Homemade Clif Z Bars

HAPPY JULY!!! How is 2013 already half over?!?!?

After having a child, I now understand why people try to buy a lot of organic foods. I did some research on the pesticides used on fruits and vegetables and it is kind of scary.

I try my best to buy only organic produce, especially for Gabriella. Sometimes it’s pretty pricy, so if I can’t buy everything organic I at least buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic.

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Have you guys ever tasted the difference between organic apples & regular apples? It is UNREAL! The organic ones are SO much sweeter! I found that the regular apples sometimes taste very bland, and then I switched to organic. So much better! And when they are in season the price really isn’t bad at all.

One thing that Craig & I have enjoyed doing is going to the local farmer’s market on Sundays. I get all of our produce for the week, and we enjoy showing Gabriella all of the sites & sounds. She also usually gets to play at the park and with the ducks when we are finished, so it’s a win win for her. Smile

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Did you know that getting the ‘USDA’ organic recognition is pretty expensive? So most of the produce sold at farmer’s markets is actually organic (or they use organic controls), they just don’t have the money (or don’t want to spend that much) to get the ‘USDA’ organic label. Just ask the people that have the produce while you are there. I did that this past weekend and was told that most of the items were actually organic, and those that weren’t only had VERY minimal pesticides. (Just pesticides to keep the worms away when they first start growing the produce.)

While I was making her food this week (& smoothies- she LOVES smoothies!) I got to thinking that I can’t wait to make her ‘big girl food’ too. I started looking around for different recipes to ‘pin,’ just for different ideas. Since I volunteered for snacks for Bible study last week I got to find one of the recipes that I had pinned. It happened to come from one of my very favorite Mom bloggers- Mama Pea!

When I saw that she had a recipe for ‘copy cat’ Clif Z bars, I knew I HAD to try it!

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Not only does this recipe use all natural & pretty healthy ingredients, I also found it VERY easy to make!

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I figured the kids at Bible study would enjoy them, because what kid doesn’t like chocolate?! Smile And they were something that I would want to feed Gabriella in the future. They are healthy, but the kids don’t have to know it! As long as they taste good, that’s all that matters!

Copy Cat Clif Z Bars

(Adapted from Mama Pea’s recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups oat flour (old fashioned oats ground in a food processor)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened Almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray an 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, vanilla and milk.
  • Add applesauce mixture to oat mixture and stir until just combined. Add brown sugar. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bar is set and pulling away from edge of pan.
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into kid-sized bars.
  • For chocolate drizzle, place 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a resealable plastic bag and microwave in 30 second increments, kneading bag until chocolate has melted.
  • Add coconut oil to melted chocolate and knead again.
  • Snip a tiny corner of the bag with a pair of scissors. Pipe chocolate across cooled bars and stick bars in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set, if desired.
  • Store remaining bars in the fridge.

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Easy, peasy!! And you know what?? I thought they tasted EVEN better than the actual Clif Z bars!

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They were a hit with the kids and the adults! I kept taking little bites of the extra bars that I made, I couldn’t keep my hands off of them.

From now on I’ll be making my own Clif Z Bars! They are freezer friendly & perfect for a snack on the go!

If you like Z bars, you MUST make these!!

I hope that most of you have a short week this week, or at least a break in the middle of the week! Smile My boss actually gave us a half day on Wednesday & off both Thursday & Friday! We are planning a trip to Jacksonville for the long weekend- we have LOTS of people to visit & things to do. I can’t wait!!

Any fun plans to look forward to for the 4th of July?

Favorite granola bar??

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15 thoughts on “Homemade Clif Z Bars

  1. Ah. I used to be obsessed with these before college swim practice! At 5:30 am, I needed something to hold me over until 9 and with swimming these were perfect. I think anything homemade always tastes better. 😉

  2. Funny you posted about this today… I just looked up the ingredients on my expensive Amy’s veggie burgers and made a bunch yesterday! I’m going to start doing that with all my expensive already made foods and hopefully save some money!

  3. BETTER than z-bars?! I must make these! I had a real addiction to z-bars this past year, I’ve been trying not to eat them so much lately but now I must try this recipe. Just need to get some unsweetened applesauce!

  4. OMG Z Bars…my faaaaaavorite! You need to figure out a way to make their Iced Oatmeal flavor 😉

  5. Woah! These are so healthy and look so yummy! And they would definitely be a hit in my house because we all enjoy eating like we’re still kiddos haha!

  6. These look delicious and have a great ingredient list! I try to buy all organics too, but you’re right it can get pricey.

  7. I love Cliff bars and Z Bars, so I will definitely have to make these. I have a feeling that they might also be less expensive…with more servings per recipe, rather than 6 bars in a box.

    Made your highly recommended Salty Nutella Puppy Chow this weekend when family came to town. WOW! It’s definitely a keeper!

  8. I work on pesticide safety so I have become very aware of the effects of pesticides on reproductive health and children. And since I read articles and am immersed in the topic on a daily basis, I go a little overboard trying to stay chemical-free. We buy almost all organic (unless it’s something like sweet potatoes or onions where pesticides aren’t used) and I use chemical-free body products (a lot of fragrances are made from chemicals that cause hormone disruption in children) and cleaning supplies and refuse to use air fresheners or scented candles in the house/car. I buy most of my household and body products from The Honest Company (Jessica Alba’s company) and we have loved everything we’ve gotten from there. It is stressful being so “aware” of the negative effects of a lot of conventional products and food and sometimes I wish I could buy a can of diced tomatoes without feeling guilty (canned food is filled with BPA), but other times I am thankful that I know and can prevent my son from being exposed as much as possible. And it is SO expensive!

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