Tags: D’s naturals

 

 

Introducing…Vitamin Shoppe’s Protein Pantry!

IMG_6725 A new section at Vitamin Shoppe filled with yummy protein packed foods! My favorite. Aside from the traditional protein bars, I like eating protein enriched foods, since I have such an active lifestyle. Gotta fuel those muscles!

They sent me MET-RX Protein Pancake Mix, P28 Apple Crisp Spread, and D’s Naturals Fluff Butter in Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter and Vanilla Maple.

First up…the pancakes!

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You can do 2-3 scoops with up to 1/3-1/2 cup of water, mix, and cook. I decided to use milk and cook with some pam and light butter because I like my pancakes crispy. 
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Mmmmm….
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The finished product!
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These were super yummy! They got crispy on the outside from the butter, but remained fluffy and moist on the inside. There was a delicious vanilla aroma being pervaded throughout the house when I was cooking them. They mixed easily, and cooked within a few minutes. The flavor was mildly sweet, mild buttermilk flavor, and even a touch of what felt like a vanilla protein flavor.

I liked them! I think they are versatile and welcome your own additions, but are great with butter and some sugar free syrup alone. You can view the nutritional facts below. I’m a little bummed sugar is the second ingredient added, and wheat flour is used over whole wheat. The protein count to carb and sugar ratio is a little low for me, so these will be used more as a pre-workout meal versus a post workout. With that being said, 4 stars. Great for people trying to put on some mass as well, as they are easy to eat and have some good quality calories.

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Next up, The P28 Apple Crisp Spread

Here’s the spread on some toast:
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As you can see, it was pretty creamy in texture. At least…the top part was. The bottom half got a little drier, more “cement” like, kind of when you extract the natural oil out of non hydrogenated oil. It needs the fat! So if you do buy this, make sure you stir it! The bottom also had tiny bits of raisins and granola crunches that you miss out on until you hit the bottom of the jar. The flavor otherwise is okay, it’s a little pasty, not too sweet, not salty, and pretty mild. I really liked it on toast after I added some jelly, which brought out the flavors of the Apple Crisp spread so much. The apple undertones really came out, and I could taste the cinnamon as well. Overall, good, but not a favorite eaten alone, especially when you hit the bottom. The nutritional profile is actually pretty awesome too- high in fat, obviously, but sugar is low and protein is high. Carbohydrates aren’t much higher than a normal serving of peanuts either. 4 stars

2 tablespoons is 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 saturated fat, 10 mg of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

 Lastly, D’s Naturals Fluff Butter

First up, the Vanilla Maple

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As you can see, on toast, it kind of “disintegrated” when it was warm.

So next round, I waited until it cooled off a bit, and added some Jelly.

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Alone, not a huge fan of this flavor. It’s a little pasty, and tastes like almond extract with a maple flavor. It’s thick, but not super creamy, and has this odd texture which I think is from the pea protein. If you have ever had pea protein, you know what I am talking about. It’s not creamy…it has this “powdery” texture even when blended with a liquid. I can’t have a spoon of this all at once…too powerful of flavor.

On toast with Jelly, much better. Even though a lot of the flavor seems to disappear into the toast, and I just seemed to taste it mildly. Overall, not a huge fan. I would pass on this one. 2 1/2 stars

Below is some nutritional facts:IMG_7471

Lastly, the Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter Almond Fluffbutter. 

This one was pretty good. I liked it better than the Vanilla Maple. It was sweet, but not sugary. It was a little pasty, and you could taste the pea protein. It definitely has a fudge flavor, and reminds me a little bit like chocolate frosting, but not as sugary. Like a protein chocolate frosting. It is creamy, and you can taste the almond which is nice. The flavors are mild, but good. I enjoyed this one straight up- which is vital for me to really enjoy a spread or nut butter. 4 stars

 

I received these products for free from Vitamin Shoppe. This is an unbiased review.

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Alright!

So a friend of mine told me about this brand called D’s Naturals. I personally never heard of them or have seen them in store, so I went to their website to check them out. I got the opportunity to try some of their No Cow bars, in 3 varieties- the Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough,  and Blueberry Cobbler.

What makes these bars special?

They are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, no sugar added, lactose free, and non GMO according to the label. They run roughly 170 calories per bar, with 20 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber. They are sweetened with Erythritol, not sugar.

These were appealing to me, especially as a Type 1 Diabetic. I CANNOT have added sugar…well I mean I *can* but, it doesn’t lead to pretty blood sugars. However, protein bars are usually chock full of sugar (and sugar is also HONEY, CANE JUICE, do not be fooled!). These also appealed to me since they had a good dose of fiber and protein, so I would have optimal blood sugar regulation as well as being, well, full!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Mint Chocolate Chip Bar:IMG_2221

As you can see, these bars are dense and chewy, almost like a “fruit” based bar made with fig. They are a bit sticky too!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough– Mmmmm. Nice peanut butter flavor. It has some sort of sweet, semi caramelish feel to it. It was chewy and super soft, with little pieces of nuts in the bar. I can definitely get a peanut butter cookie dough vibe from it though! Like a batter before peanut butter cookies are made, but less sweet. However, there is definitely a consistency thing going on here. It’s hard to explain but there is this “leftover” piece-y type feel on the tongue. Like the bar has broken down and leaves a residue behind. I think it’s from the pea protein that is used to make the bar, but I could be wrong. In this case, taste outweighs texture for me. 4 out of 5 stars

Blueberry Cobbler– This one is sweet and fruity!! I enjoyed the blueberry flavor, it was a mixture of a fresh blueberry feel alongside sweet and chewy dried blueberries. You can’t taste any protein flavor, so that is a plus. I liked the flavor, but again, that texture thing is prevalent here. It’s like I can “feel” the protein, because I am positive this is from the pea protein. A good bar, however. 3 1/2 stars

Mint Chocolate Chip-  As a caveat, I am not a huge mint chocolate chip fan. I like Extra mint chocolate chip gum, and that’s about it. But I remained open minded about this bar. There are little pieces of cacao nibs in this bar which add a little crunch. It honestly tasted like a York peppermint patty, but in protein bar form. The consistency issue was NOT as bad here, still prevalent, but not as bad. The mint flavor is also pretty strong. Perhaps you can get a breath freshening while you dose up on your protein for the day (kidding). Given that I don’t generally like this flavor combination, I would still give it a 3 1/2 star rating.

Overall, not bad. I think the formula needs some tweaking. Personally, the consistency thing isn’t really an issue for me, as I go for nutrition and flavor over texture. For some it might be an issue. I think you have to pick your battles here though, the nutritional facts are pretty good AND these bars are vegan as well as dairy free, so they are limited with their protein sources. I can appreciate this company, so kudos D’s Naturals! I look forward to trying your products in the future, and maybe picking up some of those pb cookie dough bars if I see them 🙂

 

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I received this item for free. This is an unbiased review.
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