“ Type: Bar / Brand: Seeds of Change / Food quality: Organic food „
I like cereal bars, probably more than biscuits and I always make sure we have some in the house for when I feel a little peckish. I've always preferred the sultana and nut varieties to chocolate or berry flavoured choices but when my favourites where out of stock recently I decided to give these little gems a try. I've had Seeds of Change cereal bars before and enjoyed them, but you don't seem to get the sultana and hazelnut ones anymore so I thought I would try the chocolate ones.
==Seeds of Change==
Seeds of Change make a range of Organic Foods from cereal bars to sauces, established in 1989 they had a revolutionary mission: 'To make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the "advances" of modern industrial agriculture.'
All the ingredients in the cereal bars 100% organic, with no artificial additives or preservatives. The bars meet the Soil Association's standard for organic food and farming.
The bars come in a small cardboard box which contain 6 individually wrapped bars, the picture on the box shows one of the cereal bars along with some black grapes and pieces of chocolate. The box also states that ' Select ingredients make our organic chocolate and raisin cereal bars deliciously moist and chewy.'
On opening the box the individual wrappers match the box, white with the same picture of chocolate and grapes. On unwrapping the bar they appear exactly as they look on the front of the box, which I think is really good, there is nothing worse than having an expectation of a food then when you open it, it looks nothing like you imagined - which is always a let down.
The bars look quite chocolaty the crisp rice is chocolate coloured and there are lovely little chocolate chips sprinkled on the top. I must point out that the chocolate chips are in fact dark chocolate which I am not normally a fan of. There are also plenty of golden coloured oats throughout the bar. Initially I felt a little disappointed by the size (maybe I'm just too greedy) as my usual cereal bars appear to be slightly bigger, however on tasting them this was not an issue.
Well do the bars live up to the claims made on the front of the box? Definitely! On taking the first bite they are so moist and very chewy they are irresistible. The oats and chocolate chips give a lovely contrast to the chewy raisins, crisp rice and corn flakes. Like I mentioned earlier I was a little hesitant about the dark chocolate however this was not a problem, the bars are not overloaded with chocolate chips, for me there was exactly the right amount for it to taste perfect. The chocolate flavour is not too overwhelming and is balanced very nicely by the moistness of the raisins.
The size of the bars are just right too, I think any bigger and they could become a little sickly. They are sweet and I don't think I could eat one at breakfast time however, they are great for a snack, I would much rather have one of these than a chocolate biscuit.
The bars are 29g each and they contain
Energy 450kJ/106kcal, Protein 1.3g, Carbohydrate 20.0g, of which sugars 8.1g, Fat 2.3g of which saturates 1.1g, Fibre 1.1g, Sodium 0.005g
Ingredients: Glucose syrup, oat flakes, raisins, sugar, corn flour, wheat flour, rice flour, baker's honey, palm oil, cocoa mass, fat reduced cocoa, cocoa butter, sea salt, skimmed milk powder, dextrose, barley malt extract, sunflower oil, emulsifier (soy lecithin), (traces: hazelnut, sesame)
Suitable for vegetarians
Price - Around £1.80
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n my quest for a low-fat diet to reduce my cholesterol level, I've been looking for healthy cereal bars to take to work or nibble on while at home during the day. I had for some time been overdoing my consumption of plain chocolate on the pretext that it contained antioxidants and was good for the heart, but I recently had to admit that I was ignoring the fact that it contained far too much saturated fat and so I began to limit myself to one or two squares a day. It was a pleasant surprise to discover the Seeds of Change Chocolate and Raisin Organic Cereal Bars and to see that with these I could allow myself some chocolate in a healthy way. Each 29gram bar contains just 1.1grams of saturated fat, whereas a plain chocolate digestive biscuit, for example, contains about 2 grams. The number of calories per bar is 107, for those of you who are watching your weight.
The bars are packed in boxes of six, and I paid £1.99 (October 2007) at Waitrose. This seemed at first a little expensive compared with Waitrose's own Lemon Oat Bars which I used to buy, but is in fact cheaper than Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Elevenses Bakes, although these do contain more calories and are probably more filling.
The box shows an unwrapped cereal bar, crumbling a little as if someone has just taken a bite, alongside a picture of some of the ingredients. This picture I feel is slightly misleading, as the chocolate does not look particularly dark whereas the back of the packet specifically mentions 'pieces of dark chocolate'; what's more, purple grapes are shown rather than actual raisins. But this is a minor gripe, and I for one am glad that it is dark and not milk chocolate. None of the other ingredients is illustrated, but the principal ones are oat flakes, crisped rice and corn flakes.
The box is a cardboard one so can obviously be recycled, and it is very easy to open without tearing the tuck-in flap at the top. Inside, each bar is contained in a foil wrapper, again showing the picture of chocolate and grapes. The wrapper bears the 'recyclable' logo, but I know this kind of material is not accepted in the recycling bins where I live, so it will have to be thrown away.
