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I'm Mad At Nature Valley's Granola Bars
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Figuring out that it was gluten that was causing me such digestive pain and discomfort starting almost a year ago sent me into a deep depression. Suddenly, I couldn't eat ANYTHING, and everything hurt. I racked up some doctor bills, maxed out my crappy health benefits, and didn't even get a diagnosis. Before all this mess, getting through the day was hard enough hungerwise because of my high metabolism. I also get really bored with large portions of the same food, so I like to have numerous sides or snacks to go with meals.

Now, with this new stumbling block, it became extremely difficult to pack lunches to take to work. I found time to prepare steamed or sauteed zucchini and white or brown rice, but what about snacks? Sure, applesauce, yogurt, fruit snacks, fresh fruit, carrots, and the like are good choices that are easy to take along, but I was missing something more "substantial." Since I could no longer choose crackers or cookies, I looked at various bars and thought my usual staple made by Nature Valley would still work. Unfortunately, when I first started the gluten-free diet, I didn't comprehend the intricacies of it, which include the danger of the word malt.

Now I know and I'm more careful, but I had overlooked my granola bars. (I haven't noticed any discomfort from eating oats, by the way)

I was all too trusting of your labeling practices, NV. Sure, you list out everything all nice and neat:

"Ingredients

Whole Grain Rolled Oats , Sugar , Canola Oil , Crisp Rice with Soy Protein , Rice Flour , Soy Protein Concentrate , Sugar , Malt , Salt , Honey , Brown Sugar Syrup , High Fructose Corn Syrup , Salt , Soy Lecithin , Baking Soda , Natural Flavor , Peanut Flour , Almond Flour , Pecan Flour"

and even include a nice little warning that seems pretty specific:

"Warnings

Contains soy, almond, peanut and pecan ingredients."

...leaving it all too easy to overlook the fact that your "crisp rice with soy protein" is infected with malt. :o

I've been eating your bars on and off for the last 9 months, so trusting, so unaware, blaming the gurgly guts on cross-contamination of *other* products until I was bored the other day at school and read the ingredients of an Oats 'n Honey bar just to occupy myself as I munched on it.

I'm mad now.

  • At your company for having such delicious, inexpensive, and easily obtainable bars that I can't eat.
  • At myself for not reading more slowly and noticing "malt" hiding there right next to "salt"
  • At crisp rice makers for finding it completely necessary to flavor their products with malt powders, syrups, and extracts.

...and at gluten in general. I feel like I didn't evolve properly or something :angry:

(Quotes sourced from www.walgreens.com because the US Nature Valley site doesn't list their individual product ingredients)

Note:

While I was searching for the ingredients for the granola bars, I may have stumbled upon one or two flavors that might not have the crisped rice and offending malt in them, so I'm going to check all of the flavors next time I'm at the store. You're still on my pooplist, though. *shakes fist*

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...leaving it all too easy to overlook the fact that your "crisp rice with soy protein" is infected with malt. :o

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Excellent use of the language!

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Thanks! :) I was trying to keep it light even though I really am pretty incensed about this. My favorite snack, gone! :o

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I think we all understand your frustration. Have you seen Bakery on Main granola bars? They are made in a dedicated facility and have neither oats nor malt. My favorite is the pnut butter and chocolate chip. They also make really good granola's. If you can't find them at the market they do have a website.

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I think we all understand your frustration. Have you seen Bakery on Main granola bars? They are made in a dedicated facility and have neither oats nor malt. My favorite is the pnut butter and chocolate chip. They also make really good granola's. If you can't find them at the market they do have a website.

I'll have to look into that. I don't recall seeing their products at the Whole Foods Market where I usually get my gluten-free stuff, but I'll do a search and see what it turns up. If they're in my price range, I might do what others suggest and ask my local grocers if they can start carrying them :)

Thanks!

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I've been eating your bars on and off for the last 9 months, so trusting, so unaware, blaming the gurgly guts on cross-contamination of *other* products

Belle - i did this too for a few months when i first started the diet. i had always liked the NV granola bars and i was just thankful to have something i could throw in my purse to snack on if i wasn't at home. one day i looked a little more carefully at the ingredients and saw the dreaded word...MALT. oh how i mourned the loss of one of my favorite snacks!

i haven't found anything to replace them with so i've adapted to live without granola bars... :( i'll have to keep a look out for the Bakery on Main brand.

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i haven't found anything to replace them with so i've adapted to live without granola bars... :( i'll have to keep a look out for the Bakery on Main brand.

Oh, sweet! There is a location near me.

Try this link to see if there's one close to you:

Bakery on Main Store Locations

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Without intending to rain on your rant, this bar sounds like a disaster to me. I wouldn't have got beyond the first ingredient!! But I certainly run a mile when I see "malt". To think as a child I had to consume three tablespoons full after dinner every night.

"Ingredients

Whole Grain Rolled Oats , ... Crisp Rice with Soy Protein ... Soy Protein Concentrate ,

... Malt ... Soy Lecithin ..."

