“ Brand: Eat Natural / Type: Cereal Bar „
When I get home from the stables I am usually quite hungry and need something to get me through to lunch time. I have been eating the Eat Natural bars for a while now. You can buy them individually for 75p in most shops or in packs of 3 for £1.99. The wrapper is see through so you can see all the goodness inside. This particular bar has a dark red/burgandy colour at the ends and across the middle with Eat Natural written along the whole length of the bar. These bars contain no artificial colours or flavours or artificial preservatives. They are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free which is unusual. They do contain nuts and soya and may contain traces of sesame seeds and milk so are not suitable for anyone who has an allergy to any of those products. The bar is 45g in size and a bar will give you 221kcal, 2.5g of protein, 21.3g of carbohydrates of which 15.1g are sugars, 14g of fat of which 6.6g are saturates, 2.5g of fibre and 6.3mg of sodium. The bottom of the bar has a good coating of slightly bitter dark chocolate which goes halfway up the sides of the bar. This bitterness is totally offset by the sweetness of the fruit. The bar contains whole raisens and big bits of cranberry along with huge chunks of brazil nuts, pieces of coconut and big pieces of macademia. Each mouthful gives you something different so you could never get bored with one of these. The bar is chewy and takes a while to eat. I find that these really fill me up and are much better than a pure chocolate bar. You do still get to have your chocolate fix but without all the other nasties that go with it.
I'd heard a lot about these products, but until recently I'd not been that partial to nuts. I've been trying to widen my diet a little and have been getting more into them. Looking for a snack in Boots today I spotted the 'Eat Natural bar' with cranberries, macadamias and dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate and cranberries and come to think of it, had never tried macadamias, so I decided to give it a go. These bars are a little pricey at 80p in Boots, and I think this is fairly standard everywhere...But it looked so good! The 45g bar comes in a see through plastic wrapper so you can see exactly what you're getting. Let's face it they'd have probably put in in an opaque wrapper if it didn't look appetising. There is a bottom layer of dark chocolate with a good helping of cranberries, macadamia nuts and rice krispie type bits on top. I think I was expecting this to be a bit boring, rabbit food type thing. One of those things attempting to be a healthy alternative to a Mars bar but getting no where close and in fact just making you crave a Mars bar even more. In fact what I got when I bit in, was actually a lot more tasty than a Mars bar, I think. All the sweetness and tastyness you require from a sweet treat, without that sickly after taste that makes you wish you hadn't eaten it. Especially in the middle of the day. The dark chocolate is good quality and delicious and I was surprised how much I enjoyed the nutty flavour and the sweet chewy cranberries are always a hit with me. I was expecting it to be crumbly but in fact it was chewy, all the ingredients on the top are held together by a lovely chewy caramel. All very tasty, so much so I wanted another, but after realising how chewy and sweet it was I realised there must be quite a bit of sugar in this, and checked the pack for the calorie content. Nothing. Well that should ring alarms bells. Rightly so, because I checked the website and there's 221 cals in a bar, along with 15g sugar and 14g fat. In Eat Natural's defence, they don't claim anywhere to be low calorie or healthy, just that they have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, hence the natural bit. I guess as well that some of that fat is naturally occurring in the nuts, because although nuts are good for you they contain a lot of good fat. I'm not trying to justify the amount of calories in this by any means, all I'm saying is I don't feel guilty about eating this after seeing the content. After all, it's not just how many calories we consume but what we consume them from. I still think I'm much better off with getting them from nuts, fruit and a bit of dark chocolate to a big hunk of sugary nougat, for example. It's probably better for me in a way, that they aren't super healthy or I'd end up eating endless amounts and getting bored of them, that's what I tend to do with new stuff I find and really like. Overall, a tasty little bar that may be natural but it's still just a treat item, especially with the price. For the taste, though I think they're worth every penny.
