Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Luna Protein Cookie Dough

I am woman, hear me roar.

Haha. Just kidding, although I do have my own nutrition bar. But did you know Luna makes protein bars too?

OK, probably, but I didn’t, and when I saw it I was curious...on top of the fact that it was labeled “cookie dough,” which is pretty much code for “pick me up!” Or, as Luna says,

“Chocolate chips and cookie-dough pieces swirled in soft nougat with a flourish of vanilla.”
I’m having an internal debate: Is this a protein bar? Not, “Is this a protein bar?” because with 12 grams of protein it’s almost up there with Balance Bars (but nowhere near Quest/Life Choice, of course). The question is, “Is this a protein bar?”

I mean, I guess it is. It just doesn’t strike me as a “bar,” more of a stick. Even though it has the dimensions of a candy bar, albeit one of those fun-sized ones.

Whatever. I’m trying to say it’s small. About the thickness of a fun-size Milky Way and only slightly longer. So I was disappointed about that. Who has ever been filled up with just one Milky Way?

Well, on to the insides. Basically, it looks just like a slimmed-down version of Balance Bar’s cookie dough flavor:

It definitely looks like cookie dough! It was fairly easy to break, but the chocolate shell did give a little resistance before it cracked. Which is cool, because I like chocolate.

I have to say, though, it sort of got in the way here. I was anticipating chocolatey doughey heaven, but the thick chocolate sort of wiped everything out. It was really dominating, which made it hard to evaluate the cookie dough stuff inside. My first impression, though, was salty but very close to real cookie dough in taste. There was a little bit of a weird aftertaste, a hint of what I got with the Balance Bar--but it was very slight, and ignorable, especially if you just shoved another bite in your mouth. And the final bites (if you’re eating it like a normal person, anyway) are mostly the chocolate coating, which covers up anything. So we’re good to go.

The texture was...interesting. On one hand, it was close to actual cookie dough. It was soft and easy to bite and chew. That is, except for the crispy pieces inside. These were actually really disconcerting, and prevented me from really enjoying the cookie dough experience. Use real chocolate chips! Aside from the weird crisp, it is a little gummy in that it sticks in your mouth, but that would be a whole lot more annoying if it tasted worse. As it was, I didn’t really mind.

Overall, I think this is the best impression a protein bar has done of cookie dough yet (Life Choice’s Cookies & Cream energy bar still gets the ultimate prize). I still like their original bars better, though, mostly because of size. For the same amount of calories I can get something with almost twice the protein and more than twice the size (yes I am talking about Quest bars!).

Taste: 8--the closest a protein bar has come to cookie dough yet.
Texture: 7.5--soft and chewy, but the crispy pieces ruin the experience. I’d prefer chocolate chips.
Health: 7.5--with 12g of protein it’s close to some of the “high protein” bars out there. But it has more saturated fat and sugar than the original Luna bars. Still, it’s 70% organic and MUCH better for you than real cookie dough. GoodGuide gives it a 6.6.
Eat Again? Yeah, if there was one readily available. But I don’t think I’d buy it regularly.

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