I would be dead if I ate this.

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Without intending to rain on your rant, this bar sounds like a disaster to me. I wouldn't have got beyond the first ingredient!! But I certainly run a mile when I see "malt". To think as a child I had to consume three tablespoons full after dinner every night.

"Ingredients

Whole Grain Rolled Oats , ... Crisp Rice with Soy Protein ... Soy Protein Concentrate ,

... Malt ... Soy Lecithin ..."

I would be dead if I ate this.

I can totally understand, which is why I have a note in my post and even my signature that I eat oats. [/jinx] I only bother with a limited number of things that I eat regularly that contain oat products. It's hard... (understatement of the decade)

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I too have felt discouraged and sad when I had to give up my granola bars. I spent many weeks searching for an alternative until I gave up. A few weeks ago I was laying in bed and thought "Just cause I can't find a subsitute on the shelves doesn't mean I can't make it myself".

I googled gluten-free granola bars and found a bunch of really great recipes. If you have the time I suggest you make your own. I like making them myself for these reasons:

*You control what you put in there therefore you know that there isn't anything you CAN'T eat in them

*They have less preservatives and no corn syrup and are therefore better for you

*You can put them in plastic ziploc bags and put them in your purse, school bag, backpack. briefcase etc....

*They are tasty

*You can get pretty creative with it and find a recipe that suits you and your specific tastes

I have had a really hard time finding ANY gluten-free granola. Everywhere I go to buy them are out or they just don't carry it. I've thought about ordering online but then you pay for shipping (F that!). I just substitute oats for corn or rice cereal instead.

Let us know if the ones you found are any good. I did see that they sell them pretty close to me so I'll be curious to know how they taste. ;)

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GASP! :o

I am so surprised that little things that are labeled so wrong, I have to be more careful! I am new to Celiac and what I can do and can not do and it has been very frustrating, although I am happy that the doctors finally found out what was causing me such upset since I was 12 years olds (nine years later).

I wonder what else would be hiding as "evil" to us with celiac?

I do know that there is this yummy maple granola cereal that is good and a trail mix granola snack at Trader Joe's if you have any near you.

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The other two ingredients that jumped out at me are oats and natural flavors - both of these are potential sources for hidden gluten.

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"Just cause I can't find a subsitute on the shelves doesn't mean I can't make it myself".

I'm aware of this option, but I'm trying to avoid having to make *so many* things. I'm especially irritated by this new exclusion from my diet because these granola bars are sold at so many places. Gas stations, Walgreens, sometimes even office supply stores that have a random assortment of candy bars at the front. My grab-and-go option is gone, and now I'm left with chocolate and other less-nutritious things.

I do know that there is this yummy maple granola cereal that is good and a trail mix granola snack at Trader Joe's if you have any near you.

There are a few on my way home from work, so I might look again. So far, every bar snack I've looked at there has had gluten in it, and I'm not a fan of most power-bar things that they have.

The other two ingredients that jumped out at me are oats and natural flavors - both of these are potential sources for hidden gluten.

*so far* I'm pretty comfortable with oats still in my diet. My gluten reactions were nasty and debilitating, and I'm not getting the slightest tummy gurgle even though I've kept oats. I know that doesn't guarantee that they're not still reaking havoc in my small intestine, but breakfast is really important to me. I have to eat something filling enough to last a couple hours (cereal doesn't work for me), it has to be inexpensive, it has to be shelf-stable enough to keep in my desk at work, and I can't afford to go down to the work cafeteria (plus they CC everything, so it's useless), so letting go of oatmeal would be devastating right now.

Thanks to all of you for reading. I'm still open to suggestions and any other stories :)

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Have you tried the Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bars? They come in Almond and Peanut varieties.

Don't confuse them with the Sweet & Salty Nut Bars, which also contain "granola bar" ingredients -- including the dreaded malt, if I remember correctly.

Almond Crunch Ingredients:

ALMONDS, ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, CORN SYRUP, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, SALT, CORN OIL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, COLOR ADDED.

TOCOPHEROL ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS.

Peanut Crunch Ingredients:

ROASTED PEANUTS, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, SALT, CORN OIL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, COLOR ADDED, ALMOND FLOUR. TOCOPHEROL ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS.

I've seen a couple of different formulations of these bars (I read the ingredients every time, and I don't think the ingredients lists are the same every time I read them) but I've never seen any with malt or other potential gluten ingredients.

-Elizabeth

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check into those and see if I like them.

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Well, I still haven't made it over to that store to try those bars, but I'm still open for suggestions. Does anyone have a good granola bar recipe or one for granola that could be made into bars? I still really miss them, and the few recipes I've found use a bunch of ingredients I can't easily find. *sigh*

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I haven't seen any gluten-free granola bars but have seen some granola. Didn't try it because I don't much like granola. I do like the pumpkin seed bars by Go Raw. They are substantial and can work as a meal. I've tried their other bars but they were too fruity for my tastes. I am not a fruit lover.

