September 05 2018
When Russell and I started exploring lower carb foods in 2015 we switched from our traditional breakfasts of oatmeal and fruit to high-fiber barley, nuts, and seeds. To go even lower carb we eventually abandoned all grains and turned to nuts and seeds. The nagging question was how to make them more portable, leading to our fledgling attempts at nutrition bar. The binder was chia soaked in water, then the bars were baked. Tasty: yes, spoilage-stable: absolutely not.
What every good bar needs is a binder and we fell down a rabbit hole of exploring every binder we could get our hands on. The binders readily available online were made with IMOs (Isomalto-Oligosaccharide), which we discovered could shoot your blood sugar to the moon. After consulting with a savvy food scientist we started putting a variety of binders to the test. My morning routine became a shot glass of the latest binder followed by periodic blood sugar testing for the next two hours. Some had a surprisingly low glycemic impact but digestive tolerance could be an unwelcome side effect. Who wants a gassy bar?
Fast forward two years later and we have an organic high-fiber binder and zero glycemic sweeteners that we love. The base ingredients for our bars are almonds and hazelnuts with our Three Omegas - hemp, flax, and chia seeds. We are still relentlessly testing our post-meal blood sugar with every variation of ZenoBar while evaluating all the other “low-carb” retail bars. Most other bars have enough fast-acting carbs to send us sky-high, some halfway. Nothing has kept us grounded like ZenoBars.