I tried out some new gluten free, nut free and dairy free snack bars the other day. First one to try out was the oat and chocolate when I was feeling particularly hungry but didn’t want to make lunch just yet. So – franken food or nice Frank food?
I was pleased to see they use EnergySmart for the sweetener as I had heard of that just recently and wanted to try it. The first thing I noticed was the dense texture. I am trying to think what it reminds me of. The chocolate was not like chocolate so not bothered about that – disappointed in fact as a big lover of chocolate (70% Lindt is my chocolate of choice as without soy lecithin). It had an overly malty flavour and after taste I was not too keen on. Alas this first encounter was tasting like franken food. It was not so sweet that you could keep on eating them like biscuits but it did satiate me well initially. I have remembered what the texture reminds me of – it is the chewiness of those Fudge bars or Curly Wurlys covered in chocolate that I had as a kid. Sadly 10 minutes later I was still starving and had to go make some lunch.
Blueberry and chocolate. I like this one better taste wise. There is something artificial tasting about it still. May be it is that EnergySmart stuff. Still not close enough to chocolate to bother with in my book. Reminds me of those dense Eastern European cookies called ‘pierniki’ so being of Polish origin that is working for me more.
Double chocolate tastes better surprisingly but Strawberry and chocolate, the last one I tried, is my clear clear favourite or I am getting used to the taste as I go along. My mum was here and she really liked it but to caveat this we call her ‘The hoover’ for a reason.
Ingredients of the Strawberry and Chocolate Frank Bar: FRUIT 46.6% (Dried Dates 33.9%, Dried Plums 12.7%, Freeze Dried Strawberry 0.8%), Fruit Juice Concentrates (Concentrated Apple, Grape, Pear and Strawberry Juices, Rice Starch), Gluten Free Oats 10.2%, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Organic Raw Probiotic Chocolate 7.4% (Cocoa Mass 47%, Coconut Blossom Sugar, Coconut Cream, Cocoa Butter 4.3%, Ground Vanilla Pods, Bacillus Coagulans GB1-30 6086 0.45%), Pea Protein, Pea Fibre, Natural Strawberry Flavour.
A box of 20 is far too many to purchase as I personally only have these type things when off on long journeys and not convinced I will find food I can eat along the way. Ideally would have liked more nuts in them to give me some fat for energy instead of gluten free oats, but that would be no good for nut allergy sufferers. As the bars didn’t stave off hunger I’m not sure about the merits of being so carb based.
They are a good attempt at a healthier snack but I find the Nakd Pecan Pie Bar filling for much much longer so would still go for one of those. I’m not keen on the gluten free oats (as I try to avoid all forms of grains since reading more about food and the link to health) or such a long long list of ingredients whether they are natural or not. If I was concocting them personally I’d shrink the ingredients list by leaving out the faux chocolate coating. If I had loved them I would get over the oats thing and add them to my treat food or emergency food list.
They may work for you though, particularly if you cannot eat nuts or dairy and want a quick snack while on the go. I am harder to please than most people when it comes to food and my benchmark for what is healthy food is a lot higher too. Check out http://www.thefrankfoodcompany.com/product-category/frank-snack-bars/ to buy, see a list of stockist or for more information.