Friday, August 3, 2007

Clif nectar® cacao bar

I am not normally into the whole energy bar thing. I prefer to obtain my nutrients from foods I recognize as actual food. But there's something to be said for having some handy munchies with you on a hike or bike ride. My problem is that I cannot eat grains (especially corn), casein, or soy. This makes finding a replacement for the traditional granola bar somewhat of a challenge.

Earlier this week on a whim I went to the energy bar aisle of my local grocery store. There are so many kinds it boggles the mind. I noticed the word "Organic!" plastered over a lot of the boxes and thought I'd read some labels and see if there weren't any that were Kara-friendly, as I like to say.

Sure enough, the Clif nectar® series of energy bars are gluten/soy/wheat/dairy free and are made only with ingredients that are also gluten/soy/wheat/dairy free (dunno why they seperate wheat from gluten in that statement...). I got the "cacao - organic chocolate, fruit & nut bar" that is "dark chocolate walnut" (it's hard to pin down the name - there are several sentences on the package). And in fact, there are only 5 ingredients total:
• organic dates
• organic walnuts
• organic unsweetend chocolate
• organic cocoa
• organic vanilla
(may, of course, contain bits of shell or pits)

The bar is kind of on the small side, 1.6oz/45g - but the wrapper is pretty (that counts for something, right?) and is designed to make you feel that you are saving your health, the rainforest, and small children in Antarctica by purchasing and eating this energy bar.

I don't care so much about the nutrients - I just care that it's putting something into my stomach to stop hunger. So if you want to know those things you'll have to go read your own package. I do, however, care about taste. The bar itself looks remeniscent of a fudge brownie and kind of smells like one, too, albeit with a bit of a Fig Newton-fruity-sweetness hint to it. It tastes like mashed up dates with dark chocolate and tiny bits of walnut. Which is what this is. The bar counts as two servings of fruit because that's what it is - mashed up fruit that resembles... not.. fruit.

Overall it's not bad. I haven't had a regular Clif bar in years or even a PowerBar but from what I recall this Clif nectar® tastes a sight better. If I could eat granola I think I would stick to granola bars but for my restricted diet these are something of a treat.
3 out of 5 stars for gluten-eaters
4 1/2 stars out of 5 for restricted diet folks

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