How To Make Soft
These bars are one of the easiest recipes ever. Theyre made in one bowl and can be whipped together in minutes.
Are Nature Valley Bars Healthy 7 Things You Should Know
Ah, Nature Valley barsthey get crumbs all over the place, but theyre delicious! The name Nature Valley sounds pretty harmless, too. But today were taking a look at the nutrition behind the bar. Are Nature Valley bars actually healthy?
Nature Valley bars contain whole grain oats and other healthy ingredients like dried fruit and nuts. However, many of their bars have at least 10 grams of added sugar per serving. They also have processed ingredients like canola oil and rice flour. This makes them not the healthiest choice.
Below, Ill look at the sugar content of two of Nature Valleys most popular product lines. Ill also dive into protein content, fiber, overall ingredient quality, and much more!
What Are Nature Valley Bars Made Of
Lets start by looking at some ingredients. Nature Valley has many different bars, but well look at two of the most popular kinds: The Crunchy Granola Bars and the Fruit & Nut Bars.
Here are the ingredients for one of their Crunchy bars:
Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Peanut Butter , Rice Flour, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin.
And here are the ingredients for a Fruit & Nut flavor:
Dark Chocolate & Nut Fruit & Nut Bars: Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Semisweet Chocolate Chunks , Roasted Peanuts, Raisins, Rice Flour, sugar, vegetable Glycerin, Canola Oil, Fructose, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E (mixed Added to Retain Freshness.
Heres what I notice about the ingredients:
- Theyre made with whole grain oats. Oats have healthy soluble fiber, and they can help lower cholesterol. But most granola bars have oats, so this isnt too special.
- They contain nuts. Both of these bars have peanuts or peanut butter. Technically, peanuts are legumes, not nuts. But they have most of the same health benefits as nuts .
- They have multiple sugar ingredients. In both bars, youll see multiple sugary sweeteners. These include corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar syrup, and fructose.
- They contain processed oil. Both of these bars have canola oil, which is not the worst oilbut its not the best either. It is typically highly processed, using hexane and extreme heat.
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How To Make Oat Flour
If you have quick oats or old-fashioned oats, you can have oat flour in an instant!
Fruit & Nut Chewy Granola Bars Chewy Granola Bars
- Cranberry Pomegranate
- Dark Chocolate Cherry
- Trail Mix
Please note, unlike Nature Valleys Sweet & Salty Nut Chewy bars, none of these Fruit & Nut Chewy products listed contain Palm Oil listed separately in the ingredients. It is my best estimate the Vegetable Glycerin and/or Mixed Tocopherols contain palm oil.
For my son, I would not chance buying them. For people who avoid palm oil because of the environment, these bars contain less palm oil overall than many of their other snack bars.
Cranberry Pomegranate Ingredients
Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Rice Flour, Almonds, Dried Cranberries, Fructose, Vegetable Glycerin, Canola Oil, Corn Starch, Dried Pomegranate, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E Added to Retain Freshness.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Ingredients
Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Semisweet Chocolate Chunks , Sugar, Almonds, Rice Flour, Vegetable Glycerin, Dried Cranberries, Canola Oil, Fructose, Dried Cherries, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking soda, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E Added to Retain Freshness.
Trail Mix Chewy Ingredients
Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Almonds, Cranberries, Roasted Peanuts, Raisins, Rice Flour, Vegetable Glycerin, Canola Oil, Fructose, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E Added To Retain Freshness.
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Why Are Nature Valley Bars So Messy
I laughed when I saw this is a popular question. My answer is that its because they dont contain palm oil which helps hold ingredients together. They purposely want them crumbly to mimic granola cereal which has some chunks as well as crumbs. They also encourage you to take snack time outdoors in nature.
Are Nature Valley Bars Vegan
Nature Valley is a brand of granola bars that belongs to General Mills. It started with one granola bar back in 1975 and then the brand introduced different types of granola bars such as crunchy, chewy, clusters, nut, yogurt coated, and protein-packed.
Some Nature Valley granola bars are not vegan, and some may or not be vegan depending on how strict of a vegan you are. In any case, Ill be going over both the non-vegan and the potential non-vegan ingredients, then you can decide for yourself whether or not you should purchase these granola bars by Nature Valley.
Nature Valley has 4 types of granola bars:
- Crunchy Bars
- Layered Granola Nut Bars
- and Fruit & Nut Bars
They also sell protein and wafer bars, but those arent really granola bars, so Ill leave them out.
Lets first look at the non-vegan and potential non-vegan ingredients in Nature Valley granola bars.
If youre trying to find exciting vegan snacks, feel free to read the blog post: The 20 Best Vegan Subscription Boxes in 2020.
