First, let me address the elephant in the room… I am intentionally leaving out Quest Bars because I feel like everyone already knows about them.
Ok! That being said, I am asked quite often about what types of protein bars I consume and which I would recommend. In an effort to make it easier for myself and others, I decided to create a round-up and mini review of the protein bars I use and buy most often. That way there are pictures and links! This will be updated as often as I may need to, a lot like my protein powder review post, which you can find here). If I have or come across discount codes, I’ll try to add them as well.
So, here you go!
These are a very clean option with minimal, whole food ingredients. They are egg-protein based with fruit, nuts, and natural flavors. Some are even Whole 30 compliant (only those with peanuts are excluded). These are probably my all time favorite portable/convenience bars. So many good flavors. It is so hard for me to rank these! I regularly buy Coconut Chocolate, PBJ, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Maple Sea Salt. I occasionally buy the Coffee Chocolate and Mint Chocolate. The Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Hazelnut, and Apple Cinnamon are nothing special in my opinion, but are still better than many bars on the market. I can say I DON’T like the Mango Pineapple, or Berry. I’m anxious to try the new flavors—Banana Walnut Chocolate, Chocolate Cherry, and Lemon! You can catch Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread during the holidays, and I highly recommend them. I would buy them year-round if they were available. They are not huge bars, but aren’t tiny either. They also come in “kids size” versions too, but there are less flavor options.
I will say that most people either love or hate these, depending on if they like the texture or not. They are chewy/stick to your teeth a bit like some chewy candy can. If that bothers you, these aren’t your bar. Also, some are a bit oily the way some bars can be (in case that bothers you). Not all are like that and when they are, I just blot it off! 😂
I love that they are carried in at most grocery stores now—including Walmart!
Side Note: Their nut butters are also good!
I’d say these tie with Rx Bars as my favorites. I wrote about these here when they first came out. Since then, I have continued to buy them, and love the 2 new additions to the line up Cookie Dough and Sweet and Salty. Peanut Butter Fudge is like smooth peanut butter, Sweet and Salty is like crunchy peanut butter with a bit of salted peanuts mixed in, and the Cookie Dough is like the Peanut Butter Fudge, only with chocolate chips. They are higher in calories/fat/carbs, however, I can enjoy one as my end of the evening treat and it helps to keep me on track. The Sweet and Salty is definitely my favorite, but I go through phases of eating them all, so I usually order a variety pack and a full pack of the Sweet and Salty. I keep them in the freezer. I actually I love eating them strait out of the freezer so I can eat them slowly as they melt. The deliciousness lasts longer when you consume them as they thaw. They are good out of the fridge, or at room temperature as well 🤤👌🏼
The only downside is that you can’t just keep these on hand for convenience for an extended time as they would spoil.
Side Note: I do not care for their nut butters. I can taste the whey and it is gritty.
I came across these bars when Kim Hoeltje shared them on Instagram. She did a full review on her blog here. I was intrigued because they are very similar to Rx Bars which, as I said, I love! These also have minimal ingredients and egg protein.
I ordered a sample pack, and I am so glad I did. These bars are awesome! Very much like Rx Bars, but a bit softer. I can’t be sure that the texture wasn’t due to the fact that they sat in the summer heat in our mailbox, but regardless, I loved them. Again, if chewy bothers you, don’t go with these.
I bought these when I saw Bethany (aka @lilsipper on Instagram) recommend the Fruit & Nut kind as a convenience option for a real food protein bar. While these are not my all-time favorite ever, I still really like them. I always get the variety pack and order it fairly often. They actually come in 2 kinds of bars. Fruit & Nut and Hemp protein.
The Fruit & Nut are higher in carbs and very unique in texture since they have some soft fruit and some finely chopped mix ins like nuts, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs, depending on the flavor bar. Great balance of flavors in all the bars. They discontinued some of the flavors and discontinued my favorite (Cacao Dragon), but they are all tasty, so I won’t hold it against them. You can tell they are fresh and each time I have ordered, I have found I enjoy different flavors more than others compared to previous boxes; almost like each batch is unique. They are clean, real food ingredients.
The Hemp Protein bars come in 3 flavors (Mocha Chip, Cookie Dough, and Brownie Chip) and are also really good. I love the subtle sweetness. I love the taste and texture of monk fruit and erythritol sweetened things and that may be why I liked these so much. They have a wonderful texture and are not at all chewy. Almost like a half baked cookie if that makes sense? Not crumbly exactly, but not chewy.
They have 3 kinds of bars. Some are like Rx Bars, only not anywhere near as good, so don’t waste your money (although I haven’t tried the lemon, I can safely say the others are terrible). The other kinds of bars are meat/jerky style (I haven’t tried all of them, but of what I have, they were good), or stick/jerky style and are pretty good. I really like the Maple Salmon Stick one and buy it often.
My coach Emily Miner recommended these to me! These are great as an alternative to sweet bars. They are also clean ingredients. Basically a similar concept to jerky, but in a compact form. I think they are perfect to keep in your purse or drawer at work for a “tide-me-over” kind of bar. You don’t have to worry about them melting the way sweet bars do. I also don’t crave more sweets after eating them the way I occasionally do with sweet bars, which is nice. I liked them all, but the Peri Peri Chicken is my favorite and the one I order on the regular. I do occasionally have a couple spoil/mold before I get around to eating them. I think the packaging isn’t sealed properly and air gets in.
There are lot like a healthy version of a Slim Jim. Very similar to DNX, but in stick form. I don’t like them as much as DNX, because some of the flavors are greasy and leave a film in your mouth. Not oily in the same way like the sweet protein bars (which doesn’t bother me and can just be blotted), but like lard I guess, which makes sense because they are made of meat! All the flavors are good though (I got a variety pack). Same problem as with the DNX with spoilage/molding of a couple of them.
I have only tried the Fit Vegan and some were better than others (I ordered this variety pack). They were on the smaller side. They are a bit oily the way some bars can be (in case that bothers you). Nothing to go crazy for, unless you could make the PB White Chocolate the same calories for a larger portion… then I might get excited. It’s flavor was excellent!
Peanut Butter + White Chocolate:
Soft and sweet. Perfect notes of PB and Chunks of white chocolate and macadamias. Reminds me of the white chocolate macadamia nut Subway cookie. Have purchased again at a store on occasion, but not a whole box.
Apple Chunk + Cinnamon + Nutmeg:
Soft with nice chunks of apples, sweet, good spice flavor. Like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Have purchased again at a store on occasion, but not a whole box.
Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip:
A lot like the chocolate chip, but bar with strong PB flavor and chunks of peanuts.
Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie Batter:
Nice chocolate flavor with chocolate chunks that are almost melted-like.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
Soft, not very sweet, not much flavor, with the same melty chunks like with Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie Batter.
Chocolate + Tart Cherry + Pistachio:
Meh. Dark chocolate taste is flat, no cherry taste/flavor, slight hint of pistachios and one small cherry chunk and 1 small chocolate chunk.
So that’s what I have for now…I’ll update when possible, especially with discount codes! I do buy many via Amazon though since I like free shipping!
1/ What are your favorite protein bars?
2/ Have you tried any on my list? If so, I’d love your thoughts!