Product Review: CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar

CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar

CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar

Product: CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar – $1.49+

As an active and extremely busy on-the-go girl, I often find myself in places where I need something to eat, and given my dietary restrictions…that’s not always a simple thing.  I always…always…have some form of a snack bar or protein bar on hand.  And while my usual go-to’s include KIND, Lärabar, and Luna Protein…I have since been expanding on my protein bar options.

Leave it to my roommate then, to head out to the grocery store on an errand and return with some gluten-free bars that were on Manager’s Special.  This is always a nice treat to find gluten-free anything market down at the grocery store…usually by half price.  The bars were the CLIF Mojo Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bars…of which she grabbed one of each variety that were on the markdown.

I went out of town this past weekend, and while I knew I’d have plenty of options in the Columbus area (and my friend Jenn is awesome at keeping gluten-free stuff around for me!), I wasn’t so sure if I’d need something to eat on the journey home.  So, as usual, I threw a couple of bars into the food bag we haul with us everywhere…and I was so so glad we did.  About the time we hit Columbus, my delicious breakfast had been burned through and my stomach was starting to grumble that it was hungry.  We were trying to race bad weather (that never hit!) home, so stopping somewhere wasn’t an option.  Besides, there are only a couple of places I have been to and would trust in Cincinnati…and we weren’t anywhere near them at that point.  As we didn’t go to Dayton to hit up Sinfully Gluten Free, nor did we go to Cherbourg Bakery while in Columbus, there were no gluten-free baked treats begging for devouring.

But…we each had our bars.  So, at the first chance I had, I dug through the bag and found Cathy a bar and then dug around more, pulling out the first CLIF Mojo Fruit and Nut Trail Mix Bar I could find.

It just so happened to be the Wild Blueberry Almond Bar.

Sounded yummy as I am a huge fan of both blueberries and almonds.  It was like it was made to make me one happy girl at that point.

I unwrapped it, making immediate note as to how the CLIF Mojo Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bars looked a lot like the KIND bars that I love.  That was definitely a good sign, for sure.  I snapped pictures for the blog, then broke off my first piece to taste.  I was hoping it was as good as the KIND bars I rave about constantly.

Guess what?  It was amazing.  Huge flavor, partially because the fruit part of this bar is from real, organic, wild blueberries.  Seriously…you can see the berries when you bite into or break off pieces of the bar.  They are one of the most prominant ingredients too.  With almonds being the second.  And since the bar is the CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar…I suppose it better be full of blueberries and almonds.  You won’t be disappointed.  The blueberries bring this amazing sweetness to each bite, and the almonds counter it with that little crunch and that saltiness.  It finds perfect balance between both tastes and makes for one fantastic bar to eat on the go.  I was won over by the first bite.  And I’m super excited that I have three other flavors left at home in my running snack drawer to try.  But the CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar is one fantastic bar.  Serious flavor without a serious amount of calories.

So, let’s talk ingredients, shall we?  The CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar is made from: almonds, organic currant raisins, organic tapioca syrup, organic wild blueberries, organic cashews, organic rice crisps, organic roasted soybeans, organic inulin, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, citric acid, natural flavor, and natural vitamin E.  This bar is gluten-free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, and is low glycemic.

A serving of the CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar is one bar.  In this one bar, you will be provided with 160 calories and 8 grams of fat.  Do not panic over that fat count through, most of that comes naturally from the nuts, and is a healthy fat.  You will also be taking in 110 mg sodium and 12 grams of sugar.  Yes…the sugar does seem high…but I’m hoping a lot of that is naturally occurring in the fruit.  In addition, you get 210 mg potassium, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.  Yes…you will feel full after consuming this bar.  And that’s the whole point of a bar like this.  You don’t want to eat it and feel hungry an hour later.  You want something that will stick with you for awhile.  And the CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar does just that.

Super delicious!!  If you haven’t tried the gluten-free CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bars, I highly encourage you to head to the grocery store and pick some up.  I can definitely recommend this flavor.  Just a burst of sweet and salty in each bite, making this one epic bar…any time you like.  Trust me…you won’t be disappointed.

CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar (unwrapped)

CLIF Mojo Wild Blueberry Almond Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bar (unwrapped)

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Product Review: Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar

Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar

Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar

Product: Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar – $2.49

As you know, I am always on the lookout for more and different protein bars, as I am an athlete on the go!  I usually consume a protein bar on weekends away, or perhaps before a race (with time to digest, of course), and sometimes after I hit up the gym for my weights sessions.

I have my go-to brands…Lärabar, thinkThin, and KIND to name a few.  All of them are certified gluten-free and carry a good portion of protein to help rejuvenate me after or before a hard workout.  When I’m traveling, they also make fantastic snacks and/or food options when nothing else is available.

So, imagine my surprise and my joy when my June Cuisine Cube showed up in the mail and it included an energy bar as a mid-day pick-me-up snack option.  Not just any energy bar…one that was two of my favorite things…Chocolate Peanut Butter flavored!  The Cuisine Cube, as I explained before, tends to include products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and a snack.  And every now and again…a bonus.  In June, the bonus was the energy bar.  And it sounded amazing.

I had never heard of Grab the Gold before, and was quite curious as to what their version of an energy bar would be like.  I’ve had some good ones in my time and some really, really bad ones.  But, I have come to trust my Cuisine Cube and the choices of products that go inside.  I had a run and some weights to do this morning, and my breakfast beforehand was simply cereal.  Delicious cereal, but by the time I finished up at the gym, I was ready for something to eat.

I packed my roommate and I each a protein bar.  She had her favorite Lärabar (ALT Lemon Pound Cake…in case you were wondering!).  I decided to give the one I received in my Cuisine Cube a try.  So, that was what emerged from my bag in the car to eat on the way to her family’s house to sort out some (who am I kidding…TONS) of items in the garage.  I was going to need reinforcements.  So, I unwrapped the gorgeous golden foil wrapper and unveiled an unassuming round bar.  Little flecks of oats and chocolate chips were visible.  I broke off a piece for my roomie to try and then I took a bite.

You know those amazing no-bake cookies?  Yeah…that’s what this bar tasted like.  A fantastic no-bake cookie.  Talk about a treat!  Great texture and taste too.  It was chocolatey without being too candy-like.  It had that nice hit of peanut butter.  The oats gave it that cookie-like texture.  The chocolate chips were that little burst of flavor in each bite.  And the round shape made for a nice change of pace from other bars on the market.

A little bit of history…the Grab the Gold Protein Snack Bars were created by 16 year old Danielle Ontiveros, who didn’t like typical breakfast food growing up and preferred something lighter in the mornings, since she was never hungry.  This was the end of the 80s and there weren’t a lot of choices for protein bars.  Most were expensive and didn’t taste good, so Ontiveros told her mother she wanted to make her own bars.  She pulled out items from the cupboards and began measuring, mixing, and recording what she was doing.  She began to market the bars to friends, family and neighbors and soon her business was born.  The reason these bars are round is that Ontiveros was concerned with fairness and equality and wanted to be sure everyone got the same size bars.  Cutting them into squares never yielded uniform bars in size and thickness.  Then she got the idea to weight the batter into equal parts and put them into a muffin tin.  The perfect, uniform, and round bar was born.

So, now that we know how these were made and why they are so good…let’s look at the nitty-gritty stuff.  Yep…nutrition and ingredients.

The Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar is made from organic oats, peanut butter, soy nuggets (soy flour), glucose syrup, cane sugar, semisweet chocolate chips, fruit juice, brown rice dextrins, canola oil, soy lecithin, natural cocoa powder, and vanilla.  This bar is gluten-free, cholesterol free, dairy free, vegan, contains no high fructose corn syrup, contains no preservatives, contains no trans fats, and is a sort of high fiber.

As fur nutrition, the Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bar is right on par, if not better, than other bars on the market.  One serving is one bar.  This bar contains 193 calories and 5 grams of fat.  One bar also provides73 mg sodium 345 mg potassium, and 12 grams of sugar.  I admit, it is high in sugar…higher than I normally like.  Might be why it tastes like a cookie.  But DAMN…it’s worth it.  Yum!  One bar also gives you 7 grams of filling fiber and 11 grams of protein.  You actually will feel full after eating this bar.  Trust me!

