We Tried It: Kashi TLC Cereal Bars

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/10/2008 4:06 PM   :  82 comments

See More: snacks, food reviews,
Back in high school, I had a pretty standard lunch. Without fail, I'd eat a cereal bar, a piece of fruit (a banana, an apple or some grapes), and some whole-wheat pretzels. While it wasn't exactly balanced--or filling, it did keep me from succumbing to the vending machines or the fast food offerings as most of my friends did.

I swore off cereal bars for years, but during a recent search for snacks I grabbed a box at the grocery store, then checked out the ingredients list:
FILLING (HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, WATER, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CINNAMON, CITRIC ACID, CARAMEL COLOR), WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SUNFLOWER AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF HONEY, DEXTROSE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, NONFAT DRY MILK, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE (LEAVENING), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL VANILLA FLAVOR, CINNAMON, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, PROPYLENE GLYCOL ESTERS OF FATTY ACIDS, SOY LECITHIN, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID.

Deflated, I noticed Kashi's TLC Cereal Bars nearby, grabbed a box of the Baked Apple Spice and flipped it over to check out the ingredients:

APPLE FILLING (PEAR JUICE CONCENTRATE, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, TAPIOCA SYRUP, APPLE POWDER, WATER, UNMODIFIED CORN STARCH, VEGETABLE GLYCERIN, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR), KASHI SEVEN WHOLE GRAINS & SESAME® FLOUR (WHOLE: OATS, HARD RED WINTER WHEAT, LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE, RYE, TRITICALE, BARLEY, BUCKWHEAT, SESAME SEEDS), ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE SYRUP, EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL, ORGANIC WHOLE OATS, HONEY, TAPIOCA SYRUP, GUM ARABIC, OAT FIBER, VEGETABLE GLYCERIN, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR.

Then I compared the nutritional info:

Standard cereal bar:





My decision was made.

I took home a box and tried them out. I really liked the Kashi bars. They're sweet and taste like apple pie. The filling is rich and thick without being overly sticky. I taste cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg, allspice and cloves, just like real apple pie. The crust is hearty, as I'd expect from Kashi, and mildly sweet.

I ate one while stuck in traffic during an endless night of errands. It tided me over for the hour or so it took me to get home. I liked that it only had 110 calories and 3 grams of fiber.


A co-worker tried the Ripe Strawberry version:

"It was good and chewy, but not as sweet as the cereal bars everyone is probably accustomed to. I wish there was more fruit filling in it, but I appreciate that this is a little more natural and also contains whole grains. If I was going to buy a fruit and grain bar like this, I would hold this brand higher than others because it has better ingredients--and even some fiber! As a snack in and of itself (only 110 calories), I didn't find it to be very filling."

The Kashi TLC Cereal Bars ($2.49 for 6 1.2 ounce bars) also come in Blackberry Graham flavor.

Have you tried the Kashi TLC Cereal bars? What did you think?


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Comments

  • HABITSOFMINE
    82
    I love these bars! Normally, I don't buy cereal bars because they taste way too sugary sweet. Kashi has just the right amount of sweetness. - 5/31/2010   12:12:15 PM
  • 81
    Ick! I actually tried the apple cinnamon. Too much cinnamon, very dry and unappealing. And expensive. - 5/23/2009   3:53:19 PM
  • 80
    Wow! What a difference. I used to be a bit of a cereal bar junkie in school too. I didn't really take the time to acknowledge the Kashi ones, though I am a faithful buyer of their other products. I figured all cereal bars were more or less the same. Apparently that is not true! - 5/22/2009   2:48:17 PM
  • 79
    I tried the Raspberry Graham and liked it, although it left a "greasy" feel in my mouth.

