Snacktime: Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind Bar

In my grocery store I have passed the rack of Kind bars quite often and to be honest they just looked like candy bars so I didn’t pick them up. While I am fond of the occasional sweet, they are not my go to when I go for snacks. I tend to go for savory. I pick up pretzels or nuts or cheese when I need a special treat.

And to be honest most snack bars of this sort are too sweet for me. However I was drawn in by the name. Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. I love Cashews and will happily take down more cherries in one sitting then I really should. And when I go for chocolate, I do tend to lean towards the darker varieties. In addition I stopped by the rack looking for a snack and saw that most of them had some sort of cookie dough flavor.

the bar

Don’t get me wrong, I like cookie dough in itself. I am not a fan of cookie dough flavored things as they are almost always too sweet for me. So the Kind Bar stood out even more as it was not cookie dough flavored.

The bar has 170 calories which is a bit much for me. I generally try not to go over a hundred with my afternoon snack. Occasionally I will push it to 130 but 170 is pretty high. However once in a while I can indulge.

The Kind bar has a chewy texture with enough crunch from the nuts to make it satisfying to bite into. The chocolate is sweet but it has the dark chocolate bite to it that I really enjoy and the cherries are more tart than sweet, almost to the point of cranberry tartness but not quite.

cross section

It was a rather enjoyable snack. In fact it was everything I hoped for when I read the label. However for me, it was too large. I would have been more satisfied with a bar half the size. It was simply too much for me in one sitting. However when I went to the website I saw that they do sell boxes of mini kind bars. From the package on the screen it looked like they sold this bar in a version that was about half the size.

While this was delicious, in this size i would probably not buy it again. It is simply too much of a good thing, However I would happily purchase this dark chocolate cherry cashew bar in a half sized version. I think that would be just enough sweet, just enough afternoon energy and just the right amount of calories for me to feel comfortable with this as an afternoon snack.

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Snack time: Original Ginger Chews

I know strictly speaking, these Original Ginger Chews fall more into the candy side of things than the snack side, however as I used them to help curb my apatite in the afternoons, I’m going to call them a snack. As many of you who have read these posts often might recall, I generally find a snack in the afternoon keeps me from overeating at dinner. I try to keep my snack around a hundred calories. And in general if I can get it around a hundred, then I will call it a snack.

No these ginger chews are not around a hundred calories each, they are 15 calories each. I picked them up because I really like ginger and because sometimes I need a break from peppermints.

Thies ginger chews are listed as gluten free and 100% natural. While I am thrilled to know that, what I like is the ingredients list. Are you ready for it?

Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Ginger, coconut fat

Wasn’t that a mega long list? Seriously it is essentially ginger mixed with a bit of sweetness to tame it and something to gelify and stabilize it. As you can see from the picture it has a jelly like consistency. It is bendable which I really like. It is slightly stiff but not rock hard (which i think the individual packaging helps with). While I do like hard candies, I like the fact that something labels chew isn’t rock hard.

the two big issues that candies like this have are that they could be rock hard or they could be so sticky that it gets stuck in your teeth. As I said above, this one avoids the rock hard trap. It is a little sticky in the mouth but I haven’t had a problem with it sticking to my teeth too much. While I will bite them, I do tend to suck on them and let them dissolve in my mouth rather than chewing them. And yes I know that chews are meant to be chewed, but somehow I never have. It used to really bother my brother.

The ginger flavor really comes through. It is not overly sweet and not burn your tongue gingery. It strikes a really nice balance between the heat and the sweet. It is also a nice break from the other snacks I tend to pick up which fall into sweet, salty or creamy sections. The texture makes me feel like I’ve eaten something (even if I don’t chew). And the ginger, while very tasty, can also help to settle my stomach if it is feeling upset in anyway. If you like ginger or want a sweet and spicy treat, this might be something to check out.



Snacktime: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao with Reishi

Today we have something a little different for snack time. Instead of a tasted edible, we have a drinkable. It is the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao with Reishi. I recently received several packets of this in a subscription box and I have to say I was very excited to give it a try. I have heard all this talk about how good reishi mushrooms are for you. Apparently it is supposed to help with stress and promote immune health and at this time of year both of those sound like amazing benefits.

Plus while I always love mushrooms, now is the time of year where I really like hot chocolate. So this sounded like the perfect time to try it.

