Perusing the energy food aisle can be a bewildering experience. The sheer number of bars, chews, gels, granola-bar imposters, and lookalike Snicker's can cause you to bonk you before you even begin your next ride, run, or workout. Don't fret. Fortunately, we've tasted just about all of them. Every week, we get at least a few shipments of new flavors and formulations from just about every energy food purveyor on the planet. Here are four of our new faves.
1. Justin's Nut Butters: Hazlenut chocolate butter, maple almond butter, honey peanut butter. Do you have any idea how good Justin's Nut Butters taste squeezed onto a banana? Try the two tablespoon packs for camping, but get a jar of each for home. And a spoon. Available now, $6-$10 for 10 single serving packs; justinsnutbutter.com.
2. Clifbar Limited Edition Seasonal Flavors: Peppermint Stick, Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Iced Gingerbread are joining Clif Bar's other 16 flavors on your local grocery store shelf this fall. They're as delicious as they sound, available only until they run out, and for a good cause. Clif Bar donates one percent of net sales of its seasonal specialty flavors to the Winter Wildlands Alliance. Available October 2011, $1.39, clifbar.com.
3. Bonkbreakers: The peanut butter and jelly bar actually does taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but it's gluten free (as well as soy and dairy free). Buy Bonkbreakers right before your ride, run or backpacking trip. They're baked every week and candy-bar delicious, but the only refined sugar is in the blackberry jam center. Peanut butter apple coming in November. Peanut butter and jelly available now, $2.50, bonkbreaker.com
4.Honey Organic Stinger Waffle: These things are ridiculously good. If we had to eat just one energy food for the rest of our lives, this might be it. They pack a serious punch (160 calories) and, while they are rather sweet, they have that Dorito-like quality about them that makes you just keep wanting to eat them. Put one over your cup of coffee on the way to work. Hot, portable waffle! $1.39; honeystinger.com