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If you’ve ridden a bike for any distance longer than ten miles, you know that it is smart to carry snacks with you. I love trying out new snacks I see at grocery / health food / LBS’s / pharmacies / online stores. Kind Snacks mailed me four of their best-selling bars for me to review.

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The flavors?

Kind Plus

Kind Plus is a recently launched line of delicious, all natural fruit and nut nutrition bars, enhanced with functional benefits (Antioxidants, Calcium, Protein, Omega 3’s) made with wholesome ingredients you can see and pronounce.

  • Mango Macadamia – “Tangy, fruity taste and slightly crunchy texture makes it a perfect choice for your sweet tooth. This KIND bar is enhanced with calcium and provides 50% of the recommended daily value of folic acid & vitamin D making it a healthy addition to your diet.”
Snacks, Snack, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Snack, Snack Bar, Snack Bars, Health Snack, Health Snacks, Gluten Free Snack, Gluten Free Snacks

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  • Cranberry & Almond – “Delightful mix of tangy cranberries and crunchy almonds, creating a delectable snack whether morning, afternoon, or even a late-night treat! This KIND bar is enhanced with antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, & E which fight free radicals, helping to maintain the immune system and healthy skin.”
Snacks, Snack, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Snack, Snack Bar, Snack Bars, Health Snack, Health Snacks, Gluten Free Snack, Gluten Free Snacks

Click for Ingredients/Nutritional Info

Kind Fruit & Nut

Kind Fruit & Nut is a line of delicious, wholesome, all-natural fruit and nut energy bars made with wholesome ingredients you can see and pronounce.

  • Almond & Apricot – “A sweet blend of tangy apricots, crunchy almonds and a hint of coconut.”
Snacks, Snack, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Snack, Snack Bar, Snack Bars, Health Snack, Health Snacks, Gluten Free Snack, Gluten Free Snacks

Click for Ingredients/Nutritional Info

  • Fruit & Nut Delight – “A delectable medley of crunchy nuts, naturally sweet fruit, and a touch of honey.”
Snacks, Snack, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Snack, Snack Bar, Snack Bars, Health Snack, Health Snacks, Gluten Free Snack, Gluten Free Snacks

Click for Ingredients/Nutritional Info

Like the title of this review suggests, these bars are not cheap; they retail from $1.50-$2.00+, depending on how big of a pack is purchased. When I go through 3-5+ snack bars a week, depending on how often or how far I am riding, the cost of these could really add up fast. This is where I am at a bit of a conundrum… These little Australian made 40g snack bars are about as tasty and fresh as a bar can come. I found that their consistency is somewhat difficult to eat while riding, (I will get to this topic in a moment)  so a two person panel was used to evaluate these bars in terms of flavor and enjoyment.

Reviews

Mango Macadamia

Reviewer 1: Sticky. Just fruit and nuts stuck together. Could eat a bunch of them, and they are very generous with the product (No cheap fillers).

Reviewer 2: Enough of the tiny crispy rice pieces to counteract the texture of the soft fruit. Coconut stuck in mouth 😦

Overall, this Kind Plus bar was very favorable in flavor. The medley of ingredients worked well together, and the additional nutrient supplements did not distract from the essential flavors of the fruit. Both reviewers wondered if the bar they shared had too much coconut on it, not that it detracted from the flavor, but the mouth-feel of it. This was R1’s favorite bar.

3.5 out of 4 Stars

Almond & Apricot

R1: One big notice, I could hardly taste the Apricot. Maybe it was just the portion I had?

R2: Light, not sticky. Easier to chew than the Mango Macadamia. Almonds are very present.

The Almond Apricot bar again shows that Kind Snacks does not skimp on their ingredients. While the reviewers shared half of the bar each, R1 did not receive as much Apricot as R2, but still enjoyed the flavor and consistency. The puffed rice pieces give the bar (like others) a texture surprise that is enjoying and fresh. This was R2’s favorite bar.

