I’m back on the diet express again. I won’t lie, I hate it. At this point in my life, the only memories I have that don’t seem to involve dieting in some way all seem to involve Strawberry Shortcake and her Berry Patch friends. It definitely feels like I’ve been on some sort of diet longer than I’ve been off on–at least in the last 10 years that is.
I know that makes me sound like some sort of loser with no self-control, and I don’t have a stellar ability to refrain from eating things I love, but I’m also not entirely hopeless. It did take me about two years to lose 50 lbs and really keep them off. I managed to maintain that for a good two more years. Then, I got pregnant, which was nearly a year of putting weight on and then about a year and a half taking it back off. Five pounds from my pre-baby weight, I got pregnant again, which brings me to my current two years of gaining and now trying to lose it again. It’s some sort of vicious cycle I plan to break free of now that I’m out of the baby making business.
So, when my husband’s Call of Duty buddy brought over some Healthy Choice Fudge Bars to share, I saw a golden opportunity. Not only did they give offer up some potential chocolate goodness, but they did it for a measly 100 calories a pop. And they were decent sized too, not some teeny tiny three lick cicle!
I’m not sure how long they’d been in his freezer, but they had that classic bit of frost built up on them which initially threw me quite a bit. There is nothing quite so disappointing as expecting to get a lick of chocolate and having my tongue meet boring ol’ ice. So, I dug my teeth in and chomped a bit off.
The first bite didn’t leave me drooling for more, but it didn’t leave me gagging either. It took my a few licks to commit to it, since the flavor isn’t exactly one I’d call fudge. Which, is probably for the best since I had a nasty run-in with fudgesicles as a child and still avoid them. I probably shouldn’t hold a grudge, after all, it wasn’t the chocolate’s fault my best friend and I decided to split an entire box by ourselves. Thankfully we only made it through about three each before starting to feel a bit sick. But in the twenty-five years or so that have followed, I have pretty well Nancified all fudge bar-like products.
I wouldn’t really describe the taste as chocolatey. At least not in a traditional way. The bar was definitely creamy. Texture wise, it reminded me of a slightly thinner Frosty from Wendy’s. But, it didn’t have that creamy chocolate taste of a true Frosty, but rather a more generally creamy taste, that I know isn’t associated with actual real cream (not for 100 calories).
When I got about half way done with the bar, I had an easier time making a flavor connection: Jell-O pudding pops. But not the amazing ones of my past (which were actually manufactured by Jell-O), but the ones I found at a Meijer about five years back which claimed to be Jell-O pudding pops, but seemed like cheap, icier imitations. This was not the rich, decadent treat I once forced myself to eat an entire bowl of Spaghettio’s for (I DETEST those slimy fake tomatoey tasting rings of doom). This was more akin to that pale shadow which my taste buds met with excitement, but quickly balked at when I found the box nearly two decades later. I mean, I could still eat the second batch of pops, but I didn’t really want to.
When I’d finished with the HC Fudge Bar, I had a slight after taste I couldn’t quite place in my mouth. At first I wanted to say chalky, but it wasn’t. And it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. It just sort of tasted artificial, which is no doubt what it was, some sort of aspartame or Nutra Sweet deal.
Now, I know it sounds like I hated these bars, but in truth, they weren’t so bad. The creaminess, while not exactly chocolate, was perfectly fine. Not my first choice for an ice cream treat, but when I’m limiting myself to under 1500 calories and I’ve already spent the bulk on my three squares a day, I found these bars perfectly acceptable. I know it’s not a rousing endorsement, but it’s diet chocolate. Try as I might, I can’t get super jazzed about the concept. They are a nice alternative for those trying to cut (or even just watch) the extra calories. Heck, I might even go to the store and actually buy a box, as long as I could put blinders on and not see the Ben and Jerry’s right next to them.
Taste: 4.5/10 (for a diet food, I’d say 6/10)
Price: well, mine were free, so I’m not sure this counts, but based on retail 5/10
Appearance: 5/10 (I did like that they looked like Jell-O pops, I could mentally trick myself a bit)
*Nancified is a term used among my circle of friends to describe a basically irrational hatred of a food because of our own stupid over-indulgence in it. It was coined by my friend Che (I think) because our dear pal who the condition is named after has a nasty habit of obsessively eating a food, making her self outrageously sick off of it and never eating it again. She’s also afraid of milk, but that is another story entirely.