Post 24 - Amazing Grass Chcolate Peanut Butter

Brand: Amazing Grass (Still no website to link to.)

Product: Green Superfood Chocolate Peanut Butter

Weight: 2.2oz / 63g

Cost: $2.49/per, online (not from manufacturer)

Stats

Calories: 270

Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat 4g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Sodium: 190mg

Potassium: 250mg

Total Carb: 28g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 19g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 5.45g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.21

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.3-1

Vit A: 35% DV

Vit B12: 6% DV

Vit C: 15% DV

Vit K: 15% DV

Calcium: 10% DV

Iron: 8% DV

Organic, gluten free, and fair trade.

Not made in a gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

The taste of this Amazing Grass bar was the best that brand has had to offer, which isn’t saying much since flavor-wise this has been consistently one of the most disappointing brands. This one had real peanuts, peanut butter, and was covered in delicious chocolate. It wasn’t as good as any of the other chocolate peanut butter bars I’ve tried, but I have pretty high standards (one might say snobby). It was better than a Power Bar, and better than the NuGo bars I have reviewed, but that really isn’t saying much, at least not enough in my book. This is the first bar I have reviewed that has any cholesterol, which isn’t inherently a bad thing as it could be good cholesterol (the label doesn’t specify). This bar also uses whey protein, which I am not the biggest fan of since it tends to be a cheap filler protein compared to other, better sources like almonds and hemp. At the same time, I am not vegan and love dairy so whey is not a problem for me but could be if you are vegan or whey intolerant. The Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter bar is also pretty nutrient dense with a good balance of nutrients, including lots of potassium.

Construction of the largest and most powerful camera in the world just secured the funding needed to be completed on schedule, thanks to a grant they received from the National Science Foundation. On schedule is still very relative, as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is not scheduled to be completed until sometime in 2022. The LSST is one of the current project being worked on by the Department of Energy’s Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) laboratory. This isn’t SLAC’s first record-setting camera, they previously have built one of the world’s fastest shooting cameras as well. While SLAC is building the LSST, it will not be at Stanford, it will be located on top of Cerro Pachon, in Chile.

You might be wondering, just how big is it LSST? First off, the LSST is the whole telescope, which is an 8.4 meter ground-based telescope. The camera at the heart of it will be about the size of a VW Beetle and will weigh about 2,800 kilograms; which, for reference, is the weight of four VW Beetles. The camera is equipped with an innovative triple-lens design, a 64cm diameter array of 16 megapixel silicon detectors will comprise the 3,200 megapixel (3.2 gigapixel) sensor which is what takes all the shots. This gives the LSST to have an extraordinarily wide field of view, which, paired with its double 15-second exposures, will give the LSST unprecedented abilities in its decade-long survey of the Southern sky. The LSST will generate roughly 200,000 extremely detailed images every night (about 20 terabytes of data).

Diagram of the LSST’s camera.

 

For comparison, the camera with the most megapixels in the world is a Canon, which boasts 120 megapixels and it is not available on the consumer market. For the curious, the most powerful smartphone camera is a Nokia, rocking a boosted up 41 megapixels. The LSST is equivalent to the power of 26 of those Canons combined, or 78 of those Nokia phones. It would take the combined megapixels from every camera phone and i-Pad blocking my view at the last concert I went to in order to get anywhere near the LSST.

For those technically in the know, megapixels aren’t all that matters and more megapixels will not always make for better photos. The quality of the camera’s sensor is essential to taking good shots, and currently for consumer cameras, CMOS is winning out against CCD sensors. From the sound of it, the LSST uses something totally different, which is very exciting. I can’t wait for the consumer market to be able to use these new technologies for faster shooting, more powerful cameras, with obscene amounts of storage space.

Post 23 - Pure Bar Ancient Grains

Brand: Pure Bar

Product: Ancient Grains Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar

Weight: 1.23oz / 35g

Cost: $2.19/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 160

Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat 1.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 65mg

Potassium: 135mg

Total Carb: 17g

Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 8g

Protein: 5g

Protein per ounce: 4.06g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.44

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.4-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 4% DV

Organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, and vegan.

