Monday, August 17, 2015

Fagan Eats Paleo Product Review: Julian Bakery Protein Bars--Yay or Nay?

Julian Bakery Paleo Protein Bars


You may have heard that i'm in the market for a tasty Paleo protein bar apart from my trusty old Epic Bar favorites.  So, when I saw an advertisement for a Paleo-compliant protein bar that was "glazed donut" flavored, I stopped in my tracks.  And then ordered immediately.  

To be honest, I miss donuts and pastries in general.  Not enough to make me waver in my dietary choices.  I just miss the taste of them, but I make the choice to avoid them because my good old body here tells me that pastries are a no-go. So, I listen to it.  But when I saw a glazed-donut Paleo protein bar, I was intrigued.  I knew I had to order it.

I hopped onto the Julian Bakery website and ordered a sampler pack of their Paleo protein bars. The cost for a sampler pack of 7 bars is $23.32. The flavors sound amazing, folks:  coconut shred, caramel, chocolate mint, chocolate brownie, glazed donut, cinnamon roll, cookies n' creme. It sounds like Paleo heaven in protein bar form.   

The box of protein bars arrived in the mail on time about a week or so after ordering.  I wasted no time in trying the glazed donut one, in search of a gluten-free, paleo-friendly, donut substitute holy grail.  Is the suspense killing you yet?  Haha. Well, to me, it did not taste like a glazed donut. Sorry.  I know, I know. So disappointing.  

Here's the problem with the Julian Bakery protein bar--it's hard as a rock.  Aside from the granite-like texture, they just don't taste great.  Some unfortunately, are sweetened with stevia.  I personally dislike the taste of stevia and never use it to sweeten anything.  Some are sweetened with monk fruit instead, but it still tastes artificial to me.  

This was a disappointing turn of events.  The macro-nutrient ratios were pretty spot on: 20 grams of protein with 27 grams of carbs (but 20 grams of those carbs are from prebiotic fiber), 3.5 grams of fat.  Not bad.  A lot of "protein" bars I've seen on the market are full of carbs and sugar, 20+ grams, but tout only 7 or 8 grams of protein. Sounds like a carb bar, not a protein bar to me. But I digress, the Julian Bars don't suffer from this problem.  

To be frank, and in my humble opinion, they just don't taste great.  As a little disclaimer, I'm so very picky about flavor.  With the Julian Bars, the taste starts out okay, and then I get a bad aftertaste from whatever sweetener is used, either stevia or monk fruit.  I suppose there's a price to pay when a bar has so little sugar and lots of protein.   And unfortunately, that cost is flavor.  Insert sad crying emoji here.  Haha.  

If you aren't as sensitive to these kinds of sweeteners as I am, then by all means, knock yourself out.  As for me, my quest for a great Paleo protein bar continues.