Snack Review: New! Kashi TLC Pumpkin Pie Fruit and Grain Bar
After eating Kashi’s newest addition to the ever-expanding granola bar universe, I have reached the following conclusions:
1) There is no truth in advertising.
2) I enjoy High Fructose Corn Syrup more than Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup
As we’ve previously established here on the blog, I am a veritable fall flavor fiend – enjoying anything and everything cinnamon, apple, and of course, pumpkin. As a health consciences snacker and previously established fan of several of Kashi’s cereal, I decided to give these seasonal relevant granola bars a try when I spotted them at a local grocery store. Kashi, which never misses its chance to advertise their “seven whole grain mix” (which I usually enjoy) describes these bars with the following:
Pie lovers will enjoy the sweet blend of pumpkin, real soft fruit and warm pie spices, sprinkled with pecans. Our Pumpkin Pie fruit & grain bars have 4g Fiber and 4g Protein. Of course, our TLC Fruit & Grain bars are filled with so many tasty goodies, you won’t miss high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and preservatives – we promise.
Guess what Kashi? I noticed, and I’m none too pleased.
Don’t get me wrong. These bars aren’t horrible, and there are some good elements to them. For starters, they have a great spice flavor. And I’m not just talking about that “hint of cinnamon” crap you get from most granola bars, but rather a real deal, sophisticated taste of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Yes, ginger. Props for that, Kashi. Likewise, the bars have a pronounced pumpkin flavor in the fruity, gelly underside.
While I enjoyed this moist, spicy underside, the bars themselves lack a “wow” factor or a punch. As you can see from the photos, they are VERY small. Considering I got a box of six of these on sale for $2.50, I would pronounce them on them on the pricy side for their 32g size. Likewise, the pecans advertised in the photo on the box were almost nonexistent. This wasn’t a huge deal for me because I’m not really on the nut bandwagon to begin with, but I thought I should mention it nonetheless. The major downside for me was the bars’ lack of pronounced sweetness. Yes it’s “all natural,” but it’s also dull and limited to the jellied underside. In fact, the granola element of the bar was exceptionally bland, and once more lacked any real chewiness – no doubt due to the lack of partially hydrogenated oil.
I understand the health benefits from these bars, and at 120 calories and only 3 grams of fat they certainly are an exceptional treat (actually, like 3 or 4 of them at one time are) but frankly the cost of the bars, coupled with their small size and lack of sweetness, make me skeptical of buying them in the future.
BTW – Where the heck was the “fruit” in the “Fruit and Grain” element of these? Last I checked pumpkin was a veggie…
Pros: Sophisticated pumpkin flavor with great spice undertones. Real Pumpkin. Only 120 calories and no saturated fat. 2 grams of soluble fiber.
Cons: Expensive. Small. Dull sweetness. This does not taste like Mommy’s Pumpkin Pie. Boring, flavorless granola is kinda stale. Donde estan las Pecans?
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Overall GrubGrade: 5.25/10
More Info: Kashi.com
Serving Size: 1 Bar (32g)
Total Fat: 3g
Sat Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 50 mg
Total Carbs: 22g
Soluble Fiber: 2g