Test Test: The Best Granola Bars
We taste-tested dozens of granola bars from the grocery store to find our favorites.
Quaker Simple Harvest Cinnamon Brown Sugar with Apples & Cranberries
Our time-strapped panel is always on the lookout for good breakfast-to-go options, and this hearty, all-natural oat bar did the trick. Raved one taster, "It's like eating fruit-topped oatmeal, with pieces of cranberry and apple, but all in a chewy bar!" A blend of rich cinnamon and brown sugar sealed the deal. ($3.70 for 6 bars, at grocery stores)
Fiber One Chocolate Mocha Chewy Bars
Yet another reason chocolate is good for you: Fiber One's newest flavor, made with chocolate chips and coffee, has 9 grams of fiber. "It tastes like a chocolate-covered coffee bean!" raved one panelist. The perfect midday pick-me-up, its "not-too-sweet espresso punch" will satisfy even the strongest of cravings. ($3.60 for 5 bars, at most grocery stores)
BEST TRAIL MIX
Nature Valley Cranberry & Pomegranate Chewy Trail Mix Bars
"Bursts of tartness," from dried cranberry and pomegranate, and "satisfying almond chunks" show up in every single mouthful of this all-natural bar. Tasters claimed that the not-too-heavy bar—rounded out by filling, whole grain crunchy oats--would make the "perfect pre-run snack." ($3.40 for a pack of 6, at grocery stores)
Kashi TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bar
These whole grain bars are crunchy enough to drown out the neighbor's barking dog--without being so brittle you fear chipped teeth. Almond butter, flax and pumpkin seeds soften the crunch factor, while nutmeg, cinnamon and clove lend a "delicious holiday baked goods" flavor. ($3.90 for 6 bars, at grocery stores)
Cascadian Farm Organic Sweet & Salty Mixed Nut Chewy Granola Bars
Cascadian Farm has been turning out great organic products since 1972--way before it was cool--but they really raised the (granola) bar with this one. It's loaded with roasted organic cashews, peanuts and almonds and lightly dipped in chocolate; tasters agreed that the "balance is just right." ($4.40 for 5 bars, at natural food stores)
Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in September 2009.