Product Snapshot: Naturally Nood bars

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 03 June 2015.
Tagged: healthy snacks, Product snapshot, review, snacks

Product Snapshot: Naturally Nood bars

At first, we thought these small bars were for kids and almost walked past them. With their retro graphics, small size and funny child-like claims, they didn’t seem serious like the usual offerings in the health food aisle. However they really challenged our nutrition and taste expectations so we had to give you the low-down. With their pleasant, hardly-sweet, taste, they’re not like the popular bliss balls, nor a baked bar, nor a fruit leather strap. 

Taste

We liked the pressed texture and taste of these bars but they do NOT taste like your usual muesli bar or even a bliss bomb. Being mixtures of nuts and dried fruit, they tasted nothing processed nor ‘raw’ but quite a dry and not-very-sweet texture.

We taste-tested three and found the Cocoa Lamington flavour the nicest with 8 out of 10. On opening, it has a nice aroma and you could definitely taste the cocoa (not cacao) and coconut.

Next we enjoyed the Banana Bread and rated it 7 out of 10. Our least fave was the Cashew Crush which was a tad bland, not sweet at all despite being 50 per cent dates. You could see chunks of cashew but the cashew flavour came later after eating. We each rated it differently at 3 and 5 out of 10.

Nood triplet

Pros

  • Clever name and on-pack claims such as ‘Naturally NOOD’, ‘Nothing Naughty’ and ‘Smooshed wholefood bar’. As well as the predictable ‘No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives’ and ‘No added sugar’. Every tiny area of the package is used!
  • Few ingredients e.g. the Banana Bread bar has only five (dates, nuts, banana, raisins and vanilla flavour) while the Cashew crush has only two (dates, cashews).
  • Small 35g size (most bars are 40g or 50g).
  • Clear percentage of key ingredients listed in a separate graphic rather than being buried in the Ingredient List.
  • The bar takes up the WHOLE outer pack, unlike other bars.
  • They are ‘pressed, not baked’, so you get a different heavier texture than regular muesli bars.
  • The pack shows the new Health Star Ratings of 4(Banana Bread, Cocoa and Orange Tango, Cashew Crush), 3.5(Cheeky Cocoa, BerryLicious) and 3(Cocoa Lamington) out of 5.
  • These bars aim to be funny and not take themselves too seriously. With statements like ‘Warning – May also contain traces of personality’ and ‘Don’t be shy – stay in touch with us and fellow noodists’ we were reminded of the fun pithy sayings on bottles of Nudie juices.
  • High in fibre thanks to the nuts and dried fruit.
  • One bar has just over 15g carb which is one Carb portion if you have diabetes.

Cons

  • No see-through panel so hard to know what you’re buying.
  • Pricey – we bought them at Woolworths for $2.35 each.
  • Made in Thailand so not local even though they’re manufactured by Sanitarium, makers of the iconic Aussie Weet-Bix.
  • Long shelf life of at least 8 months – but we wondered how they would stand up to 8 months of sitting unrefrigerated especially with their high content of crushed nuts. Would they taste stale and dry?
  • Over 600kJ (150 Cals) per bar so won’t fit the official snack criteria of under 600kJ but still not bad. We had to laugh when we read: “Keep smiling – it’s only 160 Cals per bar”.
  • All have nuts, so not suitable for nut-free schools or excursions.
  • Not sure who these are aimed at. The graphics would appeal to kids, but the health claims and taste was definitely adult, maybe the Mum.
  • With 53 per cent carbs and 23 per cent fat, these are rich and concentrated. You don’t want to eat a heap so it was good to see the small weight.

Nutrition stats

For Cocoa Lamington flavour

Component Per serve Per 100g
Energy  kJ
              Cal
679
162
1940
465
Protein, g 2.7 7.8
Fat        Total, g 7.9  22.6 
              Saturated, g 4.1 11.6
Carbohydrate, g 18.7  53.4 
Sugars, g  12.8  36.6 
Dietary Fibre, g  3.0  8.6 
Sodium, mg  15 

Ingredients

(from Ingredient List on back):

Dates 40%, cashews 24%, coconut 17%, raisins, 14%, cocoa 5%.

My verdict?

We’d definitely buy these Nood Bars again. They’d be good to throw into a school lunchbox as a small treat (if nuts are allowed) and would make a handy handbag snack if you’re watching your weight. They’re small and a treat so it’s not going to blow your whole day.

Websites

www.naturallynood.com
www.facebook.com/naturallynood

Thanks to my fellow taster dietitian Megan Cameron-Lee, APD. Read more of Megan’s thoughts at  http://thedieteticdegustation.blogspot.com.au

 

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.