Now named Snakarola.
My very first batch of home-baked granola brought an abrupt finale to our days of store-bought granola. It was immediately obvious that no pre-packaged cereal could compare to the earthy freshness of that creation, slow baked at a very low temperature. However, it seems my granola may have at last met its match … or perhaps a convenient companion … from Laughing Giraffe Organics.
Of course, it makes sense that only a “raw” granola, slowly dehydrated, could rival the quality of homemade. Laughing Giraffe uses raw organic nuts, seeds, fruits, and spices to create earthy, rich, and flavorful granolas that are indeed a worthwhile treat. As for the flavors, there were three delicious types to choose from: Cranberry Orange, Cherry Ginger, and Curry Cashew.
Cranberry Orange – This turned out to be my unexpected favorite of the pack. Inside the unassuming package were giant slabs of granola that traveled with me on errands and hikes as if they were energy bars. There were pumpkin seeds, whole almonds, and cranberries (apple sweetened!) all on a background of raisins and walnut and pecan chunks. Yet, despite this already wonderful blend of whole foods, it was truly the minor ingredients that won me over. The incredible cinnamon scent carried over into the flavor, adding richness to every sweet and savory bite. Of course, cinnamon alone does not make for an award-winning granola. No, in this case it was the perfect amount of vanilla, must a hint of citrus, and a deep underpinning of cacao that rounded out the taste. I was surprised, and delighted, at how muted the cacao was, it merely added structure, rather than creating a chocolate granola.
Cherry Ginger – In terms of overall taste, this was the nuttiest of the bunch (though the softest in texture), with the walnut and pecan base shining through. Quite literally, eating this granola brought back memories of sitting at my grandma’s house before Christmas, and cracking open the bowl of pecans and walnuts with a nut cracker. The chunks were lightly sweet and subtly savory, but not a bit salty. I found the gentler flavors to be perfect for my morning taste buds, hiking, and post workout, when my senses are a bit heightened. The ginger flavor was subdued, only asserting itself on the very rare occasion; good for those who might be timid around this potent spice. The bits of dried cherry added interest, but didn’t dominate the scene.
Honestly, I think what is so wonderful about Laughing Giraffe Granola is that it is hard to describe. Each bite yields a different mix of flavors since large chunks (or whole) dried fruits, nuts, and seeds are used and placed upon a gentle yet well stated blanket of cohesive flavors. Sea salt is added as the last ingredient and I can say in perfect proportion. Among the three varieties, I never had a salty bite, yet the spices used were perfectly heightened, which is hard to achieve without any salt at all. Agave nectar is used to sweeten in all three, but in perfect moderation. The sugars are relatively in check, especially considering they each contain dried fruit, which always bumps that sugar dose up quickly. This is a calorie dense food without a doubt – just 1/3 cup is 300 calories, but a little will do you, as this filling blend of nuts, seeds, and fruit should tide over energy levels nicely.
An extra benefit of Laughing Giraffe Granola is its ability to suit many special diets … it is “raw,” vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free!
While this stuff doesn’t come cheap, it shouldn’t. Loaded with whole, high quality nuts, this is premium food that is suitably priced. Honestly, after reading the ingredient lists and eyeing the huge chunks in this granola, I don’t see how they could charge any less. Luckily, that does mean a little goes a long ways in terms of satiety.
The Facts on Laughing Giraffe Snakarola
Certifications: Laughing Giraffe Snakarola is Certified Kosher Parve, Certified Organic, and Non-GMO Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Laughing Giraffe Snakarola is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, raw, and paleo-friendly. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Laughing Giraffe website at thelaughinggiraffe.com.