As I mentioned in my review of all of the Quest Nutrition Quest bars containing chocolate, it just wouldn’t be fair to rate them against the Quest bars that don’t feature chocolate. That being said, these bars are all delicious in their own right. And sometimes (only sometimes), I’m actually in the mood for something OTHER than chocolate (shocking, I know, but it DOES happen). When the mood for Cinnabon strikes, or some other delectable delight such as apple pie or strawberry cheesecake, I know that Quest bars have got my back in case I need a high-protein, portable option instead of the real deal.
So, here’s my (totally unofficial, non-sponsored) ranking of the Quest bars that DON’T have any chocolate in them. As I’ve said before, 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. If you ARE in the mood for chocolate (and who isn’t?), then you should also check out my Review: Quest Bars (Chocolate Category). I do have to say, though, that if you are Tracking Your Macros, there are more Quest bar options with fewer grams of fat in this non-chocolate category (keeping under one’s daily allotment for grams of fat is generally a bigger challenge for IIFYMer’s).
The Cinnamon Roll bar jockeys for first position of the non-chocolate Quest bars along with Vanilla Almond Crunch. This bar makes me happy when I’m sad that I can’t have Cinnabon. It really does hit the spot when I’m in the mood for something “cinnamon-y” and there is no weird aftertaste. I’m really looking forward to the fall and pairing this bar with pumpkin treats.
Calories: 170 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
As per the above, the Vanilla Almond Crunch bar is, from time to time, my favourite non-chocolate Quest bar, along with Cinnamon Roll. This tastes like a full-on candy bar and is a great choice to bake, break into little pieces, and sprinkle on frozen yogurt (or whatever else). Actually, all the Quest Bars make good candidates for this “crumble” treatment!
Calories: 190 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 18g Protein: 20g
Of all the dessert flavours that Quest Nutrition has tried to captured in its Quest bars (with varying degrees of success), I’d say that this one comes closest to hitting its mark. The flavour is reminiscent of a heavily sugared sweet apple pie and the smooth texture reminds me of the softness of baked apples and the bottom layer of crust (the one that gets creamy from absorbing the liquid of the apple mixture above it – I’ve always liked this soft “underbelly” of a pie vs. the crispy browned parts of the crust).
Calories: 180 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 4g Fiber: 18g Protein: 20g
Not as sickly sweet as the Apple Pie Quest bar, this bar also hits the spot when I am (weirdly) not in the mood for chocolate. It does have a hint of (artificial) lemon flavour, but isn’t quite as tart and refreshing as a true lemon curd or lemon custard.
Calories: 160 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
These bars are creamy and super-sweet, but then again, so is strawberry cheesecake (especially from Cheesecake Factory!). I actually really like using these bars as part of a recipe or paired with a less-sweet base, such as plain Greek yogurt as opposed to eating them on their own.
Calories: 170 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 23g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 13g Protein: 20g
Raspberry and white chocolate is one of those flavour combinations I hold in very high regard, so my expectations for this Quest bar were also very high. It didn’t quite live up to my dreams, as there is something distinctly artificial and over-sweet in the raspberry flavour (lacking that characteristic raspberry tartness) BUT it is a good candidate to help put any sweet tooth cravings to bed in a high-protein way.
Calories: 190 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 23g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
This peanut butter and jelly bar is certainly not as good as the real deal, but it’s a lot less messy than toting an actual peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the bottom of your gym bag so it will do in a pinch. It is one of only three Quest bars to provide 200 (or more) calories and only one of two (along with Peanut Butter Supreme) with double-digit fat grams. All considerations for the IIFYM crowd!
Calories: 200 Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
The Banana Nut Muffin Quest bar is certainly no where near as good as my Whole Wheat Banana-Walnut Muffins, but it DOES pack an awful lot of protein. The banana flavour seems artificial but it does, on the whole, capture the flavour of a banana-nut baked good (or at least, a banana-nut breakfast cereal).
Calories: 170 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
You’d think I’d be banans (or coconuts) for this Coconut Cashew bar, given that I’ve gone to the trouble of making cashew butter at home, and my love of all recipes featuring coconut. But there’s something just not quite right about both the cashew and the coconut flavours in this bar. At one point, I described this flavour as “the most underwhelming” Quest bar that I had tried to date. I reconsidered, though, when I realized how off-putting I found the Sucralose aftertaste of the Peanut Butter Supreme bar. I’m also more likely to eat the Coconut Cashew flavour simply because it gives me the same number of grams of protein as the PB bar, but leaves me with more grams of fat in my daily allotment (a.k.a. a spoonful of REAL peanut butter!).
Calories: 170 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
Along with the Peanut Butter & Jelly bar, this is the only other Quest bar to weigh in with double-digit fat grams. I’m all about healthy fats, but I like them in the form of real nut butters and other whole foods such as avocados, so if I can spare a few grams with my Quest bar choice, then I generally will. The real turn-off of this bar for me though is the strong Sucralose aftertaste.
Calories: 210 Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g
This bar has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY Quest bar flavour that I haven’t tried. So, it’s not really even fair for me to “rank” it, without even having tasted it. Mind you, the fact that I am so underwhelmed by the name and description should be telling.
Calories: 200 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 22g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 18g 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.
So, now the question is: what other new flavours should Quest Nutrition pursue? I’ve heard the following: Salted Caramel (I could get behind that if it wasn’t overly sweet); Pumpkin Pie (seems like an easy spin-off of the Cinnamon Roll bar); Cake Batter (ermmm…I’m not too sure about sprinkles in anything, let alone my precious Quest bars); Banana Cream Pie; etc. What flavours would YOU most like to see made into Quest bar form?