Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Froyo, Second Chance! (An Ice Cream Review)

Happy Easter everyone! This means it
’s time for my favorite Easter tradition of all...buying all the stores out of half-price Peeps and chocolate bunnies! Anyway, on the theme of resurrection, we
’re revisiting a previous Ben & Jerry
’s flavor today.

A while back I did a post on a fossilized pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Froyo. It had been in the freezer for way too long, the brownies had turned chalky and white, and the texture was terrible. So I felt it was only fair to give it a second chance, and since I recently revisited the full-fat version, now seemed as good a time as any.

This is the lowest-calorie offering that B&J’s has (I believe--correct me i f I’m wrong!), at 180 calories per half cup. That means I could theoretically crush the entire pint without feeling as guilty as I did after singlehandedly demolishing the full-fat version two weeks ago. BUT...I restrained myself this time and settled for 3/4. :)

Anyway, opening up the pint, I was certainly relieved to see brown brownies this time, and right on the surface, too! And digging down...

...reveals even more, huge, whole brownies. No powdery brownie residue this time, no chalk. But the texture is obviously not ice cream; it breaks when scooped, rather than being creamy, and comes out maintaining the shape of the container.

I noticed a couple things in comparison to the ice cream version. First, the froyo is a lighter chocolate flavor. It’s not as deep and delectable as the regular B&J’s base. Also, I mentioned the texture is easier to scoop and icier than actual ice cream; not that it’s icy per se, just not necessarily creamy. I let it melt for a bit, which helped, and added some caramel topping. Which is something I would NEVER do to an ice-cream based B&J’s flavor, because I firmly believe that they are meant to be enjoyed as is (OK, maybe a teeny bit of whipped cream, though I’ve never tried this). Honestly, any topping you put on is going to be so inferior to the ice cream/mix-in combo that it’ll only bring it down a notch.

OK, rambling aside...the brownies were affected oppositely. I actually liked them better in the froyo than in the full-fat version. I’m not sure why. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the full-fat stuff straight from the pint so it could melt better and get creamier (which also probably would have prevented me from eating the entire thing). Or maybe the chocolate ice cream base is just so good that the brownies pale in comparison, while the froyo isn’t as great a base. Or maybe my mind is just messed up. Anyway, the brownies are huge, chewy, and fudgy, although I did detect a few spots that felt like the edge of the pan had burnt a little--crunchy-turned-soggy in melted froyo sort of texture. But overall, they were very good.

Ben & Jerry’s Froyo confuses me. The Half Baked and Chocolate Fudge Brownie both seem to suffer from this obviously-froyo textural defect, but I have never, ever, ever detected it in the Phish Food (you won
’t catch me eating Cherry Garcia anytime soon)
. Maybe the marshmallow messes with the consistency. Whatever, I love it. In my opinion their best froyo, and I honestly can’t tell it from the original. (OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration...but it’s really hard!)

So I’d say, if you’re really interested in calorie savings, definitely try this. But in my opinion, the original isn’t really worth buying in the first place among all their other flavors.Too bad they don’t make more froyo...but I’ll always love my Phish Food!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review: ZonePerfect Kidz Yellow Cupcake Bar

You may remember that a while ago I received loads of free ZonePerfect bars for being chosen as their fan of the month. Those 80 bars should have been plenty to hold me over for the next year, yes?

No. I got a coupon to try these new Target-exclusive (as far as I can tell) Kidz bars for $2 off a box of five (which turned out to be half-price at my Target). I saw them in North Carolina when we checked out the Super Target across from one of the apartments, and despite not having the coupon with me I bought a box of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Since then I’ve been frequenting my local Target, because they were always out of the flavor I really wanted: Yellow Cupcake!

Now, these are smaller than your usual nutrition bar, but you have to remember that they’re meant for kids. My inner five-year-old was certainly hopping with excitement about trying this cake-flavored bar, because it’s not a flavor you see often. (For those who are curious, Metragenix’s White Crispy Crunch, while not named “Birthday Cake,” is supposed to taste like that.)