I actually have a set of tea cups that hold 4 ounces of liquid and since that is the amount of liquid needed to turn one of these packets into a drink, I chose it to use today. I wanted to make certain that I didn’t overly dilute it with extra water.

I boiled my water in my electric kettle. I added the mix to the cup and then added the boiled waster untop of it. I stirred really well so there was no left over residue on the bottom. And then I had to wait for it to cool down a little because the cup is uninsulated and too hot to hold.

When I could hold the cup without burning myself I lifted it up and inhaled. There was a wonderful chocolatey scent. I took a sip. The taste did not match the scent. According to the Four Sigmatic website this drink is…

An evening treat that’ll transform your mornings too – Better bedtime starts with a better evening ritual. Organic cacao plus Reishi helps you leave today’s stress behind so you can feel great tomorrow. It’s delicious, just a little decadent, and undeniably good for you.

Ingredients:

Organic Reishi mushroom (500ml per serving), Organic cacao powder, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic stevia

Four Sigmatic

When I tasted it, I got the cinnamon. I got the cardamom and I got the stevia. There was a slight chocolaty taste as a back note, but it was obliterated by the spices. In addition, even though I deliberately used a cup that could only hold four ounces which is the recommended amount, it tasted watered down with a back note that just read as stale. I think the stale might be down to the watery taste mixing with the mushrooms.

I think they were going for a Mexican Chocolate sort of flavor, which normally I really love. I think the problem is the water. As I said at the beginning, I have a couple of packs so I decided to try a little experiment. I heated up four ounces of milk. And made another cup of the cocoa.

With the milk it tasted more like Mexican Hot Chocolate and I enjoyed it more. It still tasted a little stale, as though it was a box of hot chocolate mix that was stored too long in the cupboard.

To be honest they need to bump up the chocolate flavor. But the milk did help. I honestly think it was the milk fats that kind of helped it out. I know they are going for a healthier alternative, but if they dialed back the cinnamon and cardamom and upped the chocolate it would have a better taste. If you are a vegan, I would consider using a vanilla almond milk with it. Normally the vanilla almond milk is a little too sweet for me, but I think the extra sweetness might actually help this out and make it a more rounded flavor.

I understand what they are trying to do and I think it is admirable, but for me I would rather just have a hot cup of tea or splurge for a hot cup of actual cocoa. This doesn’t replace either but falls short somewhere in the middle. I like the thought of a healthier drink and I don’t mind them adding mushrooms, In fact I would love to see them added to more things. They just fell down on flavor. I just plain didn’t like the taste. This is not a drink I will be repurchasing.


Snack Time: Larabar Lemon Bar

As most of you know, a good mid-afternoon snack is a key part of my diet plan. While I generally try to avoid snacking, mostly because I find when I do my calories quickly escalate without me noticing, the afternoon snack is different.

Most meals, I cook at home. I like cooking. I did even before I started my diet plan. I really enjoy the process. Plus I found out very quickly that I really liked playing around with different spices and flavors. I found this out mostly because my babydoll was diagnosed with high blood pressure and we had to cut out a lot of salt laden products on his doctor’s orders. This knocked out a lot of processed food from out eating habits as well as a lot of restaurant meals.

We still go out to eat, but it is a once in a while treat rather than something we do routinely. Our local grocery store can sometimes be limiting, so we do drive out of town to a larger city for some things. We also use the internet a lot, especially for hard to find spices. In addition places like Vital Source has been a huge help in securing quality product as well (we like to eat fish about once a week).

However life gets busy. Sometimes I will make extra portions of a meal that I know freezes well so that on a day when my schedule is swamped, we can have a great meal in a very short period of time. I know, some of you are thinking it is a good idea and you don’t see the problem (or what this has to do with snacking).

The problem is portion control. It is one of my biggest weaknesses. “This turned out really well. I like this recipie. Oh there is still a lot left, maybe I’ll have just a little more.”

If you are going to make multiple portions for saving then you can’t nibble around the edges of the other portions. Not only will it make your planned meal too large but it will short you on a meal at later times. For me the mid-afternoon snack is a very important tool in making sure I stick to my portion. The snack needs to feel substantial without adding a lot of calories. On days when I know I am making extra portions of a meal I really enjoy and know I will want to take extra, it needs to feel like an extra treat. If it does then i feel like I already indulged for the day and am less like to indulge a second time.

