If you need a specific recommendation, Barebells Creamy Crisp bar is my favorite flavor of them all. It’s like a combination of a 3 Musketeers bar and Twix.
And if you want a bar that is even more like a candy bar, turn to Barebell’s newer “Soft Bar.“
Since Barebells are so high on my list, I wanted to see if I would love their plant-based bars just as much.
When it comes to plant-based protein bars, you need to lower your expectations a bit. When plant-based protein is involved, the texture is typically more on the dense & dry side, and the flavor is never going to be quite as good because the protein itself has a very strong flavor profile.
When I see salty peanut as the flavor, I fully expect the bar to resemble Snickers in some way. When a bar is coated with chocolate and contains crunchy peanut pieces in it, my mind immediately goes to Snickers.
Opening this bar up and giving it a smell test left a lot to be desired. In fact, it smelled a bit like cardboard.
There are tons of peanut pieces lining the top of the bar, which is great to see. This is something that Barebells does well as a whole- they don’t skimp on the crunchy pieces.
But when I broke the bar in half to see the interior, I was very disappointed.
I was hoping for a soft interior (preferably with caramel, but I know that’s asking a lot) but the bar broke in half like it was completely solid.
The interior of this bar is dry and crumbly, but that’s pretty par for the course when it comes to plant-based bars.
Taste-wise, the salty peanut Barebells bar is exactly what I hoped it wouldn’t be. The flavor was very Earthy, and the plant-based protein (a combination of soy, pea, and rice protein) completely overpowered the peanut flavor.
There’s a very slightly peanut flavor overall, but this bar tastes like every other plant-based protein bar out there. It’s dry, and chalky, and leaves a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.
This flavor is a pass from me.
Hazelnut & Nougat Barebells Plant-Based Bar
After trying the salty peanut bar, I fully expected the hazelnut & nougat bar to be very dry as well.
When you think nougat, you think of what Barebells was able to accomplish with the soft bar, which I certainly did not expect with this bar.
And while it’s not soft and pillowy like regular nougat, this protein had a much softer interior than the salty peanut flavor.
This flavor reminds me of some of the regular Barebells protein bars, but there is still a very distinct plant-based protein flavor to it. However, it’s not overpowering.
If you’ve tried the regular hazelnut & nougat Barebells protein bar, this one is similar, but the dairy-based version still offers a much better flavor.
The interior of this bar is dense compared to regular nougat, and I wouldn’t necessarily call this flavor “nougat”. The bar is firm, but not crumble-when-you-bite-into-it firm.
With plenty of hazelnut pieces throughout this bar, the hazelnut flavor is quite prominent. You taste an Earthiness to it which won’t be ideal for some people, but if you’re used to plant-based bars, it won’t deter you.
All in all, this is a solid plant-based protein bar.
Overall Thoughts: Barebells Plant-Based Bars
For me, the Hazelnut & Nougat bar is significantly better than the Salty Peanut bar. To put it into perspective, I ate the entire hazelnut bar after this review, but I didn’t go back to finish the salty peanut.
There is a distinct plant-based flavor to these bars, so if you’re expecting these to taste like candy bars, you will be incredibly disappointed.
But if you’ve had other plant-based bars before, you’ll find these flavors to be quite similar to what you’ve had.
Do I recommend these bars? If you’re plant-based, I do think they’re worth trying. You could certainly do much worse.
If you’re not plant-based, I wouldn’t bother with these. The regular Barebells protein bars are 100x better than these, so I recommend you run out and find some of those instead.
REVIEW: Barebells Plant-Based Protein Bars
As far as plant-based bars are concerned, these are decent options. They definitely have that dense, chalky texture that plant-based protein bars have, and regular Barebells protein bars blow these out of the water in every category.
Decent nutrition facts for a plant-based bar
Lots of crunchy pieces on each bar
Hazelnut flavor is very pleasant
Chalky and dense overall
Has an "Earthy" aftertaste
No caramel inside like the regular Barebells protein bars