So, Cuisine Cube sent me another winner!  I hope to order some of the Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bars in the near future, if I can’t find any in local stores.  As I have never seen or heard of these before now, it’s more likely I’ll be ordering online or from Cuisine Cube’s store.  But…I am now completely and forever hooked on these.  Like having dessert for breakfast…but one that will last you for a couple of hours.

Well done!

Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar (unwrapped)

Grab the Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Snack Bar (unwrapped)

Product Review: Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly

Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly

Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly

Product: Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly – $2.39+

This was it.  The final Quest Bar that I picked up on my excursion to Jungle Jim’s back in April.  I have been more then…ehhhh…on these bars.  Which, honestly, makes me sad because I heard so many people talk them up.  I had such high hopes for them.  And from the first one (too chewy)…to the next one (still hurt to chew so much)…to this…the last one…I stick with my initial assessment.

The Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly was my post-run protein this weekend.  I’m really short on money right now…so catching a bite out was not happening.  Ice cream didn’t even happen this weekend.  Yeah.  And it was a miserably humid weekend.  Ice cream would have been the best thing ever.  But…budgets are budgets and have to be lived with.  So…following my run, this…was my breakfast.

As mentioned before, I’m on the fence.  I don’t know whether I like these or loathe them.  And this one in particular…kind of has me perplexed more than usual.  Because…as with the previous one…it tastes just like the wrapper describes it.  It tastes…like peanut butter and jelly.  More like jelly…strawberry jelly…but it has that peanut butter flavor in there as well.  So, the taste and flavor are totally there.

But that chewy texture.  That overly chewy texture that makes my jaw ache after having to chew it down to some semblance of something I can swallow…that’s what is offputting on these.  Otherwise, I’d be all about them.  But, the fact that all three of them, some more than others albeit, have brought about an ache in my jaw from the amount and intensity of chewing I have to do in order to get it down…speaks volumes.  It tells me…that these bars are not worth the money.

Sure, flavor-wise, they are spot on.  All three have tasted like what they are advertised to taste like.  This one, especially, does a great job with the flavor profile.  That being said, I just can’t handle this thick, tough bar.  After I run, I have the runchies and am rungry.  The last thing I want to do is go to battle with my food.  Usually I don’t want to chew all that much either…so…yeah…this, while great nutrition-wise after a long run, not so great as far as actually being able to consume it easily.  My jaw should not feel like it has run a marathon.

I have read, however, that if you microwave these bars, they get soft and that almost-gooey consistency of a fresh-baked cookie.  I don’t travel with a microwave, however, and as these are meant as meal replacements or supplements, I don’t think a microwave should even factor into the equation.  Fine if you’re at a gym where there is one that is accessible.  That isn’t the case at my gym…because I use these on days my gym is the open road that goes on for miles.  Many…many…many miles!

Too bad.  I was so excited about the Quest Bars.

Let’s talk ingredients in this bar.  The Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly is made from a combination of protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate), isomalto-oligosaccarides (prebiotic fibers derived from plant sources), peanuts, almonds, water, sea salt, lo han guo, sucralose, and natural flavors.  Where the jelly flavor comes from…I couldn’t even tell you!

Nutritionally speaking, a serving size is one bar.  One bar contains 200 calories and 10 grams of fat.  Much of that fat is from the almonds and peanuts that are involved.  Those are healthy fats.  This bar contains less than 5 mg of cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, and only 2 grams of sugar.  That low sugar is one of the things that drew me to these bars.  This bar has 17 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein.  FILLING!  Too bad it wasn’t filling and delicious.

