Protein Bar Taste Test

Protein Bar Taste Test

Darwin’s Power Bar

2.22.2010 | 1 Comment

Oh yes, one more time: The Protein Bar Taste Test! (insert ominous, yet enjoyable music here)

Brand: Power Bar Recovery
Flavour: Peanut Butter Caramel Crisp
Tag Line: “Rebuilds muscles”
First Ingredient: Chocolatey coating (sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, cocoa, whey powder, skim milk powder, soy lecithin, vanilla flavour)

Oh man, do I really have to eat this? I haven’t even taken the wrapper off and I’m already grossed out. I remember Power Bars from many years ago; they were thin little bricks of tooth-shattering blah. I really hope they’ve changed things. I have terrible memories of trying to chew and swallow bite-sized pieces of these flavoured rock lumps. No matter how much water I drank, I couldn’t ever seem to move that lump down my gullet in a timely manner. In fact, I may still have Power Bar stuck in my throat from 12 years ago.

Aw, man! Seriously?! “Chocolatey” isn’t even a word and it’s their first ingredient! That’s it, I’m taking marks off simply for irrational spelling! Oh, Power Bar, why do you hate me so?

I may as well just get it over with…

*unwraps Power Bar Recovery*

Oh Power Bar! My, how you’ve changed! This is even better than the Isoflex bar! In fact, you’re giving Clif a serious run for the money, my friend. You know all those mean, nasty things I said about you, Power Bar? Well, I totally don’t take them back, because really you did used to be quite horrid. However, it seems as though you have new Darwin-esque employees on your staff, and so have adapted your bar to better suit the environment. You’ve become edible, little bar! Awwww…. *sniff* that’s so beautiful. You’ve worked so hard, and it really has paid off. I’m so proud of you, little guy!

*lightly punches Power Bar in the shoulder*


The Protein Bar Taste Test!

2.16.2010 | 0 Comments

Ali and I spent some time yesterday hashing out ideas to fund raise. Now for the most part, Ali comes up with really good ideas. And then… and then there are times when she comes up with really, REALLY bad ideas. We’ve decided to adopt one of those, much to my great dismay. But more on that later… hey! Guess what time it is!? It’s time for another installment of:

The Protein Bar Taste Test!

Brand: Lara Bar
Flavour: Cherry
Tag Line: “Fruit and Nut Energy Bar”
First Ingredient: Dates

This bar was recommended to me by Michael at Open Space Yoga, as it is the bar of choice for Roz Savage, an adventuress who is paddling her kayak through uncharted waters. Solo. So hey, I figured if it’s good enough for someone who is kayaking across the entire Atlantic Ocean, it’s good enough for me!

Aside from being “gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher”, this bar is the uncontested winner of the Least Ingredients competition. The Lara Bar contains the following: dates, almonds, dried cherries, and refined sunflower oil. That’s it. Pretty impressive, really. Now, these are healthy little treats! In fact, they made my Protein Bar Taste Test a little skewed because I could not find a Lara Bar that contained chocolate, or caramel, or peanut butter. What kind of crap is this?! (But seriously, I was attempting to test the same types of bars, and since the Lara Bar is simply too healthy, I just went for the one with the prettiest coloured packaging).

It was a good tasting bar, but again the texture really threw me off. Maybe I’m just picky, I don’t know, but I don’t want hyper-grainy things scratching up my tongue and tearing at the roof of my mouth while denying me the benefits of a hearty bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal (yah, you all know what I’m talking about).

I liked the Lara Bar, and think that the company is good, as well. However, if I’m going to jam my system full of quick foods, I want it to be really bad for me. I’ll plan a trip across The Line to see what kind of exciting Lara Bar flavours they have down there in the good ol’ USA. I’m really hoping for chocolate-covered possum bits, or maybe milkshake-dipped caramel fudge clumps.

Mmmm… fudge clumps…


The Protein Bar Taste Test Continues!