OK, so it doesn’t look terribly exciting. But it smells generically sweet like some vanilla mixture that could pass for cake, and it has a white coating! Better yet, the ingredients list it as yogurt flavored, so double score already!

Well, maybe I psyched myself up for this one a bit too much. At first, it’s really sweet, the same generic vanilla as the smell. And the coating? AWESOME. It’s the sweetest part, and very creamy and yogurty and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. But the problem is, after it melts in your mouth, all that’s left is a sour endnote, I’m guessing from the base. Luckily this isn’t so much an aftertaste as just the taste of the plain base, but it’s still not as fun as the packaging on these things.

In terms of texture, it’s mostly chewy, but there are a few crisps thrown in. They’re very subtle and don’t add a whole lot, except to make you wonder why there are crisps in something that’s supposed to resemble cake. But at the same time, I can see how breaking up the texture would keep the bar from being too boring.

I love love love the coating on this bar, but the base leaves a bit to be desired. So, I think I like the peanut butter one better...although it lacked the awesome coating, it wasn’t as sour and stayed truer to its description in terms of taste. But don’t worry, I’ll still finish this box! In fact, I did like them better than the Funfetti Pop Tarts, which is just as well because they’re a lot more nutritious!

Taste: 7--sweet at first, but the base is sour. The yogurt coating is what saves it.
Texture: 9--chewy with a few crisps; easy and pleasant to chew, even if cake and crispy don’t go together.
Health: 6--pretty sugary in relation to other ingredients, but that’s a kid thing.
Eat Again? Yes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: ZonePerfect Kidz Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar

ZonePerfect recently launched a new line of nutrition bars just for kids, created by kids at a workshop earlier this year. These Kidz bars have 5 grams of protein and come in three kid-friendly (at least they sound like it) flavors: Yellow Cupcake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Caramel Crunch.

I learned about these through an email containing a coupon. They’re available at Target, so when we scoped out the Super Target across from one of the apartments we toured in North Carolina, I went searching, even though I forgot to print the coupon. Since they were out of Yellow Cupcake, I picked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and immediately ripped the box open.

It’s nicely drizzled in chocolate, with no coating, and is slightly sticky and soft. It reminds me of the cookie dough bar; the only thing I can say is that I wish it was bigger! But then again, it is meant for kids. Just for size comparison, that’s a Quest bar on top:

So it’s not tiny, but small enough that I know it won’t completely fill me up. But it’ll be a good snack.

It smells less like peanut butter than chocolate, with a little bit of that fake peanut butter-protein smell I always detect with peanut butter nutrition bars. That carries over into the taste, which could pass for peanut butter if you take what you’re eating into consideration and don’t set your expectations too high. There is some “nutrition” taste, so you won’t be fooling your kids (or yourself) into thinking it’s dessert or anything like that. But it’s pretty sweet too. The taste is so hard to describe; it’s like peanut butter with a weird but tolerable twist. Not bad, not great, just...different, I guess.

The texture is almost exactly like that of the cookie dough bar. In fact, I’d say this is pretty much a miniature of that bar with a hint of funky peanut butter. It’s doughy and chewy, although there are little oat pieces mixed in. These give a weird soggy thud and hang around after the rest of the bar, so maybe it would be better without them. Certainly more like cookie dough, which would appeal to kids. The chocolate chips provide a good hard thud, but not much taste. They get swallowed up by the base.

Eating this bar alongside a bowl of Reese’s Puffs (that’s my inner child for you), I realized just how much it didn’t taste like peanut butter. But still, there’s something about it that’s slightly addicting. Perhaps the feeling of eating cookie dough. For a nutrition bar, it’s very well done, but for a kid who wants peanut butter...I think, unless they’re obsessed with nutrition (which I hope they aren’t at a young age!), they’ll go for actual PB or something like Reese’s Puffs. But for me, I’ll be back for more, and keeping an eye out for the other flavors!