    Also tried their TLC Stoneground 7 Grain crackers and loved them. I've tried one of their frozen entrees (Sweet and Sour Chicken with edamame and sesame pilaf) - DEELISH!! Been eating their cereals for years. - 4/30/2009   10:13:44 AM
  • 78
    I've been buying these since they've hit the shelf. The kids and I love all flavors. Kashi hasn't put out a product yet that I or my kids don't like! - 4/10/2009   9:30:01 AM
  • FITKELLY2
    77
    I eat he strawberry ones before I work out in the morning. Mmm. - 4/9/2009   4:13:56 PM
  • 76
    I tried the Blackberry ones today and was very impressed with the flavor & texture. I'll be buying more of them. - 4/1/2009   2:29:56 PM
  • 75
    I love the blackberry ones but for some reason the strawberry ones were hard and dry. I even tried them twice thinking it was just a "bad box" or something. - 3/31/2009   10:57:42 PM
  • 74
    I got the variety pack from costco (we tried only the apple in the store) and fell in love. My son (13mos) gets excited when he sees the pkg and I don't have to feel bad about giving him something junky as we are rushing to get out the door in the morning! - 3/20/2009   10:08:44 AM
  • LMCGOWEN
    73
    I have been looking for a healthy cereal bar. I can't wait to try these they sound wonderful - 3/18/2009   12:06:35 PM
  • 72
    Thanks to this blog I have tried these cereal bars. I am fairly impressed. The blackberry flavor is by far my favorite. This is something I will keep in my gym bag and eat after a workout. Very good. - 3/16/2009   10:28:37 AM
  • 71
    i've tried both the apple and blackberry flavors. i enjoyed both of them and found them to be a very satisfying snack for not very many calories! i do love kashi! - 3/10/2009   12:43:38 AM
  • MEME19671
    70
    I liked the idea of the other bars like these but not the ingredients, and I thought the crust was too messy; it crumbled alot! I tried the Kashi apple ones and liked the taste and texture much better. I liked the healthier ingredients and the flavor was good too. - 3/9/2009   11:01:07 PM
  • 69
    I just finished reading "Eat This, Not That" for the supermarket, and they praised these Kashi cereal bars. I have been buying Nature Valley granola bars for the past year for my kids, in place of PopTarts, and I think I am going to phase out the Nature Valley for the Kashi bars and see how the kids like them. Thanks for the review, and especially for the ingredient list! - 3/6/2009   12:02:21 PM
  • KARENTHOMAS76
    68
    I usually LOVE Kashi products, so I was excited to give the strawberry ones a try. I didn't really like them as much as the other fruity, more sugary cereal bars, but I did feel more healthy eating them. They were a bit dry and could've used a bit more sweetness and filling - not my favorite, but not horrible, either. I have not tried any of the other flavors after this experience. - 2/5/2009   1:08:11 PM
  • 67
    I buy them at abulk food store and they come in blueberry, strawberry and the apple spice flavors. I love them all! - 1/29/2009   4:19:40 PM
  • 66