This is also why sometimes my snacks aren’t the healthiest of items. Sometimes a guilty indulgence is what I really need. It is also why I generally pay close attention to the calorie count when I have those indulgences. If I am having cinnamon bears then I am counting each one of those little guys to get the portion correct. And then I am lining them up like soldier and destroying them like a rampaging giant. But that is another story.

Often time my afternoon snack is fruit.

Today we are going to talk about the Lara bar. I picked this up because I know a lot of people who swear by it. I also picked it up because it was not cookie dough flavor. While I generally like the flavor of cookie dough, in a snack bar I often find it too sweet and to cloying in the mouth. Occasionally it is very good, but it isn’t my go to. The lemon bar looked like much better bet.

I do have a confession though. You know how I mentioned calorie count earlier? Well I generally try to keep my afternoon snack around the 100 calorie range. Sometimes it will go up, sometimes down, but that is generally the target that keeps me satisfied and makes me feel like I had a bit of a treat.

My confession: I didn’t read the calorie count on the label.

I picked it up, thinking, Its a three inch long power bar, how caloric could it be? It turns out that little bar is 200 calories. I know, packed with nutty fruity goodness. But still it is 100 calories more than I planned to consume. It wasn’t particular problem as I just extended my walk a bit, but it is something to be aware of. Those proteins bars can be packed with calories, as well as good things.

This one does have good things in it. And the taste was very nice. It is a fresh lemon that is tart enough to make you pucker pared with the nutty almonds. I really enjoyed the flavor. It was very fresh tasting. My problem is actually that some of the lemon peels included in the mix were overly large and rock hard. I couldn’t chew them and had to take them out of my mouth as though they were orange seeds when i was eating an orange. The lemony burst was delicious, but the removal was not that pleasant.

And while I could, in theory break the bar into two pieces and use half of it on one day and half of it the next, there is no natural break. It is a bar that is meant to be eaten in one sitting. It is not like the E3 Bars that are deliberately broken into three pieces so you can decide how much you want to consume. This is one whole thing.

I will say though that the calories mean I will treat the Larabar Lemon bar sparingly and go in with the full knowledge of how many calories the product holds. The taste means that I want to eat it again because it was just plain yummy. The overly large and really hard lemon pieces mean if I do pick up another one of these it will be with caution. I’m just not sure the taste is enough to move me past the lemon peel bits. They are tasty, but at one point, I thought I chipped a tooth. I might go for something tasty, but less hazardous in the future.


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Snacktime: Ritz Cheese Crispers

Today I have a snack sent to me by Influenster. They sent out a Ritz Vox box and two packets of their Cheese Crispers was inside. They have two flavors apparently, one is Cheese and the other is Four Cheese and Herb. Both of the packets in my box were Cheese flavored.

The packets are 100 calories per bag which fits them right into the perfect snacking zone for me. I’ll be honest though, I was a little nervous about snacking on Ritz. Like a lot of people I grew up with the cracker. It is a great platform for other items, cheese, sausage ore even peanut butter. It has a buttery crunch that I enjoy, but I’ve never eaten the crackers on their own as a snack.

The most I’ve done with them other than as a platform for other things is as a decadent bread crumb. Seriously, if you are looking for something rich and buttery to use in an item where you need bread crumbs, they work fantastically.

However when I opened this packet, I found they weren’t quite licke Ritz crackers. They were flattened and thinner. Like the name suggests, they are Crispier as well. It is essentially a snack on its own rather than a cracker in search of a topping.

While pressed flat, they do have some bubbles of air in them which does make the texture light and crunchy. They retain some of that Ritz buttery-ness however they have an intense Cheese flavor to them as well. Because of the texture they don’t feel as heavy as eating a handful of the regular crackers. This is definitely a snack on its own.

Personally I really enjoyed it.

I only got to eat the one bag though. As they were the same flavor, my babydoll took the other bag and after scarfing them down informed me that “we can get these again.” Which means they will be added to a grocery list in the near future. I was very impressed with not only the lightness and the crispiness bit the flavor of these. I think that while we will definitely be picking up the Cheese flavor again, I might pick up the four cheese and herb flavor to try as well. All in all, they made a great snack. Quite a satisfying 100 calories in my mid afternoon.




