Saturday, 6 July 2013

Frank Snack Bar - Orange & Chocolate

This is a review of the Orange & Chocolate flavour Frank Snack Bar. The Frank Food Company kindly provided me with some samples to review. The Frank bars have been produced with the goal of providing a snack bar with very simple, healthy ingredients, nothing artificial, while not sacrificing on taste. This is where their slogan 'Honest Snacking' comes from.

The majority of the bar is fruit, with half being made up of dried dates and dried plums. The rest is a mix of fruit juices, oats and probiotic chocolate. The bar has a similar texture and consistency to a chocolate cake/brownie, well compacted and slightly chewy. Across its surface is a thin topping of milk chocolate, though for chocolate lovers its a little unsatisfying. You do however get more chocolate flavour in the bar. The orange flavour doesn't come across quite as strong as you might expect. Overall the bar could be a bit sweeter in taste though this could just be my sweet tooth. The bar weighs in at 35g and its quite a thin bar so you'll probably only get 4 - 5 bites out of it. It's thick consistency of compacted fruit makes it more filling than other bars of a similar size.
Frank snack bars are also available in the following flavours:
- Blueberry & Chocolate
- Double Chocolate
- Oat & Chocolate
- Strawberry & Chocolate


Nutritional Information














The bar contains 119 calories, a decent amount considering its a little larger than the average cereal bar. Its sugars may appear high, but these are all naturally occurring and the bar actually has a low glycaemic index due to its high fibre, complex carbohydrate ingredients. Frank Food Company advertise this as 'EnergySmart', a fruit concentrate mix that provides both quick and long lasting energy. Its a good protein source at 4g per bar. Its also a low fat bar at only 2.5% of your guideline daily amount, containing only healthy vegetable oils. The bar is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and contains no gluten, dairy, nuts or seeds. It has no added salts, sugars, flavours, preservatives or colourings. The Frank bar is great to have both as a snack or as an energy source before exercise and you can be confident in knowing that you're getting the best healthy ingredients and no junk.

Taste Rating    6/10
Nutritional Rating    9/10 

Friday, 31 May 2013

Super Mario Sunshine - Delfino Plaza

I return with this week's video game theme, from Super Mario Sunshine, this is probably the theme most players are familiar with. It is the theme of Delfino Plaza, the main level hub of the game, being played by the Super Guitar Bros.


Quaker Oat So Simple Bar - Honey & Almond

This is a review of the Honey & Almond flavour Oat So Simple Morning Bar made by Quaker Oats. It is the multipack version of the bar, which weighs 35g and comes in boxes of 5. This particular flavour is exclusive to ASDA stores. The oat so simple bars are similar to baked flapjack, only with less sugar and syrup and available in a range of flavours. Like the other flavours, this bar contains mainly rolled oats and small crispy cereal pieces (rice & wheat), bound together with glucose syrup. Flaked almonds and honey only make up for 5% of the bar, you don't get any whole almonds. The flavour isn't particularly strong but is still noticeable, the almond taste being the most obvious, similar to what you might find in a fairy cake or almond slice. The bar is quite reasonable in size, providing about 5 or 6 bites.

Other flavours available in the Oat So Simple range include:
- Fruit Muesli
- Golden Syrup
- Raspberry & Pomegranate
- Strawberry & Yoghurt

Nutritional Information














The bar is larger than most other snack bars, therefore has more calories. 152 may be a lot but the bar makes up for this by being high in fibre, made primarily from rolled oats which have a naturally low glycaemic index. This should help keep you full till your next meal. Sugars and fats are relatively low and the bar does contain a healthy 3.3g of protein. The bar also contains oligofructose, a sweetener low in calories which also helps stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. The bar doesn't contain any added vitamins or minerals. It is also free from artificial colours, preservatives and flavours.

Taste Rating    7/10
Nutritional Rating    7/10 

Bar website: Quaker Morning Bars

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

M & S Fruit, Nuts & Seeds Cereal Bar

Today I have for you a review of the M & S Fruit, Nuts & Seeds cereal bars. They are part of the Guilt Free Snacking range that offers sweet and savoury snacks, each portion being under 150 calories. The bars comes in boxes of 5, each weighing 24g. The main cereal portion consists of rolled oats, toasted wheat flakes and crisped rice, all compressed into a soft, moist bar. Golden syrup, honey and plum add flavouring to the bar. Scattered throughout the bar are generous portions of dried fruit including plums, apples and golden sultanas. You'll also find pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts in each bar. All these flavours combine to make a lovely sweet tasting bar, filled with fruit. Unfortunately you may not tell from the photos but the bar is very small, especially compared to most other cereal bars. You're lucky if you get any more than 3 bites out of this one. I've noticed that M & S foods are very detailed with their labelling, providing plenty of useful information regarding the ingredients, nutritional information and particular allergy information. The box shows M & S's eat well sunflower logo. This means 'Wherever you see the eat well sunflower, you know you've chosen a healthier option' - we shall see about that below.
Another flavour available is Apple & Cinnamon, also part of the guilt free snacking range.

Nutritional Information














Each bar is only 91 calories. Most of the sugars present will be from natural from the dried fruit. Fats are also very low only counting for 3.7% of your GDA. Since the bar is small you don't really get much fibre or protein. The bar contains a prebiotic - Fructose-Oligosaccharide - this helps to increase the numbers of good bacteria in the gut. The bar contains no artificial colours or flavourings.

Taste Rating    7/10
Nutritional Rating    7/10 

Link: Eat Well: M & S Healthy Eating Range

Link: M & S Guilt Free Snacking

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Quaker Oat So Simple Bar - Strawberry & Yoghurt

This is a review of the Strawberry & Yoghurt flavour Oat So Simple Morning Bar made by Quaker Oats. I'm reviewing the multipack version of the bar which comes in boxes of 5. Like most other Quaker products, its main ingredient is rolled oats, if you're not keen on oats stay away. In addition to the oats the bar is held together with glucose syrup similar in structure and taste to your typical flapjack, though probably not as sweet or greasy. This particular flavour contains small freeze dried strawberry pieces and yoghurt flavour throughout. You don't really notice the pieces when eating, probably because they're only 1% of the ingredients. Instead you just get a sweet strawberry yoghurt taste throughout the bar. Quaker give you 35g of cereal bar which is a decent amount and you can probably tell from the pictures. With its size and high fibre oats it should definitely get you through the morning and maybe even to a late lunch.
Oat So Simple morning bars are also available in the following flavours:
- Fruit Muesli
- Golden Syrup
- Honey & Almond
- Raspberry & Pomegranate

Nutritional Information















For a morning snack the bar is quite substantial, and calories are a little higher than most alternatives. What is beneficial are the bar's low levels of fats and sugars, only 5.6g of the 25g carbohydrates are sugars and fats at less than 5% of your GDA. Consisting mainly of wholegrain oats the bar manages to have a healthy 3g of fibre and should easily keep you full till lunch. Another great benefit is the bar's 3.2g of protein making up for 14% of your GDA.

Taste Rating    7/10
Nutritional Rating    8/10 

Bar website: Quaker Morning Bars

Friday, 22 March 2013

Silent Hill - Not Tomorrow

This week's videogame theme is being played by Lara6683 on piano. It is the song Not Tomorrow from the game Silent Hill. Its also known as Lisa's theme.