Lark Ellen Farms is leading the pack in redefining what granola is and can be. Instead of oats as a base, this California-based company uses organically grown and certified nuts and seeds and takes them through a process of sprouting (a soaking process) to help make the nutrients more easily absorbable when consumed. The sprouted nuts and seeds are mixed with other organic ingredients and then air dried at a low temperature to help keep the nutrient content intact.
Lark Ellen Farms makes 6 different varieties of granola (although 5 of the flavors are called “granola bites” and one flavor is called a “cereal” with the differentiation made based on the size of the finished product in the bag. The bites are larger but easily crumble while the cereal contains smaller, looser pieces). Read more
Looking for a granola bar that is vegan, gluten-free and made with organic ingredients? How about a granola bar that tastes crunchy, delicious, and satisfying? Then Nana Joes Granola Bars are the bomb. Handmade in San Francisco, Nana Joes Granola Bars come in four flavors, three of which have a base of oats and maple syrup and one with a base of unsweetened coconut chips and maple syrup: Read more
For plant-based eaters who prefer a farmer’s market over an outdoor vegan fest, please know I get it. It’s not that vegan foods are bad, although there are certainly a lot of unhealthy ones out there, its that far too often these products contain oil, refined sugar, syrups, or other undesirable sweeteners, too much sodium, or ingredients that I can’t pronounce.
If most of your diet is whole food plant-based then very few commercially prepared foods are on your pantry’s shelf or in the refrigerator or freezer because finding really stellar products – foods made with top notch ingredients without all the additives, and that taste great – is tough (there is just no getting around being vigilant and reading labels).
Every once in a while, a truly great product is introduced (and it feels like a reward when you find it), which is the case with Granola Bites by the Organic Pantry Co. Granola Bites are tasty pieces of granola (almost like thin crunchy cookies) with mulberries (Cashew, Date & Mulberry) or coconut and raisins (Coconut, Cacao, and Raisin) : Read more
Simply the best cereal on the market.
Muesli is a breakfast cereal made up of raw rolled oats, grains, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds that is typically enjoyed with your favorite type of milk or yogurt (note: I find it especially delicious with unsweetened Milkadamia – a non-dairy nut milk).
Some people claim that muesli is just raw granola but that description doesn’t do the Swiss invention justice. While many of the ingredients are the same, muesli differs from granola in three ways: muesli is not baked, does not contain oil, and typically has no added sweeteners. Read more
When I started making baked apples with a crumble made of oats, walnuts, dates, almond butter, and cinnamon, I often had leftover crumble that tasted delicious sprinkled over oatmeal, muesli, and cereal. Then I found myself making the crumble in bulk and keeping it in an airtight container in the refrigerator because I used it so often.
Realizing that I was on to something, I then made variations (i.e. omitted the cinnamon and add dark chocolate chips) and then found myself with two different types of crumble always in my refrigerator, one with a cinnamon emphasis and the other filled with dark chocolate chips. Read more
Blend 11 is a nutritious blend of 11 certified organic superfoods that can be used in smoothies, shakes, overnight oats, fresh oatmeal, hot and cold cereals, and even in recipes (especially in date balls). Crunchy, wholesome, super nutritious, and delicious, Blend 11 is also gluten-free and vegan.
Made by GoodMix Superfoods of Waitsfield, Vermont (central Vermont near Montpelier), Blend 11 differs from other nut and seed blends on the market in many ways. First, the variety of ingredients is vast. There are seeds, nuts, nibs, and more. Second, the ingredients are certified organic (and that’s big). Third, most nut and seed blends don’t have puffed millet, puffed amaranth, or cacao nibs which add terrific texture, flavor, and nutrition to the mix. And, lastly, most nut and seed mixes don’t have buckwheat which is a totally undervalued seed (yes, a seed) loaded with vitamins and minerals. Read more
The granola market appears to be saturated with dozens of types of granola and, yet there’s always room for one or two more by Purely Elizabeth – a Boulder-based food company that makes the most popular granolas in the natural food market.
A label consumers can always trust, Purely Elizabeth recently introduced two Grain Free Superfood Granolas that are available only through Whole Foods Markets. Read more
Whenever I find myself with a lot of extra ripe fruit, I do one of three things: I try to eat more (but this strategy doesn’t always work because after the fifth plum, I’m plummed out); I make a fruit pie (my husband’s favorite option); or I make a fruit compote (my favorite option).
Compote is one of those words that congers up distant memories or questions (did I see that word on a menu in Paris? Is compote related to Peach Melba?) Compote is just a fancy word for a thick, chunky fruit sauce made with fruit cooked in water and spices (similar to homemade cranberry sauce). Naturally sweet, fruit compote is only as good as the fruit you use so the quality of the fruit really matters. Read more
September is the month when our lives speed up, especially in the morning when we all seem to be racing out the door. Breakfast – still considered the most important meal of the day – is often on the go because who has time to turn on the stove, cook, and clean dirty dishes in the morning? And, yet we all need a super nutritious and delicious breakfast to start the day.
Overnight oats were invented with convenience in mind. Everything is done the night before but in order to make great overnight oats, you have to think ahead and have the ingredients on hand. For those times when the pantry doesn’t have a wide selection of ingredients (i.e. oats, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, dried fruits, and spices), consider Maker Oats™ – easy, delicious, and nutritious options in individual pouches and glass jars that make it easy to make overnight oats in less than a minute. Read more