Raising the Bar: A Story of Snack Love

In the beginning, there was a very VERY hungry girl…

My Favorite Snack & Protein Bars

But not anymore!

My friends can laugh and tease all they want, but no matter where I go, I will never be separated from my Triple ‘B’ (Bottomless Bag o’ Bars). Whether it’s in the car, at work, or traveling out of town, my little packaged pretties are on the ready to fend off any case of blindsighted hanger I may encounter.

Over the years, I’ve tried just about every bar out there…the good, the bad, and the DOWNRIGHT UGLY…so yes, I do consider myself a bit of an expert. In the last year, I can see that my unyielding experimentation has not been in vain. I have found the ELITE of the bar world, those that offer the best in taste and texture, that I know will satisfy my hunger, and that have me downright drooling come snack time.

So without further ado, I give you Heather’s Hanger Hunters:

Favorite Quest Bars

Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

I think it’s safe to say that after appearing in THIRTY ONE posts, Quest Bars are at the top of my list. With sixteen different flavors, it’s easy to find a favorite flavor…picking just ONE is the hard part. The cookie dough and the cookies and cream are the ones I go through the most (but then again, I am a self-proclaimed cookie monster), but I’m also growing more and more fond of the white chocolate raspberry and the double chocolate chunk, especially when broiled…crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside!

Purchased from: GNC, Publix, and online

Go to iherb.com and use coupon code QQQ940 for a discount on your first order!

Power Crunch Bars

Power Crunch Bars

I first stumbled upon these bars MANY years ago and I swear it was love at first bite. The texture is reminiscent of the Keebler sugar wafers from my childhood days…only without the sugar rush and crash! Out of all the flavors, my favorites are the cookies and creme, the chocolate mint (aka, Thin Mint) , and the chocolate peanut butter fudge (helloooooo, Reese’s!). Oh and just FYI, they’re fabulous dipped in coffee! 😉

Purchased from: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix, and Trader Joes

NV Protein Bars

Nature Valley Protein Bars

So I know I’ve already told you guys about my love for these two, but they deserve mention again. Seriously, the strawberry Greek yogurt bar is like a crunchy PB&J that I never want to end and the coconut almond is like…well, it’s like heaven, folks. I’m sorry, there is no other explanation this coconut lover can give you.

Purchased from: Nearly ANY grocery store

Nature Valley Soft Baked Bar

Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

When I want something a little lighter, I grab one of these cinnamon brown sugar squares. Out of the three flavors (other two being blueberry and peanut butter), I think these are the best with just the right amount of sweetness. And after being nuked in the microwave for a few seconds, they remind me of a fresh out of the toaster brown sugar pop-tart…or at least how I remember them in my head. We ALL know I’m never going back there!

Purchased from: Nearly ANY grocery store

Soy Joy Bar

SoyJoy Bars

Another bar that has been with me for years, yet for some reason has recently become harder to find in stores. The texture is unique in that it’s somewhere between a biscuit and biscotti, but what I really like is that it’s not a large bar (physically or calorically) so it’s perfect for me to grab pre-workout since I’m not usually one to eat before heading to the gym. Just heed my warning and steer clear of the banana butt flavor! 😉

Purchased from: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix, and Big Lots

Kidz Zone Caramel Crunch Bar

Kidz Zone Perfect Bars

Another lighter fare fave is this bar from Zone. I know they’re marketed toward a much younger crowd, but well, we’re all kids at heart, aren’t we? And besides, this bar got THREE thumbs up from my friends at Loufest this summer for having the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Also, I’m a sucker for a bar with some chew to it!

Purchased from: Big Lots

Detour Smart Bar

Detour Smart Bars

Out of all the flavors I tried of the Detour Smart bars, this was the only flavor that I felt was spot on (honestly, the cranberry flavor goes in the UGLY category). They’re chewy and light and have a good balance of protein and fiber to keep me satisfied. Also another one that’s even better after a spin in the microwave.

Purchased from: GNC

Health Warrior Chia Bars

Health Warrior Chia Bars

I have to say out of all the bars I’ve ever tried, these little guys surprised me the most! Even though I’m not a huge fan of chia seeds (why must I still be picking them out of my teeth two hours later?!), I can’t help but love these. These flavors are amazing (haven’t tried the others) and I usually down enough water to get about 95% of the seeds washed down and the chia does wonders for its satiation power. Also another great pre-workout nibble!

