Energy bar?
June 24, 2004 11:00 AM   Subscribe

The Übersnack: I'm trying to find something small and dense, like a powerbar, but cheaper and tastier. It shouldn't be super-sweet, and as an added bonus it would be cool if it had some sort of buzz-factor, like ginseng or the like. This is for use in marathon writing sessions in the library, so I don't have to take breaks to eat. So it can't be messy. I could just load up on jerky and fig newtons, but was hoping the collective cleverness of the mefisphere might have better suggestions.
posted by mecran01 to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I heartily recommend Clif Bar, but I'm not sure it meets the "cheaper" criterion. It runs about the same price as power bars, at least in my local supermarket. Much tastier, though.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:23 AM on June 24, 2004

an added bonus it would be cool if it had some sort of buzz-factor, like ginseng
find a bar with bee's pollen for alertness yet it may make the bar on the expensive side.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:28 AM on June 24, 2004

Pemmican bars, which bear no resemblance to the native american pemmican (densely packed buffalo fat and organ meat) from which they take their name, are good. No ginseng nonsense, but a bit tastier than a PowerBar.
posted by aladfar at 11:29 AM on June 24, 2004

I agree with monju_bosatsu about Clif Bars, much tastier than Power Bars. They also come in caffeinated versions, I think they add green tea. The caffeinated ones really do give you a kick. You could also get some mints or gum or something with guarana etc. in it. Don't know if you can get hold of Japanese 'Blackjack' chewing gum, which has caffeine and nicotine ...
posted by carter at 11:58 AM on June 24, 2004

Cliff bars. Reasonably good for you. Great choice of flavors. Small. One will actually feel like a meal.

I've used these on road trips many times.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:15 PM on June 24, 2004

Odwalla Bars. The Cranberry C Monster is my fav. I get them at the local Whole Foods/Central Market. Add some fruit leather and you have a good go meal.

But I warn you, superfood is sickly green and not yummy.
posted by jopreacher at 12:27 PM on June 24, 2004

Response by poster: oooh, these are great suggestions. What's the technical term for "energy gum" ??? I gotta get me some of that action. I'm also fond of penguin mints, but quit using them because I don't like artificial sweeteners in my head.
posted by mecran01 at 12:28 PM on June 24, 2004

Best answer: Textured vegetable protein chunks. Sprinkle a bag of them with spices or bee pollen or mint leaves or ginger and you've got a really cheap, filling, high protein snack. I keep a bag of these in my desk at all times. Almonds are also a big favorite of mine.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:43 PM on June 24, 2004

Response by poster: The TVP sounds just disgusting enough to try, and I bet it's cheaper than dirt. It scores low in the messy category, but can you say no to dried soybeans?
posted by mecran01 at 12:49 PM on June 24, 2004

Best answer: My trail mix recipe:
( I buy all these ingredients in bulk at the hippie grocery)

5 parts each:
Toasted, tamari-cured pumpkin seeds
Raw sunflower seeds
Dried, toasted corn (corn-nuts)
Peanuts (optional)

1 part each:
Dried cranberries
Carob chips (chocolate if you want caffeine)

I have lived on this shit for weeks.
posted by scarabic at 1:56 PM on June 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could also toss in whole, raw almonds.

Whole, raw almonds are wonderful. You could just take a bag of those with you. They're full of carbs, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. If you eat them, with nothing else, continuously, their flavor slowly develops into a mouth-watering delight, and they're very satisfying.
posted by scarabic at 2:01 PM on June 24, 2004

The local dented can store here sells energy bars of all sorts 10 for a dollar. I've tried most of them. In general, I feel that they're all way too packed full of sugar to really be good for the long haul if you're not exercising and not eating anything else. I usually bring a bag of nuts [toasted almonds or cashews are my favorite with walnuts and pecans a close second] and maybe an apple along with a big bottle of water when I'm working late at the library. I've been looking for ways to make my own energy bars, but I keep finding complicated things like this which seem to be more about exercise food than stay-alive-and-eat-fast food.
posted by jessamyn at 2:23 PM on June 24, 2004

As stated previously in this thread Clif Bars rock. In my experience one of the few bars that actually fill me up and can take the place of a meal when I'm in a jam. They are even quite good for you too. Fudge Brownie and Carrot Cake are my favorite but the seasonal Pumpkin and Caramel Apple rule.
posted by punkrockrat at 2:52 PM on June 24, 2004

How do you cook the TVP, octobersurprise? Surely you don't eat the dehydrated chunks? I use that stuff all the time in stir-frys as a meat substitute, but haven't looked into any alternative uses.
posted by Eamon at 3:05 PM on June 24, 2004

I like Think bars. I'm addicted to the chocolate fudge ones. They're not cheap, but they're filling. I have a low tolerance for sawdust taste, which that flavor most definitely is not.
posted by yoga at 3:16 PM on June 24, 2004

I highly recommend the ReBar. It's full of good stuff, like a fruit/veggie smoothie packed into a bar. Decent taste, kinda sweet, nutritous. Hard to find, however.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:40 PM on June 24, 2004

I once did something similar and made it based on cold cuts and sliced steak kept in tinfoil in a lunch-pouch. It was tasty and filling, but not so salty that I was dying of thirst!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:43 PM on June 24, 2004

Surely you don't eat the dehydrated chunks?

I do. Or as I like to call it "Human dog food." It has a nice crunch and it doesn't taste bad, just bland. That's why I mix it up with spices or ground ginger or something. Obviously, YMMV and it's not the sort of thing I'd serve at a dinner party, but it is dirt cheap in bulk and something healthy to munch on during the day.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 PM on June 24, 2004

Best answer: I believe I can get caselots of ReBar up here. Shout if you want me to make the effort.

I suggest making your own bars. You should be able to find a good variety of recipes at GORP or other backpacking-oriented sites. Way cheaper, less processed crap, better for you.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:47 PM on June 24, 2004

Beware that all these products are (or should be) extremely high-calorie, with most of those calories from fat. They're meant for high-output activities like backpacking, where weight is a consideration and fat is the best bang for the least weight. Not harmful if you're exerting yourself, because the fat is quickly enough converted to energy for muscles, instead of being socked away for future day.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:50 PM on June 24, 2004

I really like these Zone Bars. They are related to the Zone Diet, that I don't know anything about, but they are super tasty, 210 calories, 24g carbs, and a whopping 14g protein. They are the diggity on taste and texture with crunchy soy protein crispies inside. Very satisfying. I stopped buying them after I ate a whole box of the chocolate peanut butter in a week when I realized the Omega-3 was from fish oil, not flax, having missed it when I read the label.
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:55 AM on June 25, 2004

I suggest jerky. Nothing satisfies like a a big wad of protein.
posted by kindall at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2004

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