Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Balance Bar Original Yogurt Honey Peanut

I’ve noticed in trying all these different protein bars that some brands have a distinctive taste, no matter what the flavor. It was most obvious with the thinkThin bars--there was always a sour undercurrent (and sometimes that was the main taste) and I could probably identify the brand just from that taste. To a lesser extent, there were similarities among the Life Choice protein bars.

Since I’ve only had one Balance Bar, I had no idea if they were the same. But I had a coupon, so I bought four new flavors last weekend (plus yesterday’s thinkThin Chocolate Fudge) because when else are you going to get five protein bars for under $5.00? (Besides a box of Life Choice from Walmart.) That’s less than a dollar apiece!

Anyway. Time to stop boring you and get to the actual review. It was a tough choice between the flavors I brought home (all of which contain peanut in some form), but I finally settled with Yogurt Honey Peanut:

“It's the honey peanut combination you love, but wrapped in a delicious yogurt flavored coating to create an energy bar that will keep you coming back for more.”
Oh...yogurt coating...I love yogurt coating. Seriously, if you wrap anything in yogurt coating you guarantee that I try at least one, and unless the inside is really disgusting I’ll probably have seconds.

Thankfully, the inside is not disgusting. It’s actually really peanutty. It screams peanuts. OK, that might be a little overboard because it wasn’t overwhelming, but peanuts are definitely the dominant flavor here. I couldn’t really taste any honey, and the yogurt coating had some weak moments too. It did shine through in some bites, which made a really great combination of sweet and salty. And, of course, I saved the best parts (the ends!) for last because...well, I love yogurt coating.

Most of all I was thrilled because the unpleasant aftertaste present in the Cookie Dough version of this bar wasn’t there! Maybe the peanuts help cover it up. Either way, a thumbs-up to Balance Bar for NOT being one of those brands you can identify no matter what flavor!

As for texture, this bar hits the spot. It’s soft, but not gooey, and substantial enough that you feel like you’re really chowing down on something. The inside is moister than the thinkThin bars, but not as gooey as the Life Choice Double Chocolate protein bar. I thought it was the perfect consistency, with the added bonus of peanut chunks that give it a bit of random crunch.

I still wish the Balance Bars were bigger, but I’ve long since accepted the fact that “fill-you-up size” for me is at least twice as much as a normal serving size. So if you’re normal they will probably be plenty big. ;)

Taste: 9--mostly peanuts, but when the yogurt coating came through it was a great combination.
Texture: 10--very satisfying; soft and chewy with the occasional peanut chunk.
Health: 8--as with the Cookie Dough version, it has a lot of protein but also saturated fat and sugar. GoodGuide gives this bar a 6.7 health score with warnings about those two ingredients.
Eat Again? Yes!

reviews, Balance Bar, protein bars, energy bars, cookie dough, pb2???
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