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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Simply Balanced Coconut Granola Bars with Ancient Grains

My wife liked these more than I did. If it were up to her, these would have gotten 8 or 9 stars. I didn't really think they were all that special, as far as granola bars go. But they weren't terrible, either.

Flavor-wise, they tasted like plain granola bars with an essence of toasted coconut. I thought the coconut flavor could have been stronger, but Sonia liked it the way it was. She likened the flavor to macaroon cookies—not unlike the Coconut Macaroon Cereal we looked at last year. She's not wrong there, but I would argue that the cereal was just a little bolder in the taste department.

As far as "Ancient Grains" go, you couldn't really taste them independently of the granola and coconut. I think marketers like to add the phrase "ancient grains" as a gimmick these days. But hey, it's worked on me before. And it'll probably work again in the future. I just hope those trace amounts of amaranth and quinoa are working their magic behind the scenes and making me super healthy when I eat them.

Texture-wise, these granola bars are pretty much like any run-of-the-mill Quaker Chewy bar or a knockoff thereof. I feel like, if anything, these were a smidge firmer than traditional "Chewy" bars...but that could have just been my imagination. Plus, it's been a while since Sonia polished off the box, so I might not be remembering correctly.

All in all, snackable and convenient, but not particularly memorable in my opinion. I might have gone lower score-wise, but the wife loved them so much, I'll go with something a tad higher in the end. If you're interested in looking at the ingredients, just click here.

I give these Coconut Granola Bars 7 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Archer Farms Sweet Potato Chips

In recent years, I've fallen in love with sweet potato chips. They're salty, they're sweet, and they have at least as much appeal as regular old potato chips, in my humble opinion. But not all sweet potato chips are created equal.

As sweet potato chips go, these are some of the best I remember having. They're just the right consistency, just the right level of sweet, and just the right amount of saltiness. They're crispy and crunchy. Once in a while, you'll come across sweet potato chips that are somewhat "limp." They're almost soggy in a weird way. Not these. Maybe it's that resealable bag to the rescue again—but whatever it is, the texture of these chips is ON POINT.

Taste-wise, they're even more full of flavor than other sweet potato chips I've tried. My wife and I demolished the bag in just over a day—and Sonia's not even really a chip person, although she too has cultivated an appreciation for sweet potato chips in recent months.

All things considered, they're not completely bad-for-you and the sodium content is really pretty low for a potato chip. If you're interested in seeing the product out of the bag, just click here.

I give these chips 8 out of 10 stars.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Archer Farms A Handful of Everything Trail Mix

A handful of...everything? Everything? Well, they seem to have left out a few things, including pork, nougat, caviar, shredded cheese, and orange juice.

Not that any of those ingredients would have made this a better trail mix. On the contrary. I'm just making sure readers know that by "everything," Archer Farms means dried fruit, yogurt-covered peanuts, chocolate, almonds, raisins, and coconut. As it is, it's pretty tasty.

At $3.99 a bag at my local Target, this is one of the least expensive trail mixes AF has to offer. They go all the way up to $7 a bag! For that price, there had better be caviar in there...or something else really gourmet-ish.

Most of the ingredients in this bag are relatively healthy, except for maybe the chocolate chips. My wife and I agree that the chocolate really isn't necessary here, nor is the moderate amount of added sugar. There's plenty of sweetness from the banana chips, raisins, dried mangos, pineapple, and yogurt chips.

Honestly, I wouldn't have minded a few more nuts in the mix to counterbalance all of the sweetness. But all things considered, this is a delicious, energizing snack that would be great to keep one's blood sugar up if hiking or biking or what have you.

I'll absolutely be trying and reviewing more of AF's trail mixes, so stay tuned. Keep those comments coming, check out and "like" our Facebook fan page, and as always, thanks for reading!

I give this trail mix 8 out of 10 stars.

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