What I’m Cooking Today: Homemade Chocolate Brownie ZBars

I love Clif Zbars, especially the fact that they are organic and use natural ingredients, are low in calories, and are – for me – local, but hate the fact that they are individually packaged. Tres wasteful! So I thought I’d attempt to make something similar on my own.

The batter for this was great and tasted a lot like what I wanted it to, but they came out a bit cakey after they were baked. I think I should have avoided the egg white. Any great bakers out there have any suggestions for a chewier, less-cakey product that better replicates a delicious Zbar? I’ve never baked from scratch without a recipe, so any suggestions on the chemistry would be much appreciated! They were still good, but a lot more like a muffin.

Here’s my recipe. I kind of threw things into a bowl, but weighed them so I’d have the measurements in case it came out well.
Roman Meal (34g)
Rolled oats (46g)
Medjool dates (48g)
Unsweetened cocoa (20g)
Milk (1.5 oz)
Egg white (1)
Agave nectar (6g)


I threw the Roman Meal, oats and dates in the food processor and blended that up for a bit, then mixed in the rest of the ingredients. Using this teeny tiny loaf pan and smooshing the rest into the edge of another regular size loaf pan (the batter was thick enough that it stayed in place), I baked the batter for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Here’s how they came out:


It actually made about 4 bars total, about the size of Zbars (hard to tell from this picture). Here’s the nutritional info, if you’re interested! This could obviously be adjusted if you made it into 3 slightly larger bars, etc.
Calories: 129
Fat: 2.025
Sat fat: 0.225
Carbs: 27.25
Fiber: 5
Sugar: 10.05
Protein: 5.975

Pretty great nutritionals, actually! Again, not quite what I was going for, texture-wise, but still a nice treat or pre/post-gym snack! Bakers – any tips??



Filed under Recipes, what i'm cooking today

17 responses to “What I’m Cooking Today: Homemade Chocolate Brownie ZBars

  1. I’m loving your blog!

    I love these Zbars, so I am definitely interested in trying these!

  2. janeterin

    Thanks so much, Ashley! I’ve had your blog in my Reader for awhile now, too! Congrats on the 1/2 this past weekend!! 🙂

    I definitely want to work on the recipe but they are still a totally good snack – just not quite Zbar-esque yet. Hehe.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. That’s a good idea to make your own bars. Not sure what Roman meal is though? I think you might need something with more liquid…maybe applesauce? I will play around with it because I love baking too!

  4. If you master the honey one, let me know!!!

  5. those look delicious!!!
    i’ve been meaning to make my own cliff bars, and have all the ingredients, now i just need to do it!
    and nice guest post on carrots n’ cake!!

  6. Wow, I’m loving the combination of environmental and food! Haha, I have an eco-themed blog myself, and I love food, so obviously I would like your blog! I’m looking forward to reading more!

  7. janeterin

    Thanks for all the comments, guys! I’m excited to check out your blogs as well and to try some other versions of this recipe! Keep me posted if anyone makes a good version themselves! 🙂

  8. Kat

    Question – what is Roman Meal?

  9. janeterin

    Sorry guys – Roman Meal is a hot breakfast cereal that is a mixture of wheat, oat, rye, bran and flax. It’s really good! I think you could totally use oat bran or something as a sub, I just was out that day!

  10. Kiki

    Cool blog! I just meandered here through Carrots ‘n’ Cake, and I’ll definitely be reading often! 🙂

  11. janeterin

    Glad to see you, Kiki! Thanks for coming on over!

  12. Hey there! This is a different Kiki than the one that posted above. How strange. Anyhow, I just came across your blog and love it! I’ve been wanting to make my own z-bars. I look forward to reading more!

  13. janeterin

    Wow, two Kikis! That is funny! Glad you both came by. 🙂

    I definitely need to tweak my recipe, so let me know if you come up with a recipe you like!

  14. oooh those bars look good, texture flaws and all! i’d suggest going lighter on the dry ingredients and heavier on the wet … maybe use a whole egg and add some pumpkin?

  15. No do not add more eggs! They are what made them cakey. No eggs, might be the way to go and canned pumpkin or applesauce a liquid w/o the puffing of eggs would be good.

  16. janeterin

    Good idea – I will try that on my next batch! Thank you!

  17. Pingback: What Have You Given Up? « pretty green girl

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