Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Nature Valley Almond Dark Chocolate Nut Crisp Bars

Crazy Food Dude likes nuts.  Wait...that didn't come out right.  Crazy Food Dude likes eating things with lots of nuts.  Wait...shoot, I can't win.  Anyway, when I saw that General Mills and Nature Valley had put out yet another new product with nuts as a primary ingredient, I knew that I had to add to my gigantic review catalog.  Of course, I wouldn't have bought these had they not been on sale and fortunately I saw them on sale at Meijer for $2.50 per box, which is kind of a steal for Nature Valley products.  Each box of Nature Valley Almond Dark Chocolate Nut Crisp Bars has six bars and each bar in the box comes in at 0.89 ounces and has 130 calories and three grams of protein.  These are also gluten free for all the gluten-less dieters out there.

Before I get into the actual description of the bar, I did find one of the ingredients particularly interesting.  Listed on the label was "Oil of Rosemary."  Can't say I've ever heard of that one before.  Weird.  Anyway, the rest of the bar was a dark chocolate base that was then topped with a plentiful mix of nuts including both peanuts and almonds.  As you can see from the photo above and hopefully discern, the majority of the nuts from a visual and aromatic perspective were dominated by peanuts.  There were some small almond chunks in there as well, but they definitely got overpowered, which is amusing considering that almonds are the named portion of the bar.  Since the nut pieces were so small, this was a very "loose" bar and as soon as I opened it, little pieces of peanut started falling everywhere.  There were also some sunflower seeds in the mix, but they were dominated by the peanuts as well.

What should come as no surprise when I bit into this is that the best way to describe the texture was crispy.  You could also say it was crunchy and also a bit chewy because the nuts were so small.  Basically the presence of the small nuts made this a bit grainy to chew through, although the melting dark chocolate did make it a big gummy and gooey, which added a different texture element to this.  As for the flavor, this was a very salty and very nutty flavor.  The peanuts led the way on flavor as they often do and quite frankly, that was all I could taste in this bar.  The dark chocolate was flat and was mostly just there for texture purposes and the almonds and sunflower seeds were a no show on flavor and were there for texture as well.  I suppose I could say that the dark chocolate did add a slight bit of that flat kind of flavor that you typically get from dark chocolate, but it was nothing special.  So, this bar was a whole lot of nuts and very little of anything at else.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Screw it, I'll just say it...I love nuts.  Since I love nuts, I very much like this bar and give it a BUY IT rating.  I do wish the dark chocolate had been milk chocolate instead because I would have appreciated a sweet chocolate over a flat chocolate, but that's just a personal preference.  I will say that if you are a nut lover, chances are very good that you will love this bar, if you can find it at an acceptable price for you.


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