The nights are turning cooler and the leaves are starting to turn color. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and this is Trader Joe’s favorite time of the year. It’s Pumpkinpalooza time and Pumpkin Spice has invaded the store. There are plenty of eager fans ready to gobble up every pumpkin spice creation Trader Joe’s turn out.
I probably buy more than the average Trader Joe’s shopper because of this blog, but I know there are many out there who love, love, love everything pumpkin spice and seek it out wherever it might be sold. My favorite area in the store is the end cap section they have for new products. They don’t put everything there that’s new because it would fill up several end caps, but they do have some interesting new things there during Pumpkin season.
It was on this end cap display I saw these granola bars. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark. I am always looking for something interesting like this to take to work so I can have an afternoon snack. These looked perfect for that purpose. Something that wasn’t too sweet and would fill a void in the afternoon before dinner. I’m a sucker for anything that has dark chocolate on it so in the cart these went.
I put them in my backpack and took them to work, eagerly anticipating my afternoon snack. The time came and I opened the back and could smell the combination of pumpkin spice and dark chocolate. Not too overpowering which is the way I like it. The top of these snacks have pepita seeds embedded in them for aesthetic purposes because only 2 to 3 seeds wouldn’t really have an impact on flavor. They do look nice in the stark green against a dark brown background.
Unfortunately, they don’t really live up to the hype of the packaging. First off, I almost broke a tooth biting into the first one. Bark is right! These are very hard and I assumed they would be a little softer than they are. I bit into them with my front teeth and I could barely bite through and had to shift to the side of my mouth to get more power and break off a chunk. They do have a good range of pumpkin spice flavors and the chocolate adds to that. It was just meh for me though.
The bars reminded me of those cheap Nature Valley crunchy granola bars, but with chocolate. I tried them again the next day and they still left me underwhelmed. They aren’t all that bad, but for the price, I wanted more. I wouldn’t pick these up again. Trader Joe’s has other chocolate, granola, and nut bars that fill this niche so much better.
At the end of the day, I was underwhelmed by these. On the upside, they appear to be vegan and Gluten Free. But they are too hard, and not enough chocolate and just not that interesting. I am going to rate these only 6 Bells!
INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE (*ORGANIC COCOA BEANS, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC COCOA BUTTER, ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN), ORGANIC ROLLED OATS, ORGANIC PUMPKIN SEEDS, ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP, ORGANIC PUMPKIN PUREE, ORGANIC CORN FLAKES (ORGANIC CORN MEAL, ORGANIC FRUIT JUICE CONCENTRATE [APPLE AND/OR PEAR], SEA SALT), ORGANIC BROWN RICE FLOUR, ORGANIC QUINOA, ORGANIC ROASTED ALMONDS, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC VANILLA EXTRACT, ORGANIC CINNAMON, ORGANIC GINGER, ORGANIC NUTMEG, ORGANIC CLOVE, SEA SALT.
CONTAINS SOY, ALMONDS, AND COCONUT.
MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK.
*COCOA SOLIDS 66% MINIMUM.
NUTRITION FACTS: Servings per container about 6 | Serving size 1.5 pieces (38g/1.3oz) | Amount per serving: Calories 150, Total Fat 6g (9% DV), Saturated Fat 2.5g (13% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 45mg (2% DV), Total Carbohydrate 20g (7% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Total Sugars 6g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A (10% DV), Calcium (0% DV), Iron (6% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV).
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.