CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nature Valley Nut Crunch Bars

“Free Food! Yeeeehaw! Sign me up!”

This may not be an actual quote, as Crabby doesn’t use the word Yeehaw all that often. She could have said “Yay!” or “Hooray!” or “Holy Crap!” But whatever the exclamation, it was uttered because Crabby was VERY EXCITED to find out several weeks ago that General Mills was willing to send her stuff to eat for free.

And the Nice Crunch Bar people sent the package as promised! Two whole boxes (one Peanut, one Almond) of said crunch bars; a press kit; and a Special Bonus Gift--a hideous burlap tote bag! Really, the poor tote bag is the ugliest thing you can imagine, you can only feel sorry for it.

However, Free Product Sending People, please do not be angry at Crabby's callous treatment of your homely tote bag. Crabby loves Free Stuff and wants you to keep sending more! And particularly products that claim to be (a) healthy and (b) tasty.

Caveat: Cranky Fitness can not, however, accept and keep things that cost more than $40 in exchange for a review. (Or at least not while those nifty BlogHer ads are running in her sidebar. She signed a contract promising not to!) Also, Crabby will always disclose when something she reviews was given to her fer nothin'.

This will give readers the chance to ask themselves: can you trust the Crab? Would she suck up to a manufacturer simply to get more free stuff in the future? (Well, actually, she might! Maybe for a free week at a luxury spa or something. But not for a few freakin' snack bars).

And by the way, Crabby also apologizes to the Free Stuff People and her readers for the tardiness of this review. By now, Back in Skinny Jeans (and probably lots of other blogs too) have already reviewed these Nut Crunch Bar Thingies and Crabby is way late to the party. But she's here now, so lets get to it!

So how do the Nature Valley Nut Crunch Bars Taste?

Actually, they're pretty damn good.

Really--they're way more yummy than Crabby thought they'd be. They're sweet and salty and crunchy and taste pretty much like a real candy bar that you'd buy on purpose, not like an Energy Bar or Granola Bar or some other Compromise Food. Crabby's main taste objection: slightly more salty than necessary.

As it happened, Crabby's family was visiting when the package arrived, and Four out of Five Crab tasters said the same thing: Mmmm! One out of Five said: Eh. Not too bad. As for Lobsters: both Lobster and Lobster Mom said: Yumm! So it's not just the Crab who thinks they're tasty.

Almond was the flavor of choice amongst Crabs (and the Lobster) but the Peanut Bars weren't bad either. (By the time the bars got to Lobster Mom, there was only Peanut left).

What else is Good about these bars?

They're mostly nuts and don't have a lot of other ingredients. The nuts give them 7 grams of protein. And they're pretty cheap: a package of six retails for less than $3.50.

And like all Snack Bars, they're convenient. Toss one in your purse or backpack and you've got a semi-healthy treat that could keep you from making a far more disastrous snack choice instead--let's say hunger hits unexpectedly in front of a Ben and Jerry's or Pizza Hut or something. Stuff the bar in your mouth and Run Away!

What's Not So Good about them?

Among the handful of other ingredients: sugar and corn syrup. That's why they're tasty. And they're not whole food, like an apple. But you knew that--snack bars don't count as "real" food.

Also, they're about 200 calories (depending on flavor) and they're not all that big. This is a fairly high calorie budget for a treat that feels small. There are other smallish bars out there that are closer to 100 calories. But to be fair, they don't taste nearly as good as this one. Also, there are plenty of energy bars that are way more than 200 calories that taste like vitamin-and-protein-fortified, sugar-sweetened grout.

One could theoretically eat half of one of these Nut Crunch Bars for a tasty 100 calorie treat--but Crabby, despite several attempts, was unable to stop with "just a couple bites." They're too small and too yummy for that. Open the package--face it, the bar is gone.

So does anyone here even eat energy/snack bars? Have any favorites, or loathe the whole concept? What do you look for in a snack?

(And an unrelated P.S.--Crabby urges you, if you're the sort who doesn't mind surveys, to take the BlogHer survey in the sidebar. Crabby hasn't done it yet herself, but will soon. She hopes it's not too annoying! Anyway, she'd love to make Cranky Fitness look more popular than it actually is by having thousands and thousands more than two people click on the link!)


Apparently, the awesome Weetabix at Elastic Waist likes these crunch bars too! For some reason, this makes Crabby very happy.

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The authors of Cranky Fitness have opinions about fitness and weight loss products.

And we like Free Stuff!

This Review and Giveaway Page was the temporary home for product reviews, which now appear in full back at the main blog.

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