Taste: 7.5--sweet, but slightly proteiny; peanut butter is not very strong.
Texture: 9--soft like cookie dough, and chewy; the oats are an odd inclusion, but the chocolate chips give a nice thud.
Health: 6--the sugar content is pretty high when compared to the other nutrients, probably due to the “kid factor.”
Eat Again? Yes.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: NoGii Mint Chocolate High Protein Bar

So I didn’t actually eat chocolate mint on National Chocolate Mint Day, but I ate this NoGii High Protein Chocolate Mint bar the day after Chocolate Mint Day, so that should count for something. This bar was part of a prize pack that I won at Christmas, which included five other bars (some of which I’ve already reviewed), a cool bag, a t-shirt, and The G-Free Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck (which is an interesting read, even if gluten-free isn’t your thing).

This bar smells like a peppermint patty as soon as you unwrap it. I’ve found in general that mint protein bars usually taste and smell like Girl Scout cookies, simply because mint is such a strong flavor that it mutes the base, while the coating is still discernible.

The same is true here. It’s like a crunchy or crispy peppermint patty, which I guess is basically a thin mint. All the thin mint components are there: obviously, the mint and the chocolate coating. But the inside also reminds me of the crunchy cookie part of a thin mint, because it’s a denser crisp than a Rice Krispies Treat. It’s very satisfying and not at all proteiny.

The chocolate coating is really smooth and silky, and complements the crisp and mint flavor perfectly. In fact, I liked this bar better than the peanut butter flavor. It really is almost like a cookie, and I could definitely fool myself into thinking this was dessert.

Taste: 10--it is basically a big thin mint.
Texture: 8--dense and crispy, almost an Oreo cookie-like crisp..
Health: 8--it has 17 grams of protein and is certified gluten-free. However, soy is listed before whey on the ingredients panel.
Eat Again? Yes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Perry's Light Cinnamon Ice Cream Review

Usually when I eat ice cream, it needs to have something super sweet like chocolate or caramel in it. Especially caramel. But every once in a while I’ll get a craving for something different to break it up. Which is what happened at Wegmans the last time I went.

New for 2013, Perry’s has introduced Cinnamon ice cream: “light (140 calories per half-cup) cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon graham swirls.”

It just spoke to me. I don’t have cinnamon ice cream that often, although there’s still a bit of Turkey Hill’s Baklava Greek frozen yogurt left in my freezer. Other than that, the closest I’ve come is Blue Bunny’s Cup O’Coffee Cake, but their cinnamon was just plain disappointing. Hopefully this one will be better. well, it is
“perfectly churned,” how bad can that be?

Now, I know some companies seal their cartons in plastic, but I’d never actually seen it until now. It’s definitely unique...and slightly annoying when you’re madly hungry and craving some sweet cinnamon streusel!

On the surface it looks pretty unassuming, but after digging down I uncovered the swirls.

These swirls are decent, but not nearly as good as the swirls in Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns or even the Baklava Greek yogurt. Why? They’re not gooey. The description says “cinnamon graham swirls,” not streusel, and you can tell the difference. These are dry and crunchy swirls, and the graham-cracker aspect is definitely present. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, I would have liked more swirls than they gave me, but I do like my goo. :)

The cinnamon ice cream itself has a cinnamon-streusel taste, but it’s rather light and fluffy. That’s fine, it’s light ice cream after all, but bottom line it a scoop of this stuff isn’t going to fill you up  like a scoop of premium ice cream. Also, the texture is funny because there’s a grit, and I can’t tell if it’s inherent in the base or if it’s the swirl pervading everything.

Still, it’s a good solid cinnamon-graham combination. If you want cinnamon rolls, this might leave you a bit disappointed. I will most definitely finish the container, but i probably won’t buy it again. My cinnamon ice cream cravings just aren’t frequent enough to justify it (and no one else will eat this, trust me).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Detour Lower Sugar Neapolitan

Everyone knows what Neapolitan ice cream is. It’s the go-to ice cream that comes in giant generic tubs in the grocery store that parents buy for their kids’ elementary-school birthday parties, because everyone is going to like at least one of either chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. And if not, well, that kid probably shouldn’t be eating your ice cream anyway.