2.09.2010 | 1 Comment

Brand: Clif
Flavour: Peanut Butter
Tag Line: “High in protein, 23 vitamins and minerals”
First Ingredient: Soy protein isolate

The best part about this protein bar was the fact that it tasted like I was straight-up eating a sin. This was a really good tasting treat, I must say! And hey, at 270 calories a bar, I can see why it was so good – I think it was made entirely out of butter and bacon fat, lovingly hand-crafted by chubby, winged angels who giggle a lot. I’ll be honest with you – this bar is out of contention because it is too good. Like a diet pill, or an honest politician, it was simply too good to be true. Sorry Clif.


Secrets and Lies

2.03.2010 | 1 Comment

So, I went to yoga last night, and you would not BELIEVE what Michael did!!

Just kidding, Michael.

Ladies and gentleman… The Protein Bar Taste Test – Part 6

Exhibit G: Bio X

Brand: BioX – Protein Blast
Flavour: Creamy Peanut Fudge
First Ingredient: Pro Blast Fusion (Our unique protein blend consisting of: 100% cross flow microfiltered and ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, soy protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate)

Well, this is hands down the most pretentious protein bar I’ve come across. “our unique blend…”, “cross flow microfiltered…” blah, blah, blah… BioX, please stop patting yourself on the back for having your own ‘unique blend’ of pretty much the exact same thing that every other bar has, and please start creating a product that is somewhat more, you know, ummm… edible.

I will admit that I had a great deal of difficulty trying to describe the flavour of this bar, and so far all I can say for sure is that it tasted kind of like a glob of natural peanut butter dropped onto a wet rice cake.

I actually had to check the expiration date to make sure it wasn’t past due! It wasn’t. Hey, you know, it also kind of tastes like those little Quaker Corn Bran cereal squares! Buuuuut, only if they were jammed full of Silly Putty.

I was actually getting nauseated as I was taking little bites of the Bio X to try and describe the taste. My friend who was with me at the time found this to be rather entertaining, and was delighting in the rapidly changing colours, (and goblin-esque distortions) of my face.

Needless to say, after forcing down about an eighth of the Bio X, it became intimate friends with the nearest garbage pail, and I became intimate friends with a Snickers bar.



A New Quest, and The Protein Bar Taste Test (x2)

1.29.2010 | 1 Comment

I am on a quest. An all-consuming quest. A quest with an important outcome. I… am searching for one of those over-sized novelty cheques so that I can cheesily present it to the Delta Hospice when I have reached my $10,000 mark. Where to find such a thing…

And while I search, I will leave you with:

THE PROTEIN BAR TASTE TEST – Part… 5? Where am I? I’ve eaten so many of these things that I think it’s effecting my brain…

Exhibit E- Sharkies!

Brand: Sharkies Organic Energy Sports Chews
Flavour: Fruit Splash (cherry blackberry tangerine lemon)
Tag Line: “Contains Organic Fruit Juice Concentrate”
First Ingredient: Organic rice syrup

Hee hee! Little lightly coloured squishy, chewy sharks! How fun! Aside from the yellow sharks (“lemon” apparently), they tasted pretty darn good. However, I would not recommend these little critters for people who have delicate dental work or insufficient dental coverage through their employer to reattach crowns. Did the wee sharkies give me energy? I have no idea. I ate an apple right after, and I was distracted by the fact that my toes were really, really cold. Note to self: Thigh-high black and red striped socks with purchased-on-ebay Prada runners do not create a comfortable layer of warmth to the feet.

Exhibit F – Bzzzzzzzz *gag*

Brand: Bumble Bar
Flavour: Chocolate Crisp
Tag Line: “Organic Energy”
First Ingredient: Organic sesame seeds

I’m just going to come right out and say it: this bar was so bad, that it actually made me laugh. I bit into it, chewed a couple of times, then started laughing. I cannot describe the taste any better than: a thin slice of seedy, wussy Baker’s chocolate. The best thing about this bar was the fact that because I was so desperate to get the taste out of my mouth, I was very well hydrated in a matter of minutes. Bumble Bar = Bumble Bad.


