Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Quest Protein Bar Vanilla Almond Crunch

** Wow, this is my 100th post. Thank you everyone for bearing with me and reading along! :) **

So I ate a Life Choice Double Chocolate Protein bar the other night. It’s been forever since I ate one, even though there’s a box sitting down in my basement. Oh, it filled me up and it didn’t taste bad or anything (for a protein bar), but I certainly didn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I first discovered them.

I blame Quest bars. At first I was kind of surprised to learn that they offer free samples from their website for anyone to test out, but now I understand. They send you two free bars, you end up buying 12-packs for life. At least, that’s what happened to me (well, I won mine in a giveaway). That, and I got curious about trying other flavors because the ones they sent were just so good.

And so on the way home from Virginia Beach, we ended up stopping at a Vitamin Shoppe, which appears to be the only physical place you can buy these things. I picked up three new flavors (they were only sold individually), and one of them was Vanilla Almond Crunch.

Fast forward one week and here I am opening my spoils.

Nice and shiny, isn’t it? It was darker than I expected from something vanilla-flavored, but you can definitely see the almonds! In fact, looking at the ingredients, three of the first five (after protein and fiber) contain the word “almond.” Well, no false advertising here, I guess!

Here’s a close-up of the almonds and speckles. It sort of reminds me of the Cinnamon Roll bar, which has me really excited now.

It doesn’t smell all that potent, just a little sweet. To be honest there are two kinds of Quest bars based on smell: the ones that are chocolate-based and the ones that aren’t. Other than that they don’t really smell that very unique.

They do taste unique, though, and this one was a little puzzling at first. I got a faint cheesy flavor, but I’m pretty sure my taste buds were sending the wrong signals to my brain. Mainly it was sweet and maybe a little bit salty. The almonds surprisingly aren’t a huge player unless you bite into a noticeably big one. But that’s OK with me; in fact, this is one of my favorite flavors now. It’s the epitome of vanilla--sweet, inoffensive, mellow--with a nutty twist.

Yes, I did nuke the second half of this one too. That’s part of what I like about Quest bars. No coating means I can heat them up...and I don’t have to worry about storing them where they won’t melt all over their wrappers!

This bar held up well in the microwave. It was still pretty firm after 10 seconds, but when I bit into it, it had the easy consistency of soft cheese (we keep coming back to cheese here!). The microwave really brings out the vanilla flavor and catapults the score for this one almost to the top.

While this is one of the stickier flavors, it’s not as sticky as the Cinnamon Roll (you know what they say, if it’s messy it’s good). OK, none of them are messy, they don’t really stick to your fingers; just don’t put this bar down naked on a napkin like I did. Unless you think napkins add flavor.

Taste: 9--if you’re weird you might think of cheese, but overall it’s very sweet and mellow. Very vanilla-y after microwaving. One of my favorites so far.
Texture: 9--a little sticky, gummy like any protein bar, but once heated it’s soft and brownie-like.
Health: 10--no gluten, no active carbs, lots of fiber, and 20g of protein.
Eat Again? Yup!

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