“ Brand: Nestle / Type: Cereal Bar „
Think "Milky Way" and you might think...chocolate? Not many calories? A small, sweet treat? Those would certainly be the reasons I would choose to eat one instead of a more substantial snack. And yet, Milky Way Minutes offer far less chocolate for far more calories. That's really a funny thing to brand with the established Milky Way name, don't you think?
Milky Way Minutes are another of my Pound Shop finds - they sell them at 5-for-£1 in some places, or 20p each in others (yes, that's the same, but it means you don't have to buy them en masse if you don't want to). The bar is shaped a little like those old Mars&Biscuit and Twix&Biscuit things they sold a few years ago. It is long and flat with a channel down the middle.
The bar is made up of three parts. The base itself is a quasi-digestive biscuit, the central channel contains a yogurt-style filling, and the whole thing is topped with oat flakes and chocolate chips. It might sound like an odd combination, but these are surprisingly tasty, if a little lacking in the chocolate department.
The digestive biscuit base is a dull colour, less appealing than a standard digestive. Alone, it is also less tasty, neither sugary nor sweet, and just a bit bland. This is needed, however, to counteract the intense sweetness of the other parts. Take the yogurt cream filling, for example. This is thick and creamy, and has a strong vanilla taste to it. There is an extremely generous portion of this which I'm grateful for, since it's so tasty, but you do need that digestive biscuit underneath to balance it out.
The two toppings are an unusual combination. Most of the yoghurt's surface is covered by oat flakes of the kind you'd find in a bag of un-ground porridge oats. They're fine for making into said porridge, or flapjacks, but would you tend to eat them dry on their own? Probably not. The chocolate chips that accompany the oats are certainly delicious but they are few and far between - I counted only half a dozen of them on my latest bar compared to 6 or 7 times that number of oat flakes.
You can't really taste the oats or the chocolate on this bar, though the former do add an interesting gritty texture. The main flavour comes from the delicious, tangy vanilla yogurt in the centre, which has a much stronger taste than the centre in a Milky Way bar, again begging the question of why they've stuck them under the same brand umbrella since the products could not be more different. The yoghurt is thick and smooth, not light and whipped like in a Milky Way.
I think the bar is very well balanced (though I wouldn't say no to a little more chocolate) but I'm struggling to see where it should fit in a diet from a nutritional standpoint. At 175 calories per bar it is 'worse' than a normal cereal bar, and will also have a much more pronounced impact on your waistline than a Milky Way. They're heading up the scale towards a chocolate bar, and yet are no where near as indulgent or satisfying since they contain so little chocolate. I think if anything, these could be the start of a mini meal (perhaps teamed with a proper yoghurt or fruit) and something you could eat on the run. One 36g bar contains 9g fat but also 2.4g protein and a not too shabby 2g of fibre to fill you up. They're also fortified with B vitamins (one bar gives between 15% and 23% of your RDA for various types) and contain 15% of your RDA of calcium. That fibre is the important bit, though: the one thing chocolate bars never do is fill you up for long as the sugar floods your blood stream all at once. Adding fibre to these (and reducing the sugar) takes away the hunger and lets you go longer between snacking (unless you snack for reasons other than hunger, which would just be naughty). I was quite suprised when I started eating these to note how even a little fibre can make a difference.
Could you do the same thing yourself by topping a digestive biscuit with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of chocolate chips, plus oats if you so desired? Yes, certainly, but it might be a bit messy. The beauty of these bars is that everything has been moulded together forcibly so it stays pretty much intact while you eat it, though the odd oat flake on the top tends to escape into the wrapper.
I've had a few of these now, and am still undecided as to whether or not I like them enough to keep buying. If they could tweak the topping (get rid of the oats and add more chocolate chips) then I'm sure I'd be a big fan, but as it is I'm not too sure. Overall, these are a strange concoction but the mix of flavours works well, and the texture is different (in a good way) from other things you might eat. They look a bit funny but taste nice enough if you know what to expect - don't go buying one of these expecting to get a chocolate fix, because that's the one thing they don't deliver, but as a savoury/sweet on the go snack, they will fill you up nicely.