Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: EcoTrek Fitness Dark Chocolate Raspberry Whole Food Bar

In my last EcoTrek Fitness bar review, I mentioned how it seems like gluten free is taking over the world.  I'll spare you that diatribe again (if you even read it the first time) and just focus on the fact that today I'll be taking a look at another one of their products in this review of the EcoTrek Fitness Dark Chocolate Raspberry Whole Food Bar.  I picked this one up in the same clearance sale at Meijer for $1.99 and each bar is 1.76 ounces (that seems to be a standard size for many, many bars out there oddly enough) with 195 calories and ten grams of protein.  It's all natural, dairy free gluten free, vegan and consists of all sorts of fruits and vegetables, so it's got all that going for it.

As you can see from this bar, it's enrobed in a thick outer layer of dark chocolate.  The dark chocolate had a mild smell, but what really took it over as soon as I split this bar in half for the photo above was the smell of the plethora of the small raspberry bits (they were freeze dried?!) and juices from the interior of the bar.  It was strong and quite appetizing, so I appreciated that very much because quite honestly, I was somewhat afraid of this bar when I looked at it at just face value.  Also within this bar were tons of superfood mixes, including the brand new (to me) superfood butter! [Editors Note: A commenter let me know that this was a typo and it was actually sunflower butter.  But, the typo made me laugh because of its absurdity, so I'm keeping it in the post for comedy purposes and so you can marvel at my stupidy.]  Some of the other superfoods in the bar included "Beet Juice, Concord Grape, Blueberry, Pomegranate, Acai, Spirulina, Aloe Vera, Barley Grass, Soy Lecithin [98% Oil Free], Fructooligosaccharides, Inulin, Chlorella, Wheat Grass Powder, Wheat Sprout, Red Raspberry Leaf, Spinach, Hydrilla Verticillata Root, Nova Scotia Dulse [Purple Seaweed], Mangosteen, Parsley and Protease."  And yes, I just italicized and quoted that because I took it straight from their website because it is so crazy.  To top it all off, there was also peanut "paste" and something proprietary called "Fruitrim® (Fruit Juices, Natural Grain Dextrins)" in the interior as well.  How appealing does that long list sound?  Yummy!  Okay, enough of me knocking the ingredient list, although I will say that seeing that list makes it seem funny to me that this bar is all natural.

As I bit into this bar, my first thought was that the melting dark chocolate provide somewhat of a creaminess to what ended up being a chewy and somewhat gummy interior.  What saved this bar was that punch of freeze dried raspberries that provided nice sweet and tangy flavor and that was punctuated I'm sure by the many other fruits in the superfood blend.  Along with the raspberry flavor, that was a slight hint of the peanut paste to top that all off, so it provided and interesting and flavorful little combination that mixed well with the essentially flat dark chocolate.  The flatness of the dark chocolate was fine though because this bar didn't really need any other sweetness since the berry blend took care of it all.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I mentioned over the course of this review that I was kind of afraid of this bar going into it, but after testing it out for this review, I can honestly say that I enjoyed it and will gladly give it a BUY IT rating.  Not a world beater by any means, but it did wrap itself together enough to make me think it was a flavorful crossing of a raspberry-flavored candy bar and a brownie.  Bizarre, but tasty...and healthy.


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