After a day long, 175 mile bike ride in 1990, Clif Bar creator, Gary Erickson knew there had to be a better tasting bar out there. Much to his dissatisfaction, there wasn’t. So he began recipe testing in his mother’s kitchen and two years later in 1992, Clif Bar was introduced, named in honor of his father.
Today, Clif Bar is a well-known brand focused on energy sustainability, community, nutrition, and employee well-being. They have launched several initiatives in past several years including using renewal energy for production, environmentally friendly packaging, an employee owned stock program, and choosing more wholesome (often organic ingredients).
The company’s product line continues to grow as the company and culture evolves and shifts. Some of the most recent products to launch on Amazon are the Clif Organic Nut Butter Filled Bars. The new bars are available in seven flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Peanut Butter, Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blueberry Almond Butter, and Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter. All the bars are vegan with similar plant-based ingredients and a similar nutrition profile.
Today, I’m taking a closer look at the Coconut Almond Butter because it sounded unique. If you’ve been eating energy bars for any length of time, you may know it can be difficult to find a bar that does not have chocolate or peanut butter in it. I enjoy those flavors too, but I also like variety and the thought of a bar being filled with almond butter filled seemed extra enticing. Let’s check it out…
Taste Experience – 8 out of 10
If you enjoy traditional Clif Bars, you will enjoy this slight variation. The first bite of the outside bar layer is strikingly similar to the original bar with an oat and brown rice syrup base. The outer shell may even be exactly the same as the original Clif Bars as the ingredient list is very comparable. The vegan nutrition bar is soft and chewy without being sticky or crumbly. The texture holds together well. The texture is similar to Clif bars but the nut butter filling is a thick paste. I appreciate this as I was concerned that a thinner nut butter filling would goop out of the bar. I was also concerned that the nut butter would be hardly noticeable. Neither of these were the case. When taking a bite, it’s easy to see where the bar ends and the nut butter filling begins. Although I can taste the difference in the bar and the filling, the texture is relatively the same and quite smooth. The nut butter filling tastes like a tame almond butter and after looking at the ingredients the filling is a combination of almond butter and cashew butter so this makes sense.
The bar smells sweet, like brown rice syrup with subtle hints of nut butter, oats, and dates. It tastes, smells, and looks like whole food ingredients which are refreshing in an ever growing energy bar industry that seems to add more and more chemicals and artificial ingredients. The vegan bar does not have a chalky aftertaste (like many protein bars do), nor does the Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar taste artificially sweet. Check them out for yourself here on Amazon.
Nutrition – 7 out of 10
Each Clif Nut Filled Bar is smaller than traditional Clif bars and the Coconut Almond Butter Bar has 230 calories with 90 of those calories coming from fat. The size and caloric density is not surprising given the inclusion of nut butter. Nut butter is a classic calorically dense and nutrient dense food and not found in this quantity in other plant-based nutrition bars. And although the nutrition bars are soy and dairy free, there can be traces and cross contamination with shared manufacturing equipment and may not be suitable for those with allergies and intolerances.
With 11 grams of healthy fat (coming mostly from the nut butters), there are only 3 grams of saturated fat. This is a desirable fat ratio choice. The Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar does not have any hydrogenated oils, and is consequently trans-fat free. You can also expect the protein bar to be cholesterol free as the energy bar is plant-based without any animal ingredients added.
You’ll find a modest amount of sodium (150mg per bar) and a small dose of potassium (130mg per bar or 4% of daily value). The salt is added to help balance out the sweetness as without it, the brown rice syrup would be overpowering and excessively sweet for most people. The potassium is naturally present in the pea protein and nut butters. The bar is not fortified with other vitamins and minerals but does contain 10% daily value iron (from the oats and nut butters), 15% daily value vitamin E, 10% daily value phosphorus, 85% daily value magnesium, and 4% daily value calcium. All of these nutrients are naturally found in the nuts and I suspect that is the source for these vitamins and minerals.
Clif Nut Butter Filled bars have 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein to help keep you satisfied and keep hunger at bay while increasing you micronutrient intake in a convenient package. I would recommend considering the 12 count package here on Amazon instead of individually sold bars because this is the kind of nutrition you will want to consume regularly. Clif Nut Butter Filled Bars are a great snack choice or a small breakfast. If you are using Clif bars as a meal replacement, I would suggest adding a piece of fruit.
The Non-Vegan Review – Score: 9 out of 10
These are delicious! Awesome coconut flavor and that nut butter surprise in the middle is super extra. I find most Clif bars to be a bit too sweet, but the nut butter filling in these tones the sweetness down a notch or two. The texture is really great too. Nice soft and crumbly outside and smooth nut butter in the middle. Clif has really stepped their game up with these bars. Great that they are vegan too, so that both us omnivores (yes, that’s the correct term for us) and the plant killers can enjoy them together. My only tiny, little criticize is that Clif packages these in a deceivingly large package. You’re all excited to get that nut butter, only to discover a halfsie when you bust the package open. They are still delicious, and my fat rear probably doesn’t need a foot long bar. Non-vegan husband out.
If you are looking to include convenient vegan, plant-based nutrition bars into your day, Clif Nut Butter Filled Bars are a great option for anyone. Whether you need a small meal, a large snack on the go, or a midday pick me up, the taste and nutrition found in these bars are incomparable. Check out the Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar in the Coconut Almond Butter Flavor or get adventurous with other flavors available on Amazon. The Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar has a reasonable price point and available in so many flavors that you are bound to find your favorite or favorites.