Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Honestly Love Them - And Honest Foods Review and GIVEAWAY!!!


We've all seen them right? Those lovely little bars and squares that have been featured in foodie blogs. I for one always thought they looked cute and country-ish.

Well Honest Foods has had a makeover! Recently all of the company's products have been re-launched. They now feature different packaging with much more slick and also see-through so you can better appreciate the whole grain, nuts, and fruits that go into the product. But that's not the only change!! Honest Foods planks and bars now feature lower calorie, sugar, and fat counts than before.

Given all the new and lovely changes to the products I was especially thrilled when Natalie at Honest Foods sent me some of their products to sample for the blog.



Inside that lovely box I found six Honest Foods planks. First thing that struck me? These babies are huge! So much bigger than your average granola bar. In fact gargantuan in proportions. I was so impressed with the size I took a picture with one next to a knife to show you it's proportions.

Once I was done gawking at the size I decided to get to the fun stuff - eating one! :oP lol I chose the Maple Almond Crunch and quickly opened one up. First reaction? The smell was fabulous!! As soon as I opened the bag I was hit with the delicate scent of maple syrup.

I won't lie to you bloggies - being a Canadian the smell of maple syrup took me back. You see like most good Canadian kids I would visit the sugar bush every spring. When the days are above 0 (Celsius) but the nights below 0, then it's maple syrup time. For me that smell will forever remind me of visiting the sugar bush with my dad and sister on March break. I love the delicate smell of the first maple syrup boil so I knew I was going to love this bar!


And the taste? Also amazing! The maple syrup taste wasn't overwhelming but the almonds really got into the mix. I also found the bar to be just sweet enough. As you can see from the picture the plank was completely chock full of good chunks of fruit, nuts, and whole grains.

This is probably a good time to warn you that all of the planks (unlike all of the bars) contain peanuts. I'm allergic to peanuts and of course didn't bother to read the ingredients. Thankfully I didn't have an allergic reaction as it seems my peanut allergy has become tame over time. But if you are allergic to peanuts (but can tolerate traces) I recommend you buy the bars instead.

I was pretty greedy with this first plank but decided to get the fiance involved in the sampling of the other two flavours. Next up? The Pomegranate Walnut Crunch. We sampled this one on the way to court through winding mountain roads.


I opened this little baby up. Now it didn't have the same lovely wafting smell as the first sample but I still had high hopes. And boy was I right to! :o) I would say this one reminds me a bit of dried cranberries with its slightly tart flavour. Really really good and I could totally see myself purchasing this plank. Especially because when I looked down I saw not a chunk of an almond, not a half almond, but a whole almond staring back at me!


To get the fiance involved I gave him half the plank but told him in exchange I would need feedback. It went something like this:

Me: So what do you think?
Fiance: *chomp chomp chomp* This is good! (said with a full mouth)

Me: How would you describe it?
Fiance: Chewy! *moment of thought* Like a cookie! (fiance loves cookie)

Me: Would you describe it as the best of all worlds? (I'm laughing by this point)
Fiance: *chomp chomp chomp* Yeah! Do we have more at home?

lol I think you could say the boy gave the Pomegranate Walnut Crunch a resounding endorsement! lol

Last up was the Blueberry Vanilla Crackle. I sampled my half of this baby in my office:


What I saw staring back at me was the same lovely wholesome ingredients that I'd come to expect from Honest Foods. I could also see some white bits staring back at me, which I assumed were the vanilla crackle.

I opened the package, cut my half, and dug right in. This is the part where I have to be completely honest bloggies. I didn't love this one. Something about the flavour didn't do it for me. In an attempt to give it another chance I microwaved the rest of my piece. I still didn't like it. The mix of the blueberries and vanilla was not doing it for me.

