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When I found out Clif Bar was releasing a new line of MOJO fruit and nut bars, I knew I had to give them a try. If you are gluten-free, it can be a challenge to find a healthy, on-the-go snack. MOJO’s newest trail mix bar line does a great job of filling the void.
With five new flavors to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Flavors include Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Almond, Coconut Almond, Dark Chocolate Almond, Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond. As you might have guessed, the bars for chocolate lovers are a little higher in calories and fat, but since each bar is chock full of nuts and dried fruit, the label is anything but frightening.
Free of genetically-altered ingredients, all bars are made with ingredients you can actually pronounce. MOJO bars are also certified 70 percent organic. They also contain at least four grams of fiber per bar, so they’re great for those who have a hard time working this essential nutrient into their diet.
One thing you do have to watch is sugar. Though the Coconut and Sea Salt varieties are under 10 grams, the other bars hover around 12 grams of sugar per serving. But it’s hard to focus on this when the bars are so low in fat and cholesterol, with zero grams of trans fat to weigh you down. MOJO is also lower in calories than its competitors, with each bar containing just 200 calories or less.
The Wild Blueberry Almond Bar was my first pick. A blueberry lover’s dream, the overwhelming taste of blueberry with just a slight crunch added from the nuts is reminiscent of a blueberry pie. My dad, who is obsessed with blueberries, found that one bite turned into the whole bar disappearing. Since I am not a huge cashew fan, I was pleased the strong blueberry flavor remained prevalent and was not overpowered by the other ingredients.
My test of the Cranberry Almond bars went somewhat the same. With ingredients that mimicked the Wild Blueberry bar, the makers realized cranberry is a subtler flavor, which may be why they wisely choose to stick to just almonds for this bar.
The Coconut Almond Peanut bar varied the most from the rest of the bunch. Unlike the others, this was the only one that didn’t rely on some form of dried fruit for taste. Instead, I was overwhelmed by the peanuts, almonds, and coconut. Though the aroma was unmistakably coconut, I was disappointed to find the actual taste somewhat lacking in this area. Instead, the peanuts overwhelmed me, masking the other flavors and making the almonds only noticeable from the added crunch.
Of all the bars, the Dark Chocolate Cherry was definitely my favorite. Eating it felt like treating myself to a decedent dessert. The mix of dark chocolate and cherries is perfectly balanced with the almonds and other ingredients to create a snack that, at only 180 calories, seems almost too good to be true. The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt will also satisfy your sweet tooth, though. Though the sea salt was a bit muted, with the nut flavors more prominently present, I found this bar to be a close second.
Regardless of the flavor, I loved the texture of all the bars. As opposed to other bars on the market that more resemble solid mush and seem processed, instead MOJO bars show off every ingredient in whole chunks, while remaining chewy and moist. The result is a stuck-together trail mix that you can feel good about eating.
The downside to this type of bar, however, is the fruit pieces tend to make them a bit sticky. In the same way, bars that contain chocolate are not the best choices for extreme temperatures because on hot days they melt, and when it’s too cold they are hard to break. But, if you are looking for a great snack while skiing or hiking, the strictly fruit and nut varieties don’t crumble and remain easy to eat in any condition.
After giving them all a try, I am decidedly a MOJO fan. This compact power bar will be the perfect snack for future skiing, hiking, and biking trips. I can only hope that Clif Bar continues to develop new flavors, especially ones that make me feel good about eating chocolate.
Images courtesy Lauren Montemurri