3.5 out of 4 Stars


Cranberry & Almond

R1: VERY STICKY. Puckery/tangy in a good way. Aftertaste of oils (similar to inexpensive canned variety nuts). had to wash hands after handling my piece. Not sure how I feel about this one…

R2: The macadamia nuts work well with the almonds.

I had to cut the package open with scissors to get the bar out in one piece. The honey content in the bar was pink (from cranberries?) and could be seen all over the clear portions of the wrapper. This bar was the decision on why to not test these bars out in real-world situations. While the wholesome ingredients are a plus, what could only be assumed as the honey left this bar a mess to eat.

2.5 out of 4 Stars


Fruit & Nut Delight

R1: Not a lot to say about this bar. It is like… a chewy peanut brittle, or something similar to that.

R2: Very much a nut bar with light fruit flavor.

This bar is simple. Nothing elaborate, yet nothing bland in it. The flavors are all pretty subtle, and work well together.

3 out of 4 Stars

Summary

So are these the bars that should be in your rear pocket while on a brevet or century ride this weekend? Are they worth the cost? Should I buy them? What was the best flavor out of the four? What was sets the Kind Snack bars apart from other bars?

Kind takes a lot of time to create a product that is well refined, mature, and provokes you to think about what you are eating. These are not Corn Syrup bars with some oats and flavors added in; no, these are quality, whole products that place them texturally apart from a Powerbar, or Clif bar in terms of the way they feel when eating them. Unfortunately, both reviewers and I came to terms that this is not a bar to attempt eating WHILE MOVING. If you plan on stopping and gnawing on one of these, there would be no problem. I think they would be better for a mid-day snack in terms of caloric content, and satisfaction received from the flavors, etc. They just aren’t as easy to eat as an energy gel/Jelly Belly Sports Beans/Clif bar. but this does not make them a bad product. Out of the four bars reviewed, Mango Macadamia, and Almond & Apricot tied for the best snack bar when not talking about a numbered, unbiased rating. All reviewers say that the quality of the product is something that is desired, but the cost is prohibitive of purchasing these at full retail price. Similar bars, like Larabar also suffer from the issue over quality versus cost. I guess price is all depending on what you like, and cannot be an objective answer of Yes or No.

I still say that the flavors of the bars are worth trying. if you see these at a local store for a price you are willing to pay, don’t hesitate.

FTC Blogging Laws make me post, or at least link to this statement.

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velo press joe parkin paris-roubaix

Look what came in the mail! Once again, more of my savings account goes to VeloPress in order to get my literary fix.

Come & Gone is the sequel to A Dog In A Hat, which I finished about two months ago; quite glad that I picked that one up late in order to have the next one be relased so soon! 🙂 Once again, we have the story of Joe Parkin telling us his life story of cycling in a kind of way that makes you feel like this is the normal thing to do. He tells it from not only memory, but from the heart… and it leaves you with a feeling that how he tells it is how it happened word for word. I wasn’t able to get over how nonchalantly he told some of the tales that were in A Dog In A Hat, and once again, things happen, and he tells it. I know that sounds boring, but it will actually baffle how casually some of these events seem after reading Joe’s words. These two books are great for anyone who is more than just a recreational cyclist.

Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell is a coffee table book. The best damned coffee table book you will have at that, too. It goes over the history, culture, past/present/future of the race, and everyone who has been involved with it in nearly any way. It comes in at just a hair under 200 pages, and is full of explicit photos. No….. No no no no….. not bad explicit, think of it as being able to see inside some of the rider’s souls just by turning the pages. Many of the full page photos in the book display cyclists who you will never forget because of the crusted mud, the pain in their face, or how they look dead to the world while sitting in one of the Velodrome shower stalls.

I have borrowed this book from my college library several times, and each instance, I end up spening more time examining the photos than actually reading the text. This is a deep book, but it doesn’t have to be; hence why it is #2 on my coffee table book list. (#1, right here)

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