The KIND-ness of a healthy and sweet take on granola with Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa

KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa
KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa

Product: KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa – $4.99+

Here is a tale of my typical Saturday.  After I run, either in a race or for training, my roommate and I usually get some food (breakfast/brunch) and then start our usual routine of grocery shopping.  And, in case you were wondering, yes…this is pretty much an all-day adventure.  With my dietary needs, there are certain stores in the area that carry certain staples or items that I need or use or just want.  And I can’t get them at the usual suspects when it comes to grocery stores.  So, it means a drive to Louisville to hit up the wide array of natural food stores and organic grocery stores that they have.  Thank goodness for that.

Where am I going with this?

Well, I was lax this past week in my duties of creating a grocery list of items I needed as we ran low or out of them.  I was just…busy…stressed…or whatever.  That being the case, after I raced on Saturday morning and we grabbed brunch at a local restaurant, we headed out to accomplish our grocery shopping from the list I randomly threw together while we noshed…hoping that I didn’t leave anything out.

As we came back over to our side of the river, to finish up on products available everywhere but cheaper at certain grocery stores…there were still a number of things on the list.  And as we stood in the refrigerated section with all the yogurt, and I piled our cart full of Chobani Greek Yogurt…it didn’t even dawn on me that…we used up the last of the granola last week.  Well, that was until we ducked into the cereal aisle and that knowledge hit me like a ton of bricks.  DUH!

Normally, I adorn the breakfast parfait I whip up (which consists of granola, vanilla Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit) with Love Grown Foods granola.  But this particular grocery store didn’t have that brand and after being at a dozen other stores that day…I just wanted to finish up and go home.  So, I scanned…just to see what they might have that is gluten-free.  And what did I spy with my weary grocery shopping eyes?

KIND Healthy Grains.

GLUTEN-FREE!  Yep.  I am in love with most of the KIND bars I have been eating, so I figured…why not use this for my granola this time around.  Branch out.  Try something new.  They had about five different flavors to choose from, so I called my roommate over to select one.  I would have been happy with any of them.  She, however, can be a bit pickier…so it’s best to let her choose at times.  She scanned the flavor varieties for a moment and reached out to grab…the KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa.

Not the one I expected her to grab.  So, that was a surprise.

KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa
KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa

Today was the big day.  Instead of regular cereal, on non-gym days I have a bit more time in the kitchen, so I usually whip up a nice warm breakfast along with a breakfast fruit, yogurt and granola parfait.  Today’s combination…caramelized apples with vanilla Greek yogurt and topped off with KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters.  I’m a pro at the apples part, so I got those working in a pan on the stove.  Then, I opened up the bag of Maple Walnut Clusters.

First appearances…awesome.  Big clusters, little clusters, and individual oats are literally throughout this bag.  It makes for great texture and great combination.  With the variety of cluster sizes, it definitely makes scattering them throughout the parfait a little more exciting.  I reached into the bag and snagged one of the bigger clusters…because if I was going to blog on these, I needed to taste them on their own.  I popped it in my mouth and slowly began to chew.

Really, really good.  I mean…wow.  The maple flavor lends the right amount of sweetness an the walnuts gives it that balance that you look for in a granola.  I thought the texture was awesome and it had a great crunch to it.  And, this would definitely pair well with caramelized apples, for sure.  So, I was pretty stoked about the new granola.  I placed some in the bottom of the two bowls, topped it with some of the vanilla Greek yogurt, then hit it up with some apples…repeated the layers…then gave the top a light sprinkling of the Maple Walnut Clusters and called it a breakfast masterpiece.

And it was.  I thought the texture and flavors meshed so well with the fruit and yogurt combination this morning.  In fact, if anything, it added a hint of sweetness to the finished product.  I kept going back for more.  The clusters didn’t get soggy in the yogurt, even when I had to let mine sit for a moment while I finished preparing the quinoa breakfast porridge with blueberries and toasted walnuts.  I had a lot working in the kitchen today…so my attention was divided between different dishes I was making…and making sure I was getting myself fed before heading out the door.  So, KIND totally hit the nail on the head with its KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa.  Seriously good eats.

As for any nutritional information, the KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa contains a heart-healthy blend of walnuts, chia, and whole grains amaranth, quinoa, oats, millet, and buckwheat.  They are sweetened with a hint of maple syrup.  And, as a bonus, these clusters contain 300 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and provide 17 grams of whole grains per serving.  And how much is a serving?  1/3 cup.  Yep.  That’s really good for a granola.  Trust me!

This 1/3 cup of KIND Healthy Grains will also provide your body with 130 calories and 3.5 grams of fat . Not too shabby.  Not at all.  Even better, these clusters are not littered with excess sugars.  In fact, the sugar content is quite low, standing at 6 grams per serving.  LOVE that.  A LOT!  And, thanks to the addition of chia and quinoa, each serving provides 3 grams of protein.  It’s nice to have a healthier granola option out on the market.  Also, KIND Healthy Grains are all gluten-free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, and all natural.

What’s not to love about that?

I hope to try some more varieties of the KIND Healthy Grains line in the very near future.  My breakfast parfaits depend on it!

Breakfast Parfait with caramelized apples, vanilla Greek yogurt, and KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa
Breakfast Parfait with caramelized apples, vanilla Greek yogurt, and KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa

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