Product Review: Spiced Pumpkin Pie Clif Bar
We all know how big of a fan of seasonal – and especially pumpkin – products I am. Being a fairly active and on the go person person, I’ve also been known to consume and energy bar or two in my day, especially following workouts. With this in mind, I picked up a bar of Clif’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie for $1.50 at the grocery store the other day.
The 240 calorie, 68 gram bar promises “goodness of pumpkin pie” and is one of three limited-time only bars for fall and winter (the other two being Iced Gingerbread and Cranberry Orange Nut Bread). With 70% organic ingredients, one of Clif’s biggest selling points is there “good for you and the planet” mantra, but frankly I’m just looking for something affordable, great tasting, and functional for my workouts. I’m not some kinda hippy, don’t ya know. OK, so here’s the propaganda anyways.
It’s the first bar we made, and it’s still everything we’re about. Whole, all-natural, organic ingredients. Performance nutrition. And great taste. Whether you’re on a 150-mile bike ride or exploring a new trail, this energy bar is built to sustain your adventure.
At $1.50 this bar is a bit of an investment, so it better be something special. I broke into it after a solid workout, but was disappointed in its size. I was expecting something a bit heftier, but the bar was truncated and dense, and had an ugly, dog-treat like appearance. My first bite revealed a sweet, spicy taste that tasted heavily of cloves and nutmeg, with the sweetness coming off as deep, gingery and fruity. Texture wise this isn’t a gummy bar like a traditional power bar, but it has a tough, dense chew. There is an icing on the top, but it’s tough to distinguish it’s flavor against the strong taste of raisin juice and cane syrup that gives the bar it’s flavor.
There are chunks of raisins that break up the soy and oat texture and add a burst of sweetness, but overall, the pumpkin flavor is average and seems lost amidst the long list of ingredients. Apparently there are nuts in here somewhere, but I’m left thinking “donde esta” after digging in. Still, I like the complex and spicy notes of the bar, although it tastes more like a combination of a ginger snap and iced oatmeal raisin cookie than a pumpkin flavored product. Likewise, the texture leaves a lot to be desired, while the size doesn’t fill me up after a four mile run.
Nutrition wise, this bar is only average in my mind. A single gram of saturated fat is can’t beat, but the protein content (nine grams) and soluble fiber content is a little low considering the 25 grams of sugar. I have no problem with that much – or more sugar – after a run, but for the bar’s size and taste it seems a little high. I think I’d rather just have a giant pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and eat something “healthier” later in the day. Don’t get me wrong – this is a tasty bar – but it was a disappointment because of its lack of genuine pumpkin pie flavor, and because of its price. Next time, I think I’m just gonna grab a few spoon fulls of that pumpkin pie cheesecake filling and call it an afternoon.
Pros: Complex spiciness to compliment sweetness. Only 1 gram saturated fat. 9 grams protein. Getting to pretend I’m a seriously outdoorsy person.
Cons: Fairly expensive. Doesn’t have particularly memorable pumpkin flavor. Minimal “nutty” presence and no richness. Funky, dog-treat texture. Ugh. Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup FAIL.
Price: 1.50 for one bar (at Smith’s Grocery)
Overall GrubGrade: 5.25 (Mediocre)
More Info: ClifBar.com
Clif Bar Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Total Fat: 4.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 170 mg
Total Carbs: 45 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 25 g
Protein: 9 g