Have you tried Quest bars? If you haven’t tried one yet I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’ve been big news in the USA for a while and have slowly made their way over here. One UK stockist – Best Supps – kindly sent me some to review.
First of all, why is the fitness community going crazy for Quest?
Aside from the taste (more on that later!) the nutritional stats and ingredients are pretty fantastic for a “store bought” bar. Very few ingredients, no nasties, no chocolate coating. In short, they’re not one of those protein bars which are basically a chocolate bar in a hench wrapper. Quest bars are the real deal. High in protein and very low in carbs (most of the carbs are soluble fibre) – in fact most of the bars have around 3g net carbs, and they’re all from nuts.
Here’s what the various flavours contain:
Whey protein isolate (WPI) and milk protein isolate
Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) (a plant-derived fibre)
Natural nut butters (peanut, almomd)
Peanuts, almonds, cashews
Lo han guo (a plant-derived sweetener)
Stevia, erythritol and sucralose
Sucralose is probably the “worst” thing on the ingredient list. Not too shabby!
Quest bars are famous for their flavours. Here are my top three:
Banana nut muffin
Amazing! Not too sweet, a true banana bread taste. Warm the Quest bar up in the oven for a few minutes and it’s even more authentic.
The chunk-factor of this is amazing! I don’t quite know how they do it. Big, soft chunks of chocolateyness in a slightly chewy bar. Delicious.
Vanilla almond crunch
I was really surprised that I liked this one so much (more than the Cinnamon Roll or the various Peanut Butter flavours!) I thought it would be too mild and bland but actually it’s a lovely taste, subtle but so moreish. Not many chunks in this one (you want the brownie bar for that) but very soft.
I have to say that the bars I was sent are definitely softer and nicer to eat than the two Quest bars I’ve tried in the past (from elsewhere). It’s really noticeable. I asked Mike at Best Supps why this might be and he said: “We do turn them over quite fast, so they’re never on our shelves for long.”
Why buy Quest bars from Best Supps rather than anywhere else? Two good reasons that I can see: you can buy individual bars (rather than an entire box of one flavour) and delivery is free, even for one bar. So if you want to try a bar or a new flavour but you’re not sure about it (or if you don’t want the temptation of a dozen bars in the house!), it’s ideal.
One last thing: don’t just eat your Quest bars straight up. That would be wasting a ton of opportunities! Check out the official Quest youtube channel for some amazingly creative “15 second recipes”, or use my favourite method (it takes about 5 minutes):
– unwrap the bar, pop it in a warm oven for about 2 minutes til it soften
– roll it out thinly with a rolling pin or bash it with something to flatten it
– turn the oven up a bit
– slice the flat bar with a sharp knife into strips or squares
– you could add a berry or a smear of nut butter on each strip/square at this point
– put the bits back in the hot oven for 2-3 minutes
– leave them to cool slightly
Voila. Quest bar mini-cookies (or thumb-print cookies if you did the berry thing).
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.