Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Feed the Beast - A product review of Core Bars

Organic Raw Vegan Energy Bars that taste GREAT? Not a believer? Read on!

For those of you that know me, you know I’m passionate about eating well, eating clean and fueling my body with the right stuff.  I’m not perfect but I strive to improve all the time.  Yes, I think nutrition books are fun to read.  I’ve been reading nutrition books for fun for at least 20 years.  I firmly believe in quality nutrition as a pathway to good health and better athletic performances.  The body can do amazing things, but it cannot do them effectively unless you fuel it correctly. 

As my life and athletic endeavors keep me on the go more and more (two young boys, a full time job and ultra training will do that), I’ve sought quality nutrition that can keep up with my active lifestyle.  We’ve all seen the myriad of energy bars on the market, and I am no stranger to any of them.  If I haven’t tried it, I’ve read the label and considered trying it.  I’ve tried a lot.  While they all have different ingredients and a different claim to fame, they have one thing in common:  they aren’t perfect and leave me coming back searching again.  Usually on a sugar crash that leaves me thinking I’m hungry.   Almost all of them are filled with sweetener that lead to the sugar crash.  The more health conscious use agave as a sweetener and claim this is healthier because of the lower glycemic index of agave.  I know, real food is better, and I completely agree.  I’ve made my own bars and energy balls and I love them.  (See Recipe Below)  But they don’t exactly travel very well.  So you’re left with a conundrum – real food that isn’t very portable or convenience food that lacks real nutrition.  Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve found a solution.  They are called Core Bars. http://www.corefoods.com/   They use real food and make a bar that will leave your body and your conscience smiling.  No sugar crash and you really will feel satisfied for hours. 

First thing is first – what’s in these things? Check out this ingredient list.  Simple, pure, delicious.

Raw Almond Raisin (All Organic):  Whole Oats, Almonds, Raisins, Flax, Ground Spices.

Raw Walnut Banana (All Organic):  Whole Oats, Walnuts, Bananas, Raisins, Flax, Ground Spices.

Raw Cashew Cacao (All Organic):  Whole Oats, Cashews, Cacao, Raisins, Flax, Ground Spices.

Enviably simple, right?  And eating them isn't like eating cardboard.  It's like eating real food.  Stick with you, fill you up kind of food.  They aren't overly sweet, which I love.  You can actually SEE the ingredients in the bars.  So you know what you're eating.  I am thrilled to have found these bars... My confession?  I ordered a box of 10 in a variety of flavors and I gobbled them up in less than 10 days.  They are that good.  And I didn't feel the least bit guilty about eating them because of all the pure ingredients. 

Not only does Core make great bars, but they have a company structure that will leave you smiling as well.  This is the mission statement from their site:

1. We make only the healthiest, produce-based foods--no syrups, salts, flours, oils, or additives. "CORE Foods" are foods that you can count on to be the foundation of health.

2. We've created an innovative new not-for-profit business model that both out-competes traditional for-profit businesses and makes the world a better place. We do this by committing to 4 standards:
A. Not-for-profit: 100% of profit is reinvested in CORE and the community--not taken by shareholders.
B. All employees earn a living wage.
C. Executive salaries are capped at the industry average.
D. Environmental impact is calculated and held accountable. All carbon is reduced or offset.

More Questions?  Check out their FAQ page:   http://www.corefoods.com/pages/faq

As a Post Script - here is the recipe for Jen's Raw energy balls.  These pack a great punch and are awesome for stashing in your pack for a trail run.  Sweet and healthy!

1 C raw walnuts
1 C of raw cashews, sunflower seeds, pecans - mix it up, just make one cup total so you have 2 cups of nuts

Blend in a food processor until grainy

Add 2 C of pitted dates (I use medjool)
1/2 cup of raw rolled oats
a handful of organic raisins or dried cranberries
1-2 tsp of quality vanilla extract (depends how much you like vanilla)
1 tsp good cinnamon (more if you like cinnamon)
pinch of sea salt

Process until the dough comes together and all the fruit is mixed and incorporated.  Remove from the food processor and add about a cup of raisins to the dough and mix. 
Dough will be sticky but able to be formed into balls.  I usually eat it with a spoon! 

1 comment:

  1. Nothing to do with this post... but I simply didn't know where to ask this: I saw the "Follow me on Movescount" banner and thought it would be great to see our moves. Unfortunatelly it leds to an invalid page, and I cannot find user "runveggiejen" in Movescount. Can you help me with that? Thx