Determined to see if I was the only one who felt this way I headed home and had the fiance sample his half:

Me: I didn't like it, what do you think?
Fiance: *chomp chomp chomp* Why? It's good! *chomp chomp chomp*

Me: Really? You like the blueberry and the vanilla together?
Fiance: Yeah! It's good too! *chomp chomp chomp*

*A couple of chomps later*

Fiance: This is the last one!?!?!?

lol So I guess it's a good thing I had two people doing the taste test. This last flavour didn't float my boat but the boy still thought it completely delicious. Clearly, it all came down to a matter of taste. I still suggest you give this last plank a chance and decide for yourself! :o)

Overall Review of Honest Foods Planks: Super good job Honest Foods! The new packaging is super slick and I think being able to see the ingredients will really sell the product. I love that the planks are so huge too - lots of bang for my buck. And the reduced calories, fat, and sugar is fantastic for health-conscious bloggies like me. Overall I honestly loved these goodies! :oP

Would I buy them again: Absolutely!!! In fact I think I may have to stock up on the Maple Almond Crunch (my absolute favourite).

And you can too! In fact Honest Foods has a new online store with reasonable prices that include shipping (U.S. only)!!!

For the month of April ONLY if you add "12for12k" in the comments section of your order, Honest Foods will donate all profits towards an organization working to provide micro financing programs in rural Kenya (more information here). That alone makes me love Honest Foods all the more!

And now for the part that you've been waiting for:


MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!

You could win a lovely prize pack inspired by my favourite Honest Foods Plank - the Maple Almond Crunch:

Three Honest Foods Plank (one of each of the flavours reviewed here today), a box of Celestial Seasonings Decaf Canadian Vanilla Maple Dessert Tea (I love this stuf), and a jar of Maple Butter (product of Canada made with 100% pure maple syrup)

How do you qualify?

1. Comment at the bottom of this post and tell me why you want the prize pack AND

2. Link back to this post from your own blog (email me to tell me you did so - tobethewholepackageATgmail.com)

3. If you don't have a blog just email me and I'll enter you into the draw as well

You have until noon (EST) on April 15th, 2009.

Get to it bloggies! :o)

60 comments:

FoodsThatFit said...

Very fun giveaway! I haven't tried the planks, but think they look yummy!

Krista said...

I would love the prize pack because I've been wanting to try those planks forever and can not find them anywhere!!!!!

Run Sarah said...

Those look amazing - yum! :)

aron said...

YUM I want it because it looks delicious and I am hungry allll the time right now! lol

itsawrapteacher said...

Love it! I will link you back on my blog ASAP!

Chic Runner said...

Love it, they look so bomb, and I'm starving right now. :) I usually eat bad food but I'm willing to give these a try!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

I would love to receive this prize pack, as I have tried the pomegranate walnut (which, was awesome), and definitely need to check out the other flavours. Plus you Canadian-ified it with some maple goods! Good job, eh!

E said...

Can't find those planks anywhere in London, Ontario. Also, would love to try the dessert tea - Celestial Seasonings is my fave!

a bike rider in the big smoke said...

hey sign me up... good healthy snacks are always good! :-)

Lora said...

omg maple butter....the reason i want to win!!! im pretty much obsessed with maple syrup and anything canadian! love montreal and love the people!

Marian said...

oh wow...I have never seen these in stores anywhere!

I would LOVE to try these, esp. the maple flavour, because I was just at a maple syrup festival this past weekend (how Canadian, I know!) and am currently going through a maple-obsession phase. :)

Sharon said...

I have never seen these in stores where I am, so I would like some. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP! LOL

Hollister said...

These look delicious!! I would love to try them! I'm linking back on my blog!!

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

these look so yummy~~ I've seen them around the blog world, really want to try it! :)

Junghwa said...

thank you for the giveaway!
I would love to try all of your giveaways! I am absolutely in love with tea but never had a chance to try that company!

Nicole said...

I'd love to win because I've wanted to try these after seeing them mentioned so many times in blogland. Your excellent review made me want to try them even more! :-)

http://thisisjustsweetenough.wordpress.com

Ellen said...

wow, sweet giveaway! i would love to win because i have never seen these items in stores and i'd love to try them.

martha said...

Neat! I want to try the planks because I can't seem to find them in Canada!

Diana said...

I want it because I like getting stuff for free! haha! I'm honest!
Diana
http://strawberryshortstuff.com

Erin and Jesse said...

I can't find those planks anywhere! I'd love to try them!

G said...

aww I've never tried any of the Honest Food products!! I would love to sample some! Thanks for hosting a fabulous giveaway!

G said...

