Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: Balance Bar Bare Mixed Berry Nut Bar

At the rate I'm going, I could almost solicit a sponsorship for this blog from Kroger as their Free Friday Download program continues to grow the number of reviews on this blog.  What I do like about that program (other than the free stuff, of course) is that it forces me to look in sections of the store that I've been away from for a while and looking in those sections allows me to find new products that I have never seen before, as is the case with today's review of this Balance Bar Bare Mixed Berry Nut Bar that I can add to the already expansive collection of Balance Bar reviews.  It's a 1.19 ounce bar and it has 160 calories and four grams of protein.  It's also dairy free, gluten free and soy free if that floats any of your boats.

Being that this is a bare bar, Balance lays it all out there for the world to see by not only not coating this bar in anything but by also putting it in clear packaging.  Despite obviously being able to see the bar before it is unwrapped, it's still worth spending a few brief moments on what's happening with this.  As you can see above, the bar is a plethora of large nuts and fruits.  Those nuts included peanuts and almonds and they are nicely sized.  The fruit part of the bar includes dried blueberries, cranberries and raisins, so there is no doubt that there's going to be sweet and tang to go along with the nutty flavor of the peanuts and almonds.  The rest of the bar includes a mix of oats and rice crisps that are all bound together by various syrups, one of which was interestingly pineapple syrup.  Not sure I've seen that before.  In terms of aroma, it smelled both nutty and fruity, as you'd expect.

Biting into this, it was crunchy as I would have expected due to the presence of both the peanuts and almonds.  To go along with that crunch was some chewiness that was provided by the various dried fruits.  In terms of flavor, this was initially and primarily peanut flavor (as it often is with peanuts) at the beginning of each bite and then the end of each bite was punctuated with a burst of all the berries.  If I had to pick one out, I would say that burst of berry flavor was primarily cranberry, but I could taste little bits and pieces of each of the fruits.  The other primary ingredient here was the almonds, but they really didn't add any flavor and were just primarily there for the crunch, but that's really not a surprised since almonds are a mildly flavored nut and they were in this mix with several ingredients that have a lot of flavor (especially peanuts).

Buy It or Fly By It?  This bar pretty much was the classic balance (get it?) of nuts and fruits and it did a good job of that, so I'll give it a BUY IT rating.  Nothing about this mixture is particularly exciting or new, but it doesn't have to be if it delivers solid flavor and this bar definitely does that.  I'm glad Kroger pushed me in the direction of this one, because it's always nice to add another positive review to the blog and also another positive eating experience to my taste buds.


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