Anyway, Detour has come out with a new flavor based on this classic (if, in my opinion, boring) combination. I got one free during their Facebook celebration of its release, and it finally came in the mail, surviving quite well in a simple bubble-wrap coating envelope:

“A triple play of delicious ice cream inspired flavors – a rich milk chocolate soft set layer sandwiched between creamy vanilla and sweet strawberry nougat – melt together in a one-of-a-kind taste experience.”
This is the Lower Sugar Neapolitan bar. It’s rather pretty with that white drizzle, I wonder what made them add that.... Anyway, it smells like strawberry before you even break it.

Well, it certainly looks like the packaging indicated (a little bit bright pink though!), which I always appreciate. Kind of looks like those yucky little sugar wafer cookies, doesn’t it? The chocolate layer is the thinnest, and the other two appear to be the protein bases. The artificial strawberry smell is even stronger now, but I can still smell the chocolate coating too.

This bar is pretty up front in its presentation; what you see (and smell) is what you get. The strawberry is definitely the most noticeable flavor, with the chocolate coating a close second. The vanilla...honestly, how can you tell? “Vanilla” usually translates into “generic background flavor that is plain and boring and could really be just about anything,” and is usually just there to mix other things into. There is a slight hint of a protein bitterness, but the strawberry mostly cancels it out and after a few bites it’s not even noticeable.

This bar is very soft and nougaty, like the description says, but with a slight crisp to the base. It’s very easy to chew, though maybe a bit gummy. As far as I can tell, there’s no textural difference between the layers.

What sold me on this bar is the way the strawberry mixes with the smooth, rich chocolate coating. There’s just something about the smoothness and subtlety of the whole thing that other chocolate/strawberry bars don’t quite pull off. It blows thinkThin’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries out of the water.

Taste: 9--mostly the sweet artificial strawberry, which goes perfectly with the chocolate coating. The vanilla is negligible..
Texture: 10--very soft, a little gummy, nougaty and smooth. The chocolate coating is very smooth and creamy.
Health: 8--as part of the lower-sugar line, it’s a lower carb option, but it replaces the sugar with sugar alcohols, so watch out. 15 grams of protein is a plus.
Eat Again? Yes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Breyers Chips Ahoy! Blasts! (An Ice Cream Review)

OK, so you know I’m a fan of some of Breyers’ Blasts! flavors. But truth be told, the only review I wrote that was truly the first time I tried one was for the new Birthday Blast! So, since I was getting a little bored with my usual flavors, I decided to go for something new this time.

I chose the Chips Ahoy! flavor because I was craving something with chocolate, and I’ve eaten both the cookie dough and brownie Blasts! before. So this one satisfies both requirements, with “Blasts of Mini CHIPS AHOY!® cookies, chocolatey chunks and fudge swirls in each creamy scoop.” Plus, it says the base is cookie-flavored frozen dairy dessert, and I’m dying to know what that means.

Without even scooping you can already see several large cookie pieces and a bunch of chocolate swirl...they aren’t messing around here, that’s for sure. It makes it hard to isolate the base for a taste test, but the best I can tell, it’s this funky sweet taste. It’s not vanilla, that’s for sure, but I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s not as sweet as the Birthday Blasts! base, but definitely good for someone craving a sugar rush.

The chocolate components, despite their appearance, are actually pretty subtle here against the sweet base. Maybe I was just too busy trying to sort out its weirdness, but the chocolate swirl seems to become more of a background complement to the cookie theme than a major player itself. The chocolate flakes (they’re really too small to be called chunks) aren’t noticeable until you finish chewing, and they leave a chocolatey filling in your molars. Personally, I love that feeling. My dentist, however, may feel differently. The flakes add some hard crunch.

