Product: New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola – $6.49+
I don’t know why…but I have turned into a granola freak over the past couple of years. I absolutely love the stuff. And it can be eaten on its own, on top of Greek yogurt, put over ice cream, mixed with fruit, etc. I love granola and love trying new versions that I find out in the markets. When it comes to the gluten-free options available in my area, I think I’ve pretty much tackled them all. Every brand. Every flavor. I’ve got it covered.
So, when I take a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit my family, one of the required stops I make is to a natural foods market called Organic Harvest. It was on one such trip that I stopped in and spotted some gluten-free granola I was unfamiliar with on one of the shelves. Therefore, I put it into the “Organic Harvest Budget” and made it one of the items I brought home with me. I try to aim for things I don’t see in my area…so this fell right into that category.
The brand was New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola. There were a few flavor options on the shelf from New England Naturals…but this had a few things working for it…the word unsweetened…the word coconut…and the word berry. I happily snagged the white and pink package off the shelf and dropped it into my basket. After a little more shopping…it was time to check out. And, when I left Alabama, this bag of granola made the journey with me.
And then sat, dormant, as I wasn’t doing anything in the mornings with granola. Until recently. Because I’m really changing up not only workout plans, but also the diet. And some mornings…a fruit, yogurt and granola parfait are on the menu. YAY! Finally getting things back on track. And I have been working my way through the packs of granola that I have acquired over the past few months. Some I have liked more than others. But now…it was time for the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola to either wow me or underwhelm me.
Yesterday…was the first chance it had to shine. I had picked up some strawberries at the grocery store over the weekend, along with some Greek yogurt. So, I began building the parfait…starting with a small hit of the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola…then yogurt…honey…fruit…repeat…top with a handful of granola…drizzle honey…enjoy! Simple. And one heck of a breakfast if you ask me. Nutritious, filled with great nutrients, and hearty thanks to the granola.
I loved quite a few things about this granola. For one thing, the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola wasn’t clumpy. No large clusters to break apart. It was just every little piece stood on its own. Which means to me that this is not loaded with sticky sugars and syrups that would cause things to bind together. YAY! Second of all…because it is unsweetened, the flavors that are in the bag are what you get. If a granola can’t stand on its own when it comes to flavor…then…I feel it is failing to do its duty. The freeze dried blueberries and raspberries really bring out the tangy nature of this granola. The coconut chips add a depth of flavor. And the oats…they bring the texture. I felt all the components really worked well together and when put into one bite did make for…a perfect bite. Subtle flavors…but just enough to accentuate, not detract from the rest of the dish.
What I love about New England Naturals is that they believe that gluten free products should be delicious and have nutritional value. What a concept!! So often, a gluten free product is a calorie and fat laden mess, making up for the lack of gluten in the product. It is great to see a company striving for better health in gluten free goods. This is something I can totally get behind.
With that being said, let’s go ahead and take a look at the ingredients that go into the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola, shall we? This granola includes organic gluten free oats, organic expeller pressed canola oil, organic coconut, organic raisin puree, organic corn meal, organic flax seed, organic freeze dried raspberries, organic freeze dried blueberries, organic vanilla flavor, and salt. This granola is non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free trans fat free, and cholesterol free. It is a great source of iron as well!
As far as nutrition information goes, a serving of the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola is 1/2 cup. That’s a lot of granola. I use half of that in each parfait. But, if you were to eat an entire serving, that would provide you with 250 calories and 12 grams of fat. Much of that fat count is going to be provided by the oils, seeds, and the coconut. With the exception of the oil, the rest of it is a healthy fat. A serving of this granola will also dish up 60 mg sodium and 3 grams of sugar. How amazing is that? So often, granola is just laden with sugar and I have to really pay attention to it as I’m trying to cut back on processed sugars. But with this being left unsweetened, that sugar count stays low. Love that. And, finally, you will be taking in 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, making this not only nutritious, but also filling. I love eating a gluten-free food and not feeling famished only an hour or so later. No artificial fillers here either. This is naturally filling and it lasted me through the morning for sure.
If you like granola, but are tired of the sugar-fests out there, I highly recommend the New England Naturals brand. With less sugar and still packed with flavor, you really can’t go wrong. I am definitely enjoying using it this week on various morning dishes. Breakfast is definitely being done right. I hope I can locate some of this granola in my area…or else I’m stocking up next time I’m down visiting my family! Without a doubt…one of the best low sugar options out there.