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Clif Bar Alternative I Recipe

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Friday, February 10, 2012
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Homemade Cliff Bar Alternative
Clif Bar Alternative Test Batch
I love Clif Bars. Especially the Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Bar. Clif Bars taste like actual food in my opinion instead of some mutant candy bar concoction.

When I go for a long hike or run I like to bring one with me to help keep my energy up and I can complete my trip without feeling fatigued. They're very convenient and don't melt in my pocket even on the hottest of days.

There are a couple of things about Clif Bars I'm not too crazy about though.

On my way to the trail I pass by a pharmacy that sells Clif Bars which makes it very convenient to grab one before my hike/run. Unfortunately buying single Clif Bars is expensive. About $1.50-$1.70 each depending if there's a 2-for sale. Amazon has 24 Clif Bar Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Bars for a reasonable price with free shipping and my local supermarket has 6 packs available that come out to just over $1 per bar.

The other concern is that there's so much Soy in them. Everything seems to have some sort of soy in it nowadays so I wanted to come up with an alternative that used different sources of protein.

What I came up with is a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola Bar. Buying small-sized, name brand products there isn't much of a savings compared to buying ready-made Clif Bars in bulk. Buying larger sized containers and store brands does save a bit. Each serving comes out to around $0.83. A little less if I manage to find a cheaper source for wheat germ.

It's not a huge savings but I generally have all the ingredients on hand anyway so it almost feels like it's free. :)

Nutritional Information

Calories and Macros:

Calories Carbs Fat Protein
234 33.9g 6.9g 11.6g
From a nutritional standpoint they're very similar as can be seen below. (from http://caloriecount.about.com)

Nutritional Facts table comparing Clif Bar to my homemade protein granola bar

Ingredients:
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine honey and peanut butter in a bowl. It's easier to mix when warm so I like to use a metal bowl in a hot water bath.
  3. Mix by hand the oatmeal and wheat germ trying to get everything incorporated.
  4. Spread out the oatmeal mixture and evenly sprinkle the whey protein powder over it then continue mixing.
  5. Pack into a 9x9" baking dish lined with parchment paper and cook in oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into 10 1.8"x4.5" bars and wrap in foil/plastic wrap for convenience.
Results:

I wasn't trying to duplicate the taste of Clif Bars, just the nutritional value. The granola bars tasted very good and were as filling as a Clif Bar.

The granola bars were more brittle than Clif Bars so I'm not sure how well they'd hold up in my pocket while running. I have some ideas for making the granola bars easier to travel with that I'll try to post later.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to come up with something that's a little softer. The texture is much closer to a Clif Bar. Check out my newer Clif Bar Alternative  Recipe.

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