Mount Baker and Culinary Elevation

1.26.2010 | 0 Comments

As I was driving to work today, I was treated to the sight of a snow-covered, sun-glowed, soft-hued Mount Baker in the distance. What an impressive mountain! I wonder how tall it is? It can’t be that much smaller than Kilimanjaro, can it? I mean, look at it! It’s HUGE!


Hmmm, says here that Mount Baker is… oh no. Seriously? The thing is HALF the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro? I have to climb TWO Mt. Bakers to equal ONE Mt. Kilimanjaro? Ohhh, geez… I really need to bump up my cardio training.


Exhibit D – Elevate Me!

Brand: Elevate Me!
Flavour: Cocoa Coconut Cluster
Tag Line: “The world’s simplest protein & fruit energy bar”
First Ingredient: Whey protein isolate

Well, it certainly has a heck of a lot less ingredients than all the other bars I’ve tried! Wanna’ know what else it has in it? Dates, raisins, apples, cranberries, almonds, coconut, and fair trade cocoa. I feel as though I’ve made a socially conscious decision here! I don’t think I’ve ever felt proud buying something that has the word “cluster” in it. Usually words like “cluster”, (along with “caramel” and “marshmallow”) evoke feelings of shame and betrayal. Tasty, tasty betrayal…

Anyway, back to Elevate Me! It comes in three little squares, which is nice because your brain says, “Oh wonderful! I’ll just eat one”. But you don’t eat just one. You never eat just one. The first bite of one of the squares was really, really good. And then the texture kicked in. It’s a little like chewing on a pear that has been lightly rolled in gravel and then had dried cranberries punched into it. Still, it tasted alright. Not the best thing I’ve ever eaten (that would be pretty much anything from La Belle Auberge), but it’ll do.

Energy-wise? Can’t say it did a whole lot, but then again, I had a nap right after I ate it. So, that was probably counter-productive, eh?


Once again, I bring you the Protein Bar Taste Test!

1.19.2010 | 2 Comments

Exhibit C – Isoflex

Brand: Isoflex
Flavour: Chocolate Flavour Peanut Butter Fudge
Tag Line: Excellent Source of Protein
First Ingredient: Protein complex(soy protein crisps [Non-GMO soy protein isolate, calcium carbonate], hydrolyzed gelatin, whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, whey protein concentrate, peanut butter [dry roasted peanuts, salt], peanut flour, dry roasted peanuts

If angels and kittens had a company that made protein bars, the Isoflex would be their product. This thing was AWESOME. Eating The Isoflex was akin to eating crunchy joy, covered in gooey glee, and sprinkled with little tiny chewy bits of Paradise. And the greatest part was that after I ate it, I wasn’t hungry until about five hours later!

The next test for this fantastic wonderment of scientific-culinary goodness will be for it to spend some time in my freezer in an attempt to simulate conditions similar to when I will be standing in the Snows of Kilmanjaro and am desperate for a hit of chocolate. I wonder how much energy I’ll need to chew the thing?


Another Installment of The Protein Bar Taste Test!

1.15.2010 | 2 Comments

Yes, it’s time once again for another installment of The Protein Bar Taste Test!

Exhibit B – ZONE ‘PERFECT’

Ahhhh, yes. Time to once again delve into the fascinating culinary/scientific world of the Protien Bar. My goal is to find the best protein bar (or two) to take with me on my trip to Kilimanjaro so that I don’t pass out from hunger, and slide down a scree slope into the happily waiting jaws of a pride of lions. I chose this next bar because it was so tantalizingly labeled “Perfect”. I was about to get a lesson in False Advertising…

Brand: Zone Perfect
Flavour: Chocolate Carmel Cluster
Tag Line: “Nutritional Supplement Bar”
First Ingredient: Soya protein nuggets (soya proein isolate, rice flour, tapioca starch, malt, salt)

I was out and about downtown looking for a decent pair of hiking boots, when I felt the first pangs of hunger. Knowing I had packed myself a protein bar, I rummaged around in my bag and grabbed my handy-dandy Zone Perfect bar. I was excited to try this new taste sensation, and happily unwrapped the bar in great anticipation.

