“From a 5-gallon bucket, that’s how we used it in all of our recipes.”
“Actually, it’s how my mom still uses it,” Leigh replies with an affirming head nod when reflecting on the question of why Perfect Bar uses honey in their bars.
Leigh Keith is not only the co-founder and COO of Perfect Bar but also the fourth eldest of 13 siblings. As kids, their king-size family toured the country in a motorhome going from city to city as their dad, Bud Keith, lectured on the value and importance of whole food nutrition. Honey, she recalls, always had a special place in both the motorhome and the recipes Dad concocted to keep his troop well-nourished.
Of the many roles honey plays in the recipe of today’s Perfect Bar, the original reason they turned to honey was for its sweetness. Leigh remembers how their dad used to line up supplements for the kids to take in the morning. However, these weren’t soft chewables like kids are used to today. No, the Keith children took homemade supplements of dried and powdered fruits and vegetables created by Dad. And as you could imagine, the kids didn’t love it. The honey, then, was quite literally their spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. A slow-burning naturally derived sugar, mind you, with organic, from-the-earth medicine, but it was the Keith way. And it worked.
By blending up the dried fruits and vegetables with freshly ground nut butter and organic honey, the Keith kids were getting in their daily dose of whole food nutrition, and unknowingly at the time, noshing on the original Perfect Bar recipe. A recipe that is innovative and genius all the same. Using honey not only to sweeten the bars but also to preserve and bind all the ingredients, Perfect Bar quickly set itself apart from other bars. And honey, the sweet, golden magic of honey, is to thank.
“My father loved honey! He would talk about its ability to remain stable and not spoil for thousands of years in Pharaohs’ tombs because of its natural preservation properties,” oldest brother, CEO and co-founder Bill Keith reflects.
It is this very preservative nature of honey that makes it a triple threat for Perfect Bar. Though it in itself can preserve for thousands of years like Bill mentioned, it can be used as a preservative for other food as well. Due to its high sugar content and lack of water, honey has been shown to preserve fruit, meat, even organs! In an interview with Smithsonian Mag, Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at the University of California, Davis further explains honey’s powerful ability to preserve, “Honey in its natural form is very low moisture. Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that, they just die. They’re smothered by it, essentially.”
Perfect Bar uses refrigeration to supplement honey to keep the bars fresh. This ancient preservation duo work in perfect union to keep the bars delicious, nutritional and fresh for up to 6 months in the fridge. When on the go, the bars, thanks to the sticky sweetness of honey, will stay good for up to a week.
Speaking of sticky, honey is what keeps Perfect Bar’s 20 organic superfoods and whole food protein in one nicely combined bite. Without emulsifiers or artificial binding agents, Perfect Bar depends on trusted honey to help keep everything together. Due to exposure to heat, oils will separate and honey can melt, so the refrigeration again acts as the second-level of security to keep that delicious cookie-dough texture you know and love.
Making old traditions new and adding a perfect twist, that’s the Perfect Bar way. Though Perfect Bar will never stray from its roots in whole food nutrition, they will continue to innovate the industry by bringing fresh flavor combinations and classic old-faithfuls to the hands and hearts of people across the country.
And that’s something that we think is pretty sweet.