Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Clif Mini Bars

By Alisonclif mini

Ever in need of a quick, low-calorie, on-the-go snack but one that will keep you satisfied? There are many 100-calorie snacks on the market. Most of them are made of all or mostly refined carbohydrates (flour, sugar) and little or none of the stuff that will keep you satisfied such as fiber, protein and unsaturated fats.

A half of a peanut butter sandwich would be perfect, but not always practical when running errands or dashing between business meetings. I found the best 100-calorie, stash-in-your-pocket snack. It’s the “mini-me” of Clif Bars, known as Clif mini energy bars. Nutritional information for one bar includes:

Calories

100

Total Fat
Saturated Fat
2 g
0.5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate
Fiber
Sugar
18 g
2 g
9 g
Protein 4 g

The fiber, protein and fat content are guaranteed to keep you full longer. Based on the mini bar’s nutrient profile, this is somewhat of a “nutrient dense” food, meaning that in a small amount of calories there is a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. On the down side, the Clif Bar is a processed and packaged food; therefore, it’s not a superior nutrient dense food like fruits, vegetables, nuts, or non-fat dairy products.

Despite the fact that it is processed, the ingredient label includes mostly all natural and organic ingredients. Using the chocolate brownie flavor as an example:

  • Carbohydrate sources include organic rolled oats, ClifCrunch ® (a mix of apple fiber, organic oat fiber and other natural ingredients), organic brown rice syrup and chocolate chips
  • Protein sources are soy-based; the peanut butter flavor gets protein from peanuts.
  • Fat sources include organic milled flaxseed, organic roasted soy beans

A box of 18 mini bars typically retails for approximately $11. This includes a variety pack of 6 chocolate chip, 6 crunch peanut butter (my fave!), and 6 chocolate brownie. They can be found online at amazon.com, but I’ve also spotted them at Target and Harmon Drugs.

As with all energy bars, taste-testing is crucial. Just because I like them doesn’t mean you will. I’d recommend going to your local grocery, drug or health food store and picking up one Clif Bar in a flavor mentioned above. See how you like it before picking up a box of 18 minis. It is certainly a different taste from cereal-type snack bars like Kashi, but as far as energy bars go, I give them a “food snob” stamp of approval for hunger-satisfying taste in a small package.

More on Clif Bars – Why I love them:

The original Clif Bar was created by a man on a 175-mile bike ride who was sick of eating nasty, cardboard-tasting energy bars. He spent two years in his mom’s kitchen testing recipes and then out came the Clif Bar. The original Clif Bar averages approximately 240 calories, 5 g fat, 44 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 22 g sugar), and 10 g protein (nutritional information varies based on flavor). It’s perfect as a mid-afternoon snack for the more active person, like a runner or cyclist. For the average person, when in a real pinch it can serve as a good meal replacement.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen the Clif Minis yet- I'll have to find them. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete