In my quest for a low-fat diet to reduce my cholesterol level, I’ve been looking for healthy cereal bars to take to work or nibble on while at home during the day. I had for some time been overdoing my consumption of plain chocolate on the pretext that it contained antioxidants and was good for the heart, but I recently had to admit that I was ignoring the fact that it contained far too much saturated fat and so I began to limit myself to one or two squares a day. It was a pleasant surprise to discover the Seeds of Change Chocolate and Raisin Organic Cereal Bars and to see that with these I could allow myself some chocolate in a healthy way. Each 29gram bar contains just 1.1grams of saturated fat, whereas a plain chocolate digestive biscuit, for example, contains about 2 grams. The number of calories per bar is 107, for those of you who are watching your weight.
The bars are packed in boxes of six, and I paid GBP1.99. This seemed at first a little expensive compared with Waitrose’s own Lemon Oat Bars which I used to buy, but is in fact cheaper than Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Elevenses Bakes, although these do contain more calories and are probably more filling.
The box shows an unwrapped cereal bar, crumbling a little as if someone has just taken a bite, alongside a picture of some of the ingredients. This picture I feel is slightly misleading, as the chocolate does not look particularly dark whereas the back of the packet specifically mentions ‘pieces of dark chocolate’; what’s more, purple grapes are shown rather than actual raisins. But this is a minor gripe, and I for one am glad that it is dark and not milk chocolate. None of the other ingredients is illustrated, but the principal ones are oat flakes, crisped rice and corn flakes.
The box is a cardboard one so can obviously be recycled, and it is very easy to open without tearing the tuck-in flap at the top. Inside, each bar is contained in a foil wrapper, again showing the picture of chocolate and grapes. The wrapper bears the ‘recyclable’ logo, but I know this kind of material is not accepted in the recycling bins where I live, so it will have to be thrown away.
Inside the wrapper, the bar closely resembles the one on the outer box: a golden brown mixture of cereals dotted with round chocolate chips and whole raisins. Not many raisins are actually visible on the illustrated bar, but don’t be deceived: they are there. I found that there were mostly chocolate chips on one side of the bar, with more raisins on the other side, but this wouldn’t affect the taste. The bars are described as ‘deliciously moist and chewy’, and I would certainly agree with this. It was easy to bite a piece off – not too hard, just right, unlike Kellogg’s Optivita Bars where the rest of the bar starts to fall apart when I try to take a small bite. The Seeds of Change bars have an interesting combination of flavours: you can distinguish the chocolate and the raisins amongst the cereals, and you feel that this is full of goodness as well as tasting, as they themselves say, delicious.
I should perhaps put more emphasis on the fact that, as with all Seeds of Change products, the ingredients of these cereal bars are 100% organic; no artificial additives or preservatives are used. They are suitable for vegetarians. They do contain milk and traces of nuts, but there is no mention of wheat in the ingredients.
Comparing them with other similar bars I have tried recently, I would say that they are more expensive but healthier than Waitrose’s Lemon Oat Bars; and cheaper and healthier but less filling than Kellogg’s Multi-Grain Elevenses Bakes (which contain some E numbers). They are slightly more expensive and have a more interesting taste than Kellogg’s Optivita Bars, as well as being easier to eat, but I buy the Optivita Bars because they contain oat bran, which has a positive effect on reducing cholesterol.
I will definitely continue to buy the Seeds of Change Cereal Bars as they taste so good, are made from such healthy ingredients, and allow me that little bit of chocolate! Chocolate cravings aside, however, I must also try the other two flavours: strawberry as well as hazelnut and sultana.
Seeds of Change also make soup, pasta, pasta sauces and cooking sauces, all with organic ingredients.