If you’re a snacker who likes nuts and chocolate, you’re probably already a fan of Kind bars, the nut-packed snacks that feel a little less unhealthy than a candy bar. The brand has expanded into protein bars, cereal and more over the years, and now it has dropped its latest snack innovation just in time for the dog days of summer: Kind Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bars.
The plant-based, vegan treat bars are made with dairy-free dark chocolate, nut butter and chopped almonds or peanuts. I was excited to give these a try, as Kind bars are pretty much always in my purse in case of a snack emergency.
- Kind Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bars ($5.99; target.com)
- Kind Frozen Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars ($5.99; target.com)
These simple freezer treats come in just two flavors — dark chocolate almond and dark chocolate peanut butter — and are only 180 calories. They’re boxed like any other ice cream novelty treat, with the Kind branding and five to a package. Wrapped up just like their shelf-stable siblings, just peel down the plastic wrapper and take a bite.
And wow, what a bite. I was excited to try these, but when I bit in, I was shook. If you’ve ever tried a frozen Snickers, it’s pretty similar — not too sweet, loads of rich dark chocolate and the creamy almond filling delivers that frozen punch. The crunch of the nuts combined with the cold, creamy filling is so satisfying. The peanut butter bars aren’t as peanut butter forward as, say, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but more a melding of creamy peanut flavors.
As a control group, I gave one to my peanut butter-loving — but decidedly not vegan — partner. He ate the bar and called out the similarity to a frozen Snickers bar. He did not detect the lack of dairy and ate another one the next day (the two of us ate two boxes in a week). His only complaint was that “it’s a little small.”
The nutrition behind the treats isn’t bad either. They have only 10 grams of added sugar, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. But are the bars “healthy”? While no food is really “healthy” or “unhealthy” (it’s all a matter of moderation and what works for your lifestyle), these qualify as “better for you,” according to Boston-based nutritionist Kristen Ciccolini.
“I can’t tell if they’re trying to categorize this as a frozen granola bar or a healthy dessert, but regardless, as far as snacks go, the protein, fat and fiber content should help satisfy your hunger more than similar products that contain more sugar,” Ciccolini explains. “These help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream so you have steadier energy rather than the spike you normally get with typical highly processed granola bars.”
She also noted an issue with palm oil, which probably sounds familiar to many vegans. “If you’re concerned about sustainability, you may want to avoid products with palm oil or inquire about their supplier’s practices, because its production often comes as a result of large-scale devastation of tropical forests, which in turn affects animal habitats, including those of endangered species,” she says. “Many vegans avoid palm oil for this reason.”
And, if you have digestive issues, Ciccolini says to be mindful of “guar gum, like xanthan gum,” which is a “highly processed binding agent that may exacerbate digestive problems.”
Are Kind Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond and Peanut Butter bars the health-building snack that deliver everything you want? Depending on what you’re looking for, probably. The bars are filling and satisfying, don’t have any animal products and are packed with nuts, chocolate and cold nougat. I can’t wait to eat another one.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.