The appeal of these? I’d heard on the grape vine (aka Instagram) that these are the dairy free, lactose free, vegan versions of Quest Bars. I love quest bars, I know many don’t, but I love them, so obviously when I saw they were available in the UK, I jumped on them (not literally, obviously), and went with my current favourite flavour combination of chocolate mint.
Unwrapping, they’re not the most visually appealing of things – a plain dark brown bar. But looks aren’t everything and you should never judge a book by its cover people.
Initially, they’re not too bad. The initial texture is quite nice – like a soft pliable dough as expected being made from rice and pea proteins. There’s a nice bit of crunch from the cacao nibs – but they’re not too big so don’t give that nasty bitter taste they often do.
But, and a big but, then you get hit in the face with what can only be described as an overwhelmingly minty menthol tingle – you know the kind you get from strong minty chewing gum? And then you’re left with a very grainy texture lingering in your mouth once the doughy bar has been chewed a little and begins to dissolve.. I mean, it sounds terrible, but once you adjust to the novel texture, it is bearable and it’s something that grows on you. But I also think it could definitely be improved, and the menthol was just way too much, and it would benefit from a touch more sweetness too.
There are goods points about it though aside from the obvious negatives above. To be fair to D’s Naturals, this is probably the best high protein vegan bar I’ve had that is actually high in protein that’s comparable to dairy based bars, and not just a breakfast/snack bar with a few soy crispies chucked in and labelled as a protein bar with clever marketing. Also, if you’ve ever tried pea or brown rice protein on its own, I’m sure you’ll understand the difficulties in masking those flavours.
The macros are decent, per 60g bar: 160 calories, 20g protein, 27g carbs (1g sugar), 5g fat, 19g fibre (!!), 4g sugar alcohols. Plus 20% iron RDI.
- no added sugar
- dairy free
- lactose free
- soy free
- gluten free
- non GMO
So they will appeal to a lot of people with intolerances in a market where there is so little. Although the high fibre content is a bit concerning for one’s bowels… Particularly if you like your veggies anyway.
In the UK, they are also very expensive to get hold of – up to £3 for a bar! I’d be interested in trying the other flavours as the main down point was the menthol flavour. I really think the texture could be improved quite easily too, which is a shame.
Verdict: all things considered, 5.5/10