Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Jete Bars Touted by Mountain Climbers, Ironman Athletes
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Jete Bar fans Tommy Barker and Mike Nelson took the Jete banner to the top of Denali with them.
 
Saturday, February 16, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY TOMMY BARKER

Linda Everett was on the first day of a multi-day backpacking trip when—ooops—she realized that the protein bar she had packed was not gluten-free.

“I couldn’t eat them as they made me sick,” said Everett, who was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease in 1979. “And you don’t want to be sick on a backpacking trip.”

 
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Lugging the banner up the mountain.
 

Everett vowed right then and there that she was going to make her own gluten-free bar.

She spent the next few weeks in the kitchen, mixing together organic apples, coconut, coconut sugar, flaxseeds, dried prunes and cranberries, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and peanut butter.

And, when she was finished, she had a healthy bar containing no preservatives.

She named it the Jete Bar (pronounced “jetty”) by combining parts of her husband and son’s names.

And, next thing she knew, consumers were sending her pictures of themselves eating Jete Bars from places like Denali—North America’s highest peak.

“The bars are GMO-free, sulfite-free, cholesterol-free and vegan. They can be eaten by those with gluten, dairy, egg and soy sensitivities,” said Everett, who volunteered as an equine therapy instructor before becoming involved in her bar-making venture.

“They do, however, contain peanuts so they’re not for those with peanut allergies. But I had nutritionists evaluate them and they determined that the ingredients in them can promote bone health, help with weight loss and boost immunity.They’re rich in fiber, good for your heart, an awesome energy booster, full of potassium, and they can lower your chances of developing diabetes,” she added.

As Everett shared her invention with friends, they urged her to sell her bars commercially.

“One thing that is unique about the bars is that they are heart-healthy and cholesterol free with almonds and flax. There may be uses for these beyond athletes—perhaps, even heart patients,” said University of Idaho Nutritionist SeAnne Safaii.

Tommy Barker, a Boise State University student, took a bag full on a three-week expedition to Denali. There was a lot of food trading going on during the expedition, he said, but he couldn’t bear up to give up any of his Jete bars.

“Without a doubt, it’s my favorite energy bar,” he said. “As it was, I ran out of mine way too quickly. They were the best tasting bars we took up the mountain, and they quickly found their way into my high output day lineup.”

Mike Nelson, who accompanied Barker to Denali, echoed his friend’s sentiments.

“Nutrition and taste are fundamental when choosing a diet for an expedition like that,” he said. “At altitude things can taste different, if not downright unappealing, so we took a broad assortment of energy bars from different companies for our three weeks on the mountain. The Jete bar was by far one of my favorites and I ate them first. They have just the right amount of moisture, nutrition and energy to keep me going through a hard day at altitude.”

Some long-distance runners and triathletes swear by them, as well.

“In shorter races I found that I could fuel adequately using shot blocks and energy gels,” said Toni Ramey. “But in marathons and half-iron distance triathlons, I frequently ran into gastrointestinal issues and nausea when I attempted to use only engineered calories.

“When I decided to attempt a full Ironman Triathlon, I decided to train with ‘real’ food and my body handled things much better. But that meant riding and running carrying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, boiled potatoes and bananas. While my body tolerated them well, they were large and heavy. I needed real food that was portable and calorie dense.”

Jete Bars fit the bill, Ramey said.

“I cut three bars into small cubes and put them into a bento box and took a bite every 10 minutes. And I finished feeling strong. Most importantly I had no GI issues at all, and the bars were delicious.”

 Even those who don’t have a gluten allergy love the bar, said Everett.

So far, Everett has concocted three flavors—Dark Chocolate, a brownie-like bar; Semi-Sweet Chocolate, which she says tastes like chocolate chip cookies, and Cranberry-Raisin.

She distributes her Jete Bar to 21 stores including NourishMe and the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum;  the Broadway Albertsons, Micron, the YMCA, Bandanna running shop and Boise Co-Op in Boise, and stores in Idaho Falls and Washington State.

She also sells them online at www.jetebar.com  to those who have tried and fallen in love with them while vacationing in Sun Valley.

During summer she sells her bars at the Farmer’s Market in Boise three Saturdays a month.

Since the bars have no preservatives, it’s best to refrigerate or freeze them. But Everett says it’s perfectly okay to take them on a backpack trip for a week or so. Uneaten bars can be returned to the freezer without suffering in taste or quality.

“Overall, they’re what I call ‘one mother of a bar!’ ” said Everett. “They’re for swimmers, bikers, folks wanting a healthy snack at the office or parents who want a healthy snacks that their kids love. What I love about them is that I can eat them any time and not feel guilty, even if I use them as a meal replacement or healthy dessert.”

 

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