We sincerely believe theyre the absolute best way to find delicious vegan products that youve probably never seen or heard of before.
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Tocopherols Or Tocopherols/vitamin E Are Often Derived From Palm Oil
My son got so sick from eating a granola cereal with Tocopherols, I will never ever buy granola, cereal, snack bars, or anything with them again. They are often made from palm oil. If I see Tocopherols, Mixed Tocopherols or Vitamin E on a label for bars or any foods, I do not buy them.
Nature Valleys Chewy Granola Bars contain Tocopherols. I have noted below with an asterisk that I am not sure if they are derived from palm oil. However, companies usually list the source of it as in Tocopherols if it is not from palm oil. Companies often use Tocopherols to extend the shelf life of the product.
Hey Nature Valley: You Shouldnt Have Made Your Bars Less Crunchy
Is a softer bar a better bar?
Nature Valleys granola bars you know, the ones in the green packaging have always been pretty crunchy. This wasnt a good thing, this wasnt a bad thing. Its just how they were. They also happened to be the worlds most popular snack bar, topping off at a little more than eight percent of market share in 2012, according to Euromitor. But starting in 2013, its market share began to drop off ever so slightly , and independent snack bars like Kind and Clif Bars began to get more popular. So how did Nature Valley respond? It decided to address a consumer complaint: The bars were too hard to bite into. General Mills made the bars slightly softer last fall. This was a misguided decision for a couple reasons.
One, the bars werent too hard to bite into. Its not like they were made out of steel. Just use your molars, or break off bite-size pieces. Have people ever actually tried to eat a Nature Valley bar but ended up giving it up and throwing it away because they were afraid for the safety of their teeth? Has anyone ever sworn off Nature Valley bars for good because of their durability?
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Nature Valley Lunchbox Double Chocolate Granola Bars 5
- PEANUT FREE: Made in a peanut free facility
- NO ARTIFICIAL: No Artificial Colours or Flavours
- FIBRE: 20-Percent of your daily fiber per 26 g bar
- WHOLE GRAIN: 7 g whole grains per 26 g bar
- BOX CONTAINS: 5 bars , 26g each
- This item: NATURE VALLEY Lunchbox Double Chocolate Granola Bars, 5-Count, 130 Gram $2.97
- Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Nature Valley Granola Bars
First, Id like to thank Nature Valley for making some of their granola bars flavors palm oil free. It is incredible that such as large, mainstream company, owned by General Mills, does not use palm oil in some of their products. It is very rare and fantastic.
Note, they are not certified palm oil free. However, I am going off their ingredient list and the fact that for years my son has been able to eat two of their crunchy flavors without having allergic reactions or other signs of sickness.
It is very difficult to find palm oil free granola bars and other snack bars, nutrition bars, protein bars, etc. Companies use palm oil because it is cheap. Its also a preservative, helping to extend the shelf-life. It helps create mouth feel.
In addition, it can help bind ingredients in bars together while enabling them to be chewy. Thats why, if you want a palm oil free granola bar, you need to choose a crunchy snack bar as well as read the ingredients before purchasing.
In addition to avoiding ingredients with palm in the name, such as Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, I also do not buy bars with Glycerin, Glycerine, Mono- & Diglycerides, Tocopherols, Mixed Tocopherols, or Vitamin E. Typically in granola bars, these ingredients are derived from palm oil and make my son sick.
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How To Make Homemade Granola Bars
Unlike some other homemade granola bars, this recipe will need to be baked to get that classic Nature Valley crunch we all love.
Gather and measure out all your ingredients .
Slightly melt the coconut oil and finely chop the pecans.
In a large bowl , add the dry ingredients then drizzle the wet ingredients over the top. Stir gently until everything is incorporated and oats are no longer dry.
With a large spatula, press granola firmly into a 17×11 inch sheet pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before cutting and removing from pan.
Don’t be tempted to use another size pan. The ingredients are carefully measured and changing the pan size will alter how these turn out. Be sure to press very firmly on the granola mixture, it should be really thin and flat.
Thank You Nature Valley
Again, I want to thank General Mills brand, Nature Valley, for making their crunchy granola bars without Palm Oil, Glycerin, and Tocopherols. You can bet their competitors, such as Quaker and Kelloggs, do not make their granola bars palm oil free.
Overall, I am happy with the Nature Valley granola bar flavors my son can have. We have been buying them for years. I really hope they keep the ingredients the same so we can continue to buy them for many more years to come.
Their Crunchy bars taste great, come in delicious flavors, and are easy to back in my sons school lunch bag. They travel well for road trips as well as for campouts, etc. My family enjoys eating them for a quick breakfast or as a snack at home as well. They come in 2-bar pouches which are filling and satisfying.
