How’s your week going? Before I get into today’s new things, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be sending out the Spin 360 News (my free newsletter) tomorrow. This month’s edition contains a healthy recipe, a little note from yours truly, and some easy tips and tricks for reducing inflammation in your body. If you’re not already on the list and want to sign up, you can do so by subscribing here.
Now, over to this week’s new things!
1. Recipe of the Week. I go through these funny phases of having no recipe inspiration at all, to not being able to stop scribbling down ideas on sticky notes all over my kitchen. Last weekend I had one of those idea waterfall moments, and wrote up a ton of recipes which I intended to make on the grill. This was all going exceptionally well – I had all of my ingredients prepped, meats were marinated, tripod ready, and camera battery charged.
After pre-heating the BBQ and carrying out all of the food I was going to need, it was time to throw things on the grill. This included 2 salmon fillets, gloriously marinated in a simple mixture of pure (local!) maple syrup and dark balsamic vinegar. It had been ages since I’d made Maple Glazed Grilled Salmon, and when I realized that it was a recipe I’d never posted on the blog, I felt the need to rectify the situation.
The key here to getting beautiful char marks on the salmon is to oil the grill just before pre-heating it. Then, place the salmon, top side facing down, on the grill for about 2 minutes. Carefully flip it over so that the skin side is facing down (I do this with tongs in one hand and a flipper in the other), and keep grilling for another 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. You can use skinless salmon fillets if you like, but I’ve found the kind with skin hold up better on the BBQ.
2. Quest Nutrition protein bars. Let’s start this one off by saying that I’m very, very late to the Quest party. My Instagram buddies have been posting about these magical delicious bars for ages, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally gave them a Google to see what the fuss is all about. What I learned was rather impressive!
Summed up in a sentence, Quest bars are low carb, high protein, gluten free bars that contain very few ingredients. They come in a ton of decadent flavours, including chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate brownie, banana nut muffin, apple pie, peanut butter and jelly, white chocolate raspberry, peanut butter supreme, and lemon cream pie.
The ingredients list on a Quest bars is very different to what you may be used to seeing on other protein bars that are just candy in disguise. I had a look at the label of other very popular protein bars, which look similar to this:
The popular protein bar that shall remain nameless contains: Glucose syrup, rice and soy crisps (rice flour, soy protein isolate, alkalized cocoa), chocolate flavored coating (sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, cocoa, whey, nonfat milk, soy lecithin, natural flavor), whole oats (contains wheat), roasted peanuts, soy protein isolate, oligofructose (from chicory root), peanut butter (peanuts ,salt), rice crisps (milled rice, sugar, salt, malted barley), inulin (from chicory root), vegetable glycerin, and less than 2% of: calcium phosphate, soy lecithin, sugar, natural flavor, potassium phosphate, salt, ground almonds, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ferrous fumarate (iron), butter (cream), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1),riboflavin (vitamin B2).
NOT cool! A complete breakdown of ingredients used in Quest bars can be found here, but the following is the (very short) list for the cinnamon roll flavoured ones, which I bought for this trial:
In case you’re wondering:
- Lo han guo is a natural Chinese herb, derived from a fruit that belongs to the gourd family, that has been used for thousands of years. It’s 300x sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.
- Isomalto-oligosaccharides – According to Quest, this is “100% natural fiber derived from plant sources that is very similar to the better known chicory root fiber. The two fiber sources are almost identical in taste, feel and texture but with one minor exception: IMO does not cause any intestinal upset whatsoever even for people with very sensitive stomachs.”
- Erythritol – This is the ingredient responsible for the sugar alcohols line on the nutrition panel. It has no impact on blood sugar and occurs naturally in fermented foods and some fruits. There are articles out there that report stomach upset from erythritol, but it appears you’d have to consume an awful lot in order for this to happen.
So that leaves only one questionable ingredient: natural flavours. This is on the label of so many health food products and we never really know where these flavours come from. There are plenty of natural substances that I’d rather not ingest, but I’m going to assume that since this is included near the end of the ingredients list, that the quantity is fairly small.
Being a huge cinnamon-a-holic, I purchased 1 box of Cinnamon Roll Quest bars, plus a single Apple Pie bar just because the flavour sounded delicious. I haven’t tried the Apple Pie one yet, but yesterday I had a Cinnamon Roll bar as a mid-afternoon snack.
Given the 17g fiber and 20g protein, it was no surprise that this kept me feeling totally satisfied until dinner! I loved the doughy, chewy texture, and the taste was great too. Before tasting the bar, I’d heard some feedback from others that many of the flavours are more bland than they expected. This really wasn’t the case for me – I loved it. There will most definitely be some Quest bars in my suitcase for SeaWheeze this weekend!
So tell me…
- Have you tried Quest bars yet? What flavour did you buy and what did you think? I hear that the chocolate brownie one tastes heavenly after 10 seconds in the microwave!
- Did you try anything new yesterday?