It’s easy to take certain foods for granted – from raw whole foods to healthy conveniences that have been around for years, like the original energy and nutrition bars. Shortly after PowerBar took our fitness-oriented population by storm, Clif Bars emerged and quickly became a household brand that active and just plain busy people enjoyed.
Clif Bars are all dairy-free (see the Certifications note below for details) and always have been, yet I’d never before dedicated a solid review post to these hearty snacks, aside from our Seasonal Clif Bars Review. Quite surprising, since they are still one of the best-selling bars in the U.S, vegan or not.
My relationship with Clif Bars has morphed quite a bit over the past 20 years. I was definitely an early adopter, latching onto each new flavor that emerged. For a couple of years, Tony and I were addicted to the buzz of the Cool Mint Chocolate. He later proclaimed the Oatmeal Raisin Walnut his favorite, followed closely by the very sweet Banana Nut Bread (obviously he has a thing for walnuts), while I waffled between the somewhat indulgent Carrot Cake (iced!) and rich, everyday Crunchy Peanut Butter. And who can resist a dairy-free White Chocolate Macadamia snack?
More recently I sampled the Berry Pomegranate Chia, which was bursting with fruity flavor but a little too sweet for my everyday tastes, and the Nuts & Seeds, which could be one of my new favorites. It was a little less sweet and a little more hearty, but still quite a treat.
All of the Clif Bars have a soft, relatively chewy texture that remains unique to this day, with a good smattering of non-GMO soy crisps throughout for textural interest and a protein bonus. They are sweeter, and consequently higher in sugars than many energy bars (particularly ones with that tasty drizzling of icing), but that flavor keeps people coming back regardless. They are also a bit heavier and more filling than most, making them a good value recommendation.
Truthfully, since digging deeper into the soy debate several years ago, I enjoy Clif Bars much less often. Sadly, their core ingredient is made with soy protein isolate – the form of soy that has been negatively linked in some health studies. I still take the “everything in moderation” approach though!
Certifications: Clif Bars are Certified Kosher Dairy due to the presence of dairy, not dairy in the ingredients. From their website on this, “There are no dairy products in our bars; however, the vendor we purchase our non-dairy chocolate chips from makes chips containing dairy in the same building.”
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Clif Bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Select varieties are made without peanuts and tree nuts, but obviously, nuts are present on the line. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes, ingredients and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Clif Bar website at www.clifbar.com.