[Photographs: Packages, KIND; unwrapped bars, Brooke Porter Katz]

Since launching in 2004, KIND has earned its reputation for making snack bars with all-natural nuts, fruits, and whole grains. As they put it, "We believe if you can't pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn't go into your body." The latest product line to launch is Healthy Grains, made with gluten-free oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa, plus brown rice and gluten-free oat flour. They're the most granola bar-like offering to date—though not in shape, which is more square and flat. We can't vouch for how healthy they are, but we can describe how the flavors stack up.

Dark Chocolate Chunk

This bar is darker in color—and much sweeter, thanks to the addition of chocolate liquor and molasses. The texture of the bars is billed as "chewy with a crunch," and this flavor, like all of them, was the kind of chewy that hurts your jaw after a while. But it wasn't dry like some of the others. The chunks of dark chocolate were sizable, and I got one in every bite. Overall, this is more dessert than snack, but that's ok with me.

Rank: No. 1, because I'm a sucker for chocolate.

Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

I was excited about this flavor before opening the package because I'm a fan of all the ingredients individually and I was curious to see how they would all work together. Pretty well, as it turns out. There were plenty of pumpkin seeds throughout, and the maple flavor wasn't overwhelming. The sea salt was hit or miss; I didn't taste it at all in some bites. And it had more crunch than the dark chocolate.

Rank: No. 2, for being a great blend of sweet and salty.

Vanilla Blueberry

While the ingredients list includes blueberry, apple, and plum purée, plus apple juice, I didn't actually taste anything but blueberry—which I suppose is a good thing since that's what it's called. It's studded with mini blueberries, which provide a nice tart finish. It actually reminded me of the Newtons Fruit Thins I wrote about a few months back. Texture-wise, this was the crunchiest.

Rank: No. 3, for not being too sweet or vanilla-y—just a really solid flavor.

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate

You can really see all of the ingredients at play here, and they didn't skimp on the chocolate chips. While the peanut butter flavor was just right, actual peanuts were pretty scarce; I counted three in the one I ate. Still, you can't go wrong with anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. The biggest problem here is the texture: it was just too dry.

Rank: No. 4, peanut butter + chocolate = love. Just wish it wasn't as dry.

Oats and Honey

This bar didn't have more oats than all the others, so not sure why oats were called out in the name. It had an ideal hint of honey, but it could have used a bit more toasted coconut. Although this version is definitely satisfying, given the choice, I'd probably go for one of the others—this just felt plain in comparison, besides being a bit too dry and harder to chew.

Rank: No. 5. For being unremarkable compared to the others.

The Verdict

My biggest complaint is that the texture—on the dry side and kind of hard to chew—just doesn't compare to KIND's Fruit and Nut bars. Despite that, I would work a few of these into my snack rotation, namely the Dark Chocolate Chunk and Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt.

About the author: Brooke Porter Katz is a Los Angeles native now living in Brooklyn. She is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.


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