Friday, October 23, 2015

Kewaza Energy Balls

I know, just what you needed, another review of organic, non-toxic, non-GMO, gluten-free, clean, healthy snacks.

I don't seek these out either, but I was recently visiting another Google office (I think Waterloo?), and wanted to explore the exciting products in their microkitchens.  I found these little "energy balls" in tempting sounding flavors.

I turned over the package, expecting to find the familiar listing of isolates and protein powders, but instead ... I just saw real ingredients.  Well, hmm.  I decided to give them a try.

Kewaza makes only one product, these energy balls, known to them as "little balls of wholesomeness".  They are available in 5 flavors, which I think you'll agree, do sound quite tempting: cookie dough, dark chocolate coconut, peanut butter cookie dough, red banana bread, and dark chocolate peanut butter.  Besides perhaps the red banana bread, these all sounded like winners (although, to be fair, the same can be said for dreadful LĂ„RABARS ... shutter).

Still, I dug in.
Dark Chocolate Coconut.
I started with the Dark Chocolate Coconut.

I was surprised when I opened the package.  It looked like a chocolate truffle.  I know the packaging said it was an "energy ball", so I expected it to be round, like a ball, but perhaps I just wasn't expecting quite so ... chocolate?  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but something so dessert-like was not it.

I took my first bite, expecting the true nature to reveal itself.  Nope, it tasted like it looked.  Like a chocolate truffle.  There was no strange texture or flavor from spoilers like whey protein isolate.  It was just a dense, almost crumbly, ball of chocolate, coated in shredded coconut.

I tell you, this was a truffle.  It went oh-so nicely alongside my coffee.

That isn't to say that the ball doesn't have other ingredients.  Cocoa powder is mixed with brown rice protein, flax seed, goji berries, and maca powder to form the base (with coconut oil as the binding agent).  I just didn't taste any of that.  They use honey as the sweetener, and, did I mention, there were crunchy little bits of cocoa nibs in there too?  And ... that is it.  So yes, not just chocolate and coconut, but really nothing too strange in there.

A ball has only 90 calories, 6 grams of fat (healthy fats from the coconut products), and 4 grams of protein.  Not intended to be a meal replacement, but a very balanced little snack to have pre or post workout, or mid-afternoon.

I can't wait to try another flavor, and would certainly get another.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
After the success of the dark chocolate truffle, you can only imagine how excited I was to try the peanut butter cookie dough.  Chocolate is good, but peanut butter is better!

This one also looked like a lovely little truffle.  I eagerly took a bite.

I didn't taste the peanut butter I was craving.  I tasted ... dates.  Dates are why I dislike so many healthy nutrition bars, as I just don't really like the flavor.  I understand that they add natural sweetness, but, this is not a sweetness I actually like.

I tried a second bite, hoping that the peanut butter would hit, but it never did.  I also think I was expecting chocolate chips, since "cookie dough" in my head just auto-completes to "chocolate chip cookie dough".  And it did have chocolate in the ingredient list, but, alas, I didn't find the crunchy chips I was hoping for.

If you like dates, and weren't looking for something to hit you in the face with peanut butter deliciousness, perhaps this is fine, but for me, it was a fail.  I could have guessed this if I had read the ingredient list in advance, very short and simple: dates, chocolate, peanut butter, emphasis on the dates first.
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