Sometimes my local coop has a sale that I want to take advantage of either because I like the products or because it gives me a chance to try something new. If that something is chocolate, I get to share it with you, Sisters and Brothers. I’ve never had “Cliff Bars” before since their individual costs always seemed a bit high to me. When these went on sale though I bought five chocolate varieties. I've reviewed one of these in the past but today I'm looking at the other four I bought.
Cliff Bars are energy bars, not breakfast or snack bars which simply means their claim to fame is that they will give you energy. I’ve always found this idea very silly. All food containing calories, and I can’t think of a food that doesn’t, will give you energy, that is really what a calorie is measuring. I think that “energy bars” or much like “energy drinks” in that they play on the notion that you need a pick up at some point during your day. Perhaps if people ate more healthy, ate enough, and got sufficient sleep they wouldn’t feel like they needed that pick up.
Cliff Bars are a member of the “1% For the Planet” organization. These companies, less than 1300 world wide, donate 1% of their annual profits to various environmental organizations.
Similar composition to the “brownie” but with some nutritional differences including140mg sodium and 250mg potassium. Again this looks very much like a type of unbaked cookie, Sisters and Brothers, though you can see the oats and the chips in this one. The smell is exactly like an unbaked cookie as well, primarily oat and sugars in scent. This is very chewy and lightly crunchy just like the brownie bar but the principle flavor is sugar here. In fact, even though I see the chips and I know I’m taking bites with them I can’t really taste the chocolate. Not a great choice for chocolate but an interesting bar otherwise.
“Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch”
This differs from the earlier two bars by having 260 calories, 200mg sodium, 260mg potassium, 21g sugars, and 11g protein. It should also have more crunchiness if the name is correct, don't you agree, Sisters and Brothers? This has a strong peanut scent that hit me as soon as I opened the wrapping. Yet, take a look at this picture then go up a paragraph. This looks basically identical to the “Chocolate Chip” bar. If you’ve had a Snickers bar then you have an idea of what this tastes like minus any chocolate. Again, I can see the chips but I do not taste them, I really only taste peanuts and sugars. But given the name of this bar, what is truly disappointing is that is it not any more crunchy than the previous two were.
“Chocolate Almond Fudge”
This cliff bar only differs from the others I’ve been revealing in its 250 calories, 140mg sodium, 300mg potassium, 20g sugars, and 10g protein. Each cliff bar to this point has had the same saturated fat (1.5g) and fiber (5g) as well as the basic mix of vitamins and minerals. Sisters and Brothers, this bar looks like a no-bake cookie or bar and the almonds are very thinly sliced and spread throughout. However the only scent I can detect is cocoa even though almonds are ingredient six and chocolate chips are ingredient seven while cocoa is number nine on the wrapper’s list. This is very chewy and the act of chewing releases the almonds as the primary flavor with a strong fruity aftertaste which must be the organic fig paste that appears as the eight ingredient on the list. I did find a few larger pieces of almonds which crunched well in the bar though given it’s nutty title it didn’t crunch as strongly as I would have liked.
“Cool Mint Chocolate”
This bar has white chocolate frosting lines against it’s dark top which looks much like other bars I’ve revealed from the Cliff bar collection of chocolate varieties. If I take a deep whiff of it, my nose is tickled by a cool sensation that is likely the mint even though mint is not an ingredient on the list — “natural flavors” are listed by unspecified and that is way down on the ingredient listing on the wrapper. This bar has 250 calories, 140mg sodium, 240mg potassium, 17g sugars, and 10g proteins along with the vitamins and minerals found in Cliff bars. This bar is primarily chewy with just a hint of crunch, Sisters and Brothers. The mint flavor is subtle but there and you can taste the cocoa as well as the frosting on top, however, the fig flavor is there, too, so if you don’t like figs, several of the Cliff Bar varieties are not for you. The texture is a bit dryer than the other bars which gave this a more candy bar like feeling than a no-bake cookie. Overall the lingering taste is cocoa and mint so I actually like this variety.
Sisters and Brothers, some of these were disappointing, others such as the last variety, really surprised me by being so tasty and what the package advertised. These are expensive in my opinion so if you want to try them, look for sales and use coupons then find a variety you like.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.