Snacktime: Candy Club Grapefruit Slices

That’s right my darlings, you read that right, I said candy. I know what you are thinking, ‘Mimsy, weren’t you working on losing some weight? How exactly does the candy play a roll here?’

So glad you asked.

Here is the thing, yes I am trying to lose weight and yes, Candy isn’t something I indulge in often. In fact even though I am slowly eating most of the crunchy and savory items from my Tokyo Treats Box, most of the candy in it was passed on to someone else. Mostly because I am more of a savory sort of person.

See here is the deal. Yes I try to limit things like sugar and I tend to avoid empty calories, part of my “dieting” is building a healthy and sustainable life. For me that means that I do not really demonize anything. I try for moderation instead. There are a few candy’s that I like to eat, but I only have them once in a while and I portion them out.

Snacks for me are a little varied. while I do prefer something that feels substantial like a Chomps Stick (the Cranberry habanero is my favorite) or even an energy bar (kind of groovin’ on the Orange Cranberry Energy Cubes from E 3 Foods at the moment – I love that you can easily break one bar into three squares and control how much you eat.) I do occasionally have a treat.

I still stick to the basic guidelines though. A snack is no less than 50 calories and no more than 120. Generally if it is less than 50 calories then I don’t feel like it is enough and either tend to eat more than I should for a snack or go looking for something else. the something else usually ends up blowing my calorie count.

I know not all calories are the same. A snack like a Chomps stick will leave me feeling full and satisfied while candy is a momentary pleasure that doesn’t really stick with me. So when I substitute something like candy for my afternoon snack I make certain that dinner is a simple well contained unit that I can’t over eat. Sometimes I make meals designed to have left overs so that they can be frozen and on nights where things get busy we can have an easy meal relatively quickly.

if I make candy a snack, then I don’t do that. Tonight is actually a salad night. Everything is measured and counted and once assembled, I will have one salad, no leftovers. So there will be no over eating on seconds. Mostly because there are no seconds. Its a simple system.

This week I have been using green grapes as my afternoon snack. One cup is about 105 calories if you were curious. And yes, I do measure them into a measuring cup. Today I decided it was time to break out the Candy Club. You can order the individual containers or you can subscribe to their subscription service. It is a really great subscription and it lets you choose sweet or sour as your main focus for your box. I chose sour, and most of it was, but there were also some sweet in there as well. You can also order the individual treats you like, I just like trying new things that I might not have picked out for myself. Which is why I like most subscription boxes and variety packs when it comes down to it. I like a little surprise in my treats. Candy Club always surprises me.

I love the subscription, but it is one I dip into and then back out of a lot, which is why I don’t review it on a consistent basis (although there are a few subscription posts for it). The box is good and I like the variety. The Grapefruit slices were in my last box. Each of the candies are contained in screw top containers which keep the candy fresh until you open them and If my baby doll doesn’t find my secret stash and eat the candy collection then they last a while without going stale.

The best part (besides eating the candy) is that the jars have clearly labeled calorie counters and it tells you how many pieces are in a serving. Since five pieces is 100 calories, five pieces is my treat. The grapefruit slices are great. they are fruit, a little sour and a little sweet. It isn’t mout puckeringly sour, but it is a tang. I think they are moving up the ranks to be one of my favorite candies. But only one day a week for candy and today was that day. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grapes.

But the treat was a nice break.

Candy Club - Hello Fall

Snacktime: Umaiwa Mentai Flavor

Ah what a difference a little research makes. When I opened the Tokyo Treat Box there were very few things I could identify. A lot of what I picked up was from the photographs. No matter what the language, a cartoon strawberry pretty much looks like a cartoon strawberry. There was one package that drew my attention though. I thought it looked like a picture of tomatoes and basil.

Oh my darlings, was I wrong.

Today I couldn’t resist opening the Umaiwa Mentai Flavor bag of crispy treats. Apparently Umaiwa means delicious ring, at least from what I could find out on line. If I have that wrong, someone please post a comment correcting me. It turns out those were definitely not tomatoes. I found the same bag in my Tokyo Treat Box offered for sale for $7 here. It’s description read…

Umaiwa is a famous crunchy ring-shaped snack from Japan, from the makers of Umaibo. This Mentai flavor will definitely surprise you with the taste of mentaiko, or spiced pollock roe, one of Japan’s most traditional food.

