Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled Bars - YUM!

In case you missed the breaking news, this isn't too good to be true.

Clif Bar has added a new organic energy bar to their line of products and yes, it's filled with a variety of nut butters.

Can we all yum together now?

Back in March, Clif Bar sent me a box with all four flavors (peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter and coconut almond butter). Each bar was wrapped in white paper with no ingredients listed as they were in the intro phase of making these bars (all pictures below are from my box received in March).

Clif Bar did not ask me to write a blog post (this isn't a paid sponsored post) but instead, they sent me the bars to try for some feedback. This isn't the first time they have sent me a new product or flavor.

This happened a few months before the launch of the bars (which are available now) so that is why I am just now writing about them as I wanted to see and learn about the product (on the website) before posting and sharing.
I'm very selective about what I share with you, my readers.

You'll notice that the picture above only has three bars in the box and that is because I ate the chocolate hazelnut butter bar before I took the picture. My tummy couldn't wait to try it!

Although I am now a Clif Bar ambassador, I actually fell in love with the company before incorporating their products into my active lifestyle. Although Clif Bar has been around for a very long time, it wasn't until I was invited to attend an RD Summit at the Clif Bar Headquarters in 2014 that I learned about the company - and that is what made me fall in love with the Clif Bar company.

"At Clif Bar & Company, we are a private, family and employee-owned company guided by five “bottom lines” or what we call our Five Aspirations: Sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet. These aspirations help us consider decisions from multiple perspectives that we value, and we choose the word “aspiration” in recognition that we’re on a journey and can always do more in each of these areas."

Not to mention that the employees get paid to race an event of their choice each year, paid to workout (having a well-equipped gym at the headquarters helps!), they are encouraged to walk or bike to work, they get paid to volunteer and you can bring your dog to work.

There's an in-house chef preparing healthy and nutritious farm-to-table like meals for the employees and there are RD's overseeing the product development.

So back to these delicious nut butter bars.

Seeing that this is the first of it's kind on the market to stuff a bar with nut butter, I think you will immediately find that the nut butter bar, compared to the original bar, is less sweet. This can be a major turn-on for athletes who primarily use sport drinks when training (or racing) on the bike but need to offset the constant sweetness of a drink with a more savory solid food option to nibble on throughout a ride. 

The bar is compact so this is what I call "energy dense." At 230 calories per bar, this isn't a bar that's going to leave you stuffed (which is a good thing for an active individual). Each bite will likely give you around 50-60 calories which is helpful for the athlete who needs a little substance in the gut when working out for long hours (particularly at low intensities).

This bar makes for an energy dense snack if you struggle to get in "enough" calories on your long workout days (especially if you are prone to losing your appetite but know you need the calories post workout). This also makes for a healthy option for a balanced snack when you just can't access real food (ex. traveling) in the 24-48 hours before a long workout or race.

Compared to the original Clif Bar, there is more fat but less protein, carbs and sugars. Because of this, I find this a more suitable balanced pre-workout snack if you just need something in your belly before a workout that will give you sustainable energy without causing GI issues.

Although I have provided some examples as to how to incorporate these nut butter filled bars into your active lifestyle, this is not a post asking you to stop eating real food. PLEASE (continue to) emphasize a real food diet.

In no way am I asking you to replace a real food option for a sport bar or add in sport bars to your diet just because they taste good. However, for very active individuals, there can be a place for bars as a supplemental form of energy.

There will come a point in an athlete's training regime (particularly for endurance athletes) when a real food diet will no longer give you all the energy that you need to support your workout regime. Not to mention, some real food don't digest the best when working out and we have to select our food options wisely before and after workouts to avoid GI distress. Sometimes the "healthy" foods/drinks consumed around and during workouts are not "healthy" when you consume them when sedentary - and this is why sport nutrition can be fun but also confusing. When you are fueling an active body that seeks performance gains, there are many exceptions to the rules. 

As for the taste, although they are less sweet then the original bars, the inside is creamy and delicious. Your taste buds will be happy as there is no strong aftertaste. Although Clif Bar has never been one for a chemical after taste with their products (like other bars), I think you'll enjoy the simplicity of ingredients found in these bars.
Here's a nutritional comparison of the nut butter filled bars compared to the original bars. 

Nut butter filled

Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Date Paste, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Rice Starch, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Peanut Flour, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Peanuts, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant). ALLERGEN STATEMENT: Contains peanuts. May contain soy, wheat, tree nuts, and traces of milk.

Original Clif Bar

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Rice Flour, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Oat Fiber, Cocoa, Cocoa Butter, Organic Date Paste, Organic Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Soy Flour, Sea Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin. ALLERGEN STATEMENT: CONTAINS SOY. MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK AND WHEAT.

While you may see Clif Bar as a company that makes "sugar-filled candy bars," I don't see it that way.
Clif Bar is passionate about farming and organic food and fueling your adventurous lifestyle.
I'm pretty sure that Clif Bar would be disappointed if you lived a sedentary lifestyle but ate Clif Bar products on a daily basis.

Because Clif Bar wants you to be active!

Clif Bar doesn't sell weight loss products or a variety of pills claimed to improve health. Clif Bar wants you to eat real food in your daily diet but when you are going for a long hike, riding your bike for long hours, enjoying nature on two feet, going for a long kayak adventure, rock climbing or doing something incredible with your body, they offer a variety of products with organic ingredients (that you can feel good about) with the help of local farmers, to create a healthier and more sustainable food system, that taste good.

Again, I'm not paid to say this but as a sport RD, I feel it is in your interest to know how and why I select the products that I endorse and use and Clif Bar is one of very few other companies that meets my criteria of "healthy" sport nutrition to help fuel an active lifestyle.