Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: thinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter High Protein Bar

OK, here's the deal...

I tend to get into a rut with my food choices. I get in trouble when my routine becomes too comfortable, so in the interest of keeping things fun (because food should be fun), I thought maybe doing some reviews of what’s out there would keep me trying new things. So if you're with me, let’s kick it off with the thinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter High Protein Bar.

Yesterday after I went “swimming” with my dad (he swam, I aqua-jogged), we ended up at our local Wegmans, which has a pretty decent selection of supplement/granola bars. I had a hard time not buying half of what was on the shelf, but I did manage to restrain myself to a few flavors of thinkThin protein bars and a couple of Kashi GoLean Crunchy! bars.

I’ve heard good things about the thinkThin bars, so I decided to go ahead and try one last night as a pre-bedtime snack. What can I say, they were just sitting on top of the toaster (not enough room in our “granola bar” cabinet) and I couldn’t resist my curiosity. I suppose this technically does qualify as post-workout...yeah, let’s go with that.

According to the website

"This high protein bar packs the nutty flavors of chunky roasted peanut butter blended with cocoa and covered in luscious milk chocolate. With zero grams sugar and no gluten, it's a guilt-free treat you can feel good about."

Yup, that’s right--zero grams of sugar! It does, however, contain sugar alcohols (11g), so beware. For 20g of protein, I think it’s worth it. So many protein bars are just candy bars with added protein and a different wrapper. Not so with this one.

Sorry guys, no pictures for this one because...well, I ate it before I even thought about taking a picture. It was fairly simple: your standard-sized bar (not like those monster PowerBar Protein Plus), covered with a thin chocolate coating. It was really easy to break in half, with a nice creamy center. I’m generally skeptical of protein bars in terms of taste and flexibility (you know how you can kind of bend some of them and they’re like those flexible rulers?), but I loved the texture of this one--soft, not tough, sticky, gummy or gritty like some other bars. It really didn’t require any effort to chew, was actually kind of melt-in-your-mouth, and I could mush it with my tongue without straining any muscles. I definitely didn’t get a “chunky” vibe, though. There were a few small pieces of peanut in there, and they were crunchy enough (duh, they were peanuts!). But if you’re expecting something like a Butterfingers, you’re going to be disappointed.

So...did it taste like peanut butter? Not in the slightest. It didn’t even taste like peanuts. But it didn’t taste bad, either, which for me and protein bars is a big step in the right direction. If you concentrate on the chocolate coating it’s not a bad bar at all. My last bite was mostly chocolate, so I definitely ended on a good note. It’s not something I’d eat in place of dessert, as it’s not really sweet, but it’s certainly something I would eat again. I’ve still got the Creamy Peanut Butter and Brownie Crunch flavors to try out, and looking forward to them now!

UPDATE: I just found out that the glycerin used in thinkThin products is derived from plant sources, so this should also be vegetarian safe!

Taste: 6.5--doesn’t taste like peanut butter, but it’s not bad.
Texture: 9--very soft and easy to chew, but not chunky.
Health: 9--it’s gluten free and has no sugar, but it does contain sugar alcohols, which can aggravate digestive issues. GoodGuide gives this bar a 10 for health.
Eat Again? Yes!

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