What's the difference between a weasel and a stoat ? A weasel is weaselly identified and a stoat is stoatally different. I used to think that that joke (I use the term loosely !) was hilarious when I was a kid and it was what instantly came to mind when I was sent a selection of Stoats Porridge Oat Bars to review. I was expecting the same-old-same-old but I was actually really impressed - they are "stoatally different" ! (The name actually has nothing to do with stoats or weasels by the way - "it's a stoater" is a Scottish expression that refers to anything that is exceptional in quality. The things you learn on my blog !)
The first thing to know is that these aren't cereal bars or fruit bars or granola bars or any of the other types of snack bars that I've reviewed before, these are Porridge Bars. Stoats started out in 2004 with a brand new venture selling fresh porridge from a van at music festivals across the country. That is still going strong, but they also listened to their customers who wanted oat bars that they could eat with their afternoon tea or coffee. Stoats explain : "They wanted something filling, tasty and all-natural, packed with energy and goodness that would fuel them for the rest of the day...so we made it." Well, they certainly rose to the challange because the bars really are all that. I've been eating one for my breakfast - the bar format is so handy that you can shove it in your pocket to eat at the bus stop if you haven't got time for a proper breakfast - and they are delicious, really satisfying and avoid the mid-morning munchies.
As with all Stoats products, the bars are made from totally natural ingredients and contain a special blend of the finest organic Scottish oats. I actually think they should make a lot more of the organic aspect because it's something you don't notice on the label. It is well known that oats boast a multitude of health benefits, including slow release complex carbohydrates that stabilise blood sugar levels and a high level of fibre that helps lower cholesterol.
But Stoats also add some "naughty" ingredients in there to make the bars seem even more decadent and indulgent. They are available in eight different flavours : Scottish Raspberry & Honey, White Chocolate & Hazelnut, the Classic Original bar, Fig & Dates, Goji & Flax, Cranberry & Macadamia, Blueberry & Honey and Apricot & Sultana. I've tried them all and they're all delicious.
What I found slightly surprising was that 2-year-old Pierre loved them too, as the photos show ! Although he is more proof of how filling they are - he could never eat more than half of one (which was great news for me because I got to finish them off !). Other great news is that they're the perfect summer snack because they don't melt in the sun.
star rating : 5/5
for more information : http://www.eatstoats.co.uk/
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