I have always been a huge fan of Clif products, because I can read and understand all of their ingredients AND their bars taste GREAT. Recently I had the opportunity to try a new product of theirs called Organic Energy Food. (Of course this opportunity was through the awesome local running group, Run Eat Tweet AZ.) When I first heard about these, I thought they sounded PERFECT! Organic, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, simple ingredients and delicious sounding flavors! (Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, Banana Mango with Coconut, Banana Beet with Ginger and Pizza Margherita.) On the morning of my long run a couple weeks ago, I decided to try the sweet potato flavor, which contains 200 calories, 21g carbs, 12g fat and 4g protein. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to actually TRY them once they were in my possession, haha! I unscrewed the lid, squeezed a little out, stared at it and then tried some… interesting… I could definitely taste the sweet potato, but what overpowered it was the salt. I’m not a big salt person – I think a little goes a long way! And for me personally, this was just too salty. I was a little bummed. I wanted so badly to like these! But Mr. Zucchini Runner tried it later, and he didn’t think it was too salty – so everyone is different! I’m sure if I consumed this mid run, I would feel differently. With the Arizona heat however, warm sweet potato didn’t sound good mid run, so I opted to try it before my run.
The next flavor I tried was AMAZING and absolutely made up for the sweet potato – banana, mango, coconut. YEP! Now THAT was great. This is the lightest food, weighing in at 100 calories, 17g carbs, 2.5g fat and 1g protein. I put it in the fridge the night before so it was nice and cold, and sucked it down right before heading out the door for a 10 mile bike ride. It was perfect and hit the spot. Great flavor, great texture – it even had little bits of coconut too. So far these flavors were 1 to 1…
On my next long run I wanted to try the Energy Food during my run, like the label suggests. 🙂 So I carried it in my Nathan hydration vest, in the front pocket for easy access. At the halfway point of my run, I pulled it out, quickly unscrewed the cap and again, sucked it all down – Banana Beet with Ginger – another delicious flavor. I wanted MORE! I kept squeezing the tiny pouch, hoping I could eek more out, but no luck. I screwed the cap back on, and stuck it back in my pocket. I REALLY liked that. It was easy access, and didn’t make a gooey mess on my hands, clothes or vest. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a second one along for that run. I was out there for 2 hours and 11 minutes and by the end I was STARVING. I really could have used the banana mango, on top of the banana beet! Banana Beet with Ginger is another lightweight with only 110 calories, 23g carbs, .5g fat and 2g protein. I would say for anyone worried about beet flavor, it was non-existent. I only tasted banana and a slight hint of ginger. It sat well in my stomach, no upset at all.
And now for the last flavor I’m sure you are all DYING to know about… Pizza! Of course I saved it for last, because, well let’s face it I was terrified to try it. Most days I run at 5:30 a.m., so there was NO WAY anything about pizza anything sounded good to me at that hour. I opted to simply taste test pizza one evening instead. I was AMAZED. It actually tasted GOOD! My immediate thought was that it would be wonderful if I was doing an endurance run, in the evening and wanted something that resembled comfort food. It was basically just pizza sauce in a tube. 🙂 Well done Clif, well done!
Overall, I am impressed by the Clif Organic Energy Foods, with the exception of the Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, I really liked all the flavors – and I’m willing to give it a second chance. The packaging makes using them convenient and easy, too. Of course my number one favorite thing, is the organic and simple ingredients.
Want to taste test some for yourself? Run Eat Tweet AZ is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page, head over to enter today! Deadline to enter is Wednesday (7/22) by Midnight.