I work at a newspaper, with all the rush-rush deadlines and oddball working hours that life as an ink-stained wretch entails. Meals are regularly eaten at desks, and feeding times change based on workload, so I sometimes find myself with a grumbling tummy when I know I’m not going to have a break for another hour.
Instead of plunking a chocolate-bar’s worth of quarters into the cafeteria vending machine, I’ve started to keep a few Clif Bars handy in my desk, just in case I need a snack.
Calorie-wise, a Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar is about the same as a chocolate bar — it’s all the other stuff that sets it apart. There’s a laundry list of nutrients spelled out on the package, and each bar contains five grams of fibre and 10 grams of protein.
On first bite, they remind me of my family’s recipe for chocolate mountain cookies crossed with a protein bar. Chocolate, oats and almonds are the dominant tastes, but there’s a heavy presence of something I can’t identify — possibly brown rice syrup, the top ingredient on the list. The bar’s texture is soft but scratchy, if that makes sense.
I won’t lie; they’re not the best tasting snacks in the world. All the healthy additives add up to give it a health-food twang. But it’s a small trade-off for a snack that’s somewhere between a granola bar and a stop-gap mini meal.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.69 at Planet Organic.
Value for cash money: More than a chocolate bar or a donut, but less than a big cookie at a café. (Note that at $1.69, Planet Organic’s price is cheaper than at a lot of other places. Go figure.)
Availability: Everywhere. Grocery stores, health food stores, Costco. Planet Organic has the best selection I’ve seen so far.
Nutrition?: 250 calories per 68-gram bar. Lots of protein, lots of fibre, and a whole bunch of nutrients. The package says it’s made with 70 per cent organic ingredients.
The verdict: I’m sold. Why? Because I’d rather get some nutrients with my 250 calories of snacking. They taste OK, and I feel less guilty grabbing one of these than unwrapping a Snickers.