Kashi TLC Bars recently made an appearance in a grocery store near me. Although not new on the market, this new to our store offering in the granola bar category immediately caught the eye of my ten year old daughter who “just had to” try them.
After perusing the available flavors, she settled on dark chocolate coconut. It was the dark chocolate and coconut that persuaded me to try these Kashi bars once I bought them for her; I am not a big fan of granola. The taste was delicious, and my daughter assured me that despite the chocolate they weren’t horribly unhealthy. The dark chocolate coconut bars are in the fruit and nut category of Kashis and contain walnuts. Each bar of the dark chocolate coconut variety does contain 3.5 g of fat, but also contains 4 g of fiber, 4 g of protein, and 6% of the DV for iron.
On a subsequent grocery trip, we tried another variety of Kashi granola bar, this one from the chewy collection. The cherry dark chocolate chewy granola bars have a little less fat than the dark chocolate coconut variety, 3g, and more protein, 5g. Like their counterparts, they have 4g of fiber and provide 6% of the dv for iron.
One of the most desirable aspects of these Kashi bars besides what for me was surprisingly fantastic taste is their relative naturalness. No hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavorings mar the ingredient panel.
Sweeteners are abundant in Kashi TLC bars, including honey and cane juice. The total sugars per bar is 7g for dark chocolate coconut and 8g for cherry dark chocolate chewy granola bars, with the calories per bar 120 for both flavors.
Price-wise these bars cost about the same as similar brand name products on the grocery store shelf. A box of 6 was $3.89 at my local Safeway, $3 with a club card.
Compared to Quaker granola bars, the only other granola bar whose taste appeals to me, Kashi granola bars are larger, 35g contrasted with 24g. Quaker bars contain artificial ingredients and provide less protein and fiber. However, Quaker granola bars are calcium rich whereas Kashi bars do not contain calcium.
Nature Valley is another popular brand of granola bar. The serving size for Nature Valley is the largest of the three brands at 42g for 2 bars constituting a single serving. The taste of Kashi bars is vastly superior to Nature Valley granola bars. Nature Valley bars have double the fat, the same protein, less iron and less fiber per serving than Kashi bars. Like Kashi bars, however, Nature Valley sticks to natural flavorings and avoids using hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.
One thing that frustrates me about Kashi granola bars is their propensity to disappear in a flash upon their removal from the grocery bag. I wish they sold them in larger size boxes because 2 of my 3 kids love them and 6 bars don’t go far.
In my local area, Kashi bars are a little harder to find than some of the other brands of granola bar like Quaker and Nature Valley, but they are worth the search in the opinion of the family member who likes granola bars most, my ten year old daughter.
Sources: www.kashi.com; www.quaker.com; www.naturevalley.com.