Its also great they are changing over to recyclable wrappers. You can recycle the boxes at home as well.
The very best thing you can do is read ingredients. You will find with Nature Valley, they use fewer ingredients and oftentimes more real ingredients than competing granola bar brands. Nature Valleys bars actually taste like granola instead of chemically-laden and sugar-loaded bars from other brands.
Also note, these are not guaranteed palm oil free because they are not certified Palm Oil Free by Orangutan Alliance or the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark . Please do your own due diligence. Support palm oil free products.
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Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft
CONTAINS WHEAT, EGG, MILK, AND SOY MAY CONTAIN PEANUT INGREDIENTS
- INCLUDES: One 6-count box of Nature Valley Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares
- OATMEAL SQUARES: Enjoy soft-baked oatmeal squares made with hearty 100% whole-grain oats, real cinnamon and rich brown sugar
- REAL INGREDIENTS: These oatmeal bars are for wholesome snacking they contain no artificial flavors, colors from artificial sources or high fructose corn syrup
- FULL OF WHOLE GRAINS: With 12 grams of whole grains per serving, these portable bars make excellent travel snacks
- TRY THEM ALL: Nature Valley soft-baked oatmeal squares come in other delicious flavors like Banana Bread, Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sugar
- BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION: Proud to support schools and teachers as an official participating product
Other Nature Valley Snack Bars
Please note, in addition to granola bars, Nature Valley makes Protein Chewy Bars, Protein Crunch Bars, Crispy Creamy Wafer Bars, Biscuits, Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares, Mini Sandwiches, Soft-Baked Muffin Bars, Packed Sustained Energy Bar. There may be more. These are what I saw at my local grocery stores.
I can tell you just by knowing what types of products these are that all of them, in all flavors, contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Again, I only buy the two types of Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars above. As I mentioned, there are an additional Crunchy bars that do not list palm oil ingredients.
Some Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars have recyclable wrappers.
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Two More Recommendations For Your Plant
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Cinnamon Crunchy Granola Bars
CONTAINS SOY MAY CONTAIN PEANUT, ALMOND AND PECAN INGREDIENTS.
- Real ingredients: crunchy bars are made with whole grain oats and cinnamon
- Wholesome snack bar: tasty snack with no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no artificial sweeteners
- Whole grain: an excellent source of whole grain with 22 grams per serving
- Perfectly portable: easy, satisfying bites for breakfast or snack time crunchy, sweet taste you can take anywhere
- Box contains: 6 individual pouches, 2-bars per pouch
- BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION: Proud to support schools and teachers as an official participating product
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Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bars
Imagine yourself eating your favorite granola
Now imagine eating your favorite granola in the form of a granola bar! Nature Valley Granola Bars Do you know the ones Im talking about?
Those crunchy bars in the green wrappers? My friend Sarah calls them horse food because theyre made up of oats and sugarthings that horses like to eat. But the following granola bar recipe is much too good to share with horses. Sorry, horses.
When I was in high school , I played on the varsity soccer team, and our daily practices fell right after school. So I got in the habit of grabbing a baroften a Nature Valley granola barto munch in the locker room while dressing out.
Id completely forgotten about my past with Nature Valley until a few days ago, when I tasted an attempt at what was supposed to be a chewy granola bar.
Woah, these taste exactly like Nature Valley oats-n-honey bars, my roommate proclaimed after trying a bite. Except, maybe these are even better!
Are Nature Valley Bars Good For Weight Loss
Nature Valley bars are not ideal for weight loss, as they are relatively high in calories. They contain high-calorie ingredients like sugar and canola oil, often with nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate. To lose weight with Nature Valley bars, youd likely need to cut portion sizes or count calories.
Remember: The most important thing for weight loss is calorie balance. And if you want to make weight loss easier, the best things to eat are foods with a low calorie density.
Low-calorie-density foods are typically high infiber and water. They fill up your stomach and help you feel full on fewer calories.
Unfortunately, most Nature Valley Bars dont have much fiber or water. The Crunchy Granola Bars only have 2 grams of fiber per serving. Thats only half of the fiber in a half cup of rolled oats.
The fact is that Nature Valley Bars are made primarily of calorically dense ingredients. These include sugar and other sweeteners, canola oil, and often peanut butter, dried fruit, or chocolate.
There are around 200 calories in each two-bar Crunchy Granola bar pack. This is pretty standard for granola bars, but its high when compared to whole plant foods. For the same amount of calories, you could have roughly 2 medium-sized bananas.
You can obviously still lose weight while eating Nature Valley bars. There is nothing inherently fattening about them. They will not automatically make you fat. That said, theyre not helping you lose weight.
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