The cookies are both large and plentiful. They remind me of the cookies in Cookie Crisp cereal, only they taste like Chips Ahoy! (Duh!) It’s kind of cute that, instead of using cookie chunks, they used whole mini cookies. It’s like the ones you get in those snack baggies of Famous Amos or whatnot. They’re neither crunchy like traditional Chips Ahoy! nor soft like cookie dough, but kind of soggy in that milk-soaked way. It’s a good soggy, but if you’re looking for a solid crunch, you’ll be dependent on the chocolate flakes here.

When the cookies are factored in, I think the base does pass for “cookie-flavored,” or at least it works well with the other ingredients to produce an overall feeling of eating a chocolate chip cookie in ice cream form. I really enjoyed this I was really depressed when I went to scoop some more the next night and discovered I’d accidentally left it out for 24 hours! I’ll admit that I copped a few spoonfuls anyway, and it actually tasted good enough that I would have kept going if not for the fear of food poisoning. Ooops.

So, I’m off to buy more. This one is worth buying, if only to say you’ve eating cookie-flavored frozen dairy dessert. Or like me, you could always drink it. :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Clif Bar Peppermint Stick

It’s funny how Christmas items appear on shelves months before the actual holiday. Same thing with Christmas music on the radio--the day after Thanksgiving it’s all you hear, and, at least on the country station at the barn, it’s always the same songs. Instead of Jack and Jill on booze and pills, it’s Hazel’s Hallelujah Punch, and instead of wives dying of cancer or childbirth it’s Grandma meeting the Grim Reaper under the hooves of a rampaging reindeer. Christmas music and country are bad enough on their own, do we really need to combine them?

OK, now that I’ve alienated all of the country music fans and Christmas carolers out there, those who remain are probably in agreement with me that candy canes are annoying.

No? Oops. I just lost the rest of you didn’t I?

If I don’t like candy canes, why did I buy the Peppermint Stick Clif bar when it came out around Halloween? Because it (and the Pumpkin Spice bar next to it) were limited edition, that’s why! Now, since that was probably late October/early November, and seeing as it’s now February 20 as I write this review (and  who knows how long until I actually publish it...), this bar has been sitting in my basement for a while.

It’s not that I don’t like peppermint, it’s just that I don’t like it very much. Definitely not enough to be sucking on it for more than a few minutes. But that’s OK, because you don’t suck on Clif bars (normally), and the peppermint does not make up the entire bar. Although it does smell that way.

Well, it smells like a candy cane and it tastes like one too. Sort of. It’s weird to have an oaty background taste and texture to your candy cane, and the oats and peppermint mix kind of weirdly here. On the plus side, I usually get a funny bland taste from Clif bars, which is completely covered up by the peppermint in this one.

The texture is the standard molasses/oats chew. It’s not too easy to eat, but not tiring either. There is a bit of crisp to the base as well, though no candy cane-ish crunch, and nothing gets stuck in your teeth as if you were chewing hard candy. So I’m not sure if there are real peppermint candy pieces in this bar, or just peppermint flavoring.

Taste: 7--candy cane with a hint of oats, which can be a bit off-putting.
Texture: 8--molasses-y, chewy, and a bit crispy.
Health: 8--it’s an energy bar, so it has a lot more sugar than protein and other nutrients. GoodGuide doesn’t have a score for this specific flavor, but rates the Clif bars in general around an 8.4 for health.
Eat Again? Nah.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Life is Like a Container of Greek Yogurt

Fair warning before you decide to plunge on and put up with my ramblings: I’m feeling rather frustrated at the moment. So that will probably (definitely) color the rest of the post.

Why am I frustrated? Well, I started the day by sleeping through my alarm God knows how many times, until I finally woke up an hour and a half later than I meant least it was a weekend! But missing my alarm always puts me in a bad mood, and I meant to spend a lot of today studying for my math exam this Thursday. Not a good way to start the day.

Then the YMCA was hosting an underwater Easter egg hunt, which is great for the kids and all...but only half of the pool was open and the swimmers in the open lanes were all terrible splashers. Add that to cold water and aqua-jogging wasn’t much fun either. :( And my bathing suit ripped (luckily just the outer layer of a two-layer fabric), so I had to stop at Dick’s for a new one. Actually, I bought two because I go through them so fast.

