Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews
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In looking for more gluten free breakfast bars (the first round was somewhat disappointing) we turned to the energy bar aisle at the grocery. It's amazing how many products there are on the market, and having previously looked for bars only in the gluten free section, I was surprised at how many energy bars just happen to be gluten free.
This is a great bar with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, including blueberry, dates and raisins. They are higher in calories but that's because most of the bar is made up of nuts and seeds. There's about 2 grams of fiber. There's a light blueberry flavor for the blueberry version, but you might not know it if the package didn't tell you it was blueberry. This is a much fruitier flavor than the strawberry bar, which tasted great but had a very generic berry flavor.
The Almond & Coconut version is good. While it is a whopping 200 calories with 4 grams of fat, this is full of chewy coconut flavor and crunchy almonds. That's about it though: coconut, almonds and sugar. A good bar but somewhat bland and uninspired.
This bar is similar to the Fruit and Nut bar, but has a coating on it that tastes like a cross between the icing on a Pillsbury cinnamon roll and low-quality white chocolate. This gives the bar much more flavor than the Fruit and Nut bar, but it turns out sugary, almost like a candy bar. It's 10 calories more than the Fruit and Nut bar, but if you were going to choose, this is the better one with much more flavor.
The Nut Delight bar started out promising. The aroma and first taste were similar to a soft chewy peanut brittle. After that, dry. Tasters simply couldn't eat more than one bite of this bar without some water to drink. Blech. Not good.
When you think of "health food" this is what I think of. Sticky, cookie-like products made with a lot of honey, dates and bits of nuts. It's a very good bar, though. The flavor is clean and there's no funny aftertaste, but it is like, well, dates. Dates are good, but in the long run what this ends up being like is a soft fruitcake with that funny, well, datey texture and flavor. Not appley or cinnamony but datey. Still, tasters liked this and at 190 calories it's far better than anything Kellogg's offers.
I don't understand how a company can make a product that's pretty good like the Apple Cinnamon bar and then make one that's just plain awful. Are there two sides of the company and no one is listening to the good side? This bar is neither chocolate nor brownie and doesn't have that sticky, honey, sweet flavor of the other bar tested. It is dry, crumbly, astringent, not chocolaty and not anything like a brownie. Just no! Ugh!
We weren't really prepared to like the Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom dairy-free rice milk with crispy rice bar after recently reviewing their mediocre breakfast bars. These looked promising since they were firm feeling through the package and not mushy like their Choco Loco bars. But these are not breakfast bars at all – they are like a candy bar. Think Hershey's Krackel with chocolate and crisped rice. But not very good chocolate, being more like cocoa powder. Because this bar is also dairy free, it just doesn’t have a rich taste. Nowhere on the package does this make me feel like you are getting a candy bar and opening the sister product, the dairy-free rice milk bar, it contained a chocolate bar just like the crispy rice bar but without the crispy rice. There's better chocolate on the market that's gluten, dairy, soy and nut free than this, and don't be fooled like we were into thinking it's a breakfast bar.
The Good: Mrs. May's Blueberry Trio Bar and Strawberry Trio Bar; Kind Fruit and Nut Bar, Almonds & Apricots in Yogurt; Pure Organic Apple Cinnamon Bar.
The Bad (because they're not breakfast bars): Enjoy Life Choco Boom Dairy-Free Rice Milk with Crispy Rice bar, Dairy-Free Rice Milk Bar.
The Ugly: Pure Organic Chocolate Brownie Bar; Kind Nut Delight.
Reviewed: June 11, 2010