As a reminder, I LOVE QUEST BARS. I don’t think they’re the “cleanest” or most “natural” or best “whole food” choice out there, nor do I think they’re a great snack choice for non-active bodies, and I certainly don’t agree with feeding them to young children (I’ve seen posts on the Quest Nutrition Facebook page of parents giving their TODDLERS Quest bars “for teething” – give your heads a shake, people!). But for ME – I just can’t get enough of them. I shudder to think how many hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I’ve spent on Quest bars in the just under two years that have elapsed since I was introduced to them (had I known at the time what a staple they would become in my diet, I would have kissed the person who introduced me to them).
All that being said, I don’t love all Quest bars equally. So I decided to stack ’em up for you. And remember, I am (sadly) not compensated in any way by Quest Nutrition for my *expert* opinion, so while this post is plastered with Quest bars, all content, views and opinions expressed herein are my own and I have no affiliation with Quest Nutrition (other than as a very loyal and vocal customer) – yet (here’s hoping!).
Right off the hop (or out of the gate), I had to split Quest bars into two broad categories: Quest bars with chocolate and Quest bars without chocolate. It just would not be fair to rank a bar without chocolate against one with chocolate – in my world, the former would never stand a chance against the latter. Although there ARE times when I’m actually NOT in the mood for chocolate (!). If that ever happens to you, you should also check out my Review: Quest Bars (Non-Chocolate Category).
Hands-down, this is my absolute favourite Quest bar flavour (so far). It’s also in their “natural” line, meaning that it is sweetened with a combination of erythritol and/or stevia and/or lo han guo (the Chinese equivalent of stevia) and no “artificial” sweeteners like Sucralose (which IS present in some of their other flavours). This Quest bar combines a chocolate base bar with what Quest calls “inclusions” – chunks of chocolate pieces. They combine to create a rich chocolate brownie-like experience with incredibly chewy, fudgy texture* and just the right amount of sweetness.
Calories: 160 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 16g Protein: 20g
Number two in MY list happens to be number ONE in Mr. Golden Graham’s list, and this bar really delivers. The “cookie dough” inclusions are really just like those little blobs of cookie dough you get in a good cookie dough ice cream. And if you warm up this bar*, then it really is like biting into a soft, chewy, freshly baked cookie. What’s not to love? This is the kind of bar you might need to hide from your kids. Or spouse. Or co-workers. Basically, hoard these bars for yourself.
Calories: 190 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 21g
Every time the Golden Graham Boy sees the box for these bars, he tries to convince me that they’re “good for kids” (his words). True to the picture on the box, these bars deliver on the classic sandwich cookie with creme, the Oreo (how he knows he likes Oreos is beyond me because I don’t know that we’ve given him one yet, but he certainly is aware of the commercials. So I’ve shielded my child from one thing – the sugary delight that is an Oreo – but not an another – television programming with commercials targeted to children. Thank goodness this isn’t a parenting blog! But I will still assert my position that Quest bars are NOT an appropriate snack choice for the elementary-school (and under) set). Make this an adult indulgence and be transported to YOUR childhood, minus the high-fructose corn syrup.
Calories: 180 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 22g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 21g
To me, this is the classic Quest bar. It was probably the first flavour I tried, and if you check out my Facebook page, then you know that I LOVE the combination of chocolate & peanut butter. Neither flavour overpowers the other in this bar, although I almost wish that it had some peanut butter “inclusions” to amp up the peanut butter experience. That would probably move it into a neck-and-neck race with Double Chocolate Chunk for my favourite Quest bar.
Calories: 160 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
This is the newest Quest bar flavour and it doesn’t disappoint on the mint chocolate experience. My only issue is that I generally prefer mint-flavoured things that are cool/cold (like my Mint Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding) AND with this bar, Quest Nutrition is moving further and further away from its “all-natural” ingredients to include things like palm oil, sunflower lecithin, Sucralose, additional colorants for the bright green mint colour and xantham gum. Ingredients aside, it’s still darn tasty.
Calories: 190 Fat: 9g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 15g Protein: 20g
I don’t have as much experience with this flavour as I wish I did – we’ve only ordered one box so far. It’s not so much that we didn’t like this flavour (and I’ve seen it used in some really fun-looking recipes, like baking it into a bowl shape to hold ice cream or frozen yogurt), but just that we like the other flavours even better. For a true s’mores experience, I’d really want some chunks of real graham crackers.
Calories: 180 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 23g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 13g Protein: 20g
This bar has a great fudgey, brownie texture and chocolate flavour but I found there was an overly salty taste (and that’s saying something, coming from someone who loves to season with salt as much as I do) and a strong taste of the artificial sweetener Sucralose. This bar is at the bottom of the list because of this strong and noticeable (for me) Sucralose aftertaste. For a delicious, Sucralose-free brownie experience, you’re better off with the Double Chocolate Chunk bar, in my humble opinion.
Calories: 170 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 24g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 19g Protein: 20g
*Note: ALL Quest bars taste even better when they are heated up: either unwrap and heat on high power on a microwave safe plate for 20 seconds OR unwrap and bake in a baking dish at 350F for 5 minutes.
**Note: The calorie count on Quest bars does NOT follow the standard 4 calories per gram of protein & carbohydrate plus 9 calories per gram of fat. Consistent with food industry/labeling guidelines, certain types of fiber are considered impossible to digest by the human body and those grams do NOT attract any calories.