Clif Bar – Peanut Butter Crunch

The last bar I tried was the Clif Bar! It’s so well known that I simply had to take one and try it out for myself!

Courtesy of Clif Bars

 

Clif Bar in Peanut Butter Crunch – $1.99 (68g per bar)

Ingredients:

*Brown rice syrup, protein blend (soy rice crisps [soy protein isolate, rice flour, barley malt extract], *soy flour, *roasted soybeans), *rolled oats, *cane syrup, *peanut butter (*peanuts, salt), peanut flour, crunch pieces (apple pomace, *oat fibre, *milled flaxseed, inulin [chicory extract]), *fig paste, peanuts, natural flavours, sea salt.

*Organic, certified Organic by QAI

The Clif Bar definitely has the best value for the couple dollars you spend! It has the lowest price point of all the bars I picked out AND it’s the biggest one of them all, too!

It actually didn’t taste too bad, too! It wasn’t grainy or too sweet and it actually filled me up nicely without weighing me down.

I actually picked up a box of Clif Bars in White Chocolate Macadamia Nut at Whole Foods for about $17 (go sales!) and I’m really enjoying the whole lineup although I think the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut flavour is a lot sweeter than Peanut Butter Crunch!

Verdict: 4.5/5 Clif Bars are delicious, they sustain your energy and they’re very reasonably priced for gourmet-type energy bars even when they’re not on sale! The only thing that would make the Peanut Butter Crunch better would be some chocolate…

xoxo,

B.elle

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Vega Sport’s Vegan Protein Bar – Chocolate Peanut Butter

I tried another energy bar after parkour and this time, it’s Vega Sport’s Vegan Protein Bar in Chocolate Peanut Butter!

 

Vega Sport’s Vegan Protein Bar – Chocolate Peanut Butter – $3.69 (60g per bar)

Ingredients:

Complete protein blend (organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, pea protein), dark chocolate coating (organic cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin), organic tapioca syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic peanut butter, organic peanuts, Vega saviseed (sacha inchi) oil, inulin (from chicory root), brown rice crisps, organic peanut flour, organic agave syrup, sea salt, organic peanut extract, sunflower lecithin.

The Vega brand (@VegaTeam on Twitter and just Vega on Facebook) claims that there’s 15g of complete, plant-based protein in each bar, 2.5g of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids; think of simple and complex carbohydrate chains but with amino acids), 2g of glutamine for quicker muscle and immune system recovery, and 1g of omega-3 proteins.

What’s even better is that the bar’s entirely vegan!

Sweet, but aren’t most bars vegan? I haven’t seen a bar with milk products in a while, but I’m guessing the production line they have doesn’t come into contact with animal products at all!

The Vega Sport Protein Bar is specifically marketed under their Recovery line with their powdered proteins, so it’s good that I remembered to bring it along to my training session!

The chocolate covering on this bar wasn’t so much of a surprise for me since it actually has a picture of the bar on the wrapper. I’m blind, but I’m not THAT blind to miss that little fact. The chocolate was a touch more bitter than the SoLo bar, which is kind of surprising since they only use chocolate liquor in their coating.

The texture was really similar to the SoLo bar, but it was a little bit more crunchy due to the brown rice crisps and because they used sprouted brown rice and pea proteins instead of soy proteins.

The peanut butter flavour was absolutely decadent when paired up with the dark chocolate coating and it really took away most of my fatigue within half an hour of eating it!

But, even though it’s a slightly larger bar than the others, it costs $3.69 per 60g bar. Compared to SoLo’s $2.50 for 50g bar, it’s a bit of an issue!

Verdict: 4/5 Vega’s vegan recipe really works well, the taste is absolutely delicious and it’s much more readily available than lesser known brands like SoLo, but the extra dollar per bar would add up and get out of control really quickly.

xoxo,

B.elle

Bounce Energy Ball – Peanut Protein Blast

I brought this to work with me because I knew I was going to have a late lunch and I was going to need a mid-morning snack.

Bounce Energy Ball Peanut Protein Blast

Bounce Energy Ball in Peanut Protein Blast – $2.69 at Whole Foods (49g per ball)

Ingredients:

Peanuts (29%), Brown Rice Syrup, Fruitrim®(Fruit Juices, Natural Grain Dextrins), Whey Protein Blend (19%) (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Hydrolysate), Whey Protein Crisps (12%) (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Tapioca Starch, Stabiliser (Calcium Carbonate), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin)), Natural Vanilla Flavour, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols.

When I opened it up, I was pleasantly surprised that it was covered in peanut chunks! It’s a nice change from the chocolate covered bars that I’ve had so far.

