Will you take the Juti Challenge with me?

Juti Bars

“Juti” is Sanskrit for “Energy”

Late last year I connected with Matt Zembruski, the creator of Juti Bars, and we immediately hit it off. We’re both geeks about health, fitness, and internet technology… which makes for very long phone calls!

Although Juti bars are a relative newcomer on the energy bar scene, Matt’s been developing them (and eating them himself) for nearly a decade. Each batch is hand-made to order, and they’re actually perishable, unlike most packaged energy bars, which means they need to stay in the fridge or freezer. It also means they’re a vibrant, fresh, whole food. Oh yeah, and they’re vegan, gluten-free, and 100% organic.

After our first conversation, Matt graciously sent me a few (free) Juti Bars to try out. I have to say, I was impressed. They’re somehow simultaneously dense, moist, and slightly chewy–a nice combo–and have just enough chocolatey-sweetness to make them feel rich and decadent. I think they’re really best as a meal replacement; they’re both satisfying and filling enough to hold up to that goal (eat one with a tall glass of water!). A quick look at the ingredients list also helps explain why I became an instant fan:

Organic unsweetened applesauce, Organic peanut butter, Organic gluten-free rolled oats, Organic hemp protein powder, Organic vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (Fair Trade), Organic raw blue agave nectar, Organic sunflower seeds (raw), Organic chia seeds, Organic garbanzo bean flour, Organic vanilla extract, Organic cinnamon.

What’s missing?  Anything that fails my Kitchen Test: Preservatives, gums, stabilizers, or “natural” flavors (which so many supposedly healthy bars are adding these days, to my dismay).

The Juti Challenge

Okay, so why am I writing about these energy bars?  Matt has just issued the very first Juti Bar Challenge, and I’m super-excited to join in (and hope you will too)!

The concept is simple: Eat one Juti Bar a day for 30 days, and see what happens. (Okay, so it’s less of a challenge and more of an informal experiment, but it just sounds so much better to call it a challenge!).

The first one will run from February 1 to March 1, and it’s limited to the first 100 people who sign up. If you accept the challenge, you’ll get 30 Juti Bars shipped to you at the end of January (they need to be shipped just-in-time, and then most of them should be frozen so they’ll last for the month).

There will be a health/nutrition assessment before and after from Registered Dietitian Elise Curley, along with live weekly conference calls with Elise and other challengers (optional, of course). And upon completion, you’ll get a bonus “mystery reward” (I have no idea what that is, but I’m intrigued!).

I’ve signed up for the challenge, and hope you will join me, so click on through and check it out!

An Update on the Price

Jan 13, 2012: When I first published this post, I was remiss not to include the price of the challenge, and some people have had some “sticker shock” at the cost. So here ya go:  It’s $119 for the challenge (plus about $10 for shipping), which includes 30 Juti Bars and the aforementioned support network (health assessment, conference calls, etc.). That comes to about $4 per bar.  As Matt says in his FAQ section:

Unlike most every other bar on the market, each Juti Bar is handmade and fresh baked in our commercial kitchen. Great care, attention, and Love go into each bar that we make for you. Each ingredient is also very carefully chosen and purchased from the highest quality locations throughout the US and the world. Our ingredient and labor costs alone are higher than the retail costs of many of the mainstream bars today.

Yes, that’s more expensive than most “energy bars” out there. However, you’re also getting a higher quality product. I find that Juti bars are filling and satisfying enough to be a meal replacement (not just a snack) — so that may offset the extra cost for you. Additionally, you’ll be supporting a small startup business with ethical business practices, rather than a large corporation whose only goal is profits. I’ve spoken with Matt on the phone numerous times now, and I believe in what he’s doing — and that his motivations and goals are absolutely sincere and praise-worthy.

By the way, I’ve written before about my philosophy on Cost vs. Value — which I encourage you to read as well.

I’ve signed up for the challenge, and hope you will join me, so click on through and check it out!