This is the perfect protein bar for someone who likes their rice crispies covered with chocolate and mixed with rancid peanuts. It has a slightly cardboard-esque aftertaste, with a “Hey Look! I Just Found a Nine-Year-Old Jar of Opened Peanuts in the Back of the Pantry!” flavour. Mmmmmm!

I was really, really happy after I ate this bar because I happened to be close to a Steamrollers shop downtown, and so was able to quickly run in and grab a #3 to go to get the wretched taste of “Perfect” out of my mouth.

Steamrollers is a fantastic little shop (one on Broadway, one on Robson, one on Granville…) that makes these kick-butt wraps in steamed tortillas. Steamrollers are not for the slightly hungry. They are for the ravenous (possibly slightly inebriated) masses who enjoy fresh, filling, tasty food in a funky silver wrapper. And these wraps are HEAVY. In fact, the #3 was HEAVIER than the hiking boots I had just purchased. No joke.

However, I must concede one point about the wretched Zone Perfect protein bar: The #3 at Steamrollers has black beans and cheese, which are fantastic sources of protein, so in a sense the Zone Perfect bar DID provide me with ample energy and sustenance. Golly, THANKS Zone Perfect!!


The Protein Bar Taste Test Commences!!

1.12.2010 | 1 Comment

While speaking with my co-worker/teammate and 2009 Kili Conquerer, I asked about what the final ascent day is like. Apparently you are woken up late at night (say, 10pm), given tea and crackers, bundled up in many layers, and by the light of your headlamp, you begin trudging up the mountain (slooooooowly) to the summit. He recalled that aside from being completely exhausted and ready to call it quits, you are also exceedingly hungry, and your mind becomes occupied with thoughts of baked goods, Sunday brunch, and summer BBQs. Being someone who has a low tolerance for hunger, the thought of being really hungry while climbing the ridge of a volcano in the dead of night doesn’t exactly make me too thrilled.

I have fairly low blood sugar, and so need to eat at regular intervals. If I go too long without decent sustenance, I can become quite ill: sweating, turning pale and weak, fainting, and/or vomiting. This rarely happens now, as I have learned to have snacks and water within arm’s reach wherever I am. If someone were to break into my car and rifle through my glove compartment, they could happily feed a family of four on the groceries I keep stashed in there in case of emergencies.

However, I’m going to be glove compartment-less on Kilimanjaro, so I really need to plan well. I was thinking about taking up some of those protein bar things or something. They’re light, easy to open, and ready-to-eat. So, on a recent trip to the grocery store I went to see what kinds of protein bars exist nowadays – there are about 7000 or so. Ok, maybe not that many, but there are a lot. But which one to choose!?

The Protein Bar Taste Test – Exhibit A – Gensoy.

Brand: Gensoy
Flavour: Peanut Butter Fudge
Tag Line: “Delicious Soy Protein Bar”
First Ingredient: Soy protein blend (soy protein
isolate, soy protein nugget [soy protein isolate, tapioca
starch, salt], roasted soybeans)

I like this protein bar a lot, actually. A few years ago I decided that I was going to try and subsist on protein bars (I am NOT advocating this ludicrous idea in any way), and Gensoy are the bars I chose. They do taste really good, but I really cannot endorse them as the “meal replacement”, they say they are. In fact, after eating these dumb things, I tend to get really hungry. However, the upside to this is that they give me enough energy to make a decent meal for myself!