Purchased from: TJ Maxx and Kroger

Hope this post helps all you Snacky Cathy’s out there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a broiled Quest bar in the kitchen waiting to be slathered in peanut butter! 😉

Disclaimer: While some companies mentioned above have sent me product in the past, I have purchased all of the bars in this post multiple times. I was not in any way compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. I just wanted to share!

What are some of your favorite snack bars? 

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23 Responses to Raising the Bar: A Story of Snack Love

  1. Chia bars are the best! Just so damn expensive!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I know, it’s sad to see that such a tiny little bar can cost so much! Luckily my TJ Maxx keeps the boxes pretty well stocked so they only end up being a little over a dollar a bar.

  2. I sorta. have this obsession with bars and prepackaged snacks…the wrapper makes it looks extra exciting and the feel of having them in my hands feels…well…good?! Hah, like I can take on the world or I’m rich.

  3. Looove my Quest Bars. Although I’m usually too lazy to broil them/heat them up! I need to start doing that more often….

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I tend to go through phases…but I definitely prefer them broiled. Just wish I had a toaster oven or something at work I could use! Lol

  4. I’ve been worried about Chia bars for the same reason – I guess I will have to give them a chance. 🙂 I *try* to rely on things other than bars, but the life of a college student just does not allow that a lot of the time! Thanks for putting together the best of the best. 🙂

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you liked the compilation! I definitely remember the go-go-go times of college life. If it weren’t for bars and shakes, I never would’ve made it to graduation!

  5. We have a box-o-bars in the RV! It lives right behind the drives seat so all you have to do is reach bag and grab something. Once and awhile we’ll ask for a specific bar but usually we’re not that picky because we know we like everything in it! It’s got Larabars, RxBars and Simple Squares…YUM!

  6. Rub it in. Just rub it in, Heather. We’ve talked about the bar[e] shelves over here in detail before so you know the situation. So while I don’t like shameless self-promotion my only possible honest answer to the question of favourite bars would be these:
    http://letsgetupandlive.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/peas-over-nuts-cinnamon-chickpea-crunch-protein-bars/

    Still hoping for some Quest bars or those Power Crunch bars making their way to Germany one day. Maybe US companies just aren’t aware of the well-filled wallets of health nuts over here 😉 ?!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh oh OHHHH! You better believe that whenever I finally replenish my stash of peanut flour, those bars will be one of the FIRST things I make! It’s been so long since I’ve had any, but honestly, I’m such an addict, I was trying to delay it as much as I can…of course, I guess I’m just trading one vice for another. Here’s looking at you, Quest! Lol

  7. Angela says:

    Have you ever tried Simply bars? they’re like healthy rice krispies! and in my opinion more crunchy and tastier 😛

  8. Tracey says:

    Combat bars!!!

  9. I can’t eat any of these bars lol! #allergyproblems

    So my favourite bars are the homemade type. Fannetastic Food’s no bake granola bars and Angela’s bars from the Oh She Glows cookbook are two of my faves!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Ohhh, those no bake peanut butter bars from Fannetastic Food look incredible! One of these days I’ll get back in the kitchen…remember that time I went crazy with all the homemade bars? Now that I think about it, I do still have a couple left in the freezer. Hmm, I think it may be time for a little snack! Funny how catching up on responding to comments almost a month old can make you so hungry! 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Ohhh, those no bake peanut butter bars from Fannetastic Food look incredible! One of these days I’ll get back in the kitchen…remember that time I went crazy with all the homemade bars? Now that I think about it, I do still have a couple left in the freezer. Hmm, I think it may be time for a little snack! Funny how responding to comments back-logged for almost a month can make you so hungry! Lol

  10. Yum I love bars but since I have moved to a country where bars are unavailable I have learned to make my own which has not only saved me tons of cash it has made me extremely conscious of what bars I buy when I go back to the states! I love quest bars they just pack a powerful flavor punch and are so good! I have yet to try the chia bars but want to those look good. Thank you for sharing xo C

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That’s great, Courtney! I do hope to eventually get my booty back in the kitchen one of these days. I went through a homemade bar craze about a year ago…I just couldn’t stop…so many different possibilities!

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