“ Brand: Stoats / Type: Cereal Bar „
Stoats porridge bars are made by a company who started to sell porridge from a mobile bar in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Visit their website at www.stoatsporridgebars.co.uk and here you will see exactly what I mean when you can view a photo of the cart with the turrets of the castle in the background!
A relatively new enterprise which has been going since 2004 this company makes organic bars, oatcakes, pinhead oatmeal, porridge to go and a lovely granola. Mainly supplying farmers' markets and festivals and events in the beginning, they now supply shops and fine food stores nationwide. Set up by three then new graduates Tony Stone, Sean McNeil and Bob Arnott the company has taken off and now makes porridge a fashionable breakfast, and the bars are an extension of this.
They are available in selected outlets or you can purchase online, I stock up in The Green Welly Stop which is in Tyndrum near Loch Lomond, but there are many outlets which are all listed in the stockists section of the website. There are many outlets selling these in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and also many golf courses stock them. Also in England they are becoming more popular.
The bar I am reviewing here is the raspberry and honey which is one of 8 bars made by Stoats. This is a traditional Scottish bar with the ingredients of Cranachan which also includes single cream and honey. This flapjack like bar is a substantial rectangle of pure delight and is filling and delicious. The bar weighs 85g and is 354 calories. Other flavours include, blueberry and honey, and delicious bars made from apricots and sultanas, as well as some well thought out unusual guests like goji berries and flax seeds!
The great thing about these bars is that they contain pumpkin and sunflower seeds which are a good source of omega three oils, potassium and magnesium, and of course oats which are excellent at fighting high cholesterol levels.
I eat these mainly for breakfast when travelling as they are filling and unlike many bars they are not too sweet. The trick with them I feel is to buy them as fresh as you possibly can, as they do dry out near to their sell by date, still perfectly edible but not as moist. They would also be a perfect snack to carry on a long walk.
They are not particularly cheap; I think I paid £1.29 but still excellent value being organic and full of natural ingredients.
Crammed full of raspberries and seeds these bars are not padded out with oats but are a concentrated powerhouse of nutrients and very tasty too. I am not particularly keen on honey so was a little sceptical at first, but I need not have been as it is a subtle flavour which acts as a base for the raspberry which is intense and delicious.
If you know anyone who might like a Scottish treat then I spotted that my favourite website called www.notonthehighstreet.com is selling these as part of a selection of hampers which make perfect presents. Made by the wee Scottish Foodie box, the porridge box caught my eye and it is certainly a hamper with a difference containing these bars as well as jam, oatmeal and even a Scottish Spurtle to make the perfect porridge.
Stoats call their company this because it means "anything that is exceptional in quality" in Scottish terms, and certainly I would vouch for the high quality and delicious nature of these bars.
Yes there is a lot of competition for them as so many cereal bars now flood the UK market, but these are organic and full of natural ingredients, and certainly provide an excellent snack or emergency breakfast.
My husband and I often eat these instead of breakfast when we are travelling in Scotland as they are low GI and keep us full until lunch. I have tried most of the flavours but prefer the raspberry and honey by a mile. I think the lovely rich flavour of the raspberries makes this bar something special and unique. I think it is a testament to the high quality of the bars that my cupboard is always stocked up with these return from Scottish trips.
I haven't used the mail order service but plan to do so in the near future if I have any gap in visiting Scotland, they do special shipping rates for their US customers so this is an incentive to order if you are an ex pat living in The States.