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What I learned building my own Clif Bar

Designing the right fuel is more than picking flavours. But a tasty Clif Bar is a bonus

Clif Bar

Ever wanted to create your own flavour of energy bar? But, maybe you’re not a wiz in the kitchen.

I was able to make my own bar with Clif Bar at the company’s 2016 Crankworx Basecamp with the guidance of Tara DelloIacono Thies, one of Clif’s resident nutritionists. Really though, I didn’t need much help that morning loading up bowls of oatmeal with numerous flavour combinations from the ingredient buffet.

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With some Whistler and Canadian inspired choices on hand, it was likely the tastiest work I have ever had to suffer through. Clif also sources their organic oats from the Canadian Prairies.
Before the taste testing began though, a lesson was given on how and why the Clif Bar Company chooses ingredients for its product lines. With this new knowledge, I tried to find the flavour and textures that I would want to pull from my pack on one of my next big rides. Aurora Barealis, the true-north inspired name I gave to my final creation, was a mix of almonds and coconut flakes for some added fat/sustained energy, dried blueberries for antioxidants, then maple syrup and chocolate for my sweet tooth. If butter tarts travelled better in a jersey pocket, they would likely be my energy bar of choice.

Before the session, I’d never given too much thought to energy products, other than if the bar/gel/powder would be ideal for before, during or after an event or outdoor adventure. I now realize within the spectrum of products out there, there is more than just flavour to consider. By choosing certain ingredients, the nutritional profile of each bar or product will be different. For example, the slightly higher fat and protein/lower carb of the peanut butter Clif Bar always keeps me fuelled longer during lower-intensity outings compared with other bar flavours or fast-acting gels that don’t’fill the tank for long.

Weeks after I selected the ingredients for my custom bar, the bakers from Clif’s kitchen/secret lab shipped me six of my creation. As of writing, there are only two left and its been tough to resist finishing them off just as a snack or keeping them away from my kids. I made the mistake of sharing the first one with them.