Product: Jessica’s Natural Foods Gluten-Free Pecan Almond Granola – $6.99+
It wasn’t in the budget this week. Honestly. But I have a lot of delicious, fresh blueberries at home and needed some way to prepare them. Well…some other way as I’ve already put some in a blueberry compote for gluten-free pancakes and even baked some into dark chocolate and blueberry scones. Mmmm…scones. I’ve been eating them prior to running and after running. So, when I was out grocery shopping, it occured to me that one of my favorite ways to eat blueberries…is in my breakfast fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits. So, while at Whole Foods, Cathy and I were walking through the cereal aisle and she spotted the bright, colorful, yellow packaging of Jessica’s Natural Foods Gluten-Free Granola!
Her eyes fell on the Motor City Crunch variety, which is a chocolate and hazelnut granola. Mmmm…Nutella in granola form. I wanted it. So, I told her we had to get one, because, after all, we had blueberries to eat. So, she grabbed…the Gluten-Free Pecan Almond Granola??!! After waving chocolate hazelnut at me? That’s just mean and cruel, I think. Next time I’m selecting so I get the chocolate hazelnut. Crazy roomie of mine. Chocolate and hazelnut always win. I mean, I love pecans and almonds, but those are in…pretty much every other granola out there. And Motor City Crunch actually had like a special title and everything It wasn’t just the flavor. It has to be big…it has to be amazing…it has to wait until next time…
But…you just go with it in these situations. So, instead of the one I thought we were getting…the Jessica’s Natural Foods Gluten-Free Pecan Almond Granola is the actual variety that made it into our shopping bag and then into the pantry on Saturday.
Fast forward to Monday morning. I had spin class to get to by 5:30 a.m. and breakfast had to be quick. So…here it was…blueberry breakfast parfaits. I pulled out the pouch of granola and opened it up. I retrieved glasses to build the parfaits in and then the Greek yogurt and berries from the fridge. I plucked the honey from the pantry. And I figured I had to taste-test the granola before loading it into the parfaits. So, I reached inside and plucked out a large clump of granola.
It was sweet without being overly sweet. It looked like it was packed with sugar…but it’s not. The nuts add a great bit of depth to the flavor and the oats are toasted to perfection. You get that perfect granola crunch followed by the sweetness. I had to take another bit before telling myself that I actually needed to build a parfait and couldn’t just eat the granola. But trust me…I could. While I might have been disappointed that the flavor I wanted remained shelved at Whole Foods…this flavor is top of the line. I mean, honest-to-goodness ingredients and flavors. Low in sugar…packed with enough flavor that makes you almost feel guilty when eating it. It was like a treat. And when I paired it with the ripe and very fresh (and amazing) blueberries and the Greek yogurt…it was a fantastic combination. The pecans, almonds, and oats brought this nice texture, the berries practically burst on my tongue…and the smooth yogurt just tied it all together. This was a wonderful (and tasty) surprise this morning. LOVED this flavor.
So…let’s talk ingredients. Inside a package of Jessica’s Natural Foods Gluten-Free Pecan Almond Granola you will find certified gluten-free rolled oats, organic honey, brown sugar, expeller pressed sunflower oil, pecans, almonds, ground flax seed, coconut, maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, sea salt, cinnamon, and tocopherols (natural vitamin E). That last ingredient sounds very chemical-like…but look at everything else. The sweetness, I now see, is due to the honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup that are included. I can taste the hint of coconut and the seasoning of cinnamon that is included. And the combination is magic on your taste buds. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s also cholesterol free. YAY!
Nutritionally speaking…these stats are pretty awesome. A serving of Jessica’s Natural Foods Pecan Almond Granola is 1/4 cup. This serving will provide you with 135 calories and 7 grams of fat. That isn’t bad for something that contains nuts. Mostly healthy fats there. A serving also will give you only 25 mg sodium and 6 grams of sugar. This is phenomenal for a granola. You will also be taking in 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. It doesn’t sound like much, but you will actually feel full. Trust me.
I always try to get Cathy’s opinion on a product and since this was the flavor that she chose…against my wishes (because NUTELLA!)…I asked her what she thought. She gave her usual…”It was good.” Or whatever. And then I remember she is still fighting off a summer cold and she had just woken up. Dammit. No luck these days with her opinion. And this one I really wanted. Maybe another time.
That being said, despite not getting the Chocolate Hazelnut variety I am enamored with high praise and love for Jessica’s Natural Foods and the Pecan Almond Granola. Delicious. Not too sweet…although it just looks like it should be more sweet than it is. It’s sheer granola perfection and I can’t wait to try the other flavors. But next up…Motor City Crunch. For real!