The lovely people over at Body Building Warehouse were kind enough to send over some of their products for me to sample. Firstly I’d like to thank them – I love trying new products and their sample box was extremely generous – I got a pack of protein pancake mix, a millionaires shortbread flavoured whey, a pack of chocolate protein mousse and a box of 12 of their flapjacks.
I’ll start with the one I was most excited about – the flapjacks. White chocolate chunk flapjacks! I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure what to expect – I know a couple of people who love them, but I’d also heard a lot of negative comments regarding the stevia flavour. Although I eat a lot of protein bars since they’re so convenient, given the choice I try to avoid artificial sweeteners particularly when baking things myself and stick to more natural sources of sweetness like honey or maple syrup. I know how popular sweeteners are in the fitness industry though, particularly zero calorie sauces and dips (which I’m personally sceptical about but each to their own!). For me these things taste overwhelmingly chemically (how can they not – they literally aren’t food if they’re calorie free!) and I’d rather take the option of something which was better tasting and less processed – but I don’t have any macro targets to meet so I can see why they’re popular. As far as protein bars go, these have a short ingredient list with only one long and mysterious ingredient (fructo-oligosaccharide). I won’t carry on rambling on about ingredients because to be honest, I don’t usually take much notice and if the product tastes good then that’s the only real thing that matters to me!
In short, I loved them! Absolute credit to the product developers who have managed to create a flapjack that actually tastes like a flapjack, containing 20g of protein! I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve had a lot of ‘flapjacks’ which have been dry as anything due to the whey, but these were gooey and oaty just like a flapjack should be! On opening them I could smell the chocolate straight away, and whilst yes, there is a taste of stevia, it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t take away from the taste of the bar (I’ve tasted a lot, lot worse!). There were decent white chocolate chunks in there too. Proper chunks throughout the bar, not the tiny ones you have to search for.
They’re quite dense bars, so they actually feel like you’re eating something of substance which is a huge bonus for me as I’m constantly snacking and I never feel full! Overall I was impressed with these and I’d recommend them. Since they’re flapjacks, they make a nice change to other protein bars too – the only other protein flapjack I’ve tried was the Grenade ones and I was less than impressed with those. I’ve openly said many times that Grenade carb killa bars are my favourite protein bar though (despite the stupid name!) so I imagine that people wonder which one I prefer. Truthfully, they just aren’t comparable in my eyes. I’m not just being diplomatic, that’s my honest opinion – you wouldn’t compare a chocolate bar to a flapjack, or your favourite cookie to your favourite cake and so likewise I just can’t compare these two bars. They’re both very different and they’re both delicious.
Onto the pancake mix. It comes with a shaker for mixing to make life easier. I’ll admit I mainly just use protein powder to add to my baking and so I don’t really use shakers but I was (somewhat stupidly perhaps!) baffled by this one. It came with a silver ball inside which I’ve never seen before.. but it does make it a lot easier to clean as there isn’t an area at the top for liquid/powder to get stuck inside! The first time I made the pancakes they were very thin.. I used three scoops of the pancake mix with 200ml water and it was more like a crepe consistency. There is a slight chemically taste if you eat them alone, which I wasn’t a huge fan of though I can’t imagine this would be a problem for most people if they use products like Walden farms! I don’t though and I topped my stack with yogurt and maple syrup and with the toppings and it tasted delicious 🙂 They have a cakey-texture and they aren’t very fluffy but I’m going to try and make them again with less water, or I may add yogurt to the mix to thicken it slightly. I’m rarely patient enough to make pancakes as I end up just eating them as I go along since they take so long to fry but I have often wondered what the hype is with pancake mix. When I make them from scratch I simply add a mashed banana, oats, ground almonds, eggs and some protein powder and that’s it – it’s easy and quick enough, though this literally was an instant mix so now I guess I see the appeal!
With such an amazing sounding flavour like Millionaire’s Shortbread, I had to bake a giant cookie with this whey (and stuff it full of caramel and chocolate of course!)
The flavour was okay – it did smell of caramel and it had a decent flavour but it wasn’t anything special and it did taste a little chemically/more artificial than other protein powders I’ve baked with. Personally I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it and I probably wouldn’t recommend it either.
The pink tinge on my hands is beetroot hummus btw…. in case anyone was wondering (and if not I’ve now drawn unnecessary attention to it!)
Finally in the seriously long time it’s taken me to write up this review, I was completely spoilt and got sent another box to try – mint chocolate chunk. I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of mint chocolate. I don’t know when it happened because growing up I loved After Eights and my favourite flavour of ice cream was mint chocolate chip! But somewhere along the way I just decided it wasn’t for me anymore and so I never choose that flavour now. After how much I loved the white chocolate chunk ones though I obviously wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to try a different flavour and I think all mint chocolate fans would love this bar.
There’s a strong mint chocolate smell on opening the bar and they’ve really nailed the flavour – it takes me right back to my childhood mint chocolate chip ice cream days! As with the white chocolate chunk flavour, the texture is perfect – dense enough so you actually feel like you’re eating a proper flapjack, but not so dense that you have to prise your jaw apart as is the case with so many other protein bars! I didn’t think there were as many chunks as the white chocolate flavour but maybe it’s just luck of the draw 😉 Again I would definitely recommend these bars and I’ll definitely buy them in the future!
I have yet to try the protein mousse.. I bake with protein powders a lot but I don’t really drink or eat them alone so to be honest that doesn’t really appeal to me much, but perhaps one day I’ll bake it into an epic dessert 🙂