While I believe that home-made energy bars are nutritionally superior to anything store bought, sometimes I just don't have time to prepare my own ride fuel. For this reason, it is always good to have back-up.
Recently I came across Kit's Organic bars. I like these bars for multiple reasons:
1. USDA organic. No GMO's in here!
2. Short ingredient list. Not a bunch of crap fillers. The Peanut Butter bar contains dates, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt and the Cashew bar contains cashews, almonds, dates, and sea salt. All organic of course!
3. Clif Bar is a good company. The folks at Clif Bar donate a sizable amount of money in support of GMO labeling. This is something I pay attention to and influences my purchasing decisions.
4. I try to stick to the >1:10 grams of fiber/ gram of carbohydrate rule when buying packaged food. At 4 grams of fiber and 25 g of carbs, Kit's Organic easily falls into that range.
5. They taste good. Yum!
Another ride fuel favorite is baby food. Yes, you read that correctly. I sometimes eat baby food on my rides. There are lots of organic brands to choose from. I usually grab something with pumpkin, squash, brown rice, or sweet potato and fruit. Calorie content is comparable to an energy gel; 60-110 calories/packet, however since baby food is made from organic whole food, I am assuming it is more nutritionally dense. What I like about baby food packets is that they easily fit in my pocket, are resealable, and are perfect when I just need a little calorie boost to get me home from a ride.