Thursday, 21 July 2016

Snickers Protein Bar

So a few days ago I reviewed the Mars Protein bar, now it's time for the other new protein bar that has been released which is the Snickers Protein bar. I must say I was pretty excited about this one, I love Snickers and I was interested to see how Mars would create a relatively macro friendly bar whilst still including relatively calorie dense peanuts.

Snickers Protein Bar

For a comparison :
Regular Snickers Bar (48g) - 245kcal, 13.4g fat, 26.2g carbs, 4.5g protein
Snickers Protein Bar (51g) - 199kcal, 7g fat, 18.5g carbs, 18.2 g protein

I must say I was surprised that the Snickers Protein bar was actually lower calorie (albeit by 1) than the Mars Protein bar and overall the macros on it are pretty good. So how does it compare?

Well the first thing you notice is that obviously the chocolate layer is a lot thinner, you can visibly see all of the peanuts on top of the bar; however I was impressed with how many were on there. Like the Mars Protein bar the next layers are a thin layer of caramel and a layer of protein nougat using a blend of hydrolysed collagen, milk protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Like the Mars Protein bar not the best quality protein.

Snickers Protein Bar

On first bite I knew I was going to enjoy this bar a lot more than the Mars version; although the base has a similar slightly tough/chewy texture I think this is more reminiscent of what a Snickers is actually like and the added peanuts help to detract from the slightly chewy texture by adding a nice crunch to the bar.

Snickers Protein Bar 


The taste again is overall pretty good, a good chocolate/caramel/peanut flavour that wasn't that dissimilar from a regular Snickers. Again the price point is a bit of off putting, being ~£2 more expensive than a regular Snickers; however in terms of price point of other protein bars it is on a similar level and tastes pretty good. After buying 2 of each bar I was most definitely looking forward to eating my 2nd Snickers Protein bar much more compared to that of the Mars and for this reason if I was looking to treat myself to a few protein bars then I would probably pick this up again.

Taste - 8.4/10 - Pretty similar to a regular Snickers, good peanut + caramel flavour. Not much of a 'chalky' protein aftertaste as the peanuts help to detract from that.
Texture - 8.0/10 - Much more akin to that of a regular Snickers compared to the Mars version, added crunch from peanuts help to detract from the slightly chewy protein base.
Appearance - 6.5/10 - I didn't massively like seeing the peanuts visible on top of the bar but I get that they couldn't be covered in a huge layer of chocolate.
Price - 6.2/10 -  I paid £2.69 for mine on sale at Protein Pick n Mix, normally £2.99, you can pay less if you purchase them in a box from Amazon. When comparing it to a normal Snickers it's really expensive but compared to other protein bars it fairs okay in terms of the taste you get for the money.
Overall - 7.3/10 - Would definitely opt for this over the Mars.
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WHO FOR?

Anyone looking for a decent protein bar or an alternative, more macro friendly, Snickers.

WHERE TO BUY? 

You can get the from most sports/health websites if you search on Google but I got mine from Protein Pick n Mix here or you can get a box from Amazon here.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Mars Protein Bar

Now I do love my chocolate, but being into my fitness/gym and what not I'm also a big fan of protein based treats. When I first saw a picture of this Mars,and Snickers (which will be done in another review), protein bar on social media I thought it was a joke, so you can imagine my delight when I found out it was not and that it was going to be available in the UK (I know shock horror we actually get something before the US).

Mars Protein Bar  


Now obviously being a protein bar its not going to taste exactly the same as a regular Mars bar but how close could they get to it whilst maintaining that difference in calories/macronutrients. For those of you that are interested :
Regular Mars Bar (51g) - 230kcal, 8.6g fat, 35.3g carbs, 2.2g protein
Mars Protein Bar (57g)  - 200kcal, 4g fat, 22g carbs, 19g protein





Mars Protein Bar
 

On inspection of the Mars Protein wrapper I was pleased to see that they are still using a milk chocolate coating, albeit a lot thinner, whilst the protein base is made up of hydrolysed collagen, soya protein and protein isolate - not exactly the best quality protein (especially the collagen) but hey ho.

