Snack Review: Chocolatey Chip Cookie Special K Bars
I totally resented the Special K Peaches and Berries bars my mom put in my lunch all through middle school. Not only was the measly, 90-calorie bar utterly flavorless, but it inevitably carried with it the connotation of diet food. While other kids got to break into their Twinkies and Little Debbie cupcakes, I got the stupid little bars that my mom bought en masse at the grocery store. If I didn’t tend to either sleep through the hours my parents were at home or bother to spend the time responding with anything other than “fine” when they asked how school was, I might have even remembered to tell my mom that I didn’t want Special K bars anymore.
Thankfully, those days are long over, and the fad of Special K bars as healthy food has passed. Sure, you’ll see it on sale as “New Year’s Resolution” food, but the empty rice base and long list of ingredients on Special K bars have made them equatable to pure, unadulterated candy in the mind of the crusading Internet health bloggers. This, naturally, makes the prospect of Special K appealing to someone like me, who laughs in the face of health trends and dares to risk a cancer-filled future by eating something which actually contains partially hydrogenated oil and fake fiber.
That’s right folks. I’m young. I’m wild. I’m crazy. And I’m living dangerously.
At least that’s how I’m going to frame a recent purchase of Special K’s newest 90-calorie bar, the Chocolatey Chip Cookie flavor. That, and I just happen to like chocolate chip cookies, which this bar unfortunately tastes nothing like. Of course, I should have expected as much, since it didn’t promise to be a chocolate chip cookie, and instead the ambiguously defined, if not totally vitamin water drinking mommy chic Chocolatey Chip Cookie. Seeing such a strange title should have given me clues of what was to come, but what can I say – mommy sent me to the mart to get meat and vegetables, and I got distracted. It happens.
The bar base is kind of a cross of the familiar Quaker chewy bar and a Rice Krispie treat. There are two chocolate elements to it, with tiny pieces of darkened, toasted rice as well as a decent scattering of chocolate chips. Both are utterly flavorless. The rice base – itself lacking any kind of standard cookie crumb or chew – has an off artificial flavor, while the chocolate chips are flat and lack any kind of a punch. It’s not super-gooey as far as bars go, and is kind of a tough chew. Mostly, it just tastes like old cocoa powder dumped over some original Special K cereal.
There’s really nothing redeeming about this bar, which is unfortunate because it sounded appealing when I bought it. At $2.50 for a box for six bars (and that’s on sale, mind you), it’s also a really crummy value, especially considering it’s measly 90 calorie size. I swear I was feeling lightheaded not just a half hour after eating this, and I find it a poor excuse for a snack. And here I thought I was living dangerously by eating a suddenly uncool “not really healthy” health food. Whether you’re actually looking for a low calorie snack bar or just get too easily distracted by boxes of random foods in the grocery store, I’d recommend skipping these, and just eating some regular Oreos instead.
Pros: 90 calories. Apparently made with actual chocolate chips. Long list of ingredients that make you feel like a rebel buying these.
Cons: Middle school memories. I wish mommy had packed me Twinkies. Fake, dull chocolate flavor. Like eating a stale chocolate chip cookie made out of rice. 6 measly bars for $2.50. Standing in line at the grocery store with Special K products not doing much for my dude cred.
Price: 2.50 (on sale at Weis Markets)
Overall GrubGrade: 3.75 (GrubGrade Hall of Shame)
More Info: SpecialK.com
Special K Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Sat Fat: 0.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g (per serving, does contain PHO)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 100 mg
Total Carbs: 18 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 8 g
Protein: Less than 1 g