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Bar Exam: Good n’ natural lemon bar

I haven’t done a bar exam in a long time! Truthfully, I haven’t been sampling many new bars lately because I’ve been having a Clif Builder protein bar almost every day while I’ve been doing the LiveFit trainer. I haven’t exactly wanted a second bar on any given day so there’s rarely a time for me to try any.

I did give this Good n’ Natural lemon bar a shot though, because as you may know, I LOVE lemon flavored sweets.

Good n' natural lemon bar

This bar is packed with real whole foods and is both vegan and dairy-free.

Good n' natural lemon bar ingredients

At 230 calories, it’s the right size for a satisfying snack. 9 grams of sugar is not that bad, and as a bonus there’s 10 whole grams of protein too.

Good n' natural lemon bar stats

Appearance: Has the smooth pasty look of a larabar but is completely filled with obvious oats and nuts. I tend to love these bars that are essentially just fruit and nut paste, so I was already excited about this one as soon as I unwrapped it.

Good n' natural lemon bar unwrapped

Texture: Delightfully chewey. The oats provide a nice textural element without being too much to chomp through. I always hated the Quaker granola bars as a kid because my jaw would ache from chewing all those oats like a pony. Not a problem with this bar, the oats are softer and the fruit and nut paste that holds them together is smooth and homogenous.

Good n' natural lemon bar unwrapped 2

Taste:¬†Sigh. This bar was so promising. Looks good, chews good, but it tastes like wood chips and cardboard held together by wax. There is a faint floral lemon zest aroma and flavor right as you swallow, but it’s very light and tastes more like the kind of lemon you’d expect to find in soap or perfume than in food. Sad, really.

Good n' natural lemon bar bite

It was so gross that I’m not sure I can trust any other flavor from this brand. If they use the same stale nuts, flavorless dried fruit, and fake-tasting “natural flavors” as this one, I’m sure to be disappointed as well.

That’s it. I have had so many negative Bar Exams that I’m gonna just review one that I know is excellent so I can have something nice to say again. Maybe a Kind bar or a Larabar in a fun flavor I haven’t tried.

Have you ever bought something that sounded like it was made for you only for it to end up tasting gross?

 

 

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Bar Exam: Clif Mojo white chocolate macadamia

If you recall, I’ve reviewed a Clif Mojo bar before- the peanut butter pretzel flavor. You may also recall that while I didn’t hate it, I definitely didn’t think I’d purchase one again. Well lo and behold I went and did just that when I stumbled upon this delightful looking white chocolate macadamia flavor.

I love white chocolate, and macadamia nuts. What could go wrong?

Clif Mojo white chocolate macadamia

Let’s start with the stats. 190 calories with 11 grams of sugar and 8 grams of protein. All well and good here.

Mojo WCM ingredients

The ingredient list is mostly organic with very few funky ingredients to complain about.

Mojo WCM unwrapped

Appearance: Chunky with puffed rice, pretzel bits, macadamia pieces, and white chocolate chunks all held together by a shiny colorless glaze. One side of the bar has more pretzel pieces while the other seems to have all the white chocolate chunks.

Mojo WCM pretzel bitMojo WCM white choc chip

Texture: Everything has a very satisfying crunch to it from the crackling puffed rice to the crisp pretzel bits. The nuts and chocolate pieces have a similar oily smoothness and density that feels good as they give way under the strength of your bite.

Mojo WCM bite

Taste: There is a very surprising saltiness right from the start. It’s not like individual salt crystals dissolving on your tongue either, but more of an all over saltiness as if the bar was painted with saltwater. It’s jarring at first, the acrid iodine flavor washed over everything makes your jaw tingle just under the ears like you’ve bitten into a lemon.

It’s great when you bite into a white chocolate chip and the saltiness combines with the sweet to make one cohesive flavor, but since the distribution of ingredients isn’t homogenous, some bites are a mouthful of sweet chocolate while others are just an unpleasant saltlick.

As for the macadamias, they’re barely noticeable. There is a faint nuttiness in the back of your throat if you’re looking for it, but really it’s not a huge part of the overall flavor of the bar.

Mojo WCM Liam sniffing

Overall, while I didn’t hate it I didn’t really “get it” either. The pretzel bits seemed out of place entirely and the saltwater flavor was just impossible to get past. I would have liked this better if the nuts were salted rather than the binder and if the whole thing were better distributed so that most bites will have a bit of everything in them.

I’m really just not feeling this whole “put pretzels in everything” business that Clif Mojo has going on, so this product line as a whole is probably just not for me. And I can’t for the life of me figure out what is giving the entire bar that bathed in saltwater taste when there doesn’t seem to be a colossal amount of sodium in it.

Also….where my macadamias at!?!? What a tease.

What is your favorite nut? (I’m a cashew and hazelnut fan myself.)

 

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Bar Exam: Peanut butter pretzel Clif Mojo bar

I think I may be the only person on the planet who doesn’t really like Clif bars. At least not the original variety that are like thick chalky bricks, those always give me acid reflux and make my tummy hurt. I have no idea why they do that.

I decided to give this Clif Mojo bar a try because…well…because it has pretzels in it. There’s really nothing more to it than that, I was just intrigued.

Clif Mojo peanut butter and pretzel

Ingredient list is pretty clean, lots of stuff in it but nothing I’m too afraid of.

It clocks in at 190 calories which is a little bit low for a satisfying snack but still good. 9 grams of protein and another 9 grams of sugar are both respectable stats. And I was worried about the salt content with this being chock full of pretzels, one of the most classic of salty snacks, but at 220 milligrams it’s really not totally unreasonable.

Clif Mojo ingredients

Appearance: I like the cobbled-together look of this bar.¬†Loosely clinging together pieces of pretzel, puffed rice, peanuts, and peanut butter chips. I was very excited to see those adorable little peanut butter chips, I didn’t even know they were there until I opened it. Nice golden sheen from the brown rice syrup too.

Clif Mojo unwrapped

Texture: Crunchy and chewy, a bit jagged but not unpleasant. There’s no sogginess in the pretzels from being in contact with the moisture from the brown rice syrup. Peanut butter chips are buttery smooth and the puffed rice is a nice subtle crackle.

Clif Mojo bite

Taste: I expected this to be a contrasting sweet and salty flavor, but it was really mostly salty. Not a bad thing, just not what I expected. The peanut butter chips are subtle, they provide a nutty flavor without any additional salt or sweetness. The salt comes solely from the pretzels, with some bites being less salty and others very salty when you bite into a piece with big salt crystals.

Overall, I liked this bar but I don’t think it’s one I’d add to the regular rotation. It’s definitely light years better than those regular thick pasty Clif bars, but still not that exciting. However, if you’re a lover of salty snacks more than sweets, this might be just right for you. I, however, was really hoping for that awesome contrast between salty and sweet. I think a bit of honey flavor would have taken this over the edge for me.

Salty, sweet, or both at the same time?