Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: NoGii Peanut Butter Caramel Crisp Super Protein Bar

About halfway through the book The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, I decided to try the Peanut Butter Caramel Crisp Super Protein Bar by NoGii. I won both items through a Christmastime Twitter giveaway, and I’ve found the book almost as interesting as the protein and nutrition bars that came with it. ;)

Anyway, the Super Protein bar only comes in this flavor (as far as I can tell), and it’s mega-big! It’s also mega-sugary and calorie-dense, at 390 calories and 22 grams of sugar (total carbs: 38 grams, only 3 of which are fiber).

I think something happened to this bar either during shipment or while it sat on my kitchen counter for a few days, because the coating is all weird and flaky. Then again, if you’re going to eat a meal replacement bar, you want something that’s going to hold up well in all conditions. And really, I haven’t abused this bar at all.

Despite its name, it smells mostly like chocolate, maybe a little bit of peanut butter. Which is funny, because the taste is the exact opposite: the chocolate is really more of a background player. I can definitely taste the peanut butter; it’s salty and maybe a very little bit proteiny. The only thing was, I totally forgot there was “caramel” in the title until I was almost finished, because I couldn’t taste it at all. On the other hand, it was pretty sweet--sweeter than you’d expect from something solely peanut butter--so maybe that was the influence of the caramel.

This bar is made up of rice crisps, but it’s a very soft crisp. If you like that crunchy sound when you bite into a Rice Krispies Treat, you won’t get your fix here. But that’s fine with me; my main issue here is with the coating. This is by far the messiest and most annoying bar I’ve ever tried, with the coating flaking off everywhere and, when it landed, effectively smearing itself onto whatever surface I tried to swipe it off of. On the one hand, it’s a very smooth and sliky chocolate texture. On the other, it’s a pain in the butt to clean up after eating this bar.

So, in the plus side: it tastes pretty good, especially considering how picky I am about peanut butter protein bars. And I liked the crispy texture. On the downside: it may have you bouncing off the walls, but at least you’ll have the energy (if not the attention span ;)) to clean up the pile of coating flakes and smears.

Taste: 8.5--I’d like to see more caramel, but it really was quite peanut buttery for a protein bar. The chocolate is also good quality.
Texture: 6--if not for all the mess, I’d give it an 8, because it really is nice and crispy. Although, going with the above caramel comment, I wouldn’t mind some gooey caramel in there.
Health: 7--the main issue is the carbs and sugar, which some people might find too high. But, it could also be an ideal post-workout energy source. Being gluten free is also a plus.
Eat Again? This really is a tough call, because I liked the taste. Maybe my bar was a mess fluke.

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