What I’m Grubbing On: Pretentious Peanut Butter and the Best Cereal Bar Ever
Another week of products is in the books. What are my picks to buy ? Which enticing looking offerings should you skip? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered. Remember, for a full explanation of grading, see last week’s post.
Naturally More Peanut Butter: OK, so a quick primer on me and peanut butter. I’ve gone most of my life saying I don’t like it, even though I really don’t mind it. Why my culinary history was filled with such weird childhood misconceptions probably has a lot to do with saying I didn’t like things my sister likes (and I think vice-versa, considering she won’t eat onion, eggs, or Bison Balls – although the latter most is excusable). Recently though, I’ve been looking to totally bulk up, and all the football players I hang with have been suggesting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (like Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, who suggested to me to do this last summer). Being a pretentious eater with a Wal-Mart gift card and some curiosity, it figures about the time in my life when I put on my 22-year old pants and decided to man up with eating PB and J’s I would buy something like Naturally More. With 50% more fiber, 25% more protein, a butt load of Omega 3’s and flaxseed and no trans fat, it screams “pay more for me.” So I did, and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s thick and still has little specks of what I presume are seeds in it, but it’s still got an element of viscosity and sticky goodness that forces your mouth to shut-up and enjoy the all-natural roasted peanut flavors. I consider it totally good, and have been building my own sandwich cracker sandwiches with it. I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but the healthy peanut butter people have got me hook, line, and sinker, so much that I’m trying to figure out how the heck I’ll support this new-found addiction from the financial side of things. BUY ‘EM.
Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treat Bars: I honestly had thought I’d seen the best of over-priced, artificially-laden 100 calorie snack bars, but then my favorite cereal comes out into bar form and I just had to try it. Well, all I can say is RUN (don’t walk) to buy yourself these bars, no matter the price. 15 different sweeteners should not deter you on the longest ingredient list you may ever see, because each and every one of them give this bar an overly-sweet but amazingly nostalgic taste which recalls the taste of Lucky Charms mixed in with yogurt and cool whip, only much better. Quaker Oats has nothing on these guys, and since the first ingredient is WHOLE GRAIN OATS and since these bars contain 6% of the RDA for calcium, you’re really doing your kid a favor by buying them. But seriously, the yogurty coating on the bottom of these bars makes the crunchy Lucky Charms bits all the better. BUY ‘EM
Brown Cow Cream on Top Yogurt: I basically eat one “lite” style Kroger brand yogurt a day, and will occasionally buy regular low-fat plain yogurt to mix fruit in. What can I say? It’s cheap and tasty, but the texture of the light stuff leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve tasted some more expensive brands of Greek yogurt and have been impressed, but I wanted to know if Brown Cow’s “special recipe” – which features a “thick layer of sweet cream” on the top – was really anything superior to what I usually eat (and worth double the price and calories). I tried the Maple flavor, and I thought it tasted pretty good, although the sweetness wasn’t what I prefer or am used to. Obviously, this yogurt doesn’t have fructose or any of the artificial sweeteners which make lite yogurts often taste very, very sweet when they first hit your tongue, but the mellow flavor of base worked well to accent the muted sweetness of the Brown Cow yogurt. It was weird though, because it didn’t really taste like maple, and tasted more like caramel. I liked it, but I really did not notice a huge difference with texture. There was very little “cream” on top, and what there was seemed to be rather “meh”. Go ahead and damn stabilizers, but I didn’t find it any creamier than a standard low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt. I noticed they have a chocolate flavor that sounds intriguing, but at double the price for my usual buy, I’ll be passing. PASS
Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar: You’d think after totally dissing the last two Clif bars I had (Pumpkin Pie and Gingerbread) I’d be done with Clif Bars, but to their credit, Clif sent me some products and I’m determined to see ’em through. Well, third time was finally the charm. These were nice and chocolaty with a great background of mint, and the chocolate cookie pieces in between the soy and rice base reminded me of something you’d get inside a really decadent mint chocolate chip ice cream. The icing on top played a better foil for this bar than on the non-chocolate bars I’ve had, and at only 17 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein this is a really solid all-around nutrition bar for slow pokes like me. BUY ‘EM
Grandpa’s Oven Pumpkin Cobler Bread: A Wal-Mart staple, I bought this sweet bread at 40% off because it was the sell-by date. I was expecting and hoping for something especially sweet and gooey, but was surprised by how mild the bread was. The dough itself is not as moist as a quick or sweet bread, and definitely has the texture of a cinnamon raisin loaf. It does, however, have a good pumpkin flavor, although it’s a little muted because of the modest sweetness (at only 8g of sugar per 47g slice, it’s even less sweet than most cinnamon raisin breads.) The swirls remind me of the inside of a cinnamon roll, only not as decadent. I liked the glaze on top though, and the end slices, which were much moister. This was a really good breakfast bread that goes good with peanut butter, and is a pretty reasonable treat at only 160 calories a slice. But that’s not what I want in my sweet breads, and while I like it, I’m probably wouldn’t buy it again. BEG, BORROW, or BARTER
Alright, your turn to sound off. Had any of these? Think I’m dead wrong? Found any good snack or product finds that you think I just NEED to try? Let us know!