Product Review: The Gluten Free Bar–Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Last week, I randomly decided to stop by Marshalls. I had a break between deliveries and I had heard that they have some interesting vegan friendly snack options. I ended up getting these and a few other items. I hadn’t even thought about going to Marshalls for snacks until someone suggested it. They have a really great selection of vegan friendly products even though their food section is pretty small.

I picked these up not because they said “gluten-free” in giant letters, but because I saw the word “vegan” in small print on the front. There were a few different flavors, but I went with the dark chocolate coconut because those are two of  my favorite things. It also mentioned that these would taste like truffles, so I was intrigued. Looking closer, the front label makes the product sound really good for you, so I was kind of skeptical. Whenever a product brags about it being “actually good for you”, I start looking at ingredients. One of the first things that bothered me was the fact that the product says it is protein packed. It contains brown rice and pea protein, but per serving, there are only four grams of protein. When most companies advertise their product as being packed with protein, there are 10-20 grams per serving. To get the same equivalent, all five servings of these bites would have to be eaten. The bites also contained a lot of different sweeteners. The first ingredient was brown rice syrup followed closely by dates, agave nectar, and organic cane sugar. I was really worried that they would be overly sweet. It seemed to me that there were almost too many ingredients.

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When I got around to trying the bites, I was hesitant, but excited. I bit into one and it was a lot harder than I expected. I was hoping for something that was the consistency of a truffle, and it wasn’t that easy to bite into. To my surprise, it wasn’t too sweet. I did like that about it. There was a subtle flavor of chocolate. I was really hoping for something more chocolatey considering the fact that there were two different types of chocolate in the product. I think the protein powders made it too chewy. I didn’t taste the crisped brown rice or the sunflower seeds, which was kind of disappointing. I put some on my breakfast bowl with coconut yogurt and banana the next morning and they were nice for a little substance, but as I mentioned earlier, with only four grams of protein and two grams of fiber per two balls, I needed a little more to last me the morning.

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Overall I wasn’t in love with this product. I did finish the bag but I probably won’t be getting these again. I thought that they were a little too chewy, and had a lot of unnecessary ingredients. They weren’t chocolatey enough and they lacked some of the nutritional value I was hoping for.

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