Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Life Choice Chocolate Crunch Meal Bar

If you were wondering whether I forgot about Life Choice in the midst of all these other reviews, I haven’t. It’s just that when I get something new it’s really exciting and I want to try it right away...until I get something else new.

Which is exactly what happened with this bar, as well as two other Life Choice energy bar flavors (which are currently still in my basement). My mom got them a month or so ago along with the Double Peanut and Peanut Butter Crunch bars. At the time I still had a couple of thinkThin and Kashi bars left to try, so I went to those first. I even made it through the two Life Choice peanut butter flavors. Then my free Quest bars showed up, and I had to try those. And then I got my coupon for Balance Bars and came home with something else new! So this review has been a long time coming. Sorry, Life Choice Chocolate Crunch meal bar.

How does it look after all this time?

It seems to have survived better than the Double Peanut. Maybe chocolate coating is more resilient.

Before we see how the inside survived, here’s the official description:

“Our trans-fat free chocolate crunch meal replacement bar is packed with the rich flavor of cocoa - along with satisfying protein and vitamins.”
I’m not sure why they make a big deal about it being trans-fat free, since the other bars (all 12) are as well. I’m hoping it’s not because they couldn’t find anything else to say about it.

Wait, we were looking at pictures.... If you saw the pictures in my review of the Peanut Butter Crunch version, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you:

The same rice crispies inside, only these ones aren’t a weird neon orange/reddish color. It looks like cocoa, smells like far, so good.

So I took a bite. Standard Life Choice coating, it’s the same one they use on all the chocolate flavors. The texture is nice and crispy, but it’s more substantial than a Rice Crispies Treat. It’s a little bit harder to chew than that--more of a workout, but not annoying at all. Personally I think it’s the perfect consistency. As you’re biting into and beginning to chew this is beautifully chocolatey. It’s like a Chocolate Rice Crispies Treat times two. I even thought I might be able to get my sister to eat this one.

And then something weird started to happen. I thought I was going crazy. How would I be tasting oats?? I can’t find them on the ingredients list anywhere, but at random moments I did get a faint taste of oatmeal in there that was quickly overridden by the dominating chocolate.

That’s fine, I don’t mind oatmeal, it’s just a little weird and unexpected. But then I noticed that there was some sort of odd texture thing going on in my mouth. When I’d finished a bite I still felt like there was something chalky left over. I happened every time. It’s like the crispy texture disintegrated into powder or something. I guess you could avoid this for the most part (until you finished the whole bar) by continuously shoving more in your mouth. Now I’m all for stuffing your face, but really, that doesn’t give me nearly enough time to analyze the flavor and everything for a comprehensive review. :)

Last downside: it made me really thirsty. Actually, it’s funny because the coating seemed to be the culprit, but it’s never bothered me with these bars before. Maybe it was the combination of the coating and insides. The two complement each other very well as far as tastes go, but the combination doesn’t totally work.

I’m not hating on this bar--I did enjoy it. It just had some little issues that are easily fixed (just drink in between bites to get rid of the chalky feel). Simply put, it didn’t stand out among all the other bars out there. I wouldn’t use it as a meal (what is with companies calling something with only 160 calories a “meal” bar?), but more of a between-meal snack. Maybe after dinner instead of a real Rice Crispies Treat? These would have a lot more vitamins and other nutrients than your typical “treat” item.

Heh, sorry for pushing out two review in one day. You’re probably sick of Life Choice by now anyway. And I’ve still got one review in the tubes and two bars sitting in the basement, which leaves two other flavors I haven’t even seen yet....

Taste: 7.5--very chocolatey, but there was a hint of oats in there.
Texture: 10--crispy but substantial. The only downside is the chalky feel afterwards.
Health: 6.5--contains a lot of nutrients, but is also fairly high in sodium and carbs.
Eat Again? Hmmm...can I go with a maybe? I wouldn’t say no if you gave me one, but with all the other options available, I don’t think I’d go out and buy them either.

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