REVIEW: Macaw! Foods Protein Bars

Earlier this year I was approached about the opportunity to design my own protein bar with The Bar Shack. I did that and really enjoyed it, and now that same company have developed a line of ready-to-buy protein snack bars under the name Macaw! Bars. The bars are made of all natural ingredients with a base of date paste and various nut butters, supplemented by protein powder, organic dark chocolate, and a myriad of flavorful accents. Each bar is more of a nutrient-dense snack than a true protein supplement for me, clocking in with 12 grams of fat and just 10-11 grams of protein for a 240 calorie treat. For my intake, a protein bar is usually only worth it when it has 20 grams of protein for 200-230 calories, but those also come with the presence of heavy artificial sweeteners and preservatives. These may be for you, they may not, but from Chocolate Brownie to Lemon Poppy there’s something for everyone, and I’ve broken down a bunch of flavors today on the skillet.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

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Chocolate chip cookie dough bars are a dime a dozen, and while they’re usually pretty decent, they don’t often remind me too much of the dough they’re emulating. However, this bar somehow gives me that slightly golden flavor augmented by chocolate that I’m looking for. The combination of dates and cashew butter gives a natural creaminess and the genuinely sweet choco chips seal the deal for a tasty and wonderfully textured treat.
Rating: 8/10

Chocolate Brownie:

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This bar, either by design or bad luck, is the driest of them all, and while it’s still pretty good, pales in comparison to the others. It doesn’t help that it’s also the most generic of the flavors, and while the chocolate chips bring a nice boost of sweet cocoa, there are many other more solid chocolate bars that I would turn to before this, especially for the attached macro nutrients.

Rating: 6/10

Banana Bread:

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This is a really great bar, and in fact it reminds me a lot of the bar that I created when left to my own devices. It has a very strong and authentic banana flavor with highlights of cinnamon and lovely bursts of melty sweet chocolate. The texture is great – soft but still pretty firm, and it’s the best take on banana I’ve had in a readily available bar. It’s rare to find banana flavors in this space, and for it to be done this well, with the nuances of chocolate chip banana bread is a real snack time blessing.

Rating: 9/10

Peanut Butter Cookie:

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I’m a goddamn peanut butter fiend, so it’s no surprise I like this bar quite a bit. It uses peanut butter instead of the usual cashew, and as a result has a great peanut flavor throughout that’s really tasty. The dates and PB combine for a nice creamy consistency with a little bit of salt, but I kind of wish there weren’t chocolate chips. Since the name isn’t PB chocolate chip cookie, I would have enjoyed the opportunity to just have a pure peanutty bar instead of following the same formula as the others.

Rating: 8/10

Coconut Husk

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This bar is in between the other bars in terms of moisture and texture with a nice crumbly but firm vibe and awesome genuine coconut flavor. It’s sweet and slightly tropical without going overboard, packing tons of great coco taste without the gritty texture that some people loathe. I like the chewiness of coconut macaroons but for those who are averse to that but dig the flavor, this will definitely satisfy. The best part about this bar is a really smooth honey flavor that comes through for a well rounded and perfectly sweet experience. The dark chocolate works well in this bar, complimenting the coconut without being too intense.

Rating: 8.5/10

Lemon Poppy

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This is the softest bar in the lineup and one of the more unique flavors. I love lemon poppyseed muffins and scones getting that flavor in a bar snack is great. Much like Macaw’s other bars the flavor is very authentic with a zest-forward profile that carries a lot of heavy lemon notes without tasting like dish soap. The poppyseeds are ample and bring a great gentle snap to every bite. My only gripe with this bar is that the chocolate is unnecessary here. Even though the chocolate is high quality, it doesn’t need to make an appearance in every flavor.

Rating: 8/10

Overall these bars are really solid. The packaging is great, the ingredients are honest, and not a single one fell below average, and most easily exceeded. One of the best parts of these bars is their cheaper cost compared to the custom Bar Shack concept, and you can get a variety pack of 12 bars at the Macaw! Foods website.

Note: These bars were sent to me at no cost but that in no way effected my opinion nor am I being compensated for this review.

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