Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: PR*Bar Oatmeal Raisin Granola

Most of the time I’m a hopeless chocolate addict. That applies to cookies and brownies, although maybe not ice cream...I really like cake flavors, caramel, French Vanilla, cookie dough.... You get the point. If it’s dessert, it needs to be just plain bad for you. Otherwise where’s the fun?

That said, every once in a while I do get a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies. Which is a problem because I am the only one in my house who will eat oatmeal raisin cookies, so they are a very, very, very infrequent occurrence.

So, I make do with granola bars. There was the Luna Iced Oatmeal Raisin, and then the Metragenix Granola Oatmeal. I used to eat those Quaker Chewy ones in Oatmeal Raisin when I was in middle school.

And then, in Wegmans a couple weekends ago, I saw a new addition: PR*Bars. I’d never heard of them before, but the display said 15g of protein, so of course I went over to look. There were the usual chocolate and brownie flavors, along with some interesting ones like Apple Pie and, of course Oatmeal Raisin Granola. That’s the one I picked up.

Apparently these are supposed to be part of a program called “fastburn nutrition” that helps you burn fat. The website even has this form you can fill out to get your personalized plan emailed to you. I tried it just for fun, and sure enough they emailed me a PDF with tons of information about glycemic index, protein, recovery, and of course comparisons of PR*Bars to other protein bars (namely PowerBar, Larabar, Clif, and Balance Bar). It also gave me my daily plan, which included three PR*Bars per day! One at breakfast, one for a “midday meal” (which is separate from lunch), and one for a late night snack. That could get pretty expensive....

Good thing my “plan” was just for kicks. I don’t want a regimen of PR*Bars, I really just want to eat it for fun and see if it tastes good!

It certainly appears to have all the components. I was prepared for the no-coating, because the website makes a big deal about how it’s easy to take on the go because there’s no messy coating melting everywhere. Personally, I think it enhances the resemblance to an oatmeal cookie.

Unfortunately, it’s sticky. Which sort of has the opposite effect from what they intended. Napkin, fingers, and consequently whatever you touch. It didn’t stick to my teeth, though.

This bar is really nothing to write home about. It’s mostly chewy, with a crispy component as well as some oaty texture. It’s also kind of dry. I’m not sure if that’s the right word to go with chewy, but I guess what I mean is it didn’t remind me of a cookie.

The taste was a little bland, not quite oatmeal raisin. The Metragenix bar had a better granola flavor, although this PR*Bar was more of the texture I was expecting from that one. The only taste that was right here was the raisins--when they were present, they took over, adding some much-needed moistness and a burst of flavor.

On the plus side, it was very filling. It’s the exact same size as a Balance Bar, but for some reason I was less hungry after eating this. Of course, that could be because of something I ate earlier. It wasn’t a terrible bar, and I do appreciate the opportunity to eat something oatmeal raisin-ish. But it’s certainly not something to write home about, and I won’t go out of my way to buy more. Given a choice of PR*Bars, I’d opt to try my luck with a different flavor rather than repeat this one.

Taste: 7--not very reminiscent of oatmeal or granola, although the raisins do a pretty good job of imitation raisins...wait...
Texture: 7--sticky, chewy with some crisps and oats, which is cool; but it’s also dry.
Health: 8--these seem pretty similar to Balance Bars (although they claim to be much better), with their perfectly-balanced nutrients to help you burn fat. has more sugar (16g) than protein (15g).
Eat Again? Probably not. There are so many other bars I like better, although I may try other flavors.

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