QUICK REVIEW: Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars (Target Exclusive)

Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nice flavor, but I’m not sure it’s not what I would consider caramel. It kind of tastes Fig Newton-y. Soft, slightly chewy texture. Smells like brown sugar. Low fat. A decent tasting way to get five grams of fiber. I guess it’s easier than eating an apple. I mean, I can stuff a whole bar in my mouth, but I can’t stuff a whole apple.
Cons: Sometimes there are these bursts of saltiness, which are a bit off-putting. “Caramel bits” are really toffee bits. The bars look kind of small when unwrapped, they’re just 2-inch squares. Some people have had gas issues with the chicory root extract, which gives the bar its fiber, so don’t go through the box in one day…or even two days.

Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 90 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna Fiber Bar

Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna FIber Bars

Finding a delicious snack bar is about as likely as digging under your doorstep and unearthing a magical Viking helmet that summons world peace, eliminates grocery carts with one bad wheel, and resurrects Ben and Jerry’s Wavy Gravy. It’d be unexpected, unlikely, and near impossible, but somewhere in all that nagging doubt rests the hope that said magical Viking helmet/delicious snack bar exists, and it is this slim probability that sustains a blind faith that you may stumble upon such an impossibility.

It is with this hope that I grabbed the Luna Peanut Butter and Strawberry Fiber Bar box as it proclaimed the “soft baked, fruit filled” contents within.

“Hmmm…” I said to myself. “Soft-baked? That sounds an awful lot like a cookie.”

Time to bring in the professional.

Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna FIber Bars Cookie Monster

So, equipped with Cookie Monster himself, I sat down to my soft-baked wrapper.

Bars fortified with vitamins and minerals have the taste reliability of the ten-day forecast. All those vitamins and minerals can either come through or, more often than not, sweep away anything reminiscent of flavor and leave you nostalgic for something that tastes better than tree bark. Not so here. One bite of these puppies and my taste buds were lit like a dance floor at a European discotheque from the 70s. Every element of this bar has its place. A thin strawberry layer for sweetness, a peanut butter cookie for roasty-toasty-saltiness, a sandy sugar coating (yes, I said sandy sugar coating) for a crackle. Oh, and are those peanut butter chips so generously sprinkled on top? Yes, yes they are.

And, indeed, this one’s for the peanut butter lovers. The peanut-butter-based cookie exterior takes up a good 83 percent of the bar according to my not-so-mathematical guess and is moister than the average Nutri-Grain. The thin strawberry filling is just enough goo without stretching into the forbidden realm of “goopy,” and the hint of salt functions like the bartender of the party, shaking up the flavor and allowing everyone to come out of their shells.

Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna FIber Bars Closeup

Look at that. Beautiful as the layered sands of the Grand Canyon only not as dry and much more tasty.

I’m fond of fitting into my pants. If you, too, are fond of fitting into your pants, these Luna bars can help you achieve/maintain that as they have a mere 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, and a whopping 7 grams of fiber. Just think of all the adventures that could arise out of the whole-grain energy you acquire: ice sculpting, pickle making, bull riding, treasure hunting, snake charming…the list goes on. Don’t be afraid. Get out there and have fun.

These may be targeted to women, but don’t let this piddly-posh marketing pull the wool over your eyes, gentlemen. I gave one to a man in my life, who claimed that all that peanut butter make these as man-friendly as an open grill and a lawn mower. Plus, they have Vitamin D and Vitamin D is downright sexy, so be a man! Eat a Luna fiber bar!

Overall, these make me want to whip out maracas and dance in my kitchen (which I may or may not have done). Having a cookie in the middle of the day is good. Having a cookie in the middle of the day with vitamins and minerals is even better. It is with this in mind that the C-monster himself hath blessed these bars with incantations of magical proportions. I came into this anticipating a vitamin-flavored, semi-stale fruit bar and I got a soft-baked rectangle of a portable joy.

Thank you, Luna, for completely defying my expectations.

Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna FIber Bars Cookie Monster 2

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 120 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 95 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 7 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna Fiber Bar reviews:
Running Foodie
One Step at a Time

Item: Peanut Butter Strawberry Luna Fiber Bar
Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Cookie-like. Peanut butter chips. Salty-sweet. Whole grains. Magical Viking helmets. Fitting into your pants. Pickle making. Vitamin D is sexy.
Cons: Over the everyday snack-bar-budget margin. Things that taste like tree bark. Grocery carts with one bad wheel. European discotheques from the 70s. The death of Ben and Jerry’s Wavy Gravy.

REVIEW: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats

Somewhere on the edges of the globe, nestled between the marshes of Keebler County and Cascadian Farms, rests the town of General Mills. It is in this land of cuckoo birds and marshmallow balloons that a legend resides.

And his name…

Is Wendell.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Wendell

He looks like a Wendell, doesn’t he?

What with his half-moon spectacles and rotund little nose, Wendell seems unassuming enough, but don’t be fooled. He has connections with the Keebler elves. He landed in General Mills in 1987 with a single dream: to put toast in a bowl, and, after many long nights beside his magical toaster and a cinnamon-related explosion, he got the recipe for Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Back in 2001, he channeled his Cinnamon cereal craze into the smash hit: “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk-N-Cereal Bar.” Now, he’s bringing it home in a smaller, portion-friendly treat.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Wrapper

Judging by the cover, Wendell’s stepped away from his toaster to mix up a hearty batch of “yogurt coating.” No lie: this was the very thing that pulled me in to this bar. As a connoisseur of the yogurt-covered pretzel, I can’t resist a yogurt coating, and, indeed, I was elated when I discovered that a yogurt squiggle accompanied the yogurt-dipped foundation of the bar.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Closeup

I’m thinking these little crisps were made for lunchtime and would fit snuggly in a lunchbox/briefcase/purse/other portable vessel of preference. The list of ingredients seems a mile long, but, in summary, it involves cinnamon, icing, and gooeyness and, as we all know, those are the ingredients involved in sustaining a happy relationship. Had a disagreement with your spouse? Bake something with cinnamon and, instantly, it smells like somebody loves you. Top that baked good with icing? Well, you can just kick back and watch the magic unfold.

Now, before diving into the texture of this bar, I’d like to step back for a brief moment to define the adjective “chewy.” Quaker has obfuscated (word of the day!) this term with their “Chewy” granola bars for years. If a food is “chewy,” it has a certain pull, being both somewhat firm and somewhat sticky. Caramels are chewy. Taffy is chewy. That yummy nougat in Snickers bars is chewy. Stale rice cereal smooshed with uncooked oats? Not chewy, Quaker, not chewy.

Now, these, on the other hand, actually do have a bit of a chew and are a fair amount denser than their Quaker counterparts, which gets them off to a good start. On first bite, they even have a bit of a crisp, but, in the end, this crisp ended on the note of “Stale Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” which was disappointing for a product that had hopes to bounce me over the heart, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons. The yogurt coating does its best for what this lacks in texture, but alas, fair Wendell, the faint wisps of cinnamon in your bar are no match for this weak consistency and overwhelming taste of corn syrup.

However, on an up note, these do have a bit of whole grain and there was enough of the yogurt to make me smile at the end, making these treats far better than the imagination-crushing, depression-inducing Quaker “Chewy” Granola bars. Nonetheless, next time I have the Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch craving, I’ll probably reach for the bowl and spoon before I nab a treat.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 100 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, and a little vitamins and minerals.)

