Oh those labels…they can be so enticing. That coupled with the fact that it’s been a few years since I had those astonishingly addictive peanut butter cups I grew up with was enough of a lure and I happily forked over $3 for 1.76-oz. a package of 2 Quest Cravings Protein Peanut Butter Cups.
When my health food store owner helpfully pointed out they were Stevia-sweetened, my hopes heightened: if I liked them, I’d have a viable candy on my hands I could enjoy every now and then. And with a 20-gram protein blast to boot!
So what’s the verdict? In a single sentence, I liked them OK, but I didn’t love them. If you’re a chocolate and peanut butter lover who’s either off or cutting back on sugar, definitely give them a try. But you must suspend any expectation that they’ll be all that similar to the peanut butter cups of your youth – in taste or texture.
And it was the texture department that was more of a letdown. I already knew, being an experienced Stevia user, that the sharp, whistling high that comes from that jolting first bite of sugar just wouldn’t be there. But the texture was on the chalky, crumbly side, and that I’m attributing to the addition of protein powder, which by the way is derived from whey, which meant I bent the cow-dairy rule as I sometimes do.
The other let-down: the peanut butter cups looked little like what’s pictured on the package: milk-chocolate colored cups, sliced open to reveal creamy center oozing with peanut butter. In real life, the peanut butter center was a little on the sandy side, and the chocolate was dark and brittle. There was also a slight aftertaste from the Stevia and Sucralose.
But there were plusses: Because these cups aren’t overly sweet, it made the peanut butter taste a little saltier, which I love. And while there were no fun rounds of dopamine bells being rung in my brain from a sudden sugar high, there was no sugar crash to recover from. Despite only eating one of the cups, it satisfied a sweet craving and my hunger in general. This was a snack though, not a meal Judging by the nutritional label, these could actually pass for a meal on the fly.
Would I buy them again? Oh sure, for airplane trips or a long car ride. I’d also take one along on a night out when there are sure to be decadent desserts parading before me that are filled with ingredients I choose to avoid. One of these cups plus a demitasse of espresso would make a very worthy dessert.
Quest Cravings Protein Peanut Butter Cups
Serving Size: 2 Cups
Calories from fat: 150
Total Fat 17 grams
Total Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 20 grams