Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Product review: Bakery on Main's Soft & Chewy Granola Bars

Bakery on Main is a favorite source of mine for gluten free granola bars.  I love to tuck them in my purse or eat them for breakfast.  I recently was sent a sample of one of each of Bakery on Main's Soft & Chewy granola bars to test drive.

The three varieties are:  Peanut Butter & Jelly, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Almond.


The Apple Cinnamon was actually quite good, albeit a bit too sweet even for my tastes.  The bar I sampled had very liberal apple chunks.  These were dried, kind of like what you would find in an instant oatmeal.   I would even say that it had too many apple chunks, which might be why I thought it was too sweet.  I ate this bar as a mid-day snack right before lunch. 

I next sampled the Chocolate Almond, mainly because I wanted chocolate. I liked this one very much, but then again, I like Bakery on Main's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars.  Although I ate this one for breakfast, I fancy it more as a lunch snack or one that I would reach for after dinner when I have the 9 PM munchies.  I tasted the chocolate and really didn't even notice the almond at all.  This was a little surprising to me, but didn't detract from the taste because I rather liked this bar.

Finally, I tried the Peanut Butter & Jelly bar.  I saved this one for last, mainly because it was an unknown factor to me.  I figured the apple cinnamon would taste like apple and cinnamon.... and the chocolate almond would taste chocolately.  But I wasn't quite sure how a chewy bar would taste.  When you think PB&J, you think about a sandwich, not oats.  The first bite took me by surprise because it wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I expected the peanut flavor to be the strongest, but it really wasn't.  It blended quite well on my tongue with the jelly part.  The taste was a little off putting at first bite, but I finished this bar and was glad I did.  It took that first bite to acclimate my tongue, but after that, I liked the bar more with the next bite.

Things I liked (other than taste)

These soft & chewy bars have:

NO Dairy
NO Casein
NO Wheat
NO Trans Fat
NO Cholesterol 

Since I'm allergic to wheat, having no wheat in these bars is a very big draw.  I also like that there's no dairy because I'm lactose intolerant too.  So a nice, quick and easy snack that doesn't make me haul out my dairy enzyme is a good snack in my book!  No cholesterol is good too, since heart health is something everyone should be concerned with.

Which ones would I buy?

I would buy the Chocolate Almond more frequently than the other two.  I liked that bar the best by far, with the PB&J coming in second and the too-sweet Apple cinnamon coming in third.  These Soft & Chewy Bars are sold for approximately $5.49 and are so new that Bakery on Main hasn't yet started mass production.  You can buy them on the Bakery on Main site.


Like Confessions of an Overworked MomI also found these soft & chewy bars to be a bit too soft.  I had eaten two bars before I read her review and took her sage advice and put my last bar in the refrigerator to set up more fully.  Voila!  Problem solved.  The first two bars were so soft that they literally crumbled when I bit into them.  For the second one, I squeezed the bar in its wrapper to try to shape it into something that was more cohesive.  By the time I ate the PB&J Soft & Chewy Bar, I was so glad I'd read her review of Bakery on Main's Soft & Chewy bars and refrigerated it because when I took the bar out of the fridge to eat it, it was a really good consistency and didn't feel too soft anymore.  Therefore, if I were to buy these at the store, I would store them in the fridge.

Disclosure:  I received a sample of each of Bakery on Main's new Soft & Chewy granola bars to facilitate a review.  I received no compensation for this blog post.  The opinions stated herein are my own.  This review is based upon my experience with this product.  If you wish to read another review, please visit Confessions of an Overworked Mom for her take on this new granola snack bar.
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