So yeah, definitely not tomatoes.

It sounds a bit more like botarga to me. And I do like botarga. I just never thought of it in terms of snack food.

The rings have the same consistency as cheese puffs. And they have a similar orange coloring too actually, maybe with a bit more red mixed in. Part of my brain wanted to say faux cheese flavor and another part of my brain thought, that’s going to be spicy.

It was neither. It was crispy and crunchy and slightly sweet and slightly salty with a touch of smoky heat on the back end of the flavor. I absolutely loved them. There is something about them that is absolutely addictive. It is also not as salty as botarga. I think if it was then I would be able to eat as many.

I’m sure they over step my usual calorie allotment for snacks, but I had a salad lunch and will be having a slice of quiche for dinner so I’m okay bending the calories a little. I have no idea what the calorie count is since I could find no translation of it, and probably don’t want to. This bag was the perfect snack size and even though a part of me wanted more because they were absolutely yummy, I know this was all I needed.

I’ve never had mentaiko before and as this is clearly a processed snack food, I might not have actually tried it now, but I really enjoyed the flavor of this and because of that I will be looking out for mentaiko in the future. Perhaps I will like it as much, perhaps I won’t, but I do know that before this snack I didn’t know it existed and now, I want to try it. And if I can use my snack food to drive off hunger cravings, try something new and but an entirely new to be food on my culinary radar, I am pretty happy. Over all, that makes this a very successful snacktime.


Snacktime: Verb Energy: Peppermint Mocha

Yes it is time to turn our attention once more towards snacking. As you may recall I ordered a four bar variety pack from Verb Energy a while ago. I adore variety packs, especially if they are a product I don’t know much about. And until I ordered the pack I only knew what I saw on the website.

And that was that Verb Energy bars are vegan, have only 90 calories and have as much caffeine as an espresso. All of which sounds pretty good to me.

As part of keeping on track with my calories, I like to have a snack in the mid-afternoon. I generally find that a small snack can not only make me feel like I have had a special treat but also keep me from over indulging at dinner time. while I have no real rules for my snacks I generally find that they have to be more than 50 calories for them to make any impact and I like to keep them under 120 calories so they don’t get out of hand.

All in all that is a pretty wide range.

In addition there are many afternoons when i find myself dragging. A little hit of caffeine wouldn’t be a bad thing.

However how thins sound on paper and how they taste in real life are two entirely different things. As I mentioned, I ordered the four pack of bars. This is actually the fourth of the pack. The last one. The salted peanut butter was far too salty and dry for my taste and made me very thirsty. It’s taste was okay (it tasted like a no bake cookie) but not something I would go back for very often. the second bar was the blueberry Crisp which was dry and crumbly and had a taste I couldn’t stand. The third one I actually liked. It was the double chocolate.

And while I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying ‘Oh, she liked the CHOCOLATE one’, the truth is that the flavor was strong enough to remain dominant so that it actually tasted like what it was supposed to and not like the base components of the energy bar. In addition it had more moisture to it. So I could eat it without feeling like I needed to pound back several glasses of water.

while I welcome the chance to include more water in my day, I don’t think that eating something that dries out my tongue is the way to do it. Of the previous three bars, the only one I would purchase is the Double chocolate one.

But this leads us to the Peppermint Mocha. I’ll be honest, this is the one I was most interested to try. I love peppermint and I think that peppermint and mocha are both strong enough flavors to triumph over the base flavors of the energy bar. And as a side note it isn’t that i don’t like the base notes. The base flavor isn’t bad, but it tastes like floury oats mixed with brown rice and agave which isn’t really my choice for an energy bar.

Which I’m pretty sure the company knows as they don’t sell the base flavor but mix in other flavors. So to the Peppermint Mocha, Batman!

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almond Butter (Almonds), Brown Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Organic Quinoa Crisp, Cocoa, Natural Flavors, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Sea Salt

First off, the bar is much more moist than the other bars. Even the Double Chocolate. It actually came out of the package in one piece and not cracked. It has a very peppermint-y mocha scent to it. The scent is however stronger than the taste. it does taste of peppermint and mocha. However it is more like I stored the plain bar in a box with an open container of mocha powder and an open box of peppermint tea leaves. It is like the scent partially penetrated the outer layer of the bar but didn’t go all the way in.

