If you read my previous post about my Aldi food haul, then you’ll know that one of the products that I was most excited about trying were their Paleo bars. I often cook Paleo meals and like the idea of eventually transitioning to a full Paleo diet.
However, I’m not a three big meals a day kind of girl and the one area of eating that I think I’d struggle with if I was following a full-time Paleo diet is snacking. Cereal bars are my normal afternoon snack, but if you’ve ever looked for Paleo alternatives then you’ll know how expensive they are. That’s why I was looking forward to trying these Aldi bars so much. At 49p for an individual bar, they’re a bargain! Or are they?
I’m going to preface this review by saying that I wasn’t expecting this bar to miraculously taste like my standard cereal bars, which generally contain a fair amount of sugar. In line with Paleo principles they don’t contain refined sugar and are made of only five ingredients: dates, cashew nuts, coconut, macadamia nuts, and almond oil. Dates make up nearly half of the bar though, so I was expecting a pleasant amount of sweetness. I also really like cashews and macadamias, so I was hopeful that I would enjoy the taste of the bar.
Texture wise, the bar is firm, chunky and dense. It looks a little like a flapjack, with good sized chunks of macadamia nuts. I prised the bar in half and handed a piece to my boyfriend, who eyed it apprehensively and took a sniff. He described the smell as ‘playdough with a hint of coconut’. I rolled my eyes, before smelling it myself. I agree that there’s certainly something a bit strange about the smell. It has that familiar scent of dried coconut, but there’s a kind of off sweetness about it too. I wasn’t keen.
Onto the taste. We both took a bite and knew from our borderline disgusted expressions that neither was impressed. The bar had an odd sweetness and a strange texture in the mouth – somehow claggy and dry at the same time. I could taste the coconut, but not the cashews or macadamias. The almond oil was also very distinct; I actually wondered for a second whether I’d bought a bar that was out of date, as it had a kind of oily rancidity about it. Checking the packaging confirmed that I hadn’t… maybe that’s just how almond oil tastes?
Finally, the dates. They certainly provide some sweetness, but it’s subtle and as you’d expect, kind of fruity. Bars like this are always going to have limited sweetness, but I think that the other ingredients don’t have enough flavour to compensate for that. I’ve yet to try to Brazil nut and cherry version of this bar, but I’m hoping that the cherry might provide the zip of flavour that a bar like this is crying out for.
Well priced, gluten free, dairy free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, these bars certainly tick a lot of boxes if you’re looking for an alternative snack bar. Unfortunately though, they don’t tick the most important one: good taste. If you hadn’t already guessed, I won’t be buying this bar again.
1 out of 10.
Ingredients: Dates, Cashew Nuts, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Almond Oil
Free from: Gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, and soy.
49p for an individual bar or £1.99 for a box of 5 bars.