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Breakfast for me during the week when I am at work usual consists of some form of cereal bar. I do have my favourites but will generally purchase whatever is on offer and last time this was the Kellogg's nutria-grain elevenses raisin bake bars. I purchased a multipack containing 6 of these elevenses bars from Tesco for just £1.00 on a half price special offer which I thought was really good value as you can pay in the region of £0.60 per bar when purchased individually.
As I purchased these bars as part of a multi pack they did come packaged in a cardboard box. Inside the box you will find the bars packaged exactly the same as they are when sold separately in individual foil wrappers. The wrapper is predominantly purple in colour with the Kellogg's logo on the front and a picture of a field of wheat. On the back of the wrapper you can find detailed information about the bar including full nutritional information, ingredients listings and storage instructions. It also states that the bars are suitable for vegetarians.
One thing that I was surprised about is just how much sugar is contained within each one of these 45g bars, with it being a huge 18g which is very high indeed. I also thought that this was a little disappointing as these type of cereal bars are usually advertised as being more of an healthy option but in actual fact contain more sugar than some chocolate bars.
These elevenses bars consist of wheat and oatmeal bake bars with raisins. To be fair when I first opened the wrapper the bar did not appear as the most appetising thing to be wanting to eat first thing in the morning as it is quite a dark brown colour with a sprinkling of oats on the top. The smell though is much more appealing as it smells like a nice sweet, spiced cake which did remind me a little of lovely spiced smells that you get at Christmas.
I did actually like the taste of the elevenses bar although it is quite sweet it also has a nice moist texture with the taste of cinnamon also coming though. There is also a good amout of raisins scattered through the bar which are plump and juicy. Although the bar is quite small it is quite filling and provided me with an adequate breakfast which lasted me until lunch time.
Overall I do like the taste of these bars and it is nice to have a cereal bar which is not a dry biscuit like texture but the sugar content does put me off eating these on a regular basis.
As you may know from reading some of my other reviews, I started 2010 with a health kick. I've cut way back on the crisps, only had chocolate once (and even then just a packet of chocolate buttons!), and am eating lots of fresh fruit and veg. One of my biggest challenges is to find healthy cold food I can take to work easily, and this is where Nutri-Grain Raisin Bakes come in.
You'll find them with the cereal bars in any big supermarket - I shop at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's and I've seen them all there. They are offered in boxes of 6, and now boxes of 12 with a slight saving. Sometimes they appear on two for £X offers, but the standard price is around £4.30 for 12. That does seem quite expensive, but then cereal bars usually are, and a box of 12 will last me two weeks so it's not too bad.
I've tried hundreds of different kinds of cereal bars over the years, and most of them are dry and tasteless, but still manage to contain a lot of sugar. I hate dry cereal bars with a passion, I hate supposed healthy foods with 'biscuit' that's actually flavoured cracker (or cardboard), I hate ones that look and taste like horse feed. So generally I tend to stick to Chewee cereal bars with chocolate chips. But they are tiny and not very filling, so a few months ago I decided to try these raisin bakes.
The closest thing I can compare them to is a kind of chewy cake. It does feel like a treat product though, which is why it's surprising that a 45g bar (nice and chunky) has only around 4g of fat, less than half a gram of saturated fat and 160 calories. The sugar is the highest content, with 15g, which would get you an orange segment on a nutritional colour wheel, despite there being no official RDA for sugar. Being 1/3 sugar admittedly doesn't sound great, but this bake has more nutritional value from the raisins, nuts, oats, ginger and vitamins than a bar of chocolate or chocolate cereal bar.
There are a mix of healthy/natural ingredients like oats, and flaked nuts on the top, and a couple of bad ones like E numbers. These contain far more natural ingredients than, say, a Weight Watchers product or something. The bars also have a range of added vitamins included in them, so are good for fussy eaters who may not be getting all their vitamins.
The bakes come in individual foil sealed wrappers placed in a cardboard box. Each bar has a purple and white wrapper, and you rip it open to find a brown cake-looking bar with flaked nuts on top. Biting in, you get a lovely warm rich taste of raisin and slightly chewy cake. This bake also contains cinnamon, and whilst it adds extra flavour, it's only a subtle taste (I hate cinnamon and I like these). The flavours are nice and strong, and I find it's real comfort food on the go. I enjoy having one for a mid-morning snack or mid-afternoon snack, and they really do fill me up and satisfy my sweet cravings.
They aren't for everyone, mainly because of the price, but I find I can even have two in one day without feeling guilty. They fill me up much longer than chocolate used to, and taste really good. Lost half a star for the price, and half a star for the sugar and E numbers.
Edit: These are now £3 in Asda (for two boxes of 6), so grab 'em while you can!
Kellogg's Nutri Grain Elevenses
A few weeks ago now I decided to go on a hike up slieve donard. I took a packed lunch and one of the things that I threw in with my lunch was one of these elevenses bars. I had never tried them before and I was looking forward to trying them.
What are they?
I would describe these as being a cereal or early morning bar. I decided to have mine before setting off from the foot of the mountain. They are available as either raisin bakes or chocolate chip bakes.
I bought a six pack of the raisin variety in Tesco for £2.20. Each bar is 45 grams which gives you 179kcal, 39g of sugar and 3.5g of saturated fat.
I was looking forward to trying these and I was not disappointed. The bar is very soft to tough and my initial feelings where that it resembled a slice of ginger cake. In fact it is made with ginger and I love ginger cake so I was pretty impressed with my first impressions.
My main gripe with breakfast bars is often they can be very dry. Fortunately this was not a problem with the elevenses. It went down a treat and the raisin ensured a really nice mixture between fruit and bar. All in all I was very impressed with this bar and have had it again a few times since that day. I would definitely recommend it.