It isn’t often that you stumble across a snack bar, which is completely free of wheat, oats, nuts, soy, and dairy! Surely, one of these ingredients would be required to create a suitable taste and texture? Nonetheless, Enjoy Life is once again pushing the limits of creativity, by developing just such a snack bar.
I must admit, they are not the most photogenic little guys. Luckily, they do taste better than they appear. Realistically, I do not expect any “bars” to be winning beauty contests, but some do offer more eye appeal than others. These are merely little unidentifiable logs that do not turn me away, but hesitate to lure me in all the same. Something I would grab for out of hunger rather than desire. Of course, each flavor had its merits:
While my taste buds called out for the Caramel Apple flavor first, my nose was most rewarded by the fragrant and recognizable caramel apple scent as I ripped open the package. The initial bite gave off a Clif Bar-like impression, soft and chewy, as the package claimed. While I enjoyed the “soft,” as I got further into the bar, the “chewy” began to assert a little too much presence. The apples were noticeably tender and squishy, and a very pleasant experience for both taste and texture. However, several crispy / chewy bites exerted a strong rolled oat texture, leaving behind sharp, almost inedible bits. Knowing that these bars were gluten and oat-free, I headed straight to the package to see if I could identify what these strange, plastic-like bits were. As I read the ingredients, I could only ascertain that these chewy pieces were brown rice flakes, though they seemed a bit more like stray bits of sunflower seed shell to my teeth.
Aside from the occasional bit that I struggled to gnaw through, I really liked the overall flavor, which was more bar than cookie, yet still a bit sweet. While the overly-chewy bits will keep me from awarding this bar my daily snack spot, a quick ingredient fix from Enjoy Life would certainly put them back in the running..
The deep chocolate flavor of the Coco Loco surprised me a bit. As I am not a big chocolate fan, outside of its densest forms, I would still pick the Caramel Apple bar first. However, this one did have a nice, rich semi-sweet chocolate flavor that left behind an awesome aftertaste.
Alas, the Coco Loco had those same chewy hard bits, almost like sunflower seed shells, which my teeth found so unforgiving. Personally, they were a major deterrent to my complete enjoyment of this otherwise tasty bar. I will have to seek out the suggestion box at Enjoy Life Foods. A quick swap of these bits, whatever they may be, for rice crispies would surely improve the overall recipe. I am certain that some genuine “crispies” would offer a texture that these bars would welcome with open arms.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- These bars are perfectly sized for a mid-day snack, or a little-ones lunch box. Each package contains five individually wrapped bars to conveniently stash in purses and backpacks. For some reason, I would have felt better about a package of six; five just seemed like a strange oddity.
- Each bar is well fortified, containing calcium (15%), magnesium (15%) and a healthy dose of the B Vitamins.
Where to Buy: Enjoy Life products are available in many natural food grocers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Distribution has also begun in Dillon, Fry’s, King Soopers, Kroger, Smith’s and Wegmans stores. See their website for a store locator or to purchase online.