On virtually every trip to the natural food store I see a shopping cart loaded with Nana’s Cookies. Needless to say, I was eager to discover what all the hype was about.
Oatmeal Raisin – My first pleasant surprise occurred before I even opened the package. Nana prominently displays her “No’s” on the package, to include (but not limited to) refined sugars, dairy, hydrogenated oils, cholesterol, eggs, salt, and GMO’s. Of course, the next question on my mind was, “What is in these things?” The all-vegan, all-natural ingredients include organic whole wheat flour, rolled oats, fruit juice, whole grain dextrins, expeller pressed oil, raisins, walnuts, baking powder, and natural flavorings. Well, it sounds healthy, but is this really a cookie?
In preparation for the tasting, I set the extra-large cookie on a plate, stepping away just to grab my camera for a quick picture. When I returned, my husband had opened it and stolen half! Thus, my picture is not of the cookie in its entirety. Though, as the first reviewer, he was obviously satisfied.
After snapping a quick picture, I escaped with the remaining half. As I bit in, the first thing I noticed was the delightfully soft texture. It was a wonderful combination of chewy and “cakey.” The cookie was a touch crumbly from the notable quantity of oats, but not too bad.
The flavor was quite enjoyable; it was most definitely an oatmeal raisin cookie. However, the fruit juice flavor was evident, making it a touch different from your average cookie. Taste-wise, I considered this more of a unique pleasantry, rather than a pro or a con. The plump raisins were awesome. To be honest, I didn’t think there were good raisins and bad raisins, until I trialed this cookie. Chopped walnuts were littered throughout as well, not a ton, just enough for an extra bonus. It was probably for the best that my husband swiped the other half, as I could have easily indulged in the whole two-serving package.
Chocolate Chip – This one is amazingly free of refined sugars, sweetened only with fruit juice. Unlike the Oatmeal Raisin cookie we trialed, I didn’t notice a different flavor to this cookie. It retained that familiar white and brown sugar cookie taste, without a speck in it. In addition to the low sugar bonus, this cookie is vegan and free of wheat (made with oat and barley flours).
The overall taste and texture was fantastic. Nana added the perfect amount of sweetness, not over the top, but still an indulgence. The chocolate chips are a bit different, more pronounced in flavor than semi-sweet, yet not really a dark chocolate. I can’t say that I preferred them to regular semi-sweet, but I certainly wasn’t complaining. Though most kids like anything called a cookie, I would definitely vote the Nana’s No Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie as a more adult-friendly option, due to the dense taste and texture and the stronger chocolate chips.
As I love all things “wheaty” and doughy, I would buy this cookie again in a heartbeat. Feeling generous, I did share some of the cookie with my husband. He really enjoyed it, but this isn’t much of a test. Like a youngster at heart, his discriminating taste buds are shoved aside for anything with the label “cookie.”
Lemon – Sweet, but not too sweet, this seriously lemon cookie is the ultimate accompaniment to afternoon tea. I opened the package to a potent lemon scent that was quite delightful. From the aroma I did expect a flavor overload. Luckily, the pronounced lemon flavor was mellowed by the wonderfully sweet flavor of the overall cookie.
The texture is a cross between a shortbread cookie and a moist, dense cookie (such as molasses). Not to be mistaken with its glutinous cousins, a distinct gluten-free texture is noted in Nana’s Lemon Cookie. I could easily detect the familiar feel of brown rice flour. Oddly enough, as someone who frequently consumes baked goods made with brown rice flour, the first bite is always a shock to me, and then I find myself preferring the melt-in your mouth, doughy, flour-like texture.
Though it is sweetened with only fruit juice, the granulated stuff is not missed in this cookie. In fact, the fruit flavors meld perfectly with the lemon. Speaking of lemon, I was pleasantly surprised to see the little Vitamin C bonus in this cookie (20% of the RDA in the whole cookie), though the calories would promote indulging in one serving, or just a half a cookie at a time.
At last, someone has finally taken on Grandma’s “Homestyle” Cookies with something that truly lives up to its name. Nana’s are free from the hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars that Frito-Lay so generously refers to as “Homestyle” on their jumbo cookie packages. Yet, from a taste perspective, I would choose the natural flavor of Nana’s over Grandma’s any day. Hopefully Nana’s will be replacing the cookie imposters on convenience store shelves soon!
Where to Purchase: Nana’s products are sold in stores throughout the U.S., most notaby in Whole Foods stores (now to include Wild Oats). You can also order direct from Nana’s Healthy Crowd website.
The Facts on Nana’s Cookies
Certifications: Nana’s Cookies are Certified Kosher Parve. The gluten-free varieties are Certified Gluten Free.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Nana’s Cookies are is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Some varieties are nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. 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 Nana’s website at nanascookiecompany.com.