Flavor:

As awesome as the Chocolate Brownie bar was, is about as disappointing as this Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar tasted. I had pretty high hopes for Pure Bar after that protein-dense brownie bar rocked my world to its very core. While the taste and mouth-feel of the last bar were spot-on perfect for being a delicious brownie with some nutrients hidden away in the mix, this bar had a mouth-feel that reminded me of a dry granola bar that they tried to jazz up with some bits of chocolate.

The one major selling point to this bar is that it is physically the lightest weight/smallest bar I have reviewed. I’m not actually sure if that even is a selling point, since it is not the most nutrient dense (not by a long shot) meaning you’d be better off eating a piece of an Organic Food Bar or a 22 Days bar rather than ever trying this disappointment. That being said, the small size of this bar manages to give it a protein-density greater than the Pure Bar Chocolate Brownie, the Kit’s Organic Bar, and all of the Simple Squares. The carb-to-protein ratio is also right in the ideal window. But, the price per gram of protein here is the worst out of every bar I have reviewed, making this the worst buy so far.  This bar did have the lowest amount of sugar out of all the bars I have reviewed, making this ideal for anyone who is diabetic.

Hey readers, I am back from the Black Rock Desert and my third trip out to Burning Man. Now I can speak from experience as to which protein bars actually held up best in the intense desert heat (which was significantly less intense than previous years). I’ll be trying to settle back into my groove of 1-2 of these a week now that life has gone back to relative normalcy.

Post 22 - 22 Days Coconut Chocolate Chip

Brand: 22 Days

Product: Coconut & Chocolate Chip Protein Bar

Weight: 2.6oz / 75g

Cost: $2.99/per from manufacturer.

Stats

Calories: 290

Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat 4.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 5mg

Total Carb: 33g

Fiber: 12g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 20g

Protein per ounce: 7.69g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.15

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.8-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Calcium: 8% DV

Iron: 35% DV

Organic, plant based, vegan, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free.

Not made in gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It was faintly coconut tasting, not as strong as I would have liked but probably for the best since coconut can be one of those flavors where either you love it (like I do) or you hate it. The chocolate was definitely more of the central flavor in this bar and the overall flavor was quite pleasant. Like the other 22 Days bar I reviewed, the texture did remind me a bit of a power bar, really chewy but with a pleasant mouth feel. It did not have a shred of the dreaded chalky taste that typifies cheap protein; one of the major reasons I love this brand is they are entirely plant based without and cheap whey, wheat, or soy protein as fillers. The importance of this point cannot be overstated as most protein bars on the market are loaded with cheap filler proteins from China. Outside of the protein, there was a ton of iron, at 35% DV this would be the most iron-rich bar I have reviewed making it good for people who are iron deficient. This coconut protein bar manages to be even more nutrient dense than 22 Days peanut butter protein bar, not by much but by enough to be notable.

As I made note of in my first review on 22 Days Daily Mocha Mantra, 22 Days has some organic protein bars that pack 20 grams of protein into each bar. While they are a bit heftier than other bars by about half an ounce they still pack in more protein per ounce than anything else I have reviewed, even more than the Squarebar. These 22 Days bars still have the cheapest protein per gram cost at 15 cents a gram and the best density of any bar reviewed; at this point I doubt I will find anything better. While I did not bring any of this flavor with me to Burning Man, I did bring three other 22 Days bars and they all held up well (save for my walnut protein bar where it seemed that the factory seal didn’t hold in the heat, the bar still tasted great but it was kind of stale).

Post 21 - Simple Squares Coffee

Brand: Simple Squares

Product: Coffee Nuts & Honey Organic Snack Bar

Weight: 1.6oz / 45g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat 5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 95mg

Total Carb: 16g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.75g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.41

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.6-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, gluten free, wheat free, kosher, no refined sugars, soy and dairy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It would seem I spoke too soon when I said the Daily Mocha Mantra bar, from my first post, was the only one made with real organic coffee; now that I have had the coffee Simple Square I know my error. It would seem there are two made with coffee (if any of you readers know of another one let me know). The flavor was similar to the ginger Simple Square, but with hints of coffee instead of ginger. It was not nearly as tasty as the coconut Simple Square I started with, but hey, it had coffee in it so that’s pretty cool, right? The mouth feel of all of these Simple Squares is the same, as the ingredients are virtually identical in all of their products. Simple Square created one template to rule them all, and then made a bunch of flavors to apply to that template. The nutrient content is not very good and the protein ratio is also lacking, the major win for this bar is that it is made with coffee and is still kosher.