After chewing and swallowing the bar, the flavor is very much a brown rice and agave mix. which isn’t bad, but not really my thing. I don’t believe that this is going to be an energy bar i reorder any time soon.

Of the four I tried, only the double chocolate actually tasted like the flavor it was supposed to taste like. I think that there was enough cocoa in it to penetrate all the layers of the bar and dominate the flavor. The other flavors just couldn’t compete with the mix in the base bar. Which is strange with this one as peppermint usually takes over anything it is a part of. With this, it was only surface flavor and I was left with brown rice and agave.

I think this does reaffirm my love of the variety pack though. Out of the pack of four I found one that I liked enough to reorder and three that I have no desire to try again. In theory, this bar should have been my go too as on paper everything sounded designed to suit me. But some times, you just have to try things in person so you can really know for sure. And now I know. If I order a bag, it will be the Double Chocolate.


My Little Mascara Club

Snacktime: Verb Energy – Double Chocolate

Hello my darlings and welcome to another edition of snack time.  I know, for many of you it makes you think you need to pull up your blankets and juice and get ready for story time. 

Well, here is your story my darlings.  Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to find and maintain a healthy weight.  She wasn’t looking to win a beauty contest or strut around in a bikini.  She just wanted to lose enough weight that she fell into a healthy range and didn’t put too much stress on her knees and ankles so that when she was older she could still walk normally instead of hobbling everywhere because her weight crushed her joints.

Even if the thought of whacking people in the shins with an elaborate cane for minor sins like bad grammar or the misuse of the term ironic did hold some appeal. she wanted that to be an affectation and one that resembled that of an evil villain rather than one necessary for support. Especially if she had gone all out for the long black cape and scull topped bobby pins in her blue rinsed curls.

But I digress.

Cane as affectation rather than support.

The bar just out of the package

And as she worked towards her healthy weight she found it was easier to keep within her calorie goal by having an afternoon snack. It kept her from overeating at dinner time and often the snack made her feel as though she had some sort of special treat.

Isn’t that a wonderful story? Anyone still awake?

Anyone?

Excellent, now I can make off with the juice boxes and begin my life of crime! Does anyone know what the resale value of juice boxes happens to be?  No?  Well maybe I’ll just skip the life of crime then and just work towards being the marcelled grammar bandit instead.

Do elderly ladies still get their hair marcelled? I think it is just a perm now which doesn’t have really the same ring to it does it? Never mind, on to the snacks.

As some of you may remember I ordered a trial pack of the Verb Energy bars.  Each bar has only 90 calories and the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso.  On paper it sounds like something I would be all over.  A 90 calorie snack? That sounds about right for my caloric budget.  The Caffeine hit of espresso?  Perfect for the midafternoon slump. How could I not approve?

There were four bars in the pack.  The first two didn’t go over so well.  The first one (salted Peanut Butter) tasted like a no bake peanut butter cookie.  Which wasn’t bad, but it was very salty and I found myself pounding back water like a dehydrated camel.  The second one, the Blueberry crisp tasted – to me – like a stale fig newton center rolled in stale oatmeal dust.  It was not something I ever want to put into my mouth again.  The bonus was that I only consumed about 45 calories of it as I simply couldn’t eat the whole thing. 

This leaves two flavors.  Peppermint Mocha and Double Chocolate.  I actually have high hopes for both as I think the flavors might be strong enough to carry this bar.  I couldn’t decide which one to try next so I actually put them in the empty Look Fantastic box, shook them around and then reached in without looking.  I grabbed the double chocolate so that is the one that I will be trying today.

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almonds, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Cocao Nibs, Vanilla Extract, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Pink Himalayan Salt

Verb Energy

Right off the bat I was pleased that it came out of the wrapper intact.  The other two were so dry that they came out in two pieces.  This one cracked along the top, but it came out whole.  And in fact it had enough moisture to it to hold together.  The others were very dry mixes.  I think the innate richness of cocoa butter might be doing it a bit of favors. 

