Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sampling Squares, Planks, and Bars

I was lucky enough to get some samples in the mail of "darn good whole foods" made by Honest Foods. When I am traveling or on the go at home, I always have a stash of vegan snacks in case I skip breakfast, can't find something vegan on the lunch menu, or I'm getting the munchies late in the afternoon. So I was very excited about the opportunity to add a few more to my usual repertoire. Inside the package addressed to "walking the vegan line" (which in itself was exciting to see), I received samples of all flavors from their two whole foods product lines: country squares and granola planks.

The country squares are a soft, chewy, whole grain bar that comes in four flavors: choco p'nut butter, apple ginger spice, farmer's trail mix, and cran lemon zest. All four are made with whole grain oats, almond butter, dried fruit, and other ingredients you can pronounce; with 6 grams of protein and a healthy dose of omega 3's. These were perfect for when I was heading out the door hungry. My favorite? Well, this shouldn't be a surprise to any of you that read this blog with some regularity, but it was the choco p'nut butter, followed by the farmer's trail mix (I loved the addition of pumpkin seeds in this one!).
For some strange reason I was less excited about the granola planks, probably because I tend to prefer soft and chewy things to brittle and crunchy. But these were a pleasant surprise! I enjoyed eating the blueberry vanilla crackle plain out of the box, the maple almond crunch crumbled as cereal in almond milk, and the pomengranate walnut crisp topped on vanilla soy yogurt. Check out the Honest Foods website for a list of places where you can purchase these to taste for yourself!
Since I was in the sampling mode, I decided to do more, but this time, no freebies :-) My sister highly recommended the Vosges "haut" chocolate, but with "haut" prices, I was glad to find some miniatures to taste that were a little nicer on the pocketbook. The flavors included the creole bar (coffee + cocoa nibs), red fire bar (ancho and chipotle chilies + cinnamon), oaxaca bar (guajillo and pasilla chilies), and the black pearl bar (wasabi + ginger + sesame seeds). These miniatures are worth savoring every bite, don't use these for a quick chocolate fix! I brought a few with me to share with a few girlfriends when we went to see the SATC movie, and I made mine last about twenty minutes into it. The clear winner for my tastebuds was the Red Fire bar... the fire of the chili and the spice of the cinnamon was a combination that awakened my tastebuds. Coming in second had to be the Creole bar, I loved the crunch of the cocoa nibs.
I think I could get used to this product sampling thing...

32 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

My oh my, talk about delicious product samplings!!!

romina said...

Goodness, those "Honest" products look DELICIOUS!

Celine said...

lucky! and congrats on the award, very well-deserved indeed.
have I mentioned how I love your new layout?

Veg-a-Nut said...

Love your blog and you so deserved to win your award! I am so happy for you! Your taste testing looks really fun and "tasty" I am so jealous right now. :o)

Erin said...

Those squares and planks look really good, lucky you for getting to try them!

Cody said...

I don't know about the wasabi, but the rest of those chocolates sound yummy.

Holler said...

Bring it on :)

Ricki said...

Lucky you! What fun, too. And those chocolate bars...well, they all sound perfect to me.

PS Thanks for the comment re: the detox. . .a week didn't seem that long, actually (now, a juice fast would be another story). :)

Bianca said...

The Black Pearl bar sounds crazy! Wasabi, sesame, and chocolate? I can't even imagine, but I'd try it out of curiosity.

BTW, I've seen those granola planks and Wild Oats and thought they looked pretty tasty.

Jenny said...

Yum! I wish I had some new food products to try out! Maybe I should go shopping...

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Wow, that's a lot of free samples! Yummy-- you gotta love free samples :o)

Animal-Friendly said...

Those "Honest Foods" bars look and sound really yummy! I'm always looking for new snacks, so I hope that I'll be able to find these in my area.

aTxVegn said...

That looks like the perfect assortment of snacks to keep on hand. Can you make a living as a professional product tester?

jeanette said...

That's the one thing I miss about my old job at the health food store...free samples!!!!

Congrats on the award!

Aimee Dars said...

Great information! I love your blog...it certainly deserves a place on the VegBloggy award list. I feel for you being a vegan in Houston. I grew up in Oklahoma...same diet as Texas!

vegetalion said...

ohhh how lucky! those look delicious - and the chocolate looks great, too!

Emmie said...

Those chocolates look lovely. I am such a sucker for different flavoured chocolate bars!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I've never seen the granola products around here, but they sound yummy! I've been meaning to try Vosges for ages now & still haven't! haha.

julie hasson said...

An excellent review, Vegan Noodle! I haven't seen the granola products out in Portland, but now I'll have to keep my eyes open.

Hannah said...

How funny- I'm going to reviewing some of the Honest Foods products as well! They sound great, so I can't wait to see for myself.

Vegan Girl said...

Hi! So sorry I haven't commented in a while except to congratulate you on your blog award. I am hosting a fundraiser for Animal Place here in California and it's been a bit crazy busy. But I am thinking about you and all your food posts! Yum!

Roni from Daisy Wares

Lauren said...

I love those chocolate bars! I have only had the wasabi one and it was love at first taste! :)

LK said...

I love free product sampling - we just recently got the honor of getting Bob's Red Mill Samples, and will soon have some Equal Exchange Chocolate food samples.

Your chocolate look inticing - especially the Mexican chocolate with chilies. I love the Cocoa Mole Larabar, which has cinnamon and chiles, so that one sounds the most delicious!

I've tried Honest Food's chewy bars before (only the cran lemon and the apple spice) and they were good....I would love to get samples of all of the flavors though!

Happy eating!

shellyfish said...

Now that is some most excellent mail! Thanks for the review!

vegan addict said...

Oooooh! The Red Fire chocolate bar would be perfect in my hands right...about...NOW! I had never heard of this brand, so thank you for sharing.

Congrats on the Veg News award! You do so much and still manage to maintain such a super awesome blog, you totally deserve a big shiny star!

What's the status on selling vegan baked goods at your farmer's market? I'll come to Houston and keep you in business if you start selling!

Vegan On Stage said...

FREE SAMPLES GALORE!!!! what a lucky little vegan you are!!!!
Whenever Im in whole foods I swear I pick up those chocolate bars, look at them... ponder.. and put them down... they scare me a bit with their radical flavors! Maybe I need to grow some VEGAN BALLS and taste one!!!!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Oh chocolate........could you be more perfect?

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

i am on a mission to find snack type food to take with me on long days on campus, and those planks and squares look wonderful. and those chocolates look really interesting.

Cookiemouse said...

Free samples are cool, especially when they look this good.

Vegan On Stage said...

hi!
So you said that you had friends who have been to Costa Rica... do you know if they have any information on where to stay and what to do????
my email is Synthialink@gmail.com

if you could ask them to email me with ANY information or tips I WOULD APPRECIATE IT SOSOSOOSOS MUCH!!!!!

flvegan said...

Mmmmmmm spicy chocolate!! Is there anything better?! :)
~Erin @ "Vegan & the City"

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Mmm...the Red Fire bar sounds like it would go great with a glass of Cab. I think that would be my favorite too.