Another win for the entire Simple Square family of products is that they have nothing in them to melt in high heat situations, making them all great for Burning Man. I picked up a few Simple Squares and other bars that seem Burn-friendly to bring out with me this year to test them first-hand in the desert heat.

Post 20 - Squarebar Cocoa Almond

 

Brand: Squarebar

Product: Cocoa Almond Organic Protein Bar

Weight: 1.7oz / 48g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 210

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 7g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 40mg

Potassium: 230mg

Total Carb: 21g

Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 14g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 7.06g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.21

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.83-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 4% DV

Magnesium: 6% DV

Zinc: 2% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, soy free, vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility, but good manufacturing practices are used.

Flavor:

The last Squarebar I reviewed in post 8 is still one of the best I have had up to this point, in terms of overall nutritional value and taste; it kicked ass in both categories. I had very high hopes for this Squarebar, perhaps too high, as it was definitely not as good on the flavor-side. Despite that, it was still a big winner in terms of nutrients. Just like the other Squarebar, the protein is all plant based with no whey or soy as filler. The mouth feel of this bar was also not as good as the Cocoa Crunch, but it was still pleasant. All things considered, I would opt for the Cocoa Crunch over the Cocoa Almond Squarebar, but if I wanted some variety I would still eat the Almond one. Speaking of variety, I have two more Squarebar reviews to come (new flavors I found more recently). Like the last Squarebar, I left the Burning Man tag off this post for obvious chocolatey reasons, this is another example of the type of bar that will melt into a gooey mess in high heat.

One extra plus for Bay Area residents like me is that they are local, made in Alameda. If I wanted to I could bike to them and pick up the bars in person creating no greenhouse gas emissions in shipping; this is the processed food equivalent to going to the farmers market. I just made a run to Whole Foods to get some more protein bars for review, up until now they all came from my local Pharmaca here in Oakland. The Squarebar is the first out of the Whole Foods bars I am reviewing.

Post 19 - Evo Hemp Pineapple Almond

Brand: Evo Hemp

Product: Pineapple Almond + Raw Protein (Hemp Powder)

Weight: 1.69oz /48g

Cost: $2.25/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 205

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Potassium: 280mg

Total Carb: 22g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 11g

Protein: 8g

Protein per ounce: 4.73g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.28

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit B1: 4% DV

Vit B6: 4% DV

Vit C: 2% DV

Vit E: 15% DV

Magnesium: 20% DV

Zinc: 2% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 10% DV

Manganese: 15% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, and soy free.

Flavor:

If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I love hemp, so the idea of a protein bar largely made of hemp definitely has some appeal. The flavor wasn’t particularly inspiring nor unpleasant in any way. It was somewhat sweet, yet savory, the dates that make up much of the bar are a large flavor component. This Evo Hemp bar didn’t have as good of a flavor or mouth feel as the last one I reviewed for post #4, but it did have more protein, magnesium, manganese and other minerals. The protein per ounce ratio on the Evo Hemp bars isn’t as high as many of the bars I have reviewed but it also isn’t the lowest, and for the price it makes this a very well-rounded middle of the road protein bar, with a lot of auxiliary nutrients for those who need them. The extra minerals and bromelian from the pineapple would be a great asset for anyone who is mineral deprived or needs a little extra boost recovering from an MDMA hangover, which could be great at festivals like Burning Man (if you take MDMA). The lack of chocolate coupled with the bromelian makes this an ideal protein bar for Burning Man, especially if you intend to take MDMA out there.

