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Cereal Bars
Tried and Tasted Low Calorie Cereal Bars

Low calorie cereal bars are on the menu this month, as our Tried and Tasted Team try to fill that gap between breakfast and lunch. Have a look and see which cereal bar came out on top!

Low Calorie Cereal Bars – Tried and Tasted

It’s 11 o’clock in the morning, you’re sat at your desk and you’re already thinking about food. Well help is at hand with our fearless Tried and Tasted Team, who this week have been sampling low calorie cereal bars. We’ve scanned the supermarket shelves to bring you the low-down on which cereal bar makes the best elevenses treat!

Cereal bars can make a great snack: they are low in calories and they will keep you going until lunch time. But knowing which one to choose can be tricky. This week we’ve taken eight varieties, all under 200 calories and put them to the taste test. Take a look to see which left us feeling full-up and which left our tummies rumbling!

Remember, the Tried and Tasted Team don’t know which product is which, so there’s no bias involved!

Table 1: Low Calorie Cereal Bars Compared
Product Tracker Chocolate Chip Bars Eat Natural Yoghurt Coated Almond and Apricot Bars Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Canadian Maple Syrup
  Weight Watchers from Heinz Carrot and Lentil Soup Sainsbury’s SO Organic Coriander, Carrot and Ginger Soup Tesco Light Choices Carrot and Coriander Soup
Ranking 1 2 3
Appearance These bars looked packed full of delicious choc chips and nuts. The tasters were excited by the prospect of chocolate. The yoghurt coating meant we couldn’t see all the fruit and nut inside, and some of the less yoghurt-friendly tasters were a bit put-off. Fairly boring and a bit like cardboard! The bars don’t look much, so hopefully they’ll impress us on taste!
Smell As long as you like peanuts you’ll be fine! Yoghurty!

Oaty and biscuity

Taste The tasters loved the taste of this classic cereal bar. It wasn’t too sweet, but a good combination of choc and nuts. The tasters thought it seemed like a treat and not a low-calorie alternative. Most tasters were surprised by Eat Natural’s delicious cereal bar. Initially put-off by the yoghurt, they actually enjoyed the taste and the fact it was packed full of delicious fruit and nut! Like the appearance, the taste was fairly middle of the road. Not unpleasant, with a nice syrup and oat flavour but unfortunately nothing special.
Filling / Satisfying? The tasters thought it would be filling, although the bars are very small. The tasters thought they would be nicely full up after eating this! If you ate both bars you would probably be full, however this does come in at the high end calorie-wise.
Texture / Consistency A good mix of crunchy and smooth. Chunky, although you are left with a few bits stuck to your teeth! A bit dry and floury.
Price £1.55 (pack of 8) £1.99 (pack of 3) £2.16 (pack of 6)
Calorie Content per Bar 125 (per 26g bar) 228 (per 50g bar)* 185 (per 2x21g bars)
Conclusion A good all round performance by Tracker. Tasty, low in calories and left us feeling full. We think it’s a good choice. The tasters enjoyed these bars so much they finished the whole box of eight! These bars are full of tasty nuts, seeds and fruit and will definitely fill you up. However, watch out for the calorie content due to the larger bar size! A safe offering which isn’t unpleasant. Being mainly oats, it lacks the fruit and nut that other bars offer and so could be a little boring and samey.
Table 2: More Low Calorie Cereal Bars Compared
Product Cadbury Brunch Bar Raisin Jordans Frusili Raisin and Hazlenut Kellogs Special K Original
  Waitrose Carrot and Coriander Soup Baxters Vegetarian Carrot and Coriander Soup Morrisons Eat Smart Diet Carrot and Coriander Soup
Ranking 4 5 6
Appearance Every taster was excited by the prospect of chocolate. One taster thought this bar looked like ‘a toffee crisp on holiday!’ Fairly non-descript and unappetising. The tasters were lulled in to a false sense of security by the ‘exciting’ appearance of this bar! Plenty of colourful fruit.
Smell Chocolatey! The tasters were pleased. Musty with a hint of raisin! Fruity but a bit artificial.
Taste The chocolate overwhelmed any other flavours, and although it was nice, it soon became a bit sickly. A bit stale and cardboardy with no real taste. The chemically taste was sweet and sickly – it left our Taste Team feeling nauseous.
Filling / Satisfying? This is more a chocolate bar than a cereal bar, and the tasters didn’t think it felt like a filling and healthy treat. The tasters didn’t think they’d be full. Far too sweet and artificial. One of the tasters felt a bit queasy after the first bite!
Texture / Consistency A bit too chewy Very chewy and sticky – the tasters got jaw ache. Not particularly – small bars with not much in them.
Price £1.76 (pack of 6) £1.78 (pack of 6) Chewy and a bit like sawdust!
Calorie Content per bar 150 (per 25g bar) 117 (per 30g bar) £2.14 (pack of 6)
Conclusion For the chocoholics out there, this will definitely leave you feeling satisfied without over-doing it on the calories. However the tasters felt the bar was too sickly and they were left feeling less than satisfied. A bit of a disappointment. The Taste Team weren’t impressed by the lack of taste and after the first bite, couldn’t be convinced to continue! The tasters were very disappointed with the Special K offering. Unlike other bars it was artificial and far too sweet. Although it’s easy on the calories, this is perhaps because it is such a small bar. We think you can find far better.
Table 3: More Low Calorie Cereal Bars Compared
Product Alpen Light Summer Fruits Nakd Cocoa Loco
  Waitrose Carrot and Coriander Soup Baxters Vegetarian Carrot and Coriander Soup
Ranking 7 8
Appearance Very similar to Special K: ‘anaemic’ ‘artificial’ and ‘processed.’ The tasters could tell this bar was packed full of good fruit, but the brown and sticky appearance left us thinking ‘rabbit droppings!’
Smell Fairly fruity although we suspected that this was also artificial. Not much smell to speak of.
Taste Sickly sweet with a chemical aftertaste – best to avoid it. The tasters were disappointed by the much hyped Nakd bars. If you like dates, you might well enjoy these, however the Taste Team were not impressed. Despite the name Cocoa Loco, there wasn’t a hint of chocolate!
Filling / Satisfying? The tasters couldn’t finish the bar! The bars are very small, but are full of filling fruits like dates. Averagely satisfying.
Texture / Consistency It was left stuck on our teeth so we could save some for later! ‘Mushy’ and ‘squishy.’ The texture was what put us off the most.
Price £1.63 (pack of 5) £1.99 (pack of 4)
Calorie Content per bar 61 (per 21g) 100 (per 30g)
Conclusion Another disappointment for the tasters who are not fans of artificial flavours. This is the lowest calorie option, but is also the smallest bar size and probably wouldn’t fill you up as a mid-morning snack.  It’s probably a love/hate thing with these bars. If you’re a fan of dates you’ll enjoy them, but if not then stay away as this is the overriding flavour. Not bad on the calories but overall a bit of a disappointment.

The surprise winner of the day was Tracker with their chocolate chip bars. Fairly low calorie and great on taste, the team were very impressed. Eat Natural came a close second, plus these bars are packed with fruit and nuts, so either is a great choice. Avoid the chemical-taste of Special K and Alpen!

*Eat Natural bars are over the 200 calorie limit as they come in 50g servings, twice as much as most bars.

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