Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Product Review: bake at home energy bars

First off, we haven't posted in a few days and we may be posting infrequently over the next few days because we're going through the wringer again with Violet. I did want to get this one out though so here goes. The folks at Matisse & Jack's asked us to review their new bake-at-home energy bars (disclosure - we're not getting anything else for this other than a couple of boxes of their energy bar mix).

I've eaten a lot of energy bars in my day, mostly Clif bars, but I never really considered the impact of all those wrappers. There are millions upon millions of these things being sold these days and all those wrappers take up a lot of landfill space. Now the best thing you could do to avoid that impact would be to make your own energy bars from scratch, but what people like about the packaged bars is their convenience. Enter Matisse & Jack's. They make a boxed mix that you bake at home by adding one or two wet ingredients. Each box makes 9 bars so you're definitely saving some packaging, but they really taste a lot better and more fresh than the pre-packaged variety too (and they're cheaper). Currently they have two flavors available, Cranberry Walnut and Chocolate Chip. Everything in the box is vegan and you can bake them vegan by just adding applesauce as the wet ingredient. The other option is a combination of applesauce and yogurt and soy yogurt will work too. In fact we baked one box each way and I think I liked the ones with the soy yogurt slightly better. Either way they taste better than my old Clif bars and you can tote them around in a re-usable container rather than tossing a wrapper in the trash. They're softer and a little more cake-like than other energy bars and that's generally a good thing, although I'm not sure if they'd hold up quite as well stuffed into a jersey pocket on a long bike ride. The main advantage the pre-packaged energy bars have is their shelf life and for that reason I'll probably continue to stand by Clif - they're a pretty good company I think - but I'll also probably buy fewer of them and more of the Matisse & Jack's.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I LOVE Clif Nectar bars and have enjoyed pretty good success coming up with a homemade version. This new product would be a lot easier, and I can save a dollar and reduce my amount of trash.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
Just stopped by to say I hope you and Violet are hanging in there and everything is going as well as possible.