On top of that, my adviser told me after reading my thesis draft that I needed more analysis. So I wrote up a more in-depth analysis section, emailed it to him, and have yet to hear from him. That was Wednesday, and he’s usually pretty punctual. I’m starting to get anxious because this paper is due April 8, and two people have to read and approve the whole 110-ish pages before then. So if I need to do more research or rearranging or editing, I want to know ASAP! I emailed again this afternoon just to make sure he really got the first one, but now I’m thinking I’m starting to be annoying. I don’t want to be that nagging student. ;)

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose these are just small bumps in a road that will ultimately lead...well, I guess I don’t really know exactly where, beyond an apartment complex in Durham, North Carolina. Which reminds me of how lucky I really am. I have a great job already secured, a family that supports my decision, a horse and a pony who are always happy to see me even if it’s only because of the food in my hand, and a really good university right in my backyard. Oh yeah, and some pretty awesome friends, including a froyo buddy and the one who got me my job. :)

It just takes a different perspective. Like adding Truvia to a rather nasty chocolate concoction.

Wait, what?

All right, maybe not the best segue into last night’s experimental food mixing. But how else was I supposed to go from my frustrating day to chocolate Greek yogurt?

All I did was add one tablespoon of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder and a packet of Truvia to a container of plain Greek yogurt, thinking it would be something like the Funfetti yogurt I made before. But it turns out there are some differences between cocoa powder and Funfetti cake mix.

First off, cocoa powder is a lot dustier. It poofs everywhere and is really hard to clean up, but beyond that it soaks up the moisture in the yogurt and makes it hard to mix at first. I should have added my tablespoon a bit at a time instead of all at once. Oh well, learn from your mistakes, right?

But the key difference is in that word “unsweetened.” I could have pounded down the Funfetti mix sans Truvia if I had to, but no way would that work with the chocolate version. It just made me never want to look at chocolate again (yes, I foolishly tasted it even though I knew it would need sweetener, don’t ask why). And even after adding the Truvia, it still wasn’t sweet enough for me.

I stopped at two packets because three seemed a little excessive. The result was mildly chocolatey, but nothing deep or dark or mind-changing. It was still a little tangy, which might throw you off. I definitely prefer the Funfetti version, but I may try this with the Special Dark cocoa powder that’s sitting in the cupboard....

OK, so it wasn’t perfect. But that’s life. If we want to take, we have to give a little. And who knows, maybe you’ll discover that tangy chocolate is your thing. ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Some More Fun Thesis Fuel...

Hey guys! Some recent discoveries as I continue my thesis has been submitted for format review and to my advisor as a rough draft to look at content. Needless to say, he wants more work! These things are never perfect the first time. But anyway....

Remember how I wasn’t going to buy marshmallow fluff ever again? Well, I wasn’t...until I walked past the peanut butter shelf at Giant and there at the bottom was toasted marshmallow fluff! Umm, yes please! So I foolishly picked it up. It’s addictive and divine and, just like its plain sibling, I can’t stop eating it straight from the spoon. Slightly healthier than eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s S’mores ice cream just for the toasted marshmallow swirl...but not much. My favorite sandwich is now fluff and caramel ice cream topping. It’s super sweet and super sticky. This stuff is also great for people like me who don’t actually like the cookie part of the Oreo, because if you scrape out the cream you can put so much fluff on that the cookies don’t really taste like Oreo cookies anymore.

