DISCLAIMER: I have NO connection whatsoever with this company. I received 4 bars to taste for this review.
I rarely do product reviews, so for those of you who are curious about that please know this: I love easy, accessible gluten-free foods, but I’m picky! If I can make a better version in my kitchen, I don’t typically write a review of it. That being said, I actually have three products that I want to review in the next few weeks. Oh yes, gluten free foods are getting better, people! (And my life is manic, which has helped usher in a new appreciation for prepared gluten free goodness. Life with one child? Busy. Life with two (ages 2 and under)? INSANE, joyous, fabulous and utterly EXHAUSTING.)
This first product is one my to-order list. And right at the top of it, too. And I honestly was a tad leery at first. Not only was it a protein bar (something I never thought I would be packing in my car/purse) but the name made me giggle.
You see, when Elliott (one of the owners) contacted me and I saw the name “GFB” (The Gluten Free Bar), my mind flashed back to the books I would read to my elementary school kids. Roald Dahl (who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, etc) wrote a book called the BFG. It’s about a gentle giant who lives in the land of kid-eating giants (don’t worry…it’s not freaky). The giants choose their “dinner entrees” based on country names. The kids from Turkey? Taste like turkey, of course. The kids from Chile? Yeap. Chili. The kids from Greece? Ew. Not so tasty unless you are in to sinew and stuff. So now that you have had that lovely adventure through my mind’s eye, you can see why I was chuckling at the email and completely willing to try the protein bars.
The guys (there are three of them) manufacture these bars in Chicago. A fact I missed until they arrived and I saw the return address. And now I know. Chicago tastes like peanut butter goodness. Well, at least it does according to these yummy bars. Definitely a fact I missed even though I lived there for ten years. (We HEART Chicago and miss it dearly. But peanut butter is definitely not the flavor profile I would give to that city of FANTASTIC food! You gotta travel there to believe me, but it’s true. GF Dining isn’t so tough with that many options about…. but I digress. Let’s get back to these bars.)
I have struggled with the adjectives that I want to use to describe these bars. I really think there are so many protein bar options on the market because it is SUCH a huge personal choice/preference. Unlike cereal, which 90% of us can agree SHOULD be crispy even with milk, protein bars have a wide variety of textures, flavors and feel when you eat them. I think I like these so much because if I were to make a protein bar, it would be like these.
These bars are moist (the peanut butter version moreso than the chocolate-peanut butter, IMHO) and slightly chewy. There is just enough of a crunch from the peanuts, brown rice and flax seeds to let you know that you are tasting something fabulous. You gotta have crunch. But not so much that I fear for my teeth and hope for a huge bottle of water. This crunch is perfectly subtle and delectable.
I tried the first bar on a morning when I had rushed about for the two girls. It was a choatic morning. By 2:30pm, I was so hungry I was truly contemplating munching on my own person. The baby was asleep on the couch in a room that is attached to the kitchen and the toddler was asleep on the other end. Since they had both been fussy (colds, etc) and hard to get down for naps, I didn’t dare “whip up”something in the kitchen. In fact, I was even considering eschewing the plastic wrapper on the GFB (almost typed BFG there again….yikes). I snuck into another room and open the package, hopeful that I would truly find something to satisfy my hunger least I have yet one more crabby girl in the house.
And it was great. The bars are slightly sweet (they contain brown rice syrup, dates and agave) but not so sweet that I would have thought it was a candy bar. In fact, it was appropriately sweetened for my tastes. Since they are slightly soft/chewy (not overly like a taffy or a fig bar, but a thickened peanut butter style), it was easy to eat and enjoyed without having a million crumbs hit my lap.
And the best part? This bar plus a glass of water completely satisfied my hunger. Really. And not just as a temporary swing either. I was perfectly content until dinner time. In fact, dinner was LATE that night because I was truly satisfied and hadn’t even thought about dinner.
Elliott was kind enough to send me 4 bars (2 peanut butter, 2 chocolate-peanut butter). As soon as I figured out that the bars were tasty and worked well, I packed one in my car and another in my purse (for my desk at work). The remaining bar (a chocolate-peanut butter one) was “sacrificed” recently just for this post. 😀 (Hey, somebody’s gotta do it, right?) I wanted to be able to write about the chocolate version too.
I like the chocolate one as well. It’s NOT a sweet chocolate bar (I was relieved), but since it has the addition of cocoa, it is not quite as moist (very slightly so – may have even just been that bar) as the peanut butter one. But it is definitely tasty too.
I will be ordering some of the peanut butter bars for our house and my travels. With the two kids, I find that sometimes I am prepared for their snacks/meals, but not my own. And then, by the time they are fed and satisfied, I’m starving. These bars are going to be quite a help and relief when those moments hit. Once we are back to the gym routine, I know this bars will be a great energy boost then too.
So are you interested yet? I hope so!
The cost of the bars work out to about $2.00 per bar. They are sold in very limited retailers (although, I am going to ask GF Joe to see if he can get them!). So you will have to order online (as will I). Elliott and the gang have offered FREE SHIPPING for Gluten Free Gobsmacked readers AND the first two commenters will receive their own sample pack (like I did).
To get your free shipping, when checking out, enter the coupon code: gobsmacked
Order yours here: http://theglutenfreebar.com/
Interested in the give-away?
Do tell: What do you seek in a protein bar? (Texture? Content? Taste? Sweetness?)
Happy Gluten Free Protein Bars, All.
I sincerely wish The Gluten Free Bar guys the absolute best in their journey as a new GF company. Every little bit helps – and their tasty contribution to our community is quite appreciated by me.
PS. I just saw an offer on their site to TRY their protein bars and if you don’t like them, they will give you a refund – NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Seriously? You gotta try these.