I would suggest making some trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and maybe some chocolate chips in there.

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Envirokidz bars are the closest I've seen to actual granola bars...they're crisped rice bars, in chocolate, peanut butter, and berry flavors.

http://www.envirokidz.com/food

"Organic crispy rice (organic brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, sea salt, organic molasses, rice bran extract), organic brown rice syrup, organic honey, organic canola oil and/or organic soybean oil, organic invert cane syrup, organic corn starch, organic acacia gum, organic freeze dried blueberries, organic freeze-dried raspberries, natural marshmallow flavor (gelatin-free), natural blueberry flavor.

May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, soy or dairy ingredients." Labeled low fat and gluten free.

I myself am hooked on Soyjoy bars...the peanut butter chocolate ones are yummy.

http://www.soyjoy.com/peanut-chocolate-chip.aspx

"Whole Soybean Powder, Raisin, Butter (from milk), Sugar, Peanuts, Egg, Milk Chocolate Chips (sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor (with alkali), dextrose, butter oil, soy lecithin, vanilla extract, salt), Dried Pineapple, Maltodextrin (natural fiber source), Natural Flavors, Salt, Parmesan Cheese (from skim milk)

4g of protein

3g of fiber

140 calories

No trans fats or hydrogenated oils

No Artificial Colors, Flavors, Hydrogenated Oils or Gluten. "

There's even a coupon on their site. I usually buy them on sale, our Wal Mart was selling them for 68 cents, but I've seen them as low as 50 cents apiece. When they went on clearance at my local Kroeger for 38 cents each I bought every one on the clearance table. :D

I know, not quite granola bars. You may want to try Alton Brown's granola bar recipe...

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-b...cipe/index.html

(with gluten free oats, of course!)

I've had luck with his other recipes in the past. Good luck!

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Envirokidz bars are the closest I've seen to actual granola bars...they're crisped rice bars, in chocolate, peanut butter, and berry flavors.

I myself am hooked on Soyjoy bars...the peanut butter chocolate ones are yummy. :D

I know, not quite granola bars. You may want to try Alton Brown's granola bar recipe...

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-b...cipe/index.html

I might try the Envirokidz, but I haven't seen them in the Whole Foods near me so I might have a little trouble getting ahold of some. I love Soyjoy bars, I just need to buy them more often. I printed the recipe you linked. Thanks so much! I'll post when I get a chance to try it out :)

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I was going to suggest Envirokidz too. Both my daughter and I love them. The first time I saw them was at Whole Foods...for about $4.69. Last week at I found them at SuperTarget for $2.49 a box.

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Label reading lessons can occur from time to time. However, Nature Valley granola bars are not a safe product for celiacs regardless of whether or not they contain barley malt. Mainstream oat products have been shown to have serious cross contamination from gluten grains. For this reason alone, no mainstream product that contains oats is safe.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/842/1/Glute...ates/Page1.html

You mention that you have retained oats in your diet. It is a risky proposition to eat any oats that are not certified gluten free. Additionally, most experts recommend not eating oats for a full year after diagnosis to allow the body time to heal.

Just food for thought.

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The Roasted Nut Crunch bars are great! I actually called Nature Valley about those about a year ago, just to confirm that there wasn't any gluten hiding in one of the ingredients, but they are gluten free. If I remember correctly, she had also said that they are made on dedicated equipment... so eat up!

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The Roasted Nut Crunch bars are great! I actually called Nature Valley about those about a year ago, just to confirm that there wasn't any gluten hiding in one of the ingredients, but they are gluten free. If I remember correctly, she had also said that they are made on dedicated equipment... so eat up!

Those are the only granola bars my non-gluten-free dh likes, he has one everyday in his lunch. And my gluten-free/vegan dd eats them often, she keeps a box in the car.

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Going gluten-free definitely makes you consider the importance of understanding all of the ingredients on nutrition labels, especially when dealing with ambiguous items such as granola bars. That said, it's up to the consumer to determine whether an item is safe or not; and when in doubt- leave it out! Fortunately there are so many helpful members in these forums that the research generally takes under a minute to determine the gluten content in so many popular items!

Someone gave me a Nature Valley granola nut clusters snack pack this morning, but since I was unsure as to whether it was gluten-free or not and couldn't find any info here, I called the company.

The representative was very helpful, and informed me that since it contained oats that were probably contaminated, it was not gluten-free

Some excellent similar items that I found however, are Cashew Clusters from CostCo (in a big magenta bag), and as far as granola bars go, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's carries what are called ThinkThink bars, which are very good and quite filling!

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Nature Valley doesn't hide ANY gluten containing ingredient, they are always listed in the ingredients, you just need to read them carefully (which is why MALT was listed). I have called them many times, and always receive great information from reps who are clearly knowledgeable about gluten. Maybe you could visit their website www.liveglutenfreely.com to see what products they have that are labeled gluten free. There are a lot of them!

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