didn't add much flavor and were there mostly for decoration.

By the end of this bar, I was very much satisfied with the flavor, which did indeed taste like banana bread, just with a more natural, milder essence. I was impressed with how Kashi managed to nail the flavor of such a sweet dessert in this bar- they even had a whole boatload of chocolate chips crammed into this thing, which surprised me for sure. This is definitely my favorite of the three Soft n' Chewy Bars that have been released so far. The Apple Cobbler and Berry Muffin flavors didn't really evoke the flavors of their namesakes, but this one executed the Banana Chocolate Chipiness nearly perfectly, especially for such a healthy snack. It's really quite amazing since you'd think that the most indulgent flavor would be the one pulled off the least successfully. But surprise, surprise! Anyway, I ate all of the Banana Chocolate Chip Bars we had in stock in the hosue even before I was able to finish off the Apple Cobbler and Berry Muffin flavors- which is saying something since I've had the latter two flavors sitting in the pantry for a considerably longer amount of time. I'd certainly buy these Banana Chocolate Chip Bars again!
I'd give Kashi's Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bars a 7/10.

What Kashi products should I try next? What kinds do YOU recommend? Write down your thoughts in the comments below!

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