Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Product Review - Uncle Tobys Simply Fruit Bars

Disclosure: This is not a paid sponsored post; however this post is part of the Product Talk by Nuffnang series and as such, I received an item in exchange for a review.

This is a new product from Uncle Tobys; one which I hadn't seen on the shelves, that I was lucky enough to receive some freebies of the sultana, apricot, poppyseed & orange variety to try.

We buy a few Uncle Tobys products; breakfast cereals for the kids, plus muesli bars and other packaged snacks to throw into lunch boxes, or to stock the pantry for after school snacks. I guess for that reason (other than their oats), I've always thought of the brand as "kids stuff". These bars are marketed as an adult snack though, rather than a school lunch box filler.

When they arrived, I did what all food nuts do and checked the nutrition panel on the box. I was expecting to see a long list of ingredients, with some type of sugar featuring prominently. I was pleasantly surprised to find this instead:

Sultanas (27%)
Dried Apricots (26%)
Dried dates
Sunflower oil
Poppy seeds (4%)
Orange oil (0.05%)
Preservative (sulphur dioxide)

Not bad - they contain over 50% dried fruit. Of course, dried fruit still contains a lot of sugar, but at least it's not from a ton of refined cane sugar, corn syrup or other added sweeteners. And if you disregard the sulphur dioxide (which comes along with the dried apricots), there are only 7 ingredients.

For those who care about the numbers, they're as follows: Total kilojoules per bar: 487. I had to go convert that to Calories because kjs just don't compute for me. It works out to 116 Calories, in case you're wondering. The macronutrient breakup is:

Protein 1.9g,
Fat 3.2g,
Carbohydrate 19.6g (13.8g sugar)
and Sodium, 7mg.

Now to the important part - the taste test. I had some willing helpers in the form of Bike Boy and The Baby, and the verdict was overwhelmingly positive from all of us. They have a soft, slightly chewy texture and a lovely fruity taste, with a strong orange flavour. There's a bit of slightly crunchy texture from the poppy seeds too.

These would be ideal for a small snack that you could throw in your handbag to eat on the run, or to keep in your desk drawer for when the hungries strike. Calorie- and nutrition-wise, they beat the hell out of a chocolate bar or a couple of biscuits.

Would I buy them/recommend them? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn't be making them part of my everyday nutrition, because I do prefer fresh food, but I'd be happy to have them once or twice a week. And if I was travelling, they'd be perfect. I may just pack some in my carry-on bag when we head off on that nine-hour flight to Bangkok in a couple of weeks.


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