Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Metragenix 2:1 Bar Granola Oatmeal

I love free stuff. It makes me feel less guilty about spending so much money on granola/protein bars, protein powder, and, yes, chocolate and peanut butter. Not to mention the $1,000+ MacBook I bought because Apple has made it a criminal offense to run their software on non-Apple hardware.

Anyway, I’ve been subscribing to for a while now, and even though it’s annoying to get 20 emails a day that are about paper towels or Kindle downloads, every once in a while something comes along that’s good. I’ve already signed up for some free samples of Luna fiber, peanut butter, and a few other things (although I have yet to see them--apparently fast shipping isn’t a priority, or it was all just a hoax). However, this arrived in the form of a coupon presentable at my local GNC.

Well, there are three local GNCs around here, and I stupidly ended up at the one next to Walmart on move-in day. You’d think, after how many years of avoiding Walmart at all costs while Penn State students are crowding the aisles and clearing the shelves, I would have learned not to go within a 20-mile radius of the place. But, my coupon was expiring that weekend and I WANTED A FREE PROTEIN BAR, DAMMIT!

You have no idea how hard it was to settle on just one, but I finally picked one I’d never heard of: Metragenix’s 2:1 Granola Oatmeal protein bar, which as a whopping 30g of protein, 250 calories, and just 15g of active carbs. I was really excited, and here’s why:

This thing is HUGE! Now that’s my kind of protein bar! The sad thing is, most of the huge ones are worse than candy bars in terms of sugar content, so I steer clear. This one is actually reasonable. Although it’s more of a meal than a snack.

For some reason this reminds me of a banana. ;) I think it’s the off-white coloring combined with the extra length...either way, I like the look of that yogurt coating. It smells faintly like oatmeal, but not enough to convince me it’ll amaze me with its taste. But you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a protein bar by its wrapper, you actually have to taste it!

The first thing that stands out is the texture. I was expecting it to be crunchy, like granola, but it’s not. It’s actually quite soft and chewy, akin to a Balance or thinkThin bar. There is not gumminess, and the coating is very creamy, which I love. The bar is easy to break; it bends rather than snaps. If you were eating it in a big hurry, it might make you tired, but overall the texture isn’t far off from an oatmeal cookie.

It tastes a bit like one, too. There is definitely an oatmeal flavor to this bar, but I also think I detect a bit of cinnamon. I don’t really notice any granola presence, though. Maybe if it was a little bit crunchy it would be more obvious (or, for that matter, existent). For so much protein and so little extra crap, this actually tastes pretty good. Which is a relief, because I wouldn’t want to eat something that big if it tasted horrible.

I looked at the ingredients and sure enough, it lists cinnamon and raisin paste. It also lists granola flavor...hmm, I guess my taste buds aren’t up to par. Maybe real granola would do the trick. But that yummy yogurt coating? It’s high protein yogurt coating! So maybe the trick here is to up the protein by stuffing it other places than just the middle. Either way, it works. I would eat this one again...or maybe half of it, anyway. My only quibble is with the lack of crunch.

Taste: 8--lacking in the granola department, but the oatmeal and cinnamon are there.
Texture: 9--like an oatmeal cookie.
Health: 9--I was amazed at the protein content along with lack of other garbage.
Eat Again? Maybe, especially if it
’s free. :)

[nutrition information]
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