The Protein Ball Co: New Flavours Review?!

After my last review, which you can read here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/the-protein-ball-co-review.html, of the three original flavours The Protein Ball Co makes, they asked if I would like to review a couple of their new flavours. Answer? Hell yeah. On the proviso I could say whatever I liked about them. Fortunately, this didn’t put them off. A couple of weeks later a parcel arrived in the post, containing the new flavours Cacao & Orange, and Lemon & Pistachio- as well as two of the original flavours: Peanut Butter and Coconut & Macadamia.

I have to say, I had very high hopes for the new flavours- and I wasn’t disappointed. Other than being purely lovely though, I couldn’t understand why I had been sent the original flavours. I put them to one side for when I needed a peanut butter-y portable snack with an extra hit of protein… and ended up coming back to them the next day. To find that they had changed the texture! I recently read an Instagram review of the peanut butter balls, critiquing the texture- saying that they were chalky. This was nothing like the texture I had experienced; the little balls were smooth on the outside with no hint of chalkiness, and studded with chunks of peanut. However, the texture I got this time was of balls with a powdery finish to the outside, which was no where near as delicious. If this is a change to the recipe, then please Protein Ball Co: change it back!! The peanut butter balls I tried first time around were stunning, these ones verged on disappointing.

But, on to the newest flavours (and the positive), because that’s what this is all about:

Lemon & Pistachio

THIS is the flavour I was most looking forward to, and they ticked every. single. box.

I wanted them to be primarily zesty, with a little bit of pistachio thrown in. The taste reminded me of lemon drizzle cake, and I was one extremely happy ball-chomper. They had pieces of lemon zest and chunks of pistachio scattered throughout, which I love, as it gave the impression that they could be homemade protein balls. I also thought I saw chia seeds in there, which when I checked the ingredients actually turned out to be poppy seeds- which makes more sense, as lemon and poppy seed is a classic combo. If you remember the “cake-pop” craze a few years back, then these will bring those cakes-on-a-stick straight back to you. The soft texture and shape meant I felt as though I were eating a miniature cake pop- though much less sickly, and without the stick.

As with the original balls, all of the ingredients on the back of the packet are identifiable- there is nothing prefixed with an ‘E’. These little packets contain the following:

  • dates
  • cashews
  • pistachios
  • desiccated coconut
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • rice starch
  • rice protein
  • pea protein
  • poppy seeds
  • natural lemon flavouring
Having read that you may also have realised that they’re vegan-friendly. The vegans did well on this one; for once the non-dairy option is actually the best one you can go for. Along with the Goji & Coconut balls, Protein Ball Co has actually made sure that two of their best flavours are universally enjoyable.
On to nutritional values per pack:
  • Kcal- 187kcal
  • Fat- 9g
  • Sat Fat- 2.8g
  • Carbs- 22.3g
  • Sugars- 17.2g (all naturally occurring)
  • Fibre- 3.2g
  • Protein- 6.9g
  • Salt- 0.1g
The balance of carbs and and protein (as opposed to low carb high protein bars), means these are great for providing energy pre-workout, as well as protein post-workout. I’m also very impressed that these only contain naturally occurring sugars, as if possible I always opt for products that meet this criteria.
I’ve got say: this is my new favourite flavour. Even topping the peanut butter balls. To be honest, they actually blew the peanut butter ones out of the water. Which if you know how much I love peanut butter (close to more than life itself), should tell you how good they are. They feel much lighter, have a softer texture, and an incredible zingy-ness (although that’s not to say I’ll be neglecting the peanut butter ones- unless the powdery finish is here to stay).

Cacao & Orange

In my mind I felt as if this could be the flavour I wouldn’t repurchase again, as it’s pretty standard. Most brands manufacture a flavour along this line. But all I have to say is this: don’t turn your nose up at them- they’re delicious. I have to admit, I was surprised by how much I liked them.

These contain whey protein, which seems to lend itself to a chewier ball, and the texture of fudge. It’s the same in these balls, the Peanut Butter ones, and the Coconut & Macadamia ones. While we’re on texture: don’t worry if you find something unexpectedly crunchy. I panicked, thinking that I had possibly chipped a tooth- it was actually a cacao nib. Thumbs up for these little crunchy pieces of deliciousness- once I got past my shock, I decided that they really added something to the finished product.

Next up: flavour. These have a delicate orange flavour; it just lifts the chocolate taste, but isn’t overtly orange. It could definitely take more, but it is identifiable. The balls use cacao powder (think un-refined cocoa powder, higher in antioxidants) and I always feel this runs the risk of being too bitter, but the dates also listed in the ingredients prevent both this, and a bitter aftertaste.
As I’ve mentioned in the intro to this with the peanut butter balls, these too have that slightly powdery outer finish- but it actually works here, even if it doesn’t with their peanut counterparts. All it does is suggest that you’re eating a cocoa rolled chocolate truffle, which is never a bad thing.
As with the lemon & pistachio, the ingredients list is super simple. This is one of my favourite things about the brand’s ethos: their use of minimal ingredients, and no added sugar. And their whey protein comes from grass fed cows (just in case you were wondering).
Ingredients
  • dates
  • whey powder
  • cashews
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • rice starch
  • cacao powder
  • cacao nibs
  • natural orange flavour
Final thing: what’re they like nutritional value wise? Well, pretty damn good. For some reason they’re lower kcal than the other balls- but only by around 30kcal- and higher protein than the lemon & pistachio, providing 10g of the stuff. Take a closer look below:
Nutritional values
  • Kcal – 158kcal
  • Fat- 4.4g
  • Sat fat- 1.4g
  • Carbs- 22.9g
  • Sugars- 18g (naturally occurring)
  • Fibre- 3.2g
  • Protein- 10g (that’s 20% of the GDA!)
  • Salt- 0.1g
As with the other ball-bags, each packet is £1.99, which compared to other protein snacks is on the reasonable side. I know that Holland & Barratt’s stock them, so keep your eyes peeled for the new flavours. I have to say, they met my high expectations. My only niggles are that the Cocoa Orange could use more orange- and though technically not a new product, the Peanut Butter balls need changing back to the original recipe! However, in the new balls- particularly the Lemon & Pistachio- I have found some products that could be my all time favourite protein snacks. The Protein Ball Co advertise themselves as ‘creators of the most delicious, all-natural protein balls in the universe!’.  I have to say: I agree.
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