    I recently purchased several boxes of Kashi bars when they were on sale and do like the crisp pumpkin flaxseed bars and the soft fruit bars the best. I find the others are quite dry. I keep a snack bar in my purse as my emergency fuel. Often while running around or shopping, I find myself overlapping a meal and suddenly crave whatever wonderful smell is coming from the deli department. That's when my snack bar pops out and it saves the day! I liked the fact that Kashi has more natural ingredients....I keep trying Luna bars since everyone talks highly of them, but just haven't found one I like and at their price, I'd rather go with the Kashi. - 1/29/2009   8:58:56 AM
  • 65
    I'VE TRIED A LOT OF THE KASHI PRODUCTS BUT I HAVEN'T SEEN THESE IN MY LOCAL STORE YET..I THINK I WOULD REALLY LIKE THEM ESPECIALL THE BLACKBERRY ONES YOU MENTIONED. - 11/16/2008   10:32:51 AM
  • 64
    I have tried them all but they haven't made it to any of the grocery stores we frequent yet. We happened to spot them at Target a few months ago and decided to give them a try. A good low calorie snack with some fiber. If I have extra calories to use up and have a sweet craving I will warm the apple spice one in the microwave for a few seconds and eat it with some natural light vanilla ice cream. It's almost like apple pie a la mode but with less fat and calories. - 11/2/2008   12:08:16 PM
  • NGSMART1
    63
    I always buy cereal bars to give to my son for breakfast as an incentive to not fuss when we drop him off at daycare. Recently, I looked at the ingredients and was horrified (yes, yes, I know -should have known) so I would like to substitute. Although these Kashi bars still have a lot of sugar, they aren't quite as bad as the Kellog's bars. I may start buying these although they are more expensive. I really like the snacks that Kashi makes. - 10/23/2008   4:11:36 PM
  • 62
    I love the Kashi bars. My favorite is the crunchy ones but they are higher in calories. I usually save them for a meal on the run. I love the fact that they don't have HFCS in them. So hard to find these days.
    - 10/15/2008   10:38:04 AM
  • 61
    So far I've only tried the Apple ones, but they are pretty good. Definitely better than your average cereal bars (and of course with much better ingredients and nutritional stats). Really wanted to try the Blackberry Graham ones, but they didn't have them at my local store...will be on the lookout! - 10/14/2008   12:42:35 PM
  • 60
    I liked them and so did my little boy...we tried the apple. They are not as sweet as the other breakfast bars out there and had a little more spice to them. I will buy them again. I LOVE the dark chocolate cherry granola bars. Those are a staple in my diet :) - 10/13/2008   9:43:16 PM
  • 59
    These sound yummy, but the sugars are through the roof! There's evaporated cane juice in the fillings, AND it's listed as the FOURTH ingredient. I choose grain products with less than 5 gm sugar/serving. If you're in the CA area, Zen Bakery has some amazing low-sugar, high fiber bran snacks! - 10/13/2008   4:44:53 PM
  • MARYVL1
    58
    I love the Cherry Dark Chocolate. They're only 120 calories with 4 grams of fiber. Walmart carried them for $2.49 a box-regular price. - 10/13/2008   1:21:35 PM
  • 57
    I just bought a couple boxes after reading this article (and they turned out to be on sale at my grocery store).
    I'm not at all impressed with the Apple - it's way to sweet and doesn't taste great. The Blackberry Graham is pretty good, though. I would buy that one again.