***Eat Natural With Cranberries, Macademias and Dark Chocolate*** I used to eat these a while ago and really enjoyed them. I have recently rediscovered them, as I am trying to eat a bit more healthily. Well, that's my excuse anyway... ***What are they like?*** These are cereal bars that are available from the main supermarkets or health food stores. They are sold either individually or in packs of three. They are marketed on the premise of being 'healthy', 'with nothing dodgy' in them. The picture above doesn't actually bear much resemblence to the packaging, as they have more of a burgundy colour on the packet. I don't normally list ingredients, but for once I think it is useful to know just what goes into one of these, this is to stress there are no additives and 'nothing dodgy' - so here goes: ~Dark Chocolate ~Shredded Coconut ~Glucose Syrup ~Sultanas ~Brazil Nuts ~Puffed Rice ~Dried Cranberries ~Pineapple Juice ~Sunflower Oil ~Macadamia Nuts ~Honey The bar is quite simply a layer of dark chocolate upon which the mixture of the above ingredients is mixed and then put on top in a bar shape. The bar has quite a loose texture in that it is not chewy and bits of the ingredients break off, as you bit into it. Each bar is 45g in weight. They are gluten free and ok for vegetarians. The bar of course does contain nuts and also soya. ***Opinion*** These bars are lovely and I feel quite virtuous eating one to be honest. The ingredients are of a good quality and I can actually detect individual chunks of each ingredient rather than it being a whole mush of stuff. So you can taste the juicy cranberries and also the whole sultanas. The coconut is moist and sweet (although it sticks in my teeth!!) - the chocolate is good too, not too bitter, but not too sweet. The actual composition and texture is well put together. However, whilst I feel that the ingredients are good, I suspect that the calories for this product are quite high. I say this because unusually in this day and age, the calorific content info on the packaging is missing. I can only summise this is because it would deter dieters and so put of a large portion of the target market. You can go on their website and hunt out this info for yourself if you are so inclined, which I did. Each bar has 221 calories and 14g of fat (0.9g of which are saturates), so not low calorie at all. I will buy them again (although they are pricey) and even though I have tried the other variations, this one for me is the clear winner. I like the fact that they aim to use high quality ingredients, without using lots of additives or preservatives. I am trying to cut back on this sort of stuff so I find it comforting to know that I can enjoy a treat without the ingredient list frightening me!! They also do a lunchbox range, which I might buy to see if my children will like them. ***Availability*** I bought mine from Tesco's in a three pack for £1.95. They are available individually for around 68p, so not the cheapest.
As I said in my previous review on the Special K Bliss bar, I am on a bit of a health kick at the moment. I've come to the conclusion that it isn't really a 'diet' as such, more a determined effort to eat more of the foods that are good for me and less of the foods that aren't. Hopefully, at some point, this will evolve into a complete lifestyle change and I'll stop craving bags of crisps and bars of chocolate, and actually choose to eat things like the Eat Natural bars because they are what I WANT to eat. Unfortunately, I think I'm still some distance off that at the moment but I'm going to keep trying! So, moving on to why I purchased this product, I had purchased a relatively healthy salad from M&S for my lunch and had to pop into Boots to buy a couple of essentials. While there, I was struck by a sudden need for chocolate - or if not chocolate, some other type of treat. Like a moth drawn to a flame, I made my way to the snack aisle and tried to decide what I wanted. I briefly debated Maltesers (after all, they don't have that many calories), a large flapjack and a Wispa, before remembering that I am on this mission to get healthy and moving on to perusing the cereal bars instead. The Eat Natural with cranberries, macadamias and dark chocolate was the product that looked most appealing, so I decided to give it a try. The bar comes in a clear plastic wrapper so that you can clearly see the product inside. The Eat Natural logo stands out in white text on a black background. Beneath this it says 'with cranberries, macadamias and dark chocolate.... and nothing dodgy' in smaller white text on a red background. I liked the design of the packaging because it allows you to see what the product inside is like and whether it looks appetising or not. Sometimes, when you get products which are hidden inside their wrappers, you get a real feeling of disappointment when what's inside isn't quite what you were expecting. It also gave me the opportunity to put back a bar that looked like it was falling apart in favour of one which was practically perfect. On opening the wrapper, the main scent is that of the dark chocolate. It is an enticing smell - a warm, rich, chocolatey aroma which definitely made my tastebuds tingle. There is a slightly fruity smell as well - I think that must be the cranberries. The taste is good too - it has a sticky, sweet, soft yet still somehow crunchy consistency which I enjoyed, and the richness of the dark chocolate complements the nuts, fruit and cereal in the top part of the bar perfectly. The main ingredients of this bar are puffed rice, shredded coconut, brazil nuts, macademia nuts, sultanas and dried cranberries. It also contains glucose syrup, pineapple juice, sunflower oil and honey. It is hard to distinguish all the different flavours in the bar, but I did feel that both the macademia nuts and cranberries had a distinctive flavour, whereas some of the other flavours were not quite so apparent. There is no nutritional information on the packaging which makes me think it isn't very healthy. From another review on here (thanks to MabelCable) I'm estimating that a 45g bar has around 250 calories and 15g fat. However, I think a lot of the basic ingredients are essentially healthy so, even if it's a more fattening treat than I initially thought it was, I'm not going to worry about it too much.. It is Friday after all. At 80p in Boots it's not cheap, but you can buy multipacks in the supermarkets for £1.99 containing 3 bars which is a more cost-effective way of purchasing this product. Overall, this was a product which I enjoyed. Even if it wasn't really healthy after all... I like the contrast in texture between the sticky, chewy, crunchy (ok, I'm finding this hard to describe) cereal part of the bar and the chocolate, and I liked the feeling that I was eating something with no artifical bits added. It's good to have a balanced diet, and healthy to eat things like nuts occasionally, so this is a snack that I will definitely purchase again. As to whether it fulfilled my chocolate craving.... I'm not sure, hopefully it did and I will be able to resist temptation on the way home.