Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Cascadian Farm Organic Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars

If you follow or have read this blog before, you'd know that there are very few things in this world that I enjoy more than receiving free stuff.  So, on the sporadic occasion that a representative for a manufacturer contacts me asking me to try one of their products, it's almost like Christmas to me.  That happened recently when a rep for Cascadian Farms reached out to me offering several new products to review and being the dutiful benefactor that I am, I accepted those products and that leads to this first review of the Cascadian Farm Organic Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars.  These bars are organic and also made of a limited amount of ingredients, so one could surmise that they are quite healthy.  In terms of the bars themselves, these came in a box of ten bars that consisted of five pouches that had two bars each.  Pretty much the same way that Nature Valley bundles their granola bars.  Each pouch of two bars is 1.42 ounces, has 180 calories and four grams of protein.  Obviously if you divide those numbers in half, you'll get the measurables for each individual bar.

I've already compared these to Nature Valley once in how they are packaged and I'm going to do it again with how this bar looked and felt after I took it out of the wrapper.  Basically, it was exactly like the Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey bar that I reviewed on the blog long ago.  It's a mash-up of the seven ingredients (rolled oats, sugar, sunflower oil, honey, sea salt, molasses and vinegar extract) that are all ground up into one mix.  If you look closely enough, maybe you can pick out a couple of those things, but mostly it's just one object...that crumbles and falls apart very easily as it is exceptionally brittle and makes quite a mess.  Outside of the visual appearance, the bar had a faint smell of honey and that was pretty much it.  Pretty basic stuff, eh?

Since this was packaged like the Nature Valley bar and also looked the same, I expected it to taste the same going in and that's what I got with a very mild difference...this one had more vanilla flavor than I recall the Nature Valley version having.  The honey and sugar brought sweetness to the bar and mild flavor, but the additional vanilla kick added some unexpected and very welcome flavor that made this a tasty treat.  The rest of the bar was pretty much standard granola taste with some nice crunch and that's about it.

Buy It or Fly By It?  This was a very basic bar with very basic stuff, but it delivered a nice and welcome flavor, so it gets a BUY IT rating.  It's basically the same thing as the aforementioned bar except that it has four less ingredients.  Still, the Nature Valley bar was successful and so was this one, so this is a great start for Cascadian Farms on the blog.


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