It had been a while since I had last tasted the granola from Enjoy Life Foods, so I wasn’t sure if I would note any improvement in their updated cereals. But, as I took my first nibble, it really didn’t matter. This granola was excellent! It still comes in the same three flavors (see below), but boast smaller, crunchier clusters that will hold up in your milk alternative.
Interestingly enough, I was reminded of their prior granola by the packaging. Though they have updated the contents, the pictures on the package appear to be of the old granola, very large and hearty-looking clusters. Even on their website, I find the pictures a bit deceiving. Do not fret, what you will find inside are crunchy little morsels (much smaller than what the images portray) with a perfect crunch and pleasantly sweet flavor that are of course food allergy-friendly.
These are rice-based clusters … no gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, or tree nuts. While I have always been an oat girl, I found this granola quite satisfying:
Very Berry Crunch – This was the sweetest of the three in my opinion, with bits of freeze-dried raspberries and strawberries infused into the granola bites. I liked it as a treat, and think it would be a great kid-pleaser (as I later confirmed from Sarah’s review), but found it just a touch too sweet for my morning cereal. It needed a little contrast for my taste buds. Nonetheless, I used it to make the Granola Bar One-Bites recipe in Enjoy Life’s new cookbook Cookies for Everyone! with good results.
Ingredients: Brown Rice Flakes; Brown Rice Syrup; Evaporated Cane Juice; Rice Bran; Rice Crisps ( Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt); Water; Freeze-Dried Raspberries and Strawberries; Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil); Natural Strawberry Flavor; Citric Acid; Ground Flaxseed; Rosemary Extract
Cranapple Crunch – I felt a bit more grown up with this cereal. The clusters had an overall apple flavor, with whole sweet and sour cranberries dotted about to add some of that contrast I was seeking. I used it to make the Sunny Nature Snack Bites from Cookies for Everyone! and it was a delightful snack that curbed my sweets craving nicely. If I were to rank these cereals, this one would fit in nicely in the number two spot.
Ingredients: Brown Rice Flakes; Brown Rice Syrup; Evaporated Cane Juice; Water; Rice Bran; Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil); Dried Apples; Rice Crisps ( Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt); Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil); Natural Apple Flavor; Malic Acid; Ground Flaxseed; Rosemary Extract
Cinnamon Crunch – Sorry Sarah, but we will have to agree to disagree on this one (cranapple was by far her top choice). I am a cinnamon addict, and this granola did not let me down. It was just sweet enough to compliment the spice, and the raisins were like a bonus that brought the whole thing together. I won’t be using this one in recipes, as I enjoy snacking on it far too much. Definitely my top pick.
Ingredients: Brown Rice Flakes; Evaporated Cane Juice; Brown Rice Syrup; Water; Raisins; Rice Crisps (Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt); Rice Bran; Cinnamon; Natural; Cinnamon Flavor; Ground Flaxseed; Rosemary Extract
So yes, I can vouch that these cereals are in fact new & improved, and could easily compete with any gluten-containing granola … especially considering these are also low fat! Yes, you heard me right. The Cinnamon Crunch has just 1.5g of fat per ½ cup serving, yet the sugars are a respectable (for granola) 11g. The other two versions are slightly lower in sugar (those raisins will get you every time!) but they have about 3g of fat per serving; still pretty awesome. And, for those concerned about vitamins, these granolas are fortified with B vitamins.
Enjoy Life has done an excellent job with distribution. You can find them in many stores these days, including mainstream grocers in the natural food aisles. Alternately, you can purchase their products direct from their website (plus, you can almost always find a printable coupon or two on their website), or via Amazon at a discount.