As long-time blog readers know, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love spreading the love among my family and friends! I often hear complaints about how Valentine’s Day is a “made up” holiday, and something that greeting card manufacturers invented to keep their business booming. But frankly, I don’t care. It’s still such a fun one to celebrate!
Recently, I learned that March has also another “made up” holiday… but it’s one that I think I am going to love almost as much as Valentine’s Day. March 19 is National Caramel Chocolate Day! Balance Bar contacted me to try their Caramel Nut Blast bar as part of the celebration, and I was very quick to say yes to that opportunity.
I’ve already been a fan of Balance Bar for a while. Specifically, I love the Dark Chocolate Coconut Balance Bar, and eat it for breakfast at least once a week. Balance Bars, as implied by the name, have a balanced ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat, and most of them are right around 200 calories. I typically have that, a coffee, and a cup of berries or yogurt (or both!) for breakfast, which ends up being both quick and filling, without being too heavy. (Cue: the breakfast tacos I had as part of a team breakfast this week. Oops.) Meanwhile, I really appreciate the ingredients are all ones that I’ve heard of and trust – and that Balance manages to keep them low-calorie without having to use crappy fake sugar. These are sweetened with tapioca syrup, sugar, and cane syrup, but still have only 12g of sugar per bar, which is fairly low compared to other sugar-sweetened bars. (Of course, it’s higher than those bars sweetened with Stevia/Sucralose/other manufactured sugar substitutes, but I won’t touch those. Give me the real stuff any day!)
So what about the new-to-me Caramel Nut Blast? This flavor falls under Balance Bar’s Gold line, which is meant to be more decadent than the other flavors, and I thought it lived up to that. The Dark Chocolate Coconut Balance Bar is fairly crunchy, while this just smooth, solid, and chewy – and to me, that texture profile is much more filling. The outside is a solid smooth layer of chocolate, kind of like a candy bar. But on the inside, there’s no crunch – just smooth, chewy sweetness. This one is just slightly higher in calories (210 vs 180) than the Dark Chocolate Coconut, but I found it to be much more satisfying, and think this will become my new go-to. I just loved how thick and caramel-y it is! It reminded me a little bit of a Snickers Marathon Protein Bar (whose Caramel Nut Rush flavor is my go-to breakfast before a race), but the chocolate seemed higher quality, and the Balance Bar clocks in at 80 fewer calories.
Balance Bar has generously offered to give away a box of the Caramel Nut Blast Balance Bars to one lucky reader, so I’m hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway to facilitate this. (If you’re reading this in Feedly/Bloglovin’/other RSS feed reader, you’ll need to click through to enter.) Check out the Rafflecopter widget below, and to enter, leave a comment telling me how your favorite holiday or what made-up holiday you’d like to start. The contest will run through Thursday, March 27 at 12am ET, at which time winners will be chosen by random drawing; winners will have one week to claim their prize.
And if you just can’t wait to find out if you’re the winner, Balance Bar is having a Twitter chat today at 3pm ET/2pm CT to celebrate their Spring Into Balance campaign, with an opportunity to win even more Balance Bars throughout the chat! Registered Dietician Sharon Richter will be answering your questions about making a fresh start for spring and cleaning up your cabinets to help clean up your diet. You can follow along and ask questions on Twitter with @BalanceBar by following the #SpringIntoBalance hashtag.
Note: Balance Bar provided me with product samples for tasting, and is also furnishing a box of Balance Bars to the contest winner, but I received no other compensation for this review, nor was I pressured to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.