Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CLIF Bar Review

Back in September I entered a giveaway on the Running and Rambling website (see header above) for CLIF bars. Click the link for the original blog post. This was for a mix of new flavors for different products. I have long been a fan of CLIF bar. Back in my college days when I started MTB riding there was one choice, Powerbar. Now don't get me wrong, I was thankful to have something like that but they looked awful and heavens forbid trying to eat one if it was cold outside. So when CLIF bars made their debut it was quite nice. These babies featured organic ingredients, whole grains, fiber and a decent punch of protein. And as a company CLIF gives back to the sports community and supports some worthy endeavors. More recently while shopping for peanut free granola bars for my son (required at his school) I found the CLIF Z bar a perfect solution. The icing on the cake is that my son really likes them. 
In my box there were 3 different kinds of CLIF bars. Three traditional bars, three Mojo bars and two Crunch bars. I need to make full disclosure on something that undoubtedly influenced my review. I am not a fan of coconut. Hasn't always been that way. All my life I was a take it or leave it kinda guy in regards to coconut. Until a couple of years ago when I came down with a full blown case of influenza. And as luck would have it my last snack was several coconut macaroon cookies. I'll spare you the details but suffice to say that coconut bits coming out your nose is not pleasant. Ever since that I have experienced a complete aversion to coconut. And wouldn't you know it two of the new flavors were coconut something. I think I can be objective but there you go. There's not much to say about an energy bar. Either you like it or you don't. Pretty simple really. 

For the CLIF bars the flavors were Coconut Chocolate Chip, Apricot and Peanut Toffee Buzz. Let me get the bad news out of the way. The Coconut Chocolate Chip, which I ate today after an eleven mile trail run, was my least favorite. Even the chocolate chip part of it was not enough to save it in my book. Too much of a coconut taste for me. That was a tough one. Thank goodness I had a full bottle of Nuun handy. Now, if you dig coconut and chocolate chips, then I'm sure this is for you. As far as the Apricot bar I was pleasantly surprised. Apricot is another flavor I can do without but here it worked for me. I remember as a kid my mom getting those tins of dried apricots during the holidays and trying to pass them off on us kids as a candy substitute or something. Party foul. I could do this bar again however. Hands down my favorite of these was the Peanut Toffee Buzz. What is the Buzz all about? Caffeine baby. In here it comes in the form of green tea extract (a good anti-oxidant) and is equal to 50mg of caffeine. Of course you can't taste caffeine. But the taste of this bar was the best of the three in my opinion. 
Next up is the Crunch bars. This was my first go at these. Think old school granola bars. The kind that require some effort to eat and, well, go crunch. Unfortunately for me during the shipping of my prize pack the Crunch bars were apparently handled pretty rough. When I opened them it was more like a chunky cereal instead of a bar. Nonetheless, they were both pretty good. The Blueberry Crisp had a hint of blueberry flavor. Just enough to notice. Thumbs up here. I have to give the nod here though to the Chocolate Peanut Butter. I mean, come on, who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter together? In my opinion you couldn't go wrong with any of the six flavors the Crunch bars come in. 
Last up are the Mojo bars. I have enjoyed these before as I love the whole salty/sweet thing. These bars feature whole nuts packed in with sweet goodness. A trail mix bar on the go. My selections were White Chocolate Macadamia, Chocolate Almond Coconut and Dipped S'mores. I have to say that the one with coconut flavor was actually pretty good. Not nearly as much of a coconut vibe as the one earlier. This one I could actually enjoy. In fact, the Mojo bars were by far my favorite. And the best of the best was the Dipped S'mores. It was like a little package of heaven after a long run when I want to get some carbs and a little protein in my system to kick start my recovery. CLIF has hit a homerun with these. 

I have to thank Donald over at Running and Rambling for the chance at the giveaway. His blog is one that a regularly follow and it is full of good stuff. I highly recommend you go on over and check it out. And kudos to CLIF for putting a quality product out there and for having a good corporate conscience. 

Upcoming product reviews (from more giveaways) include Health Warrior Chia Seeds and Orbana energy drink (once again from Donald). But my next entry will likely be a race report from the Turkey-n-Taturs 50k in a couple of weeks. Until then, keep it easy, light and smooth. Cheers. 

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