So…I think this is where Quest Bar and I part ways.  Sadly.  I was so excited to try these, and then they went and let me down…in a big way.  They were just a disappointment to me.  And I was just expecting so much more from them.  The Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly…was the last bar in my drawer…and will be the last Quest Bar in my drawer.  On to trying something else that is new and different…

I gave it a shot…but these aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly

Quest Bar Peanut Butter and Jelly

Product Review: Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar

Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar

Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar

Product: Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar – $2.39+

I’m finding I am very on-the-fence about these bars.  I’d heard so much good buzz about them, but I’m still not sure I actually like them or not.  HA!  Does that sound odd?  I believe most of it has to do with the texture more than anything else.  Because the flavor, much like last time, was there.  And, thank the protein bar gods…this was still chewy…but not as chewy as the Chocolate Peanut Butter one…so at least my jaw didn’t get tired and start hurting.

That being said…it’s Sunday.  And sometimes on Sunday I just don’t have time to prepare a breakfast.  I am usually very busy.  So, when this happens…it’s always nice to have something in the apartment that I can just grab-and-go.  My stash of gluten-free protein bars definitely fits that bill.  And when things were getting hectic and go…go…go…today, I was happy to have packed one of the protein bars from the kitchen.

I know…real food is best…but a Cinnamon Roll flavored protein bar is probably more nutritious than a real cinnamon roll.  It is, however, not as delicious.

So, let’s get down to the (literal) nitty-gritty of this product, shall we?

Since I love cinnamon rolls.  Honestly…there is really nothing better than a hot, gooey, fresh cinnamon roll.  They have always been one of my favorite breakfast pastries…but they are so guilt-inducing.  Not that it stops me from downing one or two at a time.  The thing is…they are tasty, they are awesome, but they aren’t exactly healthy.

Quest Bar is striving to bring some of the best and most popular flavor combinations that happen in nature to their line-up of protein bars.  I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter bar about a week ago and was…eh.  So, today…Cinnamon Roll.  Because Sundays are just good cinnamon roll days.

As I was on the road in the middle of my errands this morning, I was definitely needing some form of sustenance.  Thank goodness I packed both Cathy and I one of our protein bars.  I handed her the LäraBar that she likes and I broke into the wrapper of the Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar.  I loved that I could see flecks of cinnamon in the bar itself.  That was really cool.  And it smelled like…a cinnamon roll.  This was definitely promising.

I went to tear off a piece to try…and realized that it had the sort of softy and chewy texture the previous one had.  So, I wasn’t sure what to make of that.  But I popped it into my mouth and began to chew.  It did taste like a lightly seasoned cinnamon roll.  I will give this bar that.  The flavor was spot-on.  And it felt a lot lighter than the Chocolate Peanut Butter bar that I ate last week.  It was chewy, but it didn’t hurt my jaw to work on it like last time.  Improvement.  I broke off a bit for Cathy to try and she also isn’t too sold on the texture…but she liked it better than the previous one as well.  And we’re both chocolate peanut butter fans…so go figure.  This bar had a bit of grittiness to it, I’m assuming from the cinnamon that is incorporated into it.  It took a few bites to get used to, but it was decent enough.

Ingredients in the Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar include: protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate), isomalto-oligosaccharides* (prebiotic fiber), almonds, water, and erythritol.  This bar contains less than 2% of the following: sea salt, stevia, lo han guo, natural flavors, and cinnamon.  It is gluten-free, contains no artificial sweeteners, and is practically guilt free.

This leads us to the nutritional portion of the Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar.  A serving size is 1 bar.  This bar will provide you with 170 calories and 6 grams of fat.  You will be taking in 5 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, and only 1 gram of sugar.  LOVE that low sugar!  Also, you will be taking in 17 grams of fiber and 20 grams of sugar.  YES…this bar will actually fill you up!  Trust me.

So, for me, I’m struggling with the chewy texture (which is better than being rock solid…but…it’s a lot of work to chew that much).  In fact, I’m just not 100% sold on these bars.  While the flavors are definitely there…mild…but there…the actual bar itself is just…okay.  Sure, it tastes fantastic, but damn…I just don’t want to chew 100 times in order to swallow one bite.

I have one more variety of this brand to try…so we’ll see how it fares.  As for now…not looking likely that I’ll actively seek these out.  Would I eat them again?  Sure.  But if there are other options, I’d probably go with those first.

Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar (unwrapped)

Quest Bar Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar (unwrapped)

Product Review: Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter

Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter

Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter

Product: Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter – $2.39+

So, I’ve been slowly working my way through different high protein bars…because…I am.  Because, sometimes I have to eat on the go, and they are an easy-to-grab snack/meal.  They are also great on race days when I might not be going anywhere fast and will need something to hold me over until I next get to eat.

That was what happened today.

I ran a 10K race in Frankfort, Kentucky…and since I placed in both the race and the racing series…I was now staying at the scene of the crime…er…race…for a bit longer than anticipated.  No problem.  I come prepared for these such occasions.

For quite a long while now, I’ve been hearing my friends rave about Quest Bar.  But I couldn’t find them.  Anywhere.  What it took was a trip to Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, Ohio.  They were in the gluten-free section…and I grabbed a few to try.  They didn’t have the flavor everyone was raving about, but they had some that sounded beyond delicious…so…why not give them a try?

Except…despite toting these places with me, I never really needed them.  That’s not a bad thing…it just means I was around actual food instead.  But today…today that changed.

So, as I settled in on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol, I removed my Quest Bar from the backpack my roomie has with her.  It was a bit misshapen.  Unfortunately.  That’s from toting it around to all those other events…in the heat…and having it soften and then harden back up.  That’s fine.  If it tastes good…it doesn’t have to look perfect.

But that was the question…would it taste good?

I broke off a bit for my roommate to try and she took a bite…and chewed…and chewed…and chewed…

“How is it?”

“Chewy.”

Thanks for that!  Since it was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar…I was hoping it would taste like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.  I took a bite.  And began to chew…and chew…and chew…damn…it was chewy…

It didn’t taste like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.  Not at all.  It tasted like a really chewy hunk of chocolate…with a bit of nutty flavor and texture mixed in.  It wasn’t bad.  But…my jaw was already starting to hurt from working so hard on this bar.  I am seriously hoping that this chewy texture (overly chewy!) was really brought on by having the bar melt a couple times in the heat and then reform.  Because…by the third bite…my jaw was done with chewing and I still had half a bar left.  Which I did manage to finish.  And then give my jaw a much needed break.  Back to the flavor though…the peanut butter part was really hidden under the flavor of the chocolate.  It was just an undertone.  And I don’t know if that was on purpose or not…but peanut butter is my favorite thing in life…so I was just expecting more of it to shine through.  Peanut butter and chocolate are best mates and a classic combination…so this works.  The flavor was good.  Like eating dessert…without it being overly sweet.

It will be interesting to see how the next bar is as far as chewiness.  Because now I’m curious!

Let’s look at the ingredients in this high protein and low carb bar, shall we?  The Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter is made from a protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate),  Isomalto-Oligosaccharides* (Prebiotic Fiber), peanuts, water, erythritol,  and cocoa. This bar also contains less than 2% of the following: sea salt, stevia, lo han guo, and natural flavors. This bar is High Fiber, Gluten Free, and sweetened without the use of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

A serving size of the Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter is 1 bar.  This bar provides you with 160 calories and 5 grams of fat.  You also will be taking in 5 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, and 2 grams of sugar.  This bar provides your body with 255 mg potassium.  And finally, you will be consuming 25 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein.

Trust me…you’ll feel full!

So, as I said, this bar wasn’t bad…it was just…not really what I was expecting.  It was the perfect thing after my race though, when I knew it would be awhile before I ate anything.  It definitely held me over for hours and I ran some errands and even settled in a bit at home before I even thought about making an early dinner.  The flavor was good…and I’m really hoping the next one isn’t as chewy.

Guess we’ll find out.

Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter (unwrapped with a chunk torn out of it)

Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter (unwrapped with a chunk torn out of it)

Product Review: Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Balls

Betty Lou's Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Balls

Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Balls

Product: Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Balls – $1.69+

I’ve gotta be on a peanut butter protein bar (or ball, in this case) kick this week.  Because after wrapping up with the sample GoMacro Peanut Butter Macrobars, I immediately dug into my snack drawer and pulled out one of the other cash register treats I picked up at the Raisin Rack in Columbus, Ohio.  This time, it was from a company I was familiar with.  When I was in Denver, Colorado two years ago, I picked up a couple of different flavors of Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Fruit Bars.  Well…when something uses the phrase gluten-free with the words peanut butter…trust me…you have my full and undivided attention.