But, when I was about to take a bite, I was hit with a strong scent of something that I still have no idea what it is, and that surprised me because it wasn’t sweet-smelling at all. I was surprised since it lists a fruit juice based product as the third ingredient!

It’s not sweet at all and it’s pretty dense for an energy bar. You definitely can’t take a big bite of this without wanting to gag because the mixture of peanuts, brown rice syrup, tapioca starch and proteins really keeps everything tightly bound together in your palate.

I normally don’t have a sweet tooth, but this energy ball really needs some more sweetness or another layer of flavour somehow! Somehow, it’s really bland and I think it might be because it’s primarily made out of plant proteins with almost no variations in sugar and fat, which are two primary contributors to flavour.

At 49g per ball, it’s pretty hard to finish this on a run without feeling really gross! It’s a lot of dense peanut butter to eat!

It does manage to provide a steady stream of energy without making you crave more food to top you up, though. I feel like this is better for people who do shorter, high-intensity workouts, somehow. Maybe it’s because it feels marketed more towards the “hot yoga at lunch before going back to the office” type of crowd. (People still do hot yoga, right?)

Verdict: 1.5/5 – It’s obviously well received around the world, but it just reminds me of an edible peanut-flavoured hockey puck. It works really well to keep your energy levels up for a bit, but it’s just too bland and too dense for me to buy it again. Sorry, Bounce!

xoxo,

B.elle

SoLo Energy Bars – Peanut Power

I’ll get it out of the way right now: I’m using pictures from the company websites for these energy bar reviews. They’re sharper, they’re prettier and I’ve actually thrown out my wrappers after eating the bars! Oops!

The first energy bar that I tried was SoLo Energy Bar in Peanut Power.

SoLo Gi Peanut Power

 

SoLo Energy Bar in Peanut Power – $2.50 (50g per bar)

Ingredients:

Solo GI® protein blend [whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, soy crisps (soy protein isolate, rice flour, salt)], chocolate flavoured coating (sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder, whey powder, skim milk powder, soy lecithin, natural flavours), peanut butter (dry roasted peanuts, sea salt), brown rice syrup, fructose, fruit puree (white grape juice concentrate, prunes, dates, fructose), soy nuts, honey, Solo GI® fibre blend (inulin, oat beta glucan), peanut oil.

I’m not 100% sure what the official name of the company is because it seems like it goes by several different handles on social media. On Facebook, it’s SoLo Smart Energy Bar; on Twitter, it’s SoLo GI Nutrition (@SoLo_energybar); and its website calls itself SoLo Energy Bar. So, for your sanity and mine, I’m going to refer to it as SoLo Energy Bar as a whole!

SoLo Energy Bar provides long-lasting and steady energy for endurance and high-intensity workouts, all without the sugar crashes and cravings that come from bars that contain refined sugars like fructose-glucose and even honey. SoLo Energy Bars have been thoroughly tested to confidently claim low glycemic index ratings between 23-29.

As a reference, glucose has a glycemic index of 100 and quickly raises blood sugar levels because it’s very easily absorbed into the bloodstream and activates insulin production very quickly. It takes a while for your body to react to changing levels of sugar, so insulin production is always a step behind, sometimes leading to that ever-familiar “sugar crash” and “craving” sensation when there’s too much insulin in your bloodstream and not enough sugar.

It’s great to see that an energy bar company went through all the trouble to really make sure that the bar’s actually low GI using real ingredients, no preservatives AND it’s also gluten-free! I’m not a celiac or gluten-intolerant in any sense, but it’s good to know!

I ate this when I was feeling really faint one day and it probably wasn’t a good idea to try and cook something in the state. (Generally, low blood sugar and cooking isn’t good for your health.)

I obviously didn’t read the ingredients or look at the packaging too closely because I was honestly surprised to see that it’s completely covered in some good quality chocolate!

The bar itself reminded me completely of a chocolate peanut butter cup that was nowhere as sweet but in a really good way. The flavours were all there that perfectly mimics fresh, gooey peanut butter that melts in your mouth with the bittersweet chocolate coating. It’s so delicious!

It has this amazing gooey-crunchy texture that’s almost like fresh rice crispy squares, but still dense enough for your palate to realize that it’s packed with good, slow-releasing energy!

After I ate this bar at around 8:30pm, I didn’t feel hungry at all until after I woke up the next morning and I usually go to bed close to midnight, so that’s one effective energy bar!

Verdict: 5/5 This bar is absolutely delicious and it completely satisfied my hunger without making me crash or crave more sugar! The price point is great and they’re available to be ordered online as well.

xoxo,

B.elle