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Consumer Reports: Grain bowls - tracking a tasty trend

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Not since cereal has a meal in a bowl been so popular. (WLS)

Not since cereal has a meal in a bowl been so popular. Grain bowls and power bowls have been showing up more and more on restaurant menus, and now they're lining the supermarket freezer shelves.

Are they good for you? Which ones should you try? Consumer Reports tasted 26 and here's what they say.

With names like "power bowls" or "grain bowls," they sound like they're good for you. Turns out, these all-in-one combinations of grains, a protein, and vegetables really are.

Consumer Reports food and nutrition experts tested 26 different frozen grain bowls for nutrition and taste.

"The ones that we recommend have less sodium and more fiber than many frozen meals. We were pleasantly surprised - most of them tasted really good," Consumer Reports Nutrition Expert Amy Keating said.

These convenient meals come in all sorts of combinations and flavors. Here are four worth trying.

This is Amy's Light & Lean Quinoa & Black Beans with Butternut Squash and Chard. Quinoa and plenty of black beans coupled with vegetables are enhanced with hints of garlic and ginger. (240 cal. / 5 g fat / $4.20)

If you like Indian food, try Luvo's Planted Power Bowl Great Karma Coconut Curry. It has plenty of veggies, chickpeas and lentils in a flavorful spicy curry sauce. (330 cal. / 15 g fat / $6)

If you can handle the heat, Healthy Choice Simply Steamers Unwrapped Burrito Bowl brings a lot of it, with flavorful rice, beans, and corn. The tomatillo sauce adds a bit of citrus taste. (270 cal. / 4 g fat / $4)

Kashi's Chimichurri Quinoa Bowl is a bold, spicy mix of red quinoa, lentils, beans and veggies in a tangy chimichurri-style sauce. Like the others, it supplies at least a third of your daily fiber needs. (260 cal. / 8 g fat / $4)

Recent studies say that replacing refined grains in your diet, like white rice and white bread, with whole grains, like the ones in these bowls, can actually help you manage your weight.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org

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