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April 30, 2012

Early Bird Granola

by Anne Paddock

Grocers are slowly dedicating more space in the cereal aisle to granolas although this oat-based cereal is no longer limited to being a breakfast food. These days we also sprinkle granola over frozen yogurt, gelato or ice cream and eat this healthy treat as a snack. There are dozens of types of granola available as we all have our preferences with mine being heavy on the oats and nuts. So, when I came upon a bag of Farmhand’s Choice Granola by Early Bird Foods & Co., I immediately read the label, which listed the following ingredients:  organic rolled oats, toasted organic coconut, organic pepitas (pumpkin or squash seeds), organic sunflower seeds, fancy pecans, real maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, organic brown sugar, and salt. Wow, was all I could say.

Intrigued with the ingredients and especially with the use of olive oil, I bought a bag and asked my daughter if she wanted to taste a granola that is “gathered in Brooklyn.” She opened the bag, tasted it, declared it delicious, poured herself a bowl and submerged it in almond milk. Thinking it was a bit too sweet with almond milk, she tried it with unsweetened soy milk (which toned down the sweetness), declared it a winner and has been eating it every day since. I prefer sprinkling the Farmhand’s Choice granola over hot oatmeal as the contrast in textures is downright sublime:  creamy oatmeal with a crunchy oat and nut mixture that is both sweet and slightly salty.

30954_123729064307717_4528346_nEarly Bird Foods and Company is owned by Nekisia Davis who uses whole organic ingredients whenever possible and makes granola in small batches.  The granola is slow-roasted to ensure a crunchy texture and balances the sweet-salty taste by using real maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt. The use of olive oil (instead of a vegetable oil) and salt enhances the flavor of the granola giving the cereal a rich nutty taste. Farmhand Granola is clearly a granola for oat and nut lovers, of which I am. For those who prefer their granola with dried fruit, pistachio nuts, or dark chocolate, there are two other varieties:

Jubilee:  Pistachio and Sour Cherry: organic rolled oats, organic pepitas, toasted organic coconut, pistachio nuts, real maple syrup, dried sour cherries, organic brown sugar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.

Choc-A-Doodle-Doo: Dark Chocolate and Coconut:  organic rolled oats, toasted organic coconut, organic sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil, organic brown sugar, 65% dark chocolate, real maple syrup, and salt.

4366923102_dc769d4ebe_bEarly Bird Granola can be purchased directly from the company via their website, listed below. Each 12 ounce bag is $8.50 and shipping is free.

Early Bird Foods and Company
20 Grand Avenue
Brooklyn, New York  11205
www.earlybirdfoods.com

Photos Credits: Early Bird Foods and James Ransom

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