And that, in a nutshell (see what I did there?) is how I came home with one of Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Nut Butter Balls.  Specifically…the peanut butter one.

Betty Lou, the owner of Betty Lou’s Inc., believes that there is a connection between what people eat and how they feel.  I couldn’t agree more.  As I have taken more to eating clean, I find that I feel much better.  And when I don’t…I can tell.  Almost 32 years ago, Betty Lou made a conscious decision to remove refined sugar from her family’s diet…and in doing so, began to create recipes that were made with honey and brown rice syrup instead.  She fine-tuned each recipe and made everything with the best, healthiest, cutting edge ingredients.  Today, 32 years later, that same practice is in place and all of Betty Lou’s healthy, all-natural, gluten-free products have to live up to the highest of standards.  Good ingredients…never compromising taste.

I thoroughly enjoyed the three versions of Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Fruit Bars that I picked up in Colorado.  So…now it was peanut butter’s time to shine.  I hoped.

When my morning snack time rolled around, I pulled the Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball out and opened it up.  I tried to be careful with it, so that the wrapper wouldn’t be torn in the picture…but…that didn’t happen.  After taking the picture for the blog, I pulled out my butter knife from my desk (I keep a set of silverware in my drawer) and sliced off a piece for my roommate to try.  I had a bit of a time cutting through the actual nut butter ball itself, and it was shedding the peanuts that speckled the outside of it like crazy.  Nonetheless, a little elbow grease, and some upper body strength…and voila…I had a piece for Cathy to try.  I took my own bite…and began to chew.

And chew.  And chew.  And chew some more.  In fact, the Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball…was kind of tough.  It seemed like the heat from my mouth actually had to warm it up to make it pliable.  And then it was like chewing caramel that has gotten solid rather than soft.  You just keep chewing and chewing and chewing until it eventually dissolves enough that you can safely swallow it.

That…was how I felt eating this.  And I only took a small bite.

I took Cathy her piece and awaited her thoughts.  They actually mirrored my own.  While the Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball had a much better and more predominant peanut butter flavor than the GoMacro Peanut Butter Macrobar (see review just ahead of this one!), it wasn’t soft nor easy to really eat.  In fact, I might have burned more calories eating the thing than it gave my body.  My jaw was totally getting a workout.  So, it was a shame about the texture, but the flavor was really good.  And the little roll in peanuts to have them speckle the top of the nut butter ball itself was genius.  It just adds to the flavor for sure.

So…really on the fence on this one.  If it had been softer and easier to eat, I think this would have been a runaway hit.  But…as it was…my jaw started to ache after awhile and soon I found myself just wishing it was gone already.  I ate it, although it took awhile and many a chew break…but found it tasty, regardless.  I might be a little hesitant to pick one up next time, however.  Just for the sheer fact that it was like gnawing on tough caramel rather than diving into a rich, smooth peanut buttery treat.

So, what makes up Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Balls?  The listed ingredients are organic agave syrup, peanut butter, whey protein blend, peanuts, inulin (dietary fiber), whey protein crisps, natural peanut extract, water, vanilla extract, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate, pure sunflower lecithin, sea salt, mixed tocoherols (natural vitamin E).  Clean eating this is not.  In fact, it has some crazy vitamin’s getting mixed in there as well.  I can’t pronounce them…and therefore will not type them.  The Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball contains no trans fat, no corn, no soy and is non-GMO.  This ball contains electrolytes.

So, a bit of a letdown as far as ingredients.  I was hoping for more natural ingredients.

As for nutrition, one serving is one of the Nut Butter Balls.  The Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball serves up 180 calories and 8 grams of fat.  The fat is mostly derived from the peanuts and peanut butter though, so keep that in mind.  You will be taking in 10 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, and 12 grams of sugar.  In addition, you will be consuming 5 grams of filling fiber and a whopping 15 grams of protein.

