Battle! Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Battle! is GrubGrade.com’s semi-regular feature pitting two comparable food items against each other. Whether it be fast food or snacks, Adam breaks down which item holds the trump card, and which should get your hard-earned dollar. Today we’re taking a look at two different approaches to protein bars. Both profess to give great chocolate peanut butter taste and top of the line nutrition, but only one can come out on top.
Yep, this is basically your ultimate hippie protein bar. The 60-gram “treat”, which lists more organic vegetables on the ingredient label than a Whole Foods salad bar, packs 270 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 12 grams of protein into what is described as “unprocessed, organic, and delicious.” My sample was provided free of charge from Amazing Grass, but you can buy them online for roughly $3 each.
Looking at the ingredients, I was, uh, skeptical to put it gently. Don’t get me wrong, organic peanut butter sounds good, but seeing stuff like wheat grass, broccoli, and something called “rose hips” doesn’t exactly spurn my appetite on. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised at how this bar tasted. For starters in smells and feels like a legit candy bar, and the outer coating has a milky chocolate taste which, thankfully, doesn’t resemble any vegetable I’m aware of. While a hemp-like taste is unmistakable in the background, the chocolate flavor, and intermittent peanut crunch, does well to mitigate any oft-tastes. While it’s not the moister of the two protein bars in its interior, it’s enjoyably chewy, with a few scattered peanuts thrown in to give good variety and crunch. The peanut butter flavor isn’t overwhelming, but then again, it tastes more rounded than many bars. Mostly I’m getting chocolate (fine by me) and that aftertaste of “Sanka, watcha smoking.” Not gonna lie though, even the odd aftertaste fades to the chocolate.
Nutrition wise, the bars 19 grams of sugar can be both a positive and a negative. I know a lot of people get all uppity about sugar, but after a long workout the simple carbs are definitely a nice boost to pick my energy back up and calm my muscles down, and given the 14 grams of fat and the fiber in the bar, the sugars aren’t likely to send you crashing. That being said, 12 grams of protein is a little on the scant size for a 270 calorie bar, and if I’m going to spend 3 dollars for a single bar, I’m usually looking for something with 20 or more grams.
This is one of the most popular protein bars on the market and for good reason. Usually retailing for $1 each (including the past of six I got on Walmart.com) they are affordable as far as protein bars go, while their 20 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar make for an attractive option for people looking to supplement meals.
Size wise, it’s smaller than the Amazing Grass Bar, and its chocolate coating lacks the richness or aroma of the chocolate in the Amazing Grass bar. The bar itself also lacks the hemp aftertaste, or any “off” flavors that come from a salad bar litany of ingredients. The peanut butter flavor is moderate, but the chocolate flavor is kind of a letdown, and comes off as very artificial. The sweetness is different from the Amazing Grass bar. Not that it’s unpleasant, but it’s - I don’t know - just kind of run-of-the-mill, and the chocolate coating has a weird, almost flavorless bite that doesn’t get melty or milky like the Amazing Grass bar. Softer than the Amazing Grass bar, it lacks the interesting mix-ins that give you variety in each bite. It’s not a bad protein bar taste wise, but it’s a protein bar taste wise – if that makes sense.
I can’t belive I’m about to say this, but for once in my life, I’m going to suggest not passing on grass. I went back and forth on this a few times, and while I think paying three bucks for 12 grams of protein is a raw deal (haha, get it, raw…eh, never mind) I can honestly say the bar with the funky ingredients and the hippie wrapper ultimately tasted better than the Pure Protein Bar. And, as anyone who has ever read this blog knows, I am all about taste. Whether from something artificial to something as natural as, heck, grass; if it tastes good, I’ll eat it and likely buy it. That’s why I give the slight edge to Amazing Grass.