Friday, May 17, 2013

Probars

As promised, I'm continuing my Friday series of reviewing assorted types of bars.  This week, I present Probar.  They are not intended to be quick little snack bars, but rather are aimed at athletes, or those needing a full meal replacement option.

Probar offers several product lines: Meal, Core, Fuel, Halo, Bolt.  The Meal line is their classic line of bars, a total meal replacement option.  High in calories, high in fat, balanced with carbs and protein, loaded up with fruits, nuts and seeds.  The Core line is protein bars, with at least 20 grams of protein, filled with strange soy products, flax, and chia seeds.  Fuel is a gluten-free line of fruit bars, enhanced with nuts and chia seeds.  Halo are my favorites, as they are basically just slightly better for you candy bars.  And Bolt are their newest products, fruit based energy chews.

The bars I tried were certainly not light options, but were fairly tasty.  I'm not really sure when I'd use them in my life, but if I was a serious outdoor athlete, I could certainly see their place.
Sweet & Savory: Maple Pecan.
The Sweet & Savory collection caught my eye (it has since been discontinued).  I love my sweets, but I appreciate ones that mix in some savory, or particularly, salt!  My old favorite granola bars are the Nature Valley Sweet N' Salty peanut butter bars.  I just love the mix of sweet and salt!

The first one I tried was maple pecan.  I adore pecan pie, and I grew up eating lots of maple syrup, so this sounded fantastic.  They describe it as "like sitting down to delectable real maple syrup pancakes."  OMG.

The ingredient list for this was rather extensive.  It seemed to contain ... everything!  The base was oats, rye flakes, rice crisps, and brown rice, along with flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, cashews, and peanut butter, all sweetened with brown rice syrup, dates, and maple syrup.  Apparently there were apples and raisins somewhere in there too.  Then there were chocolate chips and pecans.

So, there was obviously lots of stuff in it, but it came together pretty well.  It was sweet, but fairly balanced.   I did feel like it had a strange bitterness in the aftertaste, from the flax perhaps?  I liked the crunch from the nuts.  The peanut butter flavor was subtle, and the whole thing could have used some salt.  I was impressed with the quality dark chocolate chips.  I didn't taste tons of maple pecan flavor, and wouldn't really say it was like eating pancakes, but for a quick breakfast replacement, it was pretty good.  I probably wouldn't get another though.
Sweet & Savory: Cherry Pretzel.
Since the maple pecan was good, I went for another one from their Sweet & Savory line.  Like the maple pecan, the cherry pretzel bar had an insane number of ingredients, spanning all sorts of seeds, nuts, peanut butter, oats, dried fruits, etc.  It also contained chunks of salty pretzels and tart bing cherries.

It was pretty good, I liked all the crunchy textures, the salt level, and the unexpected tartness of the cherries.  Overall, quite flavorful.  Quite good for a bar!

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I then moved on to the Halo bars, designed to be between meal treats, but more healthy than a candy bar.  They all have the same base of oats, soy protein, hemp seed, flax seed, and brown rice syrup, and then different mixtures of a few extra ingredients: chocolate, peanuts, marshmallow, and graham.  Since the Sweet & Savory bars were good, and these were seemingly going to be more decadent, I expected to like them more, but didn't.
  • Rocky Road:  Contains chocolate, peanuts, and marshmallow.  Tasting notes: This was not very good, the ingredient distribution was super weird, with some areas having tons of marshmallow, some having peanuts, etc.  The flavors didn’t come together, the texture was strange, meh.  Sounded good in theory, but wasn't.
  • S’Mores: Contains chocolate, graham, marshmallow. Tasting notes: Decent, fairly sweet granola bar.  Chunks of flavorless chocolate.
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