Full disclosure: I paid with my own money to participate in the Juti challenge; it’s something I’m genuinely interested in, and think will be good for my health and an interesting experiment. If you sign up for the challenge using my affiliate links above, I’ll earn a commission from the sale (it won’t cost you any extra). I thank you in advance for your support!

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22 Comments on "Will you take the Juti Challenge with me?"

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Stephanie S
Stephanie S
January 11, 2012 10:50 am

Just signed up!

January 11, 2012 2:06 pm

I am interested. Sign me up.

January 11, 2012 2:15 pm

Is there a dairy free version? Semi-sweet choc chips have milk in them.

carrie @plums in the icebox
January 11, 2012 5:19 pm

this sounds really interesting, but i wish you had disclosed that the cost of this challenge is $119. that’s about $3.80 per day, which is a lot for an energy bar.

January 12, 2012 8:44 am

Good luck with the challenge everyone!

January 12, 2012 9:47 am

I just signed up! I’m super excited to participate. More energy? I could use that with the chaos that is planned for the next two months.

debbie T
January 13, 2012 11:54 am

Hmm, this is disappointing. Seems like one big advertisement to me.

I would rather make my own snack bars, thank you. And I am really surprised that you didn’t disclose how much it actually would cost. For us trying to eat healthy on a budget, this is way out of line.

debbie T
January 13, 2012 1:47 pm

Andrew, I’d like to clarify, that I don’t mind spending more for better quality products. I think it’s totally possible to eat healthy while not spending a fortune. I don’t believe in “cheap” food.

I think what really shocked me was you were involved in the promotion of “challenge” that initially seemed to be legit, but in reality, was just a ploy to sell a large amount of snack bars.

If Matt wants to prove that his products affect a person’s energy or health, then it might be advisable to go about it in a different way.

The whole thing seems very “late night infomercial”-ish to me, and it was surprising that you were involved, promoting it. Sorry…

January 17, 2012 4:34 pm

$129 for 30 days worth of energy bars? You got to be kidding, Andrew, and selling them under the pretense of a “challenge” involving a dietitian measuring “energy levels” actually makes things worse.

Matt Zembruski
January 18, 2012 9:51 am
Hi Everyone, Since many worthwhile comments and concerns have been shared on this blog in the last several days, I want to weigh in from my perspective on things. I originally created the Juti Bar as the ultimate on-the-go breakfast for myself, and believe it or not, I’ve had one for breakfast just about everyday for the past 8 years. This breakfast habit has made a significant difference for my health and it provides me with the best steady stream of energy I have found over the years. It’s the only “bar” that I’ve tried that I enthusiastically look forward to eating everyday. I won’t bore you with the details of my story, as you can read all that on our website. But I do want to address a few comments that have been voiced here (in no particular order): 1) I apologize for any confusion that has come about… Read more »
Fabiola Figueroa
Fabiola Figueroa
January 20, 2012 12:56 am
I would like to add my opinion as a current consumer of the Juti Bar. I have known Matt for almost 2 years now and have been enjoying the bar ever since. It is the only bar I know that has all natural, all vegan, all organic ingredients, 100%. As an athlete, it’s important to have the right fuel when training and nothing has given me the satisfaction as the Juti Bar has. It provides me with the right nutrients and it keeps me fueled for those long hours of training. In addition to its nutritional value, it tastes great too. I warm it up and it tastes like a delicious warm brownie. The price may initially appear high to some. I used to think that way also. However, Matt’s prior points are legitimate. All organic, all vegan, all natural ingredients, and handmade are hard to come by in the… Read more »
January 20, 2012 3:28 pm

Why did I think there was going to be a great recipe I could try?
I hope your challenge goes well, and if you have a great energy/protein bar recipe I could try, I’m all over it…my kitchen has loads of Bob’s Red Mill ingredients.

Kellie Hill
February 6, 2012 10:00 am

I’m a bit concerned about the use of agave nectar. Current research is showing this to be overly processed. Any consideration of using raw honey in the future?