Post 18 - Nugo Organic Dark Chocolate Pomegranate

Brand: NuGo Organic

Product: Dark Chocolate Pomegranate

Weight: 1.76oz / 50g

Cost: $1.83/per  from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 190

Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat 3g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 60mg

Total Carb: 26g

Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 16g

Protein: 10g

Protein per ounce: 5.68g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.18

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.6-1

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 4% DV

Organic, low fat, non-GMO, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

It tasted better than the last NuGo Organic bar I reviewed, but that really isn’t saying much. It was also better tasting than the last Amazing Grass bar I reviewed that tasted like spirulina disappointment. The flavor itself wasn’t terrible, but the mouth feel was atrocious, it felt like chewing on dried, kind of stale granola bar dipped in chocolate. It didn’t have the smoothness or depth of feel and flavor that the other bars I have been reviewing have had. it was better than your average non-organic bar but that really isn’t saying much. The saving grace of this brand is that that bars are cheap; mediocre, but cheap to fit that mediocrity. Nutritionally this bar brought next to nothing to the table other than protein, but the protein per ounce was pretty decent and better than many of the bars I have reviewed. From that perspective this bar might be worth buying, if you can handle the mediocre taste and mouth feel. Every one of those bars it out-proteined tasted *far* better than this bar, but still, this wasn’t the worst tasting of the bunch so it definitely is a better buy than some options. It would be a terrible choice for Burning Man as it was covered in chocolate and would melt into a liquid mess in the wrapper.

Post 17 - Organic Food Bar Protein

 

Brand: Organic Food Bar

Product: Protein

Weight: 2.65z / 60g

Cost: $3.29/per, online

Stats

Calories: 330

Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat 1.4g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 5mg

Potassium: 364mg

Total Carb: 33g

Fiber: 8g

Sugars: 18g

Protein: 22g

Protein per ounce: 8.3g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.15

Carb to Protein Ratio: 1.5-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 10% DV

Iron: 9% DV

Organic, 100% raw, gluten free, cold processed, alkaline forming, non-GMO, vegan, and produced with solar power.

Not made in a gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

I was a little skeptical when I saw the package, the package kind of reminds me of a Power Bar or some other generic protein bar full of fake garbage. Upon closer inspection I saw a really simple ingredient list and none of it was a chemical or something synthetic. This bar was 100% raw and 100% deliciously awesome. While it was the most expensive bar I have reviewed in terms of total cost, the protein per gram cost was one of the lowest and this bar had the highest amount of protein out of any bar I have reviewed so far. This was a very solid protein bar with lots of potassium, but it really didn’t have any other nutrients worth noting. I am intrigued to check out other bars by this company to see if they have something comparable on the protein but with more other nutrients as well. The flavor was pleasant but also kind of bland, it tasted strongly of the dates and nut butter that make it up. You could see the sesame seeds in it and occasionally get a small crunch from them. It had a mouth feel similar to a Power Bar, but softer. The complete lack of chocolate would make this a great bar for Burning Man

 

Post 16 - Amazing Grass Chocolate Cherry

Brand: Amazing Grass (Yup, they still don’t have a website)

Product: Green Superfood Chocolate Cherry Almond

Weight: 2.1oz / 60g

Cost: $2.49/per, online (not from manufacturer)

Stats

Calories: 240

Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat 3g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 50mg

Potassium: 190mg

Total Carb: 33g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 20g

Protein: 10g

Protein per ounce: 4.76g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.25

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.3-1

Vit A: 30% DV

Vit B12: 6% DV

Vit C: 10% DV

Vit K: 10% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, alkaline, gluten free, fair trade, non-GMO, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

I’m not sure if ‘Amazing Grass’ is meant to be a punny play-on-words for Amazing Grace, but there is absolutely nothing amazing or graceful about this bar. This thing tasted like stale spirulina covered in chocolate; at least it was covered in chocolate but that’s like putting a new paint job on the Titanic and calling it good. That is not going to cut when much better options exist for the same cost, or even lower cost per gram of protein, and when there are bars with a much better flavor. On that note, this bar had the most sugar out of any of the bars I have reviewed and still managed to taste awful; a lose-lose. If you’re going to have lots of sugar at least taste decent. Seriously, this bar is 7 grams of sugar away from a Snickers bar (Fun Fact: Snickers is the “protein bar” of candy bars, clocking in at 4 grams and 2.16g of protein per ounce). At least the last Amazing Grass bar I reviewed was merely “nothing spectacular or memorable,” if this one came even close to that I would be happy, instead I just want the bad taste out of my mouth.

This bar doesn’t even have the saving grace of being good for Burning Man; by being covered in chocolate it is the enemy in those kind of high-heat environments. By all measures, this bar is an utter failure. Save yourself $2.49 and pass on this one.