Munch factor: 19/20*
If I could get away with eating sweets all the time, then chocolate bars would account for roughly 80 percent of my diet. They’re my favorite snack whenever I have a sweet tooth, and I’ve tried countless samples at chocolate events, from A Slice of Brooklyn’s Chocolate Tour to Salon Du Chocolat's annual Chocolate Show. In short, the obsession is very real.
So when I got the opportunity to sample Mid-Day Squares, I just had to try them out. I mean, a chocolate bar that's loaded with clean protein and fiber, without tons of added sugar? That sounded almost too good to be true. But given that I'd never tried a brand of chocolate that ticks all of these boxes (FYI, not counting protein bars here), I felt it was my duty to give these a shot.
To offer some background about Mid-Day Squares, the brand describes their treats as "everything a chocolate bar isn't" and "everything a protein bar wishes it was." They're designed to curb mid-day cravings and are 100 percent organic, vegan and gluten-free. Not only do these bars come in three flavors (Fudge Yah, Peanut Butta and Almond Crunch), but they're filled with healthy-for-you ingredients, like hemp protein, which helps repair muscle cells and regulate brain function, Sacha Inchi protein, which helps lower cholesterol and yacon syrup, which boosts energy.
Now, as someone who snacks incessantly between meals, I was skeptical at first. Could these bars really prevent me from snacking on Cheez-Its several times a day? And more importantly, would they taste like actual chocolate, or more like grainy protein bars? Read on for my honest take on each flavor.
1. Almond Crunch
What's inside: The bar includes raw unsweetened chocolate, Yacon syrup, maple syrup, almonds, almond butter, hemp protein, Sacha Inchi protein, pink salt, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sorghum flakes (a high-protein grain).
My thoughts: Oh. My. Goodness. Where do I even begin? I tasted this bar with the intention of stopping after just a few bites, but I wound up finishing the entire thing in less than 10 minutes. If you're like me and you like a little crunch in your chocolate, then this one is definitely a winner. It doesn't quite have the texture of a solid chocolate bar or protein bar, but rather, it's soft and chewy like fudge. As an added bonus, it's not very sweet at all, so I took comfort in knowing that I could down two whole squares without the added guilt.
2. Fudge Yah
What's inside: There's raw chocolate, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, Yacon syrup, maple syrup, hemp protein, cocoa butter, dates, coconut sugar, Sacha Inchi protein, brown rice powder, Maca and pink salt.
My thoughts: This tasted a lot better than I thought it would—and yes, it totally lives up to its name. Biting into one of these is a lot like biting into a chocolatey piece of solid fudge, except there's way less sugar and more flavor. The raw also chocolate really shines here, too.
3. Peanut Butta
What's inside: The bar includes raw unsweetened chocolate, Yacon syrup, oat flour, peanuts, peanut butter, dates, hazelnut butter, pink salt and brown rice milk powder.
My thoughts: As someone who absolutely hates Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I confess, I was a bit nervous to try this one. But guys, this is actually nothing like Reese's. The peanut butter is rich and flavorful with a slightly fudgy consistently. Plus, it paired so well with the dark chocolate—which isn't too sweet at all.
Final verdict: So, did these really help curb my cravings? Absolutely, and this is coming from someone who keeps her desk drawer filled to the brim with treats. After I started eating these chocolate bars, my tummy has been much quieter between lunch and dinnertime (although I'll still reach for the occasional bag of potato chips if I'm having a late dinner). Also, it's worth noting that just one square is pretty effective when it comes to killing those cravings (although that hasn't stopped me from eating two at a time, they're just so good!)
While they're small in size, each single serving (one square) has 170 calories and packs six grams of protein. You can now purchase a 12-pack of any flavor for $47, get the Mixed Box of Almond Crunch and Fudge for $37, or try a Starter Pack of six for $24.
*Our final munch factor score was based on the average of the chocolate bars' taste test scores.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.