I don’t know if I will try any other of the Nut Butter Balls that Betty Lou’s offers.  This one really didn’t win me over with the texture of it.  The flavor was amazing, but…I don’t like having my jaw hurt just to eat a snack.  Had this been softer, I think it would have been a complete winner.  I think I’ll stick to the Gluten-Free Fruit Bars when it comes to Betty Lou’s products.  I just wasn’t impressed with the Betty Lou’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Nut Butter Ball.  At all.

Product Review: Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar

Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar

Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar

Product: Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar – $1.99+

Dark Chocolate.  Fig.

Two of my favorite things to eat right now.  There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to try this bar.  I had, actually, never heard of this particular bar before…until my friend Jenn took me to her local natural foods store, Raisin Rack, and there I found all sorts of little delights I didn’t even know existed.  In fact, this wasn’t even on my radar until we went to check out.  I had filled the basket (maybe overfilled) as my roomie told me I could get whatever I could fit into the medium basket offered at the store.  Jenn and I set out on the task to Tetris as much stuff into the basket as possible.  It was full…but there were some goodies up by the register.  I grabbed a couple of them when Cathy told me to go ahead and do so.

One of them…was the Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar.

I carried this bar with me for an entire weekend when my friend Indy was visiting from California.  Why?  Because I wasn’t certain with the restaurants we were trying, whether I would be able to eat anything or not.  But, thankfully, all the restaurants could work within my dietary restrictions.  However, on Sunday morning, we were heading up to Cincinnati to go shopping at Jungle Jim’s…and we got a case of the munchies on the way.

As Indy had never had White Castle from White Castle…she and Cathy went to get some food there.  I can’t eat anything at White Castle…but I did have the Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar in my purse.  Victory.  I knew I carried little protein and snack bars around with me for a reason.  As they dug into their sliders and chicken rings, I tore open my Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar and took an initial, tentative bite.

Why I was worried, I don’t know.  The best way I know how to describe this bar is by saying it tasted like a chocolate Fig Newton.  Now, I went gluten-free three years ago…and I haven’t had Fig Newtons since then.  Which sucks, as they were always one of my favorite snacks.  Yes…they are filled with high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals, but I loved them.  I really did.  And this…this was a Fig Newton…but…it was SO much more than a Fig Newton.  It was dark chocolate.  And the dark chocolate paired perfectly with the fig.  Honestly…this is now one of my favorite flavor profiles.  I had to rein myself in.  I wanted to enjoy every bite of this bar.  The dark chocolate was the perfect bittersweet complement to the texture and taste of the fig.  Actually, the way the bar was described, I thought I was going to be getting a chocolate coated fig bar.  But what I have is something akin to a Lärabar.  The bar is 100% fig, but doesn’t have that gritty texture that often products made from fig have.  And I loved every bite.  I savored it for as long as possible, but all good snacks do come to an end.

Ingredients in the Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar are really straightforward.  They include figs (80%) and dark chocolate (20%).  If you are looking for a clean-eating snack, this just might be your new go-to!  Two ingredients…and they are both healthy!  This bar is gluten-free and vegetarian.  It is also cholesterol free.

Nutritionally speaking, the serving size of the Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar is 1 bar.  This bar will serve you up 172 calories and 2 grams of fat.  That’s not bad for a snack bar.  This bar contains no sodium, but does have 26 grams of sugar.  YIKES!!  That’s a lot of sugar.  I blame the natural sugars in the figs as well as…the dark chocolate.  So…really I blame both ingredients.  Still…this bar is total yum!  This bar is guaranteed to fill you up though, touting 5 grams of filling fiber and 2 grams of protein.

Yeah…when I head to the Raisin Rack next time I am in Columbus, Ohio…I’m buying more of these.  I will buy as many as I think I can get away with.  Yes, the sugar content is a bit high, but…damn…nothing like snacking on a healthier version of a Fig Newton.  Except…it’s better…because it’s Dark Chocolate.  If you see these at your local natural food stores…don’t hesitate to buy one.  Trust me…you’ll be glad you did.  In fact, you might want to pick up more than one.  Do not make the same mistake I did.

Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar (unwrapped)

Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar (unwrapped)