I joined Instagram back in June of 2015 and talk about a culture shock!
I had avoided most social media so I could maintain sanity… but when I started Jillian Redefining Wellness, I suddenly had a reason to engage more in this platform. I so desire to reach as many people as I can with a positive, empowering, helpful, and healthy messages… so naturally social media was a new exciting venture for me to have this type of influence.
Since one of my focuses for my business is on physical fitness, I have attracted many followers and have encountered many fitness themed posts and pages on Instagram. I was blown away by the sheer number of posts and the immense enthusiasm around…
So… sigh… I figured… I should give them a try. I loved Shakeology, so perhaps I would love these too?? There are MANY flavors to choose from, so I grabbed a few and figured I would do a review of each for my blog. These are by NO means cheap… and I bought them with consideration of utilizing them as a special treat. I figured they are about the same as buying a specialty pastry at a bakery… so these would be special desserts!
I will go through and give my opinion on the bars I tried. I am not really one to enjoy fruity protein products, so I did not venture into reviewing those. I have never found a fruity one I’ve enjoyed… so I steered clear so as to not waste my money and calories on something I was quite sure I would not like… regardless of brand.
First let me say that ALL Quest Bars have a very distinct bitterness to them. There is a common underlying taste that is consistent through every bar I tried. You notice it at the beginning and end of your bite, losing a bit of it mid-chew as the other flavors come through. This bitter taste is minimized, somewhat, when the bars are heated up… but I have serious reservations about utilizing a microwave to be eating something healthy. Or if you are using the oven, the heat still alters the nutrient value. Also, all bars were somewhat of a tough texture, more of a dry chewiness. The more goodies inside, the more tolerable the textures because it broke up the main block of bar.
The fact that these bars are gluten free and do not have artificial sweeteners is a plus, however, as this is not common in all protein bars. There is also a decent protein to calorie ratio.
Double Chocolate Chunk
I’m going to say that this was probably the least appetizing of all the bars I tried… though not surprising since it is the most basic flavor. The chocolate chunks were much appreciated because the rest of the bar was quite bitter and pasty. Let’s just say… I ended up microwaving it.
This was not too far off the double chocolate chunk, but had a slightly better chocolate flavor. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it tasted like a brownie, but it was decent. Perhaps they should just combine double chocolate chunk with chocolate brownie and make a better product.
OH MAN. I really missed eating s’mores this past summer. It was the first summer that I was eating gluten free and it was hard to turn down this nostalgic treat. So, this was a welcomed flavor to try. I must say that they did a nice job on the “graham cracker” flavor. I appreciated the multiple textures because it made the main bar more manageable to eat. This was either #1 or #2 for me!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Cookie dough is another flavor I miss greatly since going GF… though more so with ice cream. I was hoping this would deliver… but it came up a bit short for me. Cookie dough should have a rich buttery flavor… this tasted like the butter was replaced with bitterness. Not my fave… but okay.
Cookies and Cream
This is the bar that contends for either #1 or #2 for me. Oreos… another woe of loss. This bar was the first flavor I tried and I think it gave me a false precedent for what the actual texture of most Quest Bars are. BUT, this means that this bar has quite decent texture and delivers the crisp Oreo-like texture and flavor. There was still some of the bitter undertones, but much less than in other bars.
Mint Chocolate Chip
I was surprised at how GREEN the chocolate chunks were in this bar!! NEON! Makes me question what they put in it??? This bar was more akin to the double chocolate chunk bar… somewhat dry and chewy. I ended up dipping it in some warmed cashew milk to make it a better texture. The mint flavors helped to mask some of the bitter undertones, though, which was nice.
Pumpkin Pie (Limited Edition)
Annnnnd this one. I have such mixed feelings about this bar. Apparently it is their first “dipped” bar… aka it has an outer coating. The coating is crazy ORANGE… again making me wonder how they achieved this color. Perhaps the pumpkin powder that is listed in the ingredients??? I appreciate the multiple textures in this bar. I enjoy picking different parts of food apart, so this made eating this bar more interesting. I definitely enjoyed the outer part of the bar more than the inner… which is no surprise because the outer part was crunchy and the inner was your typical chewy bar. The flavor was okay, but very sweet pumpkin as opposed to spiced pumpkin. I would say this was my 3rd favorite flavor.
All in all… I’m going to go ahead and say that these bars are just not worth the price tag. I am not seeing how these are worth $3 a pop? There are other bars with similar stats and clean ingredients for less… that taste much better too. If they tasted better, I would be on board… but that latent bitter taste that is inherent in every bar is something I cannot get past.
So what do you think?! I want to hear your opinions of these bars and/or your fave protein bars! Comment below!