Friday, April 1, 2016

PrOATein Bars: Product Review

Its not often I am super impressed with new food products.  The food industry continues to find sneaky ways to try and market its products as healthy when they really aren't.  Gluten-free, low-fat, organic...these qualities don't guarantee that something is healthy.

Then, of course, you have legitimately healthy products that taste like crap. That's not particularly useful either, especially if you are trying to convince someone to hop aboard the healthy eating train.

Fortunately, once in a while you can find a real winner.  PrOATein bars are one of them.

Now as you know, I consider the best snacks to be basic, whole foods, like fruits, veggies, nuts and cheese.  But I love me a good protein bar too.  They are great when you need a portable, non-perishable snack, and/or want to satisfy a craving for something that tastes dessert-y.  There are zillions on the market now ranging from nothing more than fruit and nuts or wholesome raw ingredients, to glorified candy bars full of questionable stuff.  I find little correlation between how nutritious they are and how they taste.  Some healthier ones are yummy while the crap ones taste extremely bad, and vice versa.

PrOATein Bars are tops for both taste and nutrition!

We were generously sent 3 bars in each of the available 3 flavours:
  • Chocolate fudge
  • Banana Chocolate
  • Coconut White Chocolate
Since there were 9 bars and 4 people in this household, apparently the fairest way to divide them was for the girls and Adam each to get one of every flavour and for me to get none. Um, okay!  So all reviews are by them, but its probably even better to get their testimony as they are all pickier than I am.

The bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, raw, and nut-free.  The nut-free factor really sets them apart form a lot of other protein bars, and the girls were thrilled they could be taken to school.  They are made with whey protein, so they aren't vegan, which, unfortunately, means they will lose that audience.  No problem for us though,  Whey is one of the best protein sources.

The bars are 160-170 calories, along with 10g of fibre and 15g of protein making them a perfect snack.  Anything beyond 300 calories is really a meal replacement for most people, depending on energy needs.

When I read the ingredient list I was doubtful the family would like them...I thought they'd taste 'too healthy'.  My one quibble would be the liberal use of tapioca syrup and starch, as their are better alternatives out there.  In addition, the Coconut White Chocolate flavour has cane sugar in it.  All the bars have 9g of sugar, which isn't too bad though.

Here is the ingredient list for the Chocolate Fudge Flavour:

Chicory root fiber, gluten free rolled oat, whey protein isolate, whole grain rice protein concentrate, whey protein crisp (whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate, soy lechithin), date paste, moisturelok (grape juice, rich dextrin), unsweetened chocolate, dutch-pressed cocoa, tapioca syrup, water, beet juice concentrate, sunflower oil.

Allergens: milk, soy, may contain egg and sesame seeds

The clear winner among everyone was the Chocolate Fudge flavour.  No surprise!  Everyone loved it.  No one gave detailed descriptions of the eating experience except that it was really yummy. The second place was Banana Chocolate, with the Coconut White Chocolate as runner up for the girls.  Adam liked the Coconut one better than the Banana Chocolate.

Big A found the coconut flavour too prominent and said she wouldn't eat that one again.  Little A said there could be more white chocolate flavour, but she still really liked it and would happily eat it again.

About the Coconut White Chocolate flavour, Adam said, "...resembles a PowerBar in terms of taste.  Sweet, somewhat granola-y, and quite tasty."

His feedback about the Banana Chocolate was, "Sweeter, and therefore tastier, than I expected.  More like a chewy granola bar than a chocolate bar.  If it were cheap, given the 15grams of protein, 10 grams of fibre, and 160 calories, I would buy boxes of this one, even if the banana flavour is not my favourite."

Now, my dear husband is extremely frugal, so, unfortunately, unless we can find these bars at Costco for a really great price, he won't bother.  We'll be looking for them...

Overall, the girls both said they really liked how flavourful all the bars are and enjoyed them all, particularly the Chocolate Fudge one.

I feel pretty good feeding these to the family.  No, they shouldn't replace eating fruit, nuts, etc.  But if you are going to eat a protein bar (and I do!), then these are an excellent choice.

Disclosure: We were sent complimentary samples of the product, but all opinions on this blog are our own.

Have a happy, healthy weekend!


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