Saturday, March 18, 2017

NuGo Bars Revealed

NuGo Dark Chip Trio
We're going two split our NuGo Dark articles into two categories. First up with be the three that your Chocolate Priestess tested solo while the second article will include the coffee, coconut, and pretzel varieties that I got help with from our Chocolate Coconut and Mocha Acolytes. The three varieties you'll discover today are the Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Cup bars. Immediately I'm impressed by the labels of these bars; all list the first ingredient as dark chocolate made from unsweetened chocolate, cane sugar, and cocoa butter! NuGo sent us six varieties of their NuGo Dark line for free in exchange for honest articles about their products; no other form of compensation was received.

NuGo Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bar
We'll start with the basic, NuGo Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip. In terms of common allergens this has soy but it also has rice if that is a concern for any reader out there. As soon as I open the sleeve this one is in my nose is hit by darker chocolate fragrance. I break open the bar so I can see if that affects the flavor and to get you this photo, but it doesn't impact the scent. That's a surprise because often in snack, meal, protein, or energy bars, the dominant flavor and scent is either some type of grain or sweetness. Don't misunderstand, this has a lot of sugar, 14g of it, but sugar isn't what I smell or taste first, second, or even last, the chocolate dominates. The bar doesn't really make much of a sound when I take a bite but it loudly crunches when I'm chewing. The rice flavor is there in the background as is a hint of sweetness. There are tiny chocolate chips and when I bite into one a small burst of more chocolate hits my tongue but the dark chocolate over the entire bar is the primary chocolate provider.

NuGo Dark Mint Chocolate Chip Bar
NuGo Dark Mint Chocolate Chip is a variation on the previous bar that should have a distinctively different flavor. When I unwrap it, the first fragrance is mint followed closely by dark chocolate. The inside is mostly dark in color but there are a few pale crispy pieces visible. Like the previous bar this one makes almost sound when I take a bite but this is also quieter as I chew it. The scent is matched by the flavor but the mint part also has a liquor feeling to it, must like creme de menthe has; the label names it as peppermint extract but stick by what my taste buds say. The chocolate is the dominant flavor but it does not build with each chew, it is merely there with the mint fading thought the cooling sensation stays in my mouth long after the bite is swallowed. Nutritionally this is the same as the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip bar but I think I prefered the flavor of that one over this one.

NuGo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bar
Finally, how can you go wrong with peanut butter? But does this NuGo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup bar have actual pieces of that candy in it or just the flavor? Just flavor, as you can see in the photo no pieces of peanut butter cups and those aren't listed as an ingredient either. Nutritionally, this is close to the previous bars but it one more fiber and a touch more calories (5 is all!). Obviously if you are allergic to peanuts you should not try this one. The first and dominant fragrance is the dark chocolate even after I break the bar in half. A light peanut butter scent is there as well but the chocolate is still dark. The flavor though is disappointing in the peanut butter sense. The flavors is really the dark chocolate, grains, some sweetness, and a very weak roasted peanut butter underneath it. As I chewed there was a bit of an almost cinnamon like flavor as well but that is not on the ingredient list. Taking a bite makes almost no noise but the chewing is very crunchy and loud. I still prefer the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip bar best.

It is true that sugar is a bit part of these bars but have you looked at chocolate, real chocolate, even darker chocolate for sugar? If you didn't add sugar (or spices) the bitterness of chocolate would be unbearable for many people. Ideally I'd love to see the dietary fiber higher on these bars and the sugar equal to the protein but they certainly gave my afternoons a kickstart over the course of the week I tested these. But the most impressive thing is that the first ingredient is chocolate, real chocolate, and the bars are taste like that is the top ingredient. I didn't think I'd ever give a meal, energy, or protein bar Sacrament Status but these come very close to earning it. If I were a betting woman, I'd suggest that another line of their products might just rise to our high standards on The Chocolate Cult. That's the first three of the NuGo Dark bars we were sent of the seven varieties in that line and we'll three more next month. Please, leave us a comment and tell us what you think about today's Sacrament whether you've tried them yourself or not.

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