Inside the wrapper, the bar closely resembles the one on the outer box: a golden brown mixture of cereals dotted with round chocolate chips and whole raisins. Not many raisins are actually visible on the illustrated bar, but don't be deceived: they are there. I found that there were mostly chocolate chips on one side of the bar, with more raisins on the other side, but this wouldn't affect the taste. The bars are described as 'deliciously moist and chewy', and I would certainly agree with this. It was easy to bite a piece off - not too hard, just right, unlike Kellogg's Optivita Bars where the rest of the bar starts to fall apart when I try to take a small bite. The Seeds of Change bars have an interesting combination of flavours: you can distinguish the chocolate and the raisins amongst the cereals, and you feel that this is full of goodness as well as tasting, as they themselves say, delicious.
I should perhaps put more emphasis on the fact that, as with all Seeds of Change products, the ingredients of these cereal bars are 100% organic; no artificial additives or preservatives are used. They are suitable for vegetarians. They do contain milk and traces of nuts, but there is no mention of wheat in the ingredients.
Comparing them with other similar bars I have tried recently, I would say that they are more expensive but healthier than Waitrose's Lemon Oat Bars; and cheaper and healthier but less filling than Kellogg's Multi-Grain Elevenses Bakes (which contain some E numbers). They are slightly more expensive and have a more interesting taste than Kellogg's Optivita Bars, as well as being easier to eat, but I buy the Optivita Bars because they contain oat bran, which has a positive effect on reducing cholesterol.
I will definitely continue to buy the Seeds of Change Cereal Bars as they taste so good, are made from such healthy ingredients, and allow me that little bit of chocolate! Chocolate cravings aside, however, I must also try the other two flavours: strawberry as well as hazelnut and sultana.
Seeds of Change also make soup, pasta, pasta sauces and cooking sauces, all with organic ingredients. You can visit their website at www.seedsofchange.co.uk .
When I'm in a hurry in the mornings I often do not get the chance to sit down to eat breakfast. Normally I tend to grab a yoghurt and a glass of fruit juice before I rush out of the door to start my day. However, I'm one of those people who just doesn't function at all well without a decent breakfast and try as I might I just cannot raise my weary frame from my bed any earlier than 6am when my alarm currently goes off. I'm always on the look out, therefore, for breakfast type products that I can eat on the go.
On a trip to Waitrose, whilst browsing the cereal bars on offer I happened across a new sight - Seeds of Change. Having previously tried their Sweet & Sour cooking sauce and found it to be wonderfully fresh tasting without the usual hint of artificiality that such products normally have I decided to try a 6 pack of the chocolate & raisin bars. I parted with the necessary £1.69 and set on my way.
If only I had realised what a treat I had in store the bars may not have made it home!
Each bar is fairly small in size, no more than 4 inches in length. It is a rich dark brown in colour and looks rather different from the majority of cereal bars as it looks as though it is made of chocolate cereal rather than a cereal bar that has a few chocolate chips in (or worse still, coated in chocolate).
The first thing that hits you is the smell though - rich chocolate scents fill the air. The smell is not sickly though, just rich.
On the bite, the bar yields nicely. It doesn't crunch and drop crumbs like Alpen Bars, neither is it dry like Harvest Crunch. Instead you are treated to a moist, slightly chewy, very chocolatey taste experience. The bar holds together well and there is little risk of you dropping crumbs all over the place.
The bar is made up of crisped rice and oats together with dark chocolate (in the form of chips) and raisins. In terms of cereal mix the balance between the heavier oats and the lighter rice is, in my opinion, perfect. The bar is not rendered insubstantial by the introduction of the puffed rice but neither is it too heavy from the oats. The raisins which are fairly plentiful, add a wonderful naturally sweet moistness to the bar.
Although there are chocolate chips apparent in the bar it also seems to have another source of chocolate in the form of a slightly chewy chocolate caramel holding the bar together. This, to me, makes the bar taste wonderfully home made and reminds me of home-made flapjacks and crispy cakes.
The home made appearance is carried over to the way the bar is formed - it looks rather like it has come from a tray-bake that has been neatly sliced.
The bars are suitable for vegetarians, but not nut allergy sufferers as they are made in a factory that also uses nuts (probably a hang over from one of their other varieties, hazelnut and sultana). They contain no artificial additives or preservatives (is a preservative not an additive?) and this may, in part, explain their fresh, home made taste.
If you are into things organic, these bars use 100% organic ingredients and are Soil Association approved. Interestingly, it appears that you are not paying that much more for this privilege with the price of £1.69 for 6 comparing well with the price of Cadbury Brunch Bars (£1.39 for 6), Frusli Bars (£1.55) and Tracker (£1.45).
The price compares very favourably too with Traidcraft Geobar cereal bars which at £1.89 are verging on the very expensive and are no where near as nice as the Seeds of Change version. It should be noted, however, that Seeds of Change are not fair trade producers (rather they are part of the Mars group!).
I would heartily recommend these bars if you can find them, so far I have only seen them in Waitrose. They are tasty, not too sweet and are great for filling a snack gap. They don't in my mind replace breakfast but as a part of it they're not too bad. As they are individually wrapped they are also suitable for snacks and lunchboxes whilst out and about.
The other varieties on offer, Hazelnut & Sultana and Strawberry are equally as nice.
Seeds of Change: Simple and honest recipes, without any artificial additives or preservatives and 100% organic, to make a great tasting range of products.