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PROBAR Core Protein Bars – Taste Test

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I am a huge fan of PROBAR snack bars. I’ve written about them several times and even shared a more detailed post on how I use them as the cornerstone of my no-cook backpacking meal plan. All of those posts were about the PROBAR Meal bars, ideal for replacing a whole meal with one compact, nutritious bar. Now I’d like to turn your attention to one of their newer bars, their CORE protein bars.

20g of Plant Protein

As you would expect from PROBAR these bars are packed with the very best ingredients just like their Meal bars. However, unlike the Meal bars these are high in protein making them perfect as a post workout recovery snack. The CORE bars average about 290 calories per bar, so they are not a meal replacement by any means, but with 20g of plant protein (soy isolate) they will give you the strength you need to muscle through the day and recover from strenuous activity.  CORE bars come in four amazing flavors: Brownie Crisp, Cookie Dough (my favorite), Mint Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Chocolate.

Unlike some other protein snack bars that I’ve tried, the CORE bars are not as tough to bite through. The top layer of the bar seems to be the protein mixture and just below that is a crunchy layer, in this case it’s the brownie crisp layer.

Organic Ingredients

PROBAR pride themselves on using the very best organic ingredients, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the amount of sugars in each bar – 14g in this cookie crisp variety from a combination of organic tapioca syrup, organic dried cane syrup, and organic agave syrup. Sugar is sugar. On the flip side of this, each of the four varieties of CORE bars contain Chia seeds which are well know for their health benefits and provide a significant does of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids.

I’ve been snacking on these for the past few months on and off and have to say that to this point these are my favorite protein snack bars. They may not have as much protein as other bars (Premier Protein for example), but their taste and texture are hard to beat in my honest opinion. I’m about to run out of these bars and will need to order some more pretty soon.

The only negative thing I can really say about the CORE bars is actually true of almost all of the protein bars that I’ve even had, and that is that they are chocolate coated! In moderately warm conditions these bars are a gooey mess to handle. When you open them the chocolate coating has melted and stuck to the inside of the wrapper and is not something you want to hold with your fingers. Why do so many protein bar manufacturers feel the need to coat the bars in chocolate? Are they too hard to swallow without it – I hope to find out one day.

If you have a favorite protein snack bar, or if you’ve recently tried the PROBAR CORE bars, share your experience below via the comments. I’m always on the lookout for new options or recommended products. I share with you, you share with me, and everyone benefits!

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Disclosure: PROBAR provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with some complementary CORE protein bars for taste testing and feedback.
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  • johnabela

    Hey Brian, I too found the chocolate coating to be an issue. Once they started getting even a little warm they become a sticky mess that caused me to have to use some precious water to get my hands from being all sticky. I would have prefered the bars to be a bit softer. The taste was not the greatest either, and I bought all of the different flavors. As much as I love PROBAR, I think in the end I would just rather consume 6 of the FUEL bars, or three of the MEAL bars, in order to obtain the same amount of protein.

    • I hear you John. You bring up two great points 1) the chocolate coating on all the various protein bars has got to stop, 2) there are some great alternatives to “protein” bars for backpackers, even if you want to stay within the pre-made bar category. As for the PROBAR Fuel bars I have to agree with your recent review (a great read by the way) and also love the fact that they are moist and soft. Double up on those and you’re good to go.

      The fact that we’d both rather double up on a different form of bar to achieve the same result as a purpose made protein bar should tell people something!

      I like to make my own Larabar type bars at home and I feel as though the consistency of them is similar to the Fuel bars and is probably why I like them. They’re easy to make and can pack a protein punch if you include almonds and cashews.

  • im a make it your self kinda guy so i like to make my own snacks

    i have found out that the chocolate helps hide some of the protine powder taste, you can get the same result by adding in minichocolate chips, if you use the ones for baking they have a much higher melting point so they tend not to melt in the pack

  • Thanks for the great information Andrew. I’ll check out the Quest bars for sure. As for Ritter… I have a fondness for their dark chocolate and marzipan bars – yumm!

  • Audrey, yes I still make them all the time. They’re super easy and have clean eating ingredients that work with my paleo diet. Have you tried making these? I’ll have to check out this version too, thanks for sharing!

    • Audrey LaCrouix

      No, I haven’t tried your recipes yet. I have them bookmarked for future use; I’m a fan of homemade v store-bought. I’ll let you know how mine turns out.