    I like to use these types of bars occasionally as part of breakfast (with fruit and low fat yogurt) or as a snack, but not on a daily basis. I can't stand cereal (just the sight and the odor of cereal in milk makes me sick) so I look for alternatives like oatmeal, bars, baked egg, etc. - 10/13/2008   1:03:20 PM
  • 56
    I haven't seen these. And they sound so good!! I have been eating the honey almond flax ones. I have to agree when I read the ingredient list I was impressed. The only thing I would have different is less on the sugar content. Otherwise great bars! - 10/13/2008   9:58:53 AM
  • 55
    I have tried these and they are perfect snacks for on the go. I didn't realize how many flavors they came in though-I guess I have to yell at the grocery guy !! LOL


    Debbie - 10/13/2008   1:55:09 AM
  • 54
    I will try these for the higher fiber and healthier sweetness. - 10/12/2008   11:44:31 PM
  • MLANOWAK
    53
    Kashi's are ok. But if you want a superb nutrition bar, for women particulary, choose the Luna bar. It is 70% organic, high in protein, good for fiber and low glycemic. Plus rich in antioxidants. I think this bar is the best. - 10/12/2008   7:16:18 PM
  • 52
    I will have to try these since they won't spike blood sugars! - 10/12/2008   5:53:52 PM
  • ROSEGARDEN6
    51
    Good information to know! I have not tried these yet, perhaps I will now! Thanks! - 10/12/2008   5:17:03 PM
  • 50
    Who needs all that added sugar? Just have some plain whole grains and/or a piece of fruit instead. - 10/12/2008   2:26:11 PM
  • REDNECKFEMINIST
    49
    I am not big on cereal bars at all. My kids don't like them either so I doubt that I will try them. I have tried the Kashi cereals, I found two I really like and the others I have tried I could do without. - 10/12/2008   8:44:47 AM
  • 48
    I loved them, have bought a few boxes in Target so far. I am trying to stay away from HFCS. I like the Blackberry, but I'm going to look for the pumpkin spice.
    I used to get the Special K 90 calorie bars, but they have HFCS so no more for me. In general, I love Kashi products. - 10/11/2008   10:44:58 PM
  • 47
    I love most Kashi products, the cereals are really good and the TLC bars are yummy too. I got the pumpkin spice ones and they are tasty and filling. I like the idea of good taste combined with good healthy choices Kashi offers. - 10/11/2008   9:23:37 PM
  • 46
    Great review . . . there ARE healthy bars out there! I have tried and like these, but usually go for Fiber One bars because of the amount of fiber - 9g I think. - 10/11/2008   9:16:58 PM
  • 45
    I have yet to find a Kashi product that I do not care for. I'll be on the look-out for these. I simply LOVE this company. Thank goodness there are some companies out there who are actually putting real ingredients in their food and they make it taste SO good, you'd never know it was "health" food. - 10/11/2008   7:50:45 PM
  • 44
    I love Kashi products as well, but hadn't seen these. Thanks for giving us the info! I think these will be on my shopping list. I usually do the South Beach High protein breakfast bars just to up my protein for the day, but these would be a great snack for the winter with a cup of mint green tea in the evening! - 10/11/2008   5:54:31 PM
  • 43
    I love kashi I have to try these, I normaly get sourth beach protein bars. I like how healthy Kashi is. - 10/11/2008   5:37:57 PM
  • 42
    I enjoy most all Kashi products, but was disappointed in the fiber content of this product. Doesn't differentiate if from most cerela bars that are somewhat cheaper.
    - 10/11/2008   4:47:09 PM
  • BETSEY1122
    41
    I was actually helping my daughter with a school lunch research project for school and thought the article was informative as well as all of the comments found here. We really are trying to find TASTY products for our family that do not include the fat forming high fructose corn syrup. Expensive organic products are HFCS free as well as some other brands but then you seem to have to sacrifice taste. We will do our "research" as soon as we buy a box of Kashi brand and add our comments. Thank you everyone. - 10/11/2008   1:42:39 PM
  • 40
    $2.49 a box - man I wish I could get anything like this for that - here they are all between 3.99 and 4.99 a box! I think you'd be better off having an apples, grapes, etc. 6 apples would be less and certainly more natural! - 10/11/2008   11:44:51 AM
  • 39
    I love Kashi anything. But for the bars- i prefer to go with the Fiber One bars, for the simple fact that they have 5g of fiber (and heck I need it!) However, I love Kashi products- and here is a pointer. If you go to the Kashi website, and join the community- you can print out a $2 off coupon. My grocery used the same coupon for all five kashi products I bought, and i got $2 off each of them. Call it a Kashi BAILOUT plan :) - 10/11/2008   11:33:47 AM
  • 38
    My favorite Kashi bars are the Pumpkin Spice Flax.
    They don't have the fruit stuff in them though, they are more like a granola bar. - 10/11/2008   11:10:28 AM
  • 37
    I adore anything Kashi......I just with I had more time to bake my own. :O)

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    - 10/11/2008   10:25:19 AM
  • 36
    Thanks for the info. I usually eat the cereal and the other bars, but never had cereal bars. May try them. only weight watchers 2pts. - 10/11/2008   10:00:29 AM
  • 35
    My boys (ages 4 and 7) love the strawberry ones. - 10/11/2008   10:00:19 AM
  • 34
    I am going to try these. I saw them at the store, but chose a cheaper bar instead. Now I see why they were cheaper. It's all Corn Syrup!! - 10/11/2008   9:41:33 AM
  • 33
    i love these- i tried the blackberry ones and that stand up to the high quality great standard i've come to expect from kashi products! - 10/11/2008   9:09:57 AM

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