Following my review of their nut butters and existing bars (read it here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/my-nut-butter-collection.html ), Meridian Foods were kind enough to send me some nut butters to play around with, and also some of their newest bars. Now I had seen these bars in Holland and Barratt’s magazine, but never on the shelves. As all of you who know about my nut butter obsession can imagine I was pretty frigging excited to try these out, and now I’ve munched my way through nearly all of them I feel ready to give you guys a review…
The bars are all based around the classic peanut butter bar Meridian make, which thankfully is probably my favourite one. They created three new bars pairing the PB with berries, banana, and cocoa. All of the bars clock in at just under 200kcal, they all taste great, all are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, pack in the protein, and manage to retain the peanut flavour alongside the other ingredients added. Each has roughly 7g protein per bar, and also an impressive amount of fibre for their size (the cocoa one has 2.4g, the berry one 3.4g, and the banana one I believe about 2g- I don’t have a wrapper to check because I ate them all). Each bar is also made up of 48% nuts and above. I’ve eaten these as snacks, pre and post workout boosts, desserts…they’re just too good to say no to. I’ve also microwaved them for a few seconds (not sure if this is Meridian approved- be careful with kitchen appliances kids), and they take on a warm, gooey, melting texture that is going to be perfect for me as it gets colder outside.
So, to the bars individually: I had the feeling going into trying them that my favourite would be the peanut butter and banana, followed by the cocoa, and last of all the berry. In fact, I wasn’t expecting to like the berry one very much at all. However, Meridian surprised me on this one, and my favourite actually ended up being the cocoa, followed by the berry, and the banana came in at last place…
Peanut Butter & Cocoa
This one is perfect for people who love the flavour of a Reese’s peanut butter cup; imagine this but much less artificial and sugary. This bar is rich, not sweet. It wasn’t too strong on the cocoa, but had just enough to give it an intense hit of chocolaty-ness. The first thing that actually struck me was how it looked: this bar has a shinier finish to it than the peanut bars, which are matte in appearance. You can also see the generous nut chunks more prominently in this bar, as they contrast the cocoa that gives this snack its colour. If you like a chunky texture to your PB then definitely check this bar out. The final thing was that the bar wasn’t as dry as expected it to be, having incorporated cocoa; it retains the classic chewy texture of Meridian’s peanut butter bars.
Peanut Butter & Berry
As I said I was expecting this to be my least favourite bar. The increasing horror I had at tasting artificial strawberry flavouring lasted as long as it took to read the packet. These bars contain raspberries, and cranberries. And they beat strawberries hands down. Think of this bar as a grown up PB & J. The redcurrants give a tartness to the bar that prevents it taking on that cloyingly sweet flavour I was expecting. The colour of the product was a light pink-red, again with that IG worthy peanut chunkage. Along with the peanut pieces you get bits of raspberry and cranberry scattered throughout, which actually makes this bar taste pretty refreshing.
Peanut Butter & Banana
This is another classic combo (which is what Meridian seems to have gone with with all of the bars), and it didn’t disappoint. There was no tacky foam banana flavour (all the bars do well with providing natural flavours), and the sweet banana punch you do get works brilliantly with the almost savoury PB. The smell of banana hits you immediately when you open the packet of this bar, and it did make me wary as I suspected it could taste slightly artificial- but don’t worry about that at all guys. This bar was my least favourite purely because the other two taste so amazing, and I would have to recommend those before hand. Plus the fact, you can recreate this combo using a fresh, very ripe, banana and a tbsp. of Meridian’s chunky peanut butter anyway, and this is how I prefer to get my PB and banana fix. Do give both that snack, and this bar, a try though.