Oh, and for a twist on s’mores? That cookie dough dip I made last week spread on a graham cracker with this fluff. It’s sort of peanut buttery, so it’s like a Fluffernutter s’more. This could potentially be a sandwich, too...hmm, the possibilities are endless! But far and away my favorite way to eat it is straight from the tub. :)

Same day, same store, different food group: French toast bread! They had French toast bagels, too, but they didn’t feel very fresh. Plus, three pieces of bread is roughly one bagel, and you can put butter on so much more surface area of the bread that way! Because this is awesome toasted (just a little, so it’s not crispy) and spread with liberal amounts of butter (OK, margarine). I love Panera’s French toast bagels, but I’m hardly ever out there, and they’re a bit pricier than the Giant store brand bread. So I was super excited to find that they exist elsewhere! I’ll be sad when it’s gone.

And, finally...snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches. Seems like a weird time of year for that (aren’t snickerdoodles a Christmas thing, or is that just my wrong impression?). But Skinny Cow has these limited edition sandwiches, which are made of oatmeal cookie wafers and low-fat cinnamon ice cream. Maybe not quite as filling as the M&M’s ones we usually get, but it’s a fun flavor that I’ve never seen before, and they do taste good! Actually, the flavor is a nice complement to the French toast.

Well, that’s it for the update. No, wait! I forgot to share the most exciting news...I have an apartment now! It’s been reserved for me and I move in on Memorial Day, which will give me a few weeks to settle in before I fly to New York for orientation and then start my job. I don’t know whether to be excited or overwhelmed at the thought of furnishing a whole apartment. But I am looking forward to the end of the semester now. Only six weeks to go! Thanks to everyone who’s been sticking with you guys! :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Supreme Protein Carb Conscious Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Crunch

I had a conversation with the guy at GNC the last time I was there (his first question: “No coupons this time?”), and he confirmed what I already suspected: There are indeed only two employees who work there. So I guess it’s inevitable that they come to know me as the coupon lady (even though I’m not ready to be a called “lady” yet).

Anyway, I didn’t have any coupons for once, I just wanted some protein bars...and maybe some of those free sample calcium and B12 chews they always have sitting out. :) Anyway, while I was there I picked out this Supreme Protein Carb Conscious Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Crunch bar. Whew, what a mouthful! But the length of that name befits the size of this bar--it’s really big!

Oh nice, it was even on sale...I didn’t notice that when I bought it. I guess I just have good instincts. ;)

It also smells like peanut butter, which is promising. You can see some peeking through that hole in the coating.

There are three layers: the wafer, the protein base, and then some creamy peanut butter on top...OK, four layers if you count the coating. The peanut butter, of course, is the thinnest layer. Funny how that always works.

Despite that thinness, the peanut butter flavor is really strong in this bar. On my first bite I thought I tasted protein, but that bite didn’t have any peanut butter in it (the hazards of breaking them for pictures...), and the rest of the bar mostly reminded me of chocolate-peanut butter candy. And whereas other bars taste a little fake, this one actually tasted like peanut butter from the jar.

I’m not a huge fan of wafers (especially those stupid little brown, orange, and pink
cookies...yuck!), so the texture wasn’t a huge success for me. I did enjoy how the top layer of peanut butter and coating got stuck to the roof of my mouth, though--sort of like real peanut butter. The wafer is...what can I say besides crunchy? The peanut butter and the wafer are both easy to cut through, but they surround a hard (it then gets chewy in your mouth) base, so it’s a bit weird when you suddenly meet resistance during a bite. The crisps in the top of the coating were nice, but I found that they irritated the top of my mouth when I tried to push through that tough base.

At first I wasn’t sure about this bar. For certain, I’d like it a lot more without the  wafer--I tend to like chewy protein bars. But the pure peanut buttery-ness of this bar more than made up for that. It’s like a crispy Reese’s cup.

Taste: 10--peanut butter + chocolate. ’Nuff said.
Texture: 9--the peanut butter is creamy and real, but I’m not a huge fan of the crunchy wafer. And the base is disconcertingly hard in comparison, though it turns gummy as you chew.
Health: 6--it has 60% of the recommended daily saturated fat allowance for the large bar, so maybe cutting it in half or buying the smaller one is a better idea. That said, 30 grams of protein is a lot, and most of it is whey. Sub it for a peanut butter candy bar and you’d be fine.
Eat Again? Yes.