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February 20, 2007

matisse & jack's trail blaze energy bars

i was contacted a while back by the folks over at matisse & jack's to give their trail blaze bake-at-home oatmeal energy bars a try. i'm always one for trying out new products and their pitch for the bars sounded great. bake 'em yourself, save some money, no packaging or preservatives and enjoy a home baked flavor instead of the typical packaged bars like clif or powerbar.

the boxes arrived, one cranberry walnut and one chocolate chip. i baked up the first batch and was surprised at how easy and quick it was to get going. they come as a dry mix and require a 'wet ingredient'; either just applesauce for a vegan recipe or applesauce and yogurt. i took the applesauce/yogurt route and within 30 minutes, i had my first batch ready. the batch made 9 bars, which would last me for about a week or two.

over the next few weeks, i used the bars on all of my longer runs and as a recovery food after harder workouts. i was incredibly pleased with the taste of the bars. as promised, they tasted just like a home baked treat. the best thing about them, aside from the taste, though, was how well they sat when eaten during a hard workout. i used them extensively while training for and racing the twin peaks 50k/50m. i was able to eat a bar during a hard workout and not have it sit heavy in my stomach and the energy release was always smooth and not accompanied by a sugar spike and drop.

when the initial two boxes ran out, i was quick to order another batch of boxes. via ordering on the matisse & jack's web site, purchasing 5 boxes at a time results in free shipping. that, coupled with the inexpensive price of $4.99 a box, i'm coming out way ahead vs. purchasing the packaged bars at the local stores.

each bar is about 180 calories; 4.5g of fat, 22g of carbs, 9g of protein. from the matisse & jack's web site, they say:

You'll be surprised by the taste, and forget that you're eating an energy bar. This doesn't have the overly tough texture of most energy bars; no sore jaws here. Our Cranberry Walnut is a hearty mix of crunchy chunks of walnut, oats, and plump cranberries-a great option for breakfast, or as a recovery snack. Meanwhile, our Chocolate chip is a guiltless indulgence; made with high quality Guittard chocolate and organic rolled oats.

i whole heartedly agree and matisse & jack's have made a customer for life!

Posted by jeff at February 20, 2007 8:31 PM

These sound FANTASTIC. I gave up on energy bars last year, because I got so sick of the artificial taste that I just couldn't do it anymore, and I've still been trying to find something that I can eat right before or during a hard workout that won't sit like a rock in my stomach. I'm going to check these guys out - thanks!

Posted by: Dawn at February 21, 2007 8:15 AM

Thanks for the review - that sounds like an excellent alternative to all the other stuff out there.

Posted by: 21stCenturyMom at February 21, 2007 8:27 AM

You had mentioned these to me early on in our coaching talks and I searched high and low for them to no avail. Then you noted them by name in your race report; I googled and ordered right away. They are great tasting and easy to make. My batch didn't last as long though. They are nice for an on the go breakfast for Mom and kids. Ryan loves them too. Thanks!

Posted by: Juls at February 21, 2007 8:35 AM

hmm, interesting...i may need to try them out!

Posted by: angie's pink fuzzy at February 22, 2007 4:34 PM

Jeff or should I say "Emeril" you been holding out thanks for the review. Do you think the bars can stick to the bike? this would help in the long distance tri we'll be doing this year.

Posted by: Pete Vara at February 23, 2007 9:00 AM

i got a box for xmas and immediately ordered my own 5 boxes. yum, yum

Posted by: Michelle at February 24, 2007 11:59 AM

dropped an order. Sounds great!

Posted by: jank at February 25, 2007 7:48 PM

after that review - how could i not place an order?! Can't wait to get them ... thanks for letting us all in on your delicious discovery - hope you get some compensation (hello, free boxes!?) after that irresitible review.

Posted by: suzanne at February 27, 2007 5:54 AM

they arrived & are delicious! thanks again!

Posted by: suzanne at March 15, 2007 10:15 AM
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