Other Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats reviews:
Truly Foody

Item: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats
Purchased Price: $2.84 (on sale)
Size: 1 box/6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Yogurt coating on the base. Yogurt squiggles. Cinnamon. Wendell. A friendly portion. Whole grain. Lunchboxes. The word “Obfuscate.” Half-moon spectacles. A land filled with marshmallow balloons.
Cons: The texture of stale cereal. Corn syrup overpowers cinnamon. Using the word “chewy” incorrectly. Crushers of the imagination.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 12/10/2011


Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

You got your Tabasco in my chocolate! You got your chocolate in my Tabasco! Two great tastes that seem kind of weird together. (via Candyblog)

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her Greens & Whey. Along came a spider, who landed in the Greens & Whey beside her and its taste scared the spider away. (via Rodzilla Reviews)

Spoiler alert! The surprise in this Pure Protein Peanut Butter Caramel Surprise Bar is that it sucks. (via Crazy Food Dude)

Damn the Japanese and their foods that are too cute to eat. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

Only a handful of you will get this reference: So move back ya self dread, you know the element. The Tribe is good for your health like a can of Nutrament. (via Foodette Reviews)

REVIEW: Nature Valley Granola Thins (Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter)

The square-shaped Granola Thins by Nature Valley makes the company look like it has become bored with producing long rectangle granola bars.


Because I’m bored with eating long rectangle granola bars.

As a matter of fact, fuck eating quadrilaterals! How about an enneadecagon granola snack? Or if Nature Valley has the nuts, and the ability to channel the spirit of M.C. Escher, a dodecahedron or apeirogon granola snack.

But I guess until then, I’m stuck with quadrilaterals.

The Nature Valley Granola Thins come in two flavors; they are either partially dipped in peanut butter or dark chocolate, which I’m not 100 percent sure is actual dark chocolate because of the words “naturally flavored” printed on the front of the box.

The folks at Nature Valley describe the snack as, “The uniquely delicate crunch of crispy, toasted granola paired with an irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth taste.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t experienced that “melt-in-your-mouth taste” very often because I live on a tropical rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the first couple of individually wrapped Granola Thins I opened encountered a phenomenon I like to call “melt-in-its-own-packaging-because-the-temperature-rarely-drops-below-80-degrees.” It causes most of the dark chocolate and peanut butter to stick to the cardboard that’s included in each wrapper.

To overcome this, I suggest sticking a Granola Thins in the refrigerator for a few minutes before opening.

Can’t wait a few minutes? Oh, I think you can, because while the Granola Thins are good, they’re not irresistible like the marketing copy on the box claims. How do I know? Both boxes have been sitting on my desk for the past two weeks. If they’re “irresistible,” why have I consumed only two of the ten 2.5-inch Granola Thins from each box?

But, again, I did enjoy both flavors. The peanut butter one reminds me of a Nutter Butter in flavor and in the fact that the peanut butter doesn’t taste like any peanut butter I’ve ever had. As for the dark chocolate version, the crispy granola is a bit more noticeable than the chocolate. Strangely, the combination of granola with the chocolate makes it taste like a graham cracker. Maybe the fact that the chocolate is “naturally flavored” might have something to do with the light flavor.

As good as they are, the Nature Valley Granola Thins aren’t as satisfying as their long rectangle granola brethren. It would take three or four of these to equal the hunger-crushing power of Nature Valley’s regular granola bars, which come with two per wrapper. Also, I wish the peanut butter and chocolate were baked into the crispy squares, like Nature Valley does with their regular granola bars, so that they wouldn’t be so messy to eat on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pouch/17 grams – Dark Chocolate – 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein and 2% iron. Peanut Butter – 90 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein and 2% iron.)

Other Nature Valley Granola Thins reviews:
Stuff We Like

Item: Nature Valley Granola Thins (Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter)
Price: $3.49
Size: 10 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Dark Chocolate)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Peanut Butter)
Pros: Enjoyable. Crispy. Peanut butter one tastes like a Nutter Butter. Dark chocolate one tastes like a graham cracker. Looking at M.C. Escher pieces. Looking at M.C. Escher pieces while on an illegal substance.
Cons: Seems pricey for what you get. “Naturally flavored” dark chocolate has a weak flavor. Not irresistible to me. Messy if you’re eating it on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. No enneadecagon granola snacks.