Cutting the bar in half you can immediately tell the difference in texture, a normal Mars nougat base is soft and squishy, the innards of this protein bar are a lot thicker and 'stodgier' with only a thin caramel and chocolate layer. This texture difference can be further noticed on eating where it requires a lot more work to chew through it, but I would say this is generally what is expected of most protein bars, and if heated it does soften up a bit. 

 






Mars Protein Bar
 

Nevertheless the flavour is pretty good and does replicate a Mars bar well, you do get a slightly 'chalky' protein base but other than that its spot on, an overall nice malty/caramel/chocolate flavour. In all honesty though I think I would still prefer to have the real thing and hit my protein macros by eating something else, with only a 30kcal difference between the 2 bars and the protein version being ~£2 more expensive it just doesn't seem worth it to me.  However kudos to Mars for coming up with a pretty good tasting protein bar, I would eat it again but don't think it would be a regular purchase due to the huge price difference, if they could bring the bar cost down to <£1 more expensive than a regular Mars bar then I may rethink my purchasing decisions.

Taste - 7.0/10 - Replicates a regular Mars bar pretty well. Comparing it to other protein bars, good, but definitely not the best I've had.
Texture - 6.4/10 - Slightly hard and chewy, could benefit from being softened up a bit.
Appearance - 7.1/10 - Good size.
Price - 3.9/10 - I paid £2.59 at Protein Pick & Mix and that was when it was on sale, regular price is £2.99 for 1 bar which just seems extortionate to me. You can pay less per bar if you buy them in a box on Amazon, ~£1.80 per bar, but even then I think its overpriced.
Overall - 6.1/10 - A good attempt for Mars' first protein bars and definitely a nice one to try but the price point unfortunately lets it down for me, especially considering the quality of protein used isn't that great.
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WHO FOR? 

Those who enjoy protein bars and want their chocolate hit.

WHERE TO BUY?

 You purchase these from various health/sports based stores on the internet. I got mine from Protein Pick & Mix here or you can get a box at Amazon here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Doisy & Dam : Lemon, Poppy Seed & Baobab White Chocolate

I reviewed one of Doisy & Dam's chocolate bars a month or so ago and despite not particularly buying into their whole 'superfood' branding I did think their chocolate was tasty so was looking forward to trying another one of their bars. This time around it was a white chocolate variety, 30% cocoa solids, with lemon, poppy seed and the 'superfood' baobab - an African fruit, rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre, but unfortunately only makes up 2g of this 100g bar.

Doisy & Dam Lemon, Poppy Seed & White Chocolate Bar 

The poppy seeds are heavily specked throughout the bar and although at first I did think they added a nice textural crunch after I'd eaten a few pieces they were starting to annoy me slightly, getting stuck in my teeth and not making for a particularly smooth eat. I understand that lemon + poppy seed is quite a common used combination, often used in cakes/biscuits, but for some reason I just didn't feel it worked particularly well in a chocolate bar format. Not texturally anyway.

Doisy & Dam Lemon, Poppy Seed & White Chocolate Bar 

However despite the slightly annoying texture the flavour of this bar was really good. The white chocolate is rich, creamy and smooth with a sharp, refreshing tang from the lemon, making this the perfect, light, summery eat for those warmer summer days.

I actually really enjoyed the white chocolate base in this bar but unfortunately this is the only white chocolate bar that Doisy & Dam do, I'd definitely pick up one if they were to release another white chocolate bar but unfortunately I can't see myself repeat purchasing this one, despite the pleasant flavour.

Doisy & Dam Lemon, Poppy Seed & White Chocolate Bar  

Taste - 7.6/10 - Creamy white chocolate, refreshing tang from the lemon.
Texture - 5.0/10 - Unfortunately the poppy seeds really annoyed me after a few pieces.
Appearance - 6.7/10 - Eye catching packaging.
Price - 6.3/10 - £3.50 for 100g or £1.75 for 40g.
Overall - 6.4/10 - Slightly let down by the annoyance of poppy seeds getting stuck in my teeth.
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WHO FOR?
A nice light, summery, chocolate bar for those who don't mind the possibility of poppy seeds getting stuck in your teeth.

WHERE TO BUY?
 Doisy & Dam have various stockists around the UK - I picked mine up from Wholefood's. You can also purchase online here.