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:
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)