G = glidingcalm.wordpress.com or glidingcalm@gmail.com :)

ashley said...

ah! i tried these before they did the revamp and they have flavors i didnt try! YUMMMYYYY
www.dailygoods.wordpress.com

mama said...

coz they look yummy!

Allison said...

Awesome contest!! Everything looks delicious!
:)

Anne said...

I'd love to win because that tea sounds AWESOME! I've also heard so much about the planks-- I'd love to try them. And maple butter? Yum!!

Sarah said...

i want it! i want it! obv i love free things, but i'm also super excited about the size of those planks!! (thanks for the sidebyside with the knife, btw). i'll link back this afternoon :-)

http://talesofexpansion.wordpress.com

Christina said...

I want it to try maple butter - I'm obsessed with maple syrup!

Zoe said...

I wanna winnnnnnn!! I love maple and have not been able to find honest products anywhere, they look sooo good:)
Z

Keegan said...

I've never tried the honest bars, but I have a feeling I'd find the maple almond bar just as tasty as you do. Plus, that tea, completely agree, it's one of the best! mmmm....

Leah said...

I would love this prize pack because I cannot buy these in the UK whatsoever!! :)

Here's the link to my post!
http://simplyfabulousnow.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/a-good-friday-with-my-bro/

Erin said...

Hi! Maple buttah? I will now be fixated on this.

Well, I guess I'd like to win b/c I like the idea of paying it forward. Last week I got some POM samples, and kept a few, but gave away the rest. I just shipped the package today. So, if karma is smiling on me, maybe I'll win this one!

xraychic said...

I would love to win this package because everything in it looks delicious! Whether I win or not, I definitely have to search for these planks (and that tea too)!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the thourough review. Like how the fiance compares them to cookies! :)

I've been looking for the planks everywhere - as I love the bars!

Lele said...

Oh my GOODNESS I have wanted to try Honest Foods for so long! Your giveaway is gorgeous!

I am linking to you!

Jessica said...

Can't find those planks anywhere

HangryPants said...

Me.... I love the Honest Foods bars!

Nutritious is Delicious said...

What an AMAZING giveaway! Seriously! I have tried an honest foods bar before and absolutely loved it! YUM! I would love to try the new formula! How fun!

ttfn300 said...

i'm so glad that honest foods lowered the sugar content in their bars, i can't wait to try them again :) and maple butter? *drooling*

mgaltier said...

I'd love to win this so I can try maple butter--I've never even heard of that!!

Manda said...

Oooh! I want this soooo bad! I grew up in New Jersey and I miss the fresh maple syrup! Ugh! Also, the honest foods planks are so.hard.to.find! Pick me!!

ikkinlala said...

I want the prize pack because it's almost hiking season and those planks look like the perfect thing to take along (I could take a thermos of tea, too).

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Steph said...

I want to win because I have heard great things about Honest products, I love healthy food, and I love trying new things! :)

Danielle said...

Yum! I want to try this stuff because even though I'm in Canada, I can't find the planks or that particular tea anywhere!

jperonto said...

I've been DYING to find these and I can't! I've seen them on blog after blog and I know that they're calling my name! They look so yummy!

Kristan Anne said...

This looks like a delicious giveaway! Thanks!

Tracy said...

i wanna win because i want to try one of my fear foods!

Aimee said...

I love honest foods and I'd love to try some of your other favorite things!

JW said...

I'd love to try it because I've never had the planks and they look yummy!

Jane Beall said...

I have heard so much about these, I can't wait to try them!

Amanda said...

I want this because I have been seeing them all over the blogs for months now!

Susie Q said...

I've been wanting to try those for a while AND you don't have to explain to me what the butter is! I'm Canadian and would loooove some of that!

Lea said...

I don't have a blog per se, but I would love love to try the bars. I love trying new products.

Yay for giveaways~

CeciLiA said...

i want this because I really want to try out the plank bars AND the maple butter!!

Hilary said...

I would love to try those!!

Jaclyn said...

I would love to win so I could try these, I never have!

Eileen W. said...

Yum-o- I just channeled Rachel Ray- omgosh!! I would love to give these a try! :)

Emily N. said...

I'd love to win because I've never tried any of these products but they all sound great.
email in profile

N.D. said...

I want to win because these look amazing and I am trying hard to eat well - the chocolate peanut butter looks awesome!

sue said...

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