When broken apart it looks a lot like the others, but slightly moister inside.  It has the same layering of almonds throughout. So it came out of the package well and it looks pretty good.  But the proof is in the taste. 

the interior

You know what?  The taste isn’t bad.  In fact, it is pretty good.  Do you know what it tastes like?  A vegan brownie.  Not a regular brownie.  You can tell that no eggs and milk went into this.  It says fudgy brownie on the description, but I think whoever wrote that hasn’t had an actual fudgy brownie in a long time, if ever. I make excellent fudgy brownies. This isn’t that. But it does taste like a vegan brownie, and that is not a bad thing.

In fact, it is a very good thing. 

I’ll admit, after the first two bars I was braced for the worst.  But quite honestly I would have no problem ordering a bag of these to rotate into my snack time line up.  There are 12 bars to a bag and a bag costs $19.95 on the Verb Energy Website.  Personally I am more of a savory snack type person.  If given the option I would go for the Chomps Cranberry Habanero Beef stick before something chocolaty, but every now and again I need a little bit of sweet in the afternoon.  If that sweet comes with a little extra zing of caffeine to boost me up a bit in the afternoon, I am perfectly fine with that.

And to be honest, I am now actually really looking forward to the last Verb Energy bar.  The Peppermint Mocha was the one I was most excited to try in the first place.  Now that I have tried the Double Chocolate, I have high hopes that it will be just as good.  I think the flavors should be strong enough, and I think that really that is what this energy bar mix needs, strong flavors to almost overpower the energy bar mix.  The Blueberry crisp couldn’t do it but the double chocolate could.  Fingers crossed that the peppermint mocha will triumph.

Hint

Snacktime: Verb Energy Blueberry Crisp

Welcome to another snack time trial. I recently ordered a four pack of Verb Energy bars to try out. I ordered the trial pack because I liked the idea. A small snack that has a hit of caffeine sounded like a really good idea. And when I looked at the ingredients list it listed all things I have no problem consuming. And so I ordered the pack.

This is the second flavor from the trial pack that I’ve tried and it is labeled Blueberry Crisp. The full sized pouch (which the link will take you to should you be interested) is $19.95 for 12 bars. So it comes to about $1.66/1.67, which isn’t too bad. each bar is a serving and it has 90 calories. So in general it fits into the snacking calorie range for me.

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I find a snack in the afternoon does keep me from overeating at dinnertime. It is one of my favorite diet tricks. And I am fairly lenient on those snacks. As long as the calorie count stays within range I can use the snack as an indulgent moment. So if I am craving chocolate I can have a square of Dove Chocolate as my snack. Sometimes I need something that feels far more substantial than it is and for that Chomps Sticks are fantastic because they are also in the 70-90 calorie range but give you the feeling of sinking your teeth into something far more substantial.

As a dessert I love blueberry crisp. And the ingredients in this led me to think the flavor profile might be similar.

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almonds, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Maple Sugar, Blueberries, Organic Quinoa, Vanilla Extract, Natural Flavors, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Pink Himalayan Salt

I have to be honest. I hated this blueberry crisp energy bar. First off it is very dry. I had that same problem with the first of the trial pack I tried but i thought the fruit might help. Like that first one , this bar broke a it came out of the package. The texture of the almonds in the bar is nice, it gave it a bit of crunch. That is the only nice thing I have to say about this. It tasted like the filling from a very stale fig newton that was rolled in oatmeal dust. I got the crunch of almost and a bit of oat flavor and then some generic ‘fruit’ flavor that tasted very stale. The only reason I said stale fig newton is because of the color. If I closed my eyes and took a bite then I couldn’t identify the fruit. To call it blueberry is actually an insult to blueberries.

To be honest, I couldn’t finish it.

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The first one I tried (the salted Peanut butter) wasn’t bad. Just a little too salty for me. The other two I have to try are Peppermint Mocha and Double Chocolate. Given the ingredients lists for those I think they will have a similar texture, but I think that the flavor profiles may work better with those textures than the blueberry crisp. I think the blueberry as a fruit was just too subtle for the mix of everything else they put into this bar and it simply didn’t work. At least not for me.

I really hate that I have so little positive to say about this but I just did not find it enjoyable. I have my fingers crossed for the next two bars though as I think the flavor combinations should be enough to make the bars taste like their labels. Butt for now, for me, this Blueberry Crisp is an utter failure as an afternoon snack. I am throwing away the rest of the bar and slicing an apple. It may not have the caffeine, but it has the calorie count, a great deal of good fiber and it will take the taste of this energy bar out of my mouth.