Quest Bars Review: Protein Powerhouse!

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Quest Bars are all the rage lately, baked, broiled or eaten right out of the wrapper. Many health&fitness bloggers have been touting these protein bars as the protein bar. Well, I was quite apprehensive about giving these protein bars a shot, since most artificial protein sources don’t really taste good to me. I’d much rather eat salmon or chicken instead!

Well, Quest Nutrition and Maxinutrition (Singapore’s supplier) were kind enough to send me some quest bars to sample. So I thought I would share my thoughts with you about them!
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They thoughtfully provided some recipes cards with ideas on how to bake the quest bars with other wacky ingredients to create a scrumptious protein-packed meal/snack. I have yet to try these recipes, since I wanted to share my thoughts on the quest bar in its purest form, well at least for the first 5 bars I chose to review. 
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Now, on to the review! The 5 flavours I chose to review are the five that are available in Singapore: 
photo 4 Don’t they remind you of candy bars? Just minus all the sugar of course, and with 10 times more protein! Each bar has about 20g of protein, and they are sweetened using stevia, as compared to artificial sweeteners. In fact, these bars have less than 3g of sugar which is quite impressive. These bars are meant to be snacks, not meal replacements though, so do enjoy them with a piece of fruit or a cup of milk as a healthy protein-packed snack. To be healthy, you still need to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet to nourish your body! So keep up with your meats, fruits, veggies and grains 😀

Everything in moderation, haha , don’t overload on protein/protein bars.

On to the review:

So first up, we have…
Cookies & Cream!
Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of this in my excitement, but I assure you, they were definitely generous with the cookie and white chocolate chunks. Strangely, this bar was brown rather than white.. hardly appetising at first glance. I’m not sure what caused this discoloration but I hope that its not a manufacturing issue cause I ate it anyway. Thankfully, it tasted fine, reminiscent of a candy bar. I ate it straight out of the wrapper so the chewiness added to the candy bar similarity. The white chocolate chunks added a nice sweetness to the bar and the cookie chunks didn’t add much flavor but provided nice change in texture. I would recommend this flavour! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

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This bar basically looked like and tasted like raw cookie dough (which I love). It was nice, but would have been better if it had a stronger cookie dough flavour. Nonetheless,  I liked the chunks of chocolate generously spread in the bar. Texture-wise, it was slightly chewy like raw cookie dough. Then again, all quest bars have the same chewy texture if you eat them right out of the wrapper 😛 So… aye or nay? Well, it’s aye again for me!

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They really don’t hold back on the chunks, which is what makes Quest Bars so distinctive from other protein bars. This isn’t just a hunk of protein, its happiness in a bar. The questies take me back to my childhood, when I used to eat chocolate bars nearly every week, just that these bars are actually good for me. (Well, the nutrition facts seem better than a chocolate bar at least haha)

White Chocolate Raspberry!
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To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this, due to bad experiences with artificial raspberry flavours.  But… I really like this flavour! I think it is my favourite thus far. The fruity tang from the dried raspberries added a refreshing twist to the bar, making this flavour stand out from the others. The white chocolate was the same as that in the cookies&cream bar. They were equally generous with the chunks, although the chunks were concentrated in the centre, rather than evenly spread out this time around! On hindsight, this flavour reminds me of favorite Alpen muesli bars just that these are more chewy, and more satisfying!

Chocolate Brownie!
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I wasn’t a huge fan of this. Yes, it was chewy and chocolatey.. But the chocolate flavor wasn’t intense enough for me. I’m more inclined towards dark chocolate, so this flavour didn’t provide the same intensity. In fact, the chocolate flavour felt like more of an afterthought by the time I could really faste it. It was rather artificial tasting as well. Nonetheless, this is about as chocolatey as you can get, out of all the flavours, so I would still recommend this for the chocolate lovers!

Peanut Butter & Jelly!

photo 1-3I had such high hopes for this flavour. The name held so much potential, I mean who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly right? (Peanut butter and bananas are still my first love though) 

I’ve always had my reservations towards peanut butter flavoured products, since none of them have managed to capture the full flavour of actual peanut butter. Sadly, after tasting this flavour, I still hold on to my reservations. 

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There were small chunks of what I presume to be dried fruits (for the jelly flavour perhaps?), which did little to contribute to the bar. They could barely be tasted.

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They also tried to up their game with the addition of almond slivers, but sadly it was not enough to save the bar. The minimal crunch from the over-exposed almonds did not match well with the chewiness of the bar. The peanut butter taste was not very strong either. Definitely not my choice out of the 5 bars I’ve reviewed!

Overall, I still enjoyed the quest bars, for their candy-bar like texture, and good nutrition stats. I have an inclination towards the bars with chunks, since the chunks really do make the protein bar unique, and makes the experience of eating a protein bar more novel. 

I’ve tried baking some of these bars, but I still prefer them straight out of the wrapper. Many people like the bars baked though, so do give it a shot and see which you prefer. To each his own. If the bars were more affordable, they would make a more frequent appearance as my go-to snack for between classes in university! For now, they’ve been functioning well as a delicious dessert-like supper 😛

Where can you find these bars?

I’m happy to say that Singapore is becoming more health friendly, and has these bars on sale at all GNC outlets in Singapore. Sadly, these bars are on the higher end, retailing at $4.95 per bar. The flavours available at the GNC stores are Cookies&Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, White Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Chocolate Brownie. For more flavours, you can visit http://www.LiveFit.Asia. or check out Quest Nutrition’s official Facebook page (http://facebook.com/QuestNutritionSG)  

Many thanks to Maxinutrition and Quest Nutrition for sending me these quest bars to sample! 🙂

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