The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Food review: Kardea Cranberry Almond Nutrition Bar August 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 8:47 pm
Tags: , ,

Thanks again to the folks at Kardea who were kind enough to send me samples of their Nutrition Bars. 

The facts: 

  • 1-1.4 oz bar contains 150 cals (45 from fat), 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 21g carbs (7g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 7g protein
  • 1g natural plant sterols to assist in cholesterol management
  • 19 ingredients listed, including 4 sweeteners. Top five ingredients are: brown rice syrup, almonds, agave syrup, dried cranberries, and rolled oats


  • (+) soft texture was pleasing
  • (+) large pieces of cranberry
  • (+) nice fiber and protein stats to promote satiety
  • (+) love that it only has 150 calories
  • (-) not keen on the fact that it has four sweeteners:  brown rice syrup, agave syrup, evaporated cane juice, and sugar.  Does it really need all of those?
  • (+) At least they are mostly low-glycemic sweeteners
  • (-) almond extract taste was the first thing I noticed, but the bar doesn’t contain extract, just almonds.  Kind of fake-almondy tasting and struck me as odd.
  • (-) not much of a cranberry taste
  • (+) vegetarian (I’d say vegan, but they only claim “vegetarian friendly”)
  • (+) kosher

(Note:  Since I wrote this over a month ago I also had some of the Banana Nut bar.  I noted the same fake-ish almondy taste at first bite.  I also ate another one of the bars, and noticed the same thing.  Not sure what it is, but not quite my bag.)

This spring I upped my fruit and veggie intake, and pretty much stopped eating bars regularly.  I eat them rarely for a super early a.m. pre-workout snack, or in a pinch for an afternoon snack when I don’t have anything else.  Nothing against bars, I have just been trying to eat more fruits and veg!

Given all of this, I liked the product well enough, but would probably not buy them on my own.  If you seek a softer snack bar with good nutritionals give them a try.  Especially if you like the taste of almond extract 😉


One Response to “Food review: Kardea Cranberry Almond Nutrition Bar”

  1. rob Says:

    Hi Kersten-

    Thanks for the review of the Kardea bars. In regard to the use of multiple sweeteners, the answer is a few fold. Most importantly, the total grams of sugar is generally quite a bit lower than other natural bars on the market and these bars even are reguarly recommended as suitable for diabetics (1 starch exchange). The brown rice syrup and agave are both used to find a nice balance among taste, glycemic index and texture. These bars do contain about 1/2 gram of evaporated cane juice, again largerly for texture—but we are assessing the merits of removing. Two of the bars — banana nut and chai–contain no sugar. The sugar in the other two bars — cranberry almond and lemon ginger — are found in the cranberry and lemon zest that we use in these bars. Probably amounts to less than 1/4 of a gram.

    Looking foward to your comments on the other bars — and you +/- input is really helpful in our formulation efforts. Thanks!

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