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Trader Joe’s fruit bars

March 4, 2011

The last time I went to Trader Joe’s I was craving for some dried fruit. Unfortunately, a lot of the dried fruit there use additional sugars, which make the fruits much too sweet in their dried form, or contained sulfur dioxide, which isn’t a very healthy additive to foods in general. While there were some packages of fruit that had neither, they were extremely expensive, and required that I buy over a pound of a certain kind of dried fruit. I was ready to just give up when I saw their 100% dried fruit leathers and Fiberful bars nearby.

I tried a handful of each of the bars, and I had an overall better impression of the Fiberful bars than the 100% dried fruit bars. For one, the Fiberfuls were less sweet, and the nutritional information was more favorable, with 60 calories, 6g of fiber of the 14g carbohydrates, 0g fat, and 1g protein, though with almost negligible amounts of the four micronutrients.

The bars have flaxseed in them, which can be easily picked up by the slightly gummy and mealy texture of the bar, but they are not a huge deterrence to the overall enjoyment of the bar. The ingredients in these bars also include inulin, which I’ve heard may increase your appetite and/or give you uncomfortable gas if you consume too much. I, however, did not have any of these problems, aside from the fact that had to try each one right after each other to see what they tasted like. This game me a very good chance to compare them side-by-side. I bought one each of the mixed berry, apple-blueberry, and apricot flavors.

The mixed berry was probably the most sweet of all the Fiberful bars, but very berry-tasting as well. It was just okay, since I felt like the taste was too close to the artificial flavor of berries than the real thing.

The apple-blueberry one was surprisingly very good. I usually don’t like the apple taste mixing with other fruit flavors, but this one did it quite well. I could definitely taste the blueberry and the apple, and TJ’s did a good job of marrying the two flavors together. Not too sweet, either!

The apricot flavor was probably my favorite. I absolutely love dried apricots, so this one won, hands down, as the best-flavored one in my book. It is also less sweet than the 100% apricot flavored dried fruit bar, which I liked.

There was also a vegetable Fiberfruit bar that I tried earlier on, which was really good because it tasted slightly of apples, but had lots of vegetables and good nutrients. I cannot see this bar as popular with most people as the fruity ones because it is not as sweet, but I actually prefer it to all the other fruit ones because of that reason.

When I moved on to the 100% dried fruit bars, I was not as excited because they were significantly sweeter. The nutritional profile included 50 calories, 1.5g fiber of the 12g carbohydrates, 1g protein, and 0g fat, with negligible amounts of micronutrients. These bars were actually divided into two very thin ones, for reasons that I do not know, since they were already rather soft to chew. However, the variety of flavors for these bars was a lot wider, and I managed to snag three of my favorites: boysenberry, strawberry, and raspberry.

The boysenberry flavor was quite interesting. It actually did taste like the boysenberries I tried in China, and though it was quite sweet and hinted also of apples due to the inclusion of the puree in the ingredients, it was a pretty solid-tasting bar.

Strawberry was actually my favorite bar out of the three. It tasted exactly like strawberries with a hint of apple, for the same reasons as the boysenberry bar, but it was not as sweet as the other two bars, and it was consoling to see the black seeds under the wrapper to know for sure that they used real strawberries. Yummy!

I feel that with raspberry-flavored products, you can always expect it to be very sweet. There was no exception here, with the raspberry flavor jumping out with also a truckload of sugar. Good taste, but I think I would enjoy this flavor a lot more if they made it into a Fiberful bar with less sweetness. It was a good try, though.

I’ve also tried the apricot flavor, but I did not appreciate the taste as much as I did for the Fiberful bar of the same flavor. I heard that there is a mango flavor of the 100% dried fruit bars somewhere, so I will definitely jump on that next time, since I absolutely love unsulfured versions of dried mango. In the meantime, eating more fresh fruit for more Vitamin C to pull me through this flu season!

Dai Dai

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From → Product reviews

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