Hey y’all! I rarely check in on the weekends, but I guess you could say it’s been a little slow around here. The weather was yucky, Ryne was hanging with one of his buddies, and Maddux and I were on our own. To be honest, I was a little bored.
Of course, when Maddux is awake we are playing. It’s the nap times that drag on a bit. Do not get me wrong, I am thankful to have such a good little napper. It took him a little while to crash this morning, but he finally gave in. Once he’s asleep, he sleeps hard. I was blasting music and running on the treadmill across the hall and he didn’t budge. Love him for that! Because of a combination of his great nap and my tremendous boredom, I ran for 50 minutes today. That’s the longest I’ve been on that thing in a while. I’ve been focusing on lifting, so it was nice to spend some time with my old frenemy. 😉
His second nap was even longer and even more boring. I had an hour or two to kill with nothing that I had to do. Those are the best times to play in the kitchen, am I right? Recently Quest Nutrition sent me some of their products to review. I know that baking Quest Bars is all the rage these days, so I thought I’d put my own little spin on that. I am so damn glad I did. Protein Cheesecake Cookie Cups, anyone?
- 1 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon cottage cheese
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder (for chocolate cheesecake)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease your cupcake pan. They might not have stuck without that step, but I wasn’t risking a perfectly good bar to find out.
- Unwrap the Quest Bar, microwave it for ten seconds, and tear it in half. Do your best not to eat it right away. I know, it’s difficult.
- Press each half into a separate well in the cupcake pan until they evenly cover the well. Basically, mush them into the pan until they look like a cup made of cookie.
- Mix your yogurt, cottage cheese, egg white, protein powder, and lemon juice in a small blender until perfectly smooth. You don’t want a lumpy cheesecake, do you? Add cocoa powder if chocolate is your thing.
- Pour half of the mixture into each of the cookie cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is only slightly jiggly.
(Each cookie cup has around 170 calories and 15 grams of protein, but it depends slightly on the brands you choose for the other products.)
Now that I’ve shared my favorite new “treat”, I guess I should review the star of the show: Quest Bars.
First off, let me say that I am not a huge fan of protein bars. I usually eat them in emergency situations, when they’re the last choice for a protein fix. There are only a few brands that I will even attempt to eat at this point. It’s just not worth it to me most of the time. Most bars that I’ve come across have been really dry and tasteless or really high in calories and sugar.
That is not the case with Quest Bars.
I liked that they were all around 200 calories. To me, that’s the “sweet spot” for a supplemental calorie count. I don’t want the bars I eat to be too low in calories since they’re supposed to be fuel, but I also don’t want them to tread too close to meal territory. I aint tryin’ to eat a bar as a meal, ya dig? I like real food too much to play around like that.
I really, really, really liked the sugar content on the bars. All of the bars I tried contained only 1 or 2 grams of sugar for the entire bar. I don’t know how they limited the sugar, but they did. And I’m glad. I don’t want to crash and burn after I eat a protein bar. I’d just eat candy if I did.
Okay, now to the most important part: the flavors.
Two of my favorite bars are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Brownie. I liked that they were simple. I don’t need complicated flavors in a bar. I like cookies and I like brownies. Easy enough. My two least favorites were Cinnamon Roll and Banana Nut Muffin. I didn’t like the texture of those two when nuked in the microwave (aka my favorite way to eat these bars).
I should also mention the Protein Peanut Butter Cups they sent for me to try. Don’t buy these if you need them to taste exactly like a peanut butter cup. They don’t, but that’s because they aren’t stuffed with sugar. They are a bit dry for me to eat all of them straight up, but they work perfectly in baked goods. I crumbled one into a protein “mug cake” the other day and it tasted great.
I’ll definitely be ordering more of my favorite flavors soon. In my opinion, they are much better than your typical protein bar. The fact that they lend themselves so well to baking means that they are pretty daggum versatile. Even if you don’t want to eat them straight up, I highly suggest grabbing a couple to play around with in the kitchen. Some amazing things might happen. 😉
I received these products in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Now that I’ve got a full belly (thanks, cheesecake!), I’m off to bed! Hope y’all are having a fantastic weekend! Weather permitting, I’ll be going to an outdoor concert tomorrow. Cross your fingers!