September 05 2018
When Russell and I started exploring lower carb foods in 2015 we stumbled upon several new breeds of barley which had glycemic values as low as 25. What made them exciting was their high fiber content so we both latched on to breakfasts of barley, nuts, and seeds. The nagging question was how to make it more portable, leading to our fledgling attempts at a granola-like 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-oligosaccharides), which we discovered could shoot your blood glucose 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 glucose 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 The barley has been replaced by nuts and our Three Omegas - hemp, flax, and chia seeds. We are still relentlessly testing our post-meal blood glucose with every variation of ZenoBar while evaluating all the other “low-carb” retail bars. Many still send us to the moon, some halfway. Nothing has kept us grounded like ZenoBars.