I am not a fan of most “energy”/dried fruit bars. I’m not sure what it is- perhaps the goopy, gluey mess that leaves a bad taste in your mouth and bits between your teeth. However, there is no goopy, gluey mess with this product. I’ll try keep this as innuendo free as possible guys, I promise…
I’ve been considering buying these for quite a while now- not that I am not happy with my Meridian bar addiction as it is- but at £1.99 each in Holland & Barrett’s these balls aren’t particularly cheap. Considering my Meridian bars are £1.19 each and pack 8g of protein I wasn’t that in need of a more expensive product. However, I am willing to treat myself to these occasionally having tried the range I had available, because they are pretty damn tasty. They’re also cheaper than Quest Bars, at £2.50, and so come in middle of the price range as protein rich snacks go. Compared to Quest Bars they also taste as though they contain much more natural ingredients- and for a few grams less protein I will take that swap.
The protein content appears to between 9-14g for all the balls advertised in the names as protein rich (e.g. “Protein Bliss”, “Protein Punch”). Some of the balls boast benefits other than protein and energy, such as the Cashew & Pecan “Vitality Lift”, and even those not so high in protein contain at least 4g. All the balls are gluten free, contain no trans fats, and some are high fibre. All of these things are perfectly in line with what Bounce actually say about their product: “Amazingly convenient and tasty way to nourish your body, satisfy your hunger, and sustain your energy”, they are apparently “packed with nutrients” and contain “no nasties”, only “beneficial ingredients throughout”. I had a good browse of the Bounce website, and if you have an interest in nutrition I would definitely check it out; each ball has a section listing the vitamins and minerals it contains and their uses in the body. It was like being back in A-Level food tech.
So, what are the flavours on offer? Below I have listed the flavours in order of my favourite to least favourite. And unlike most snack products even my least favourite isn’t that bad- just slightly “meh” . The order of what is my favourite swaps around regularly, and so I do recommend trying a variety of the balls.
1. Cacao & Mint Protein Bomb- This is possibly the very best flavour. Especially if you’re craving something sweet. I had one after my tea when I was still slightly peckish, but wanted something rich and refreshing. It has a decadent, truffle-esque texture, and just enough mint. The chocolate element isn’t sickly, but cocoa-y. Meet After Eight’s, dumpy, health conscious cousin.
2. Spirulina & Ginseng Energy Ball- This ball surprised me. I can’t say that the name appealed to me, and it was a suspicious green colour when I ripped it open. However, it actually turned out to be a favourite; an unexpected almond flavour (think bakewell tart) lurks inside this ball, and it has a good dusting of chunky almond pieces to top it off.
3. Almond Protein Hit- Another almond flavour! This time imagine biting into a ball of almond butter though. Dense, chewy, and not stodgy due to the crisp whey pieces inside, and the crunchy almond pieces topping it off.
4. Apple & Cinnamon Protein Punch- This was probably the ball I was most sceptical of trying, as it was a fruit based flavour. I have nothing against whole fruit, but remember the gluey fruit bars I mentioned? Thankfully, this fruit based fusion was delicious, no bad taste remained, it had a fudgy texture, and chunky nuts gracing the outside (this is something Bounce seems to like) were reminiscent of apple pie crust. Basically think like healthy fudge.
5. Peanut Protein Blast- As though someone had taken peanut butter and a truffle and merged them together in some godly creation act. It actually is a “golden nugget” as the website says. Dense, chewy, and the only reason it isn’t higher up is because I can buy a Meridian Peanut Butter Bar cheaper. Or just stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter, which would pretty much be the same thing as this.
6. Coconut & Macadamia Protein Bliss- Think like the inside of a healthy Bounty bar. A stunning non-artificial coconut flavour, dusted liberally with yet more desiccated coconut. The macadamia actually made me think of white chocolate, and there are crisp whey pieces throughout. Simply delicious, definitely worth a try.
7. Cashew & Pecan Vitality Lift- I loved the chunky nuts covering this flavour, but the texture wasn’t as dense as the other balls- in a way I felt it was almost somewhere between a truffle and a more cakey creation. This tastes fine, and if you’re a nut fan give it a try, but the flavour just didn’t sparkle as much as the others on offer.
There you have it, my review of the Bounce collection- I am extremely upset that Holland & Barrett’s don’t stock the “Fudgie Walnut Health Storm”, as I would have loved to reviewed this delicious sounding flavour. I’m not sure if it’s only available on Bounce’s website, but at £63.95 per box it’s something this student can’t afford.
Overall, these are filling, delicious, and natural tasting- I can recommend the whole range. I have eaten these as pre workout snacks, afternoon energy snacks, and even as an after-dinner treat when I’m craving something that isn’t dark chocolate.
The balls are apparently stocked at Holland & Barrett’s, Waitrose, WholeFoods, Tesco Extra, and on Boots.com if you fancy trying them for yourself. I’ll link Bounce’s website below in case you either can’t get to these shops, or are simply curious to see their balls.