Friday, June 08, 2018

Think Thin

I try to like protein bars, I really do.  Or maybe at this point I only do it so I can add to my review labels for bars?  Seriously though, if I could find one that tasted good, smelt good, had nice texture, and was good for me, I'd love it.
"Protein helps fuel a full, energetic life. And good nutrition should always be delicious. That’s why thinkThin® products are packed with protein and come in a variety of decadent flavors."
Think Thin wins on the "sounds good" front, and little else.  They make a ton of product lines: High Protein Bars, Protein & Fiber Bars, Protein & Superfruit Bars, and Protein Nut Bars, plus, uh, Protein Cakes, Protein & Fiber Oatmeal, Protein & Probiotic Powder, and Protein Smoothie Mixes.  I tried several types of bars.  I can't say I want more.

High Protein Bars

"Our highest protein bar for consumers seeking post-workout energy or even meal replacement. Also great for those watching their sugar intake. 20g protein, 0g sugar, 0 guilt. Gluten Free."
These are the type of stats that should scare you away immediately.  There is no way something like this will taste good.  Where does all the protein come from? The "protein blend" made from why protein isolate, soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and casein..  Mmm, tasty.  Oh, and soy crisps too.

But the varieties available all sound good: "brownie crunch", "maple almond", "cookies & cream", etc.  Protip: Don't trust the names.  These things are awful.
Chunky Peanut Butter.
"This high protein bar packs the nutty flavors of chunky roasted peanut butter blended with cocoa and covered in luscious milk chocolate."

Ok, so, this looked, and sounded good.  Who doesn't love chocolate coated peanut butter?

First, the coating.  It looked like chocolate, but, it certainly wasn't creamy milk chocolate.  Made from "coating": maltitol, cocoa butter, chocolate, sodium caseinate, milk fat, soy lecithin, natural flavors. salt.  Yum.

It was tasteless and the layer too thin to be useful anyway.  So if you are looking for a chocolate flavor to compliment the peanuts, this is not it.  But that was the least of the problems.
Chunky Peanut Butter: Inside.
The inside was the problem.  This was just downright nasty.  It tasted like sawdust.  The consistency was sawdust.  It was really, truly, gross.  I didn't taste peanuts either, just, sawdust.  I spit it out.  I really couldn't swallow something so foul.

Wow, it isn't like I expected this to be good, but I certainly didn't expect it to be this bad.
Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate.
"A sweet yet spicy mouthful of exotic cinnamon wrapped in creamy white chocolate is a perfect choice for those who want a little adventure at 3:00 pm."

If at first you don't succeed ... try, try again.  Plus, who doesn't love cinnamon buns and sweet white chocolate?

The aroma on this was actually pleasant.  Cinnamon-y.  Really not bad.

The white chocolate "coating" was similar to the chocolate though, basically lost, just giving a touch of sweetness, an element of icing.

And it did taste like cinnamon.  But with a base of soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, chicory fiber, and brown rice syrup, how tasty could it really be?  At least it wasn't quite as sawdust-y.

Crunch

The Crunch line seems to be a trial, with only a few flavors available, and no main listing on their website.  A lighter item.  I think they pivoted these to the nut bars?
Blueberry Mixed Nuts Crunch Bar.
"With 60% less sugar and 2x the amount of protein than leading fruit and nut bars, this delicious nutty delight is not only a good source of fiber packed with peanuts, almonds and cashews, but also has a generous helping of blueberries - natures jewels and nutrition-rich superfruits."

I obviously wasn't into the protein bars, but bars that have real nuts, and are just stuck together with sweetness generally appeal to me (at least, as much as any bars do).

Through the see-threw packaging, I could see that this bar really did look like sweet stuck together nuts, yet it promised to be a bit better for me, so I gave it a try.

I couldn't decide if I hated it or not.

Yes, it did have nuts.  Whole peanuts, almonds, and cashews.  And they were bound together by sweetness (brown rice syrup in this case).  But it had a strange bitterness, which, once I looked at the ingredients list, I realized came from chicory fiber (why was that in there?).  I also saw another gem hiding in the ingredients.  No, it wasn't the blueberries.  Soy crisps.  Made from ... soy protein isolate.  Sigh.

This was almost good.  Sweet sticky nuts ... almost.  But strangely bitter.
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