A favorite way to enjoy granola: in a yogurt parfait. Photo by Gyorgy Barna | IST.




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STEPHANIE ZONIS is a contributing editor.



January 2012

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cereals, Pancakes & Waffles

Page 6e: Best Granola Brand

The Best Granola Brands: H To K


This is Page 6e of a seven-page-plus article on granola cereal, and reviews of 44 granola cereal brands and nine muesli brands. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

Article Index

Granola Reviews


Hillside Bakery (Runner Up, Organic Ingredients)

No nutrition information provided. If this article offered a “Purity of Approach” trophy for granola, this small business’s Sunny Granola would win it hands down. Five ingredients (four are organic; the raisins are biodynamic, and this is the sole use of any biodynamic ingredient I encountered in all the granolas and mueslis I tasted). The granola is not sweet (except for the raisins), not salty, and absolutely basic. If you like your foods to be elemental in nature, check out this granola. Very good! This company does offer other varieties of granola, but I was not able to taste those for this article. Website.


Holy Moly Granoly

No nutrition information provided. The Original Blend Granola is a nice mix of oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, with good flavors—but it was also salty. The same held true for the Harvest Blend Granola, despite the pleasing additions of pumpkin seeds and pecans. Semisweet chocolate chips and roasted pistachios contributed to the visual appeal of the Dessert Blend Granola, and the orange dried cranberries were an inspired touch, but the blend is still too salty. My preference here was the Muesli, with only six ingredients and one type of dried fruit (those orange dried cranberries again). This was a texturally-balanced blend with good flavors. Website.

Hot Bread Kitchen

Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit enterprise. My Mom’s Nutty Granola (per 1/2 cup: 250 calories, 100 fat calories, 6 g sugars, 20 mg sodium) is indeed nuttier than most, with plenty of almonds, pepitas and peanuts (as well as the occasional raisin). Much less sweet than most granolas. Made with organic honey. Limited availability, especially outside of New York City; see website for retailers. No online ordering. Website.

Julie Anne’s Granola (Runner Up)

No nutrition information provided for most varieties. Dried cranberries and raisins were scattered throughout the Sweet Citrus Granola, and you taste a definite citrus presence. Good. The Maple Blueberry Granola is genuinely maple-y, with a good quantity of dried blueberries, but it was slightly too salty. My preference here was the Tropical Bliss Granola, with a lovely tartness from the dried pineapple balanced by the inclusion of fresh banana and almost no detectable salt taste—very good. For chocolate fans, the Raspberry Truffle Granola, with tangy notes from the dried raspberries and a good cocoa flavor, is worth considering. This mix would have been a favorite, but it was slightly too salty. The Berry Yummy PB&J Granola (serving size listed: 1/4 cup. Per 1/2 cup: 240 calories, 90 fat calories, 18 g sugars, 90 mg sodium) has large clusters of granola with some peanut butter flavor, as well as large chunks of tasty dried strawberries. Good. Website.

Kaia Foods (Certified Organic, No Oats)

Granolas are certified organic. These granolas are all buckwheat-based and contain no oats. These are raw granolas; all processing is done under 118°F. Very crisp clusters characterize the Raisin Cinnamon Granola (per 1/2 cup: 230 calories, 90 fat calories, 12 g sugars, 30 mg sodium). I didn’t think there were enough raisins here, and there was a bit too much cinnamon, but the orange extract was a nice touch. The Cocoa Bliss Granola (per 1/2 cup: 220 calories, 70 fat calories, 14 g sugars, 35 mg sodium) has an alluring cocoa aroma when the bag is opened, as well as some cocoa presence, and it’s a pleasant snack. The Cherry Pie Granola (per 1/2 cup: 110 calories, 40 fat calories, 6 g sugars, 0 mg sodium) contains large, crunchy, buckwheat-based clusters that contrast nicely with the plentiful dried cherries. A judicious hand with the spices made for a good flavor in the Dates & Spices Granola (per 1/2 cup: 230 calories, 80 fat calories, 13 g sugars, 30 mg sodium). However, the date pieces and the buckwheat clusters were in larger sizes in this granola, and they were difficult to bite into. Website.


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