Granola seems like such a simple food – sweetened, toasted oats with some add-ins of choice thrown in. Yet Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola is one of the few store-bought brands I’ve found to measure up to homemade.
Packaged granola is usually too sweet, or too bland; all broken up into single oat bits, or bound into giant clusters where you only get to enjoy a few bites per serving; and too soft or overly-toasted. It lacks that perfect, fresh crunch that emerges from my oven, with simple, spot on flavors. But somehow, Bob’s Red Mill gets it “just right” with their gluten-free granola.
Tasting Notes for Bob Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola
Be warned that Bob’s Red Mill makes Honey Oat and Apple Blueberry Granola products that are labeled as Gluten Free and ones that aren’t. The variations look similar, are both kosher pareve and dairy-free, and appear to have very similar ingredients (if not the same). But according to Bob’s Red Mill, the bags labeled as “Gluten Free” are made with their certified gluten-free oats.
The Honey Oat Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola may be my new holy grail for granola convenience. It has the perfect crunchiness, spot on sweetness, small clusters, and ingredients that are both fulfilling and simplistic. I also find it easy to dress up or down – layer in parfaits, sprinkle atop fruit or ice cream, etc. It goes with everything from chocolate and peanut butter to fresh fruit. My only qualm is that it is a touch high in sugars for enjoying as breakfast every day.
Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, expeller pressed canola oil, whole grain brown rice flour, honey, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extractives, alcohol, water), sea salt, vitamin e. Manufactured in a facility that also uses tree nuts and soy.
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup): 210 calories, 5g fat, 37g carbs, 5g fiber, 11g sugars, 5g protein.*
The Apple Blueberry is very similar, but sweeter (a little higher in sugars) and has a warm, sweet, fruity essence. I was a little confused at first – digging through looking for the blueberries. What I didn’t realize, until I read the ingredients more closely, is that it has natural blueberry flavors and concentrate baked in, not added dried blueberries. On the contrary, unsulphured apple bits are camouflaged throughout this granola. They provide a nice little flavor and texture contrast.
Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, cane sugar, brown rice, mixed fruit concentrate (pineapple syrup, pear juice concentrate, peach juice concentrate, blueberry juice concentrate), dried apples, brown rice syrup, natural flavor, mixed tocopherols (antioxidant). Manufactured in a facility that also uses tree nuts and soy.
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup): 200 calories, 2g fat, 41g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugars, 5g protein.*
The Facts on Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola
Price: $4.99 per 12-ounce bag
Certifications: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola is certified Kosher Parve. It is boldly labeled as gluten-free, though I didn’t note a certification. But the company states it is “Tested and confirmed Gluten Free in our quality control laboratory.” (Oddly enough, their Homestyle Granola, which isn’t boldly labeled as gluten free is certified gluten-free.)
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Granola is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. The Honey variety contains honey, so it isn’t strictly vegan.*
For More Product Information: Visit the Bob’s Red Mill website at www.bobsredmill.com.
*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy.
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Granola done right
The Honey Oat variation is what I call “just right” granola… Not too sweet, but not too plain. Not too crunchy, but not too soft. Not too bulky with clusters, but not too broken up. And to top it off, it’s like a blank canvas of nutritious ingredients. There are no dominating flavor or ingredient add-ins so you can pair it with everything from peanut butter and chocolate to pumpkin and spice. Enjoy simply with milk, layered in breakfast parfaits, sprinkled on ice cream or yogurt, or added to a trail mix. The Apple Blueberry is very similar, but a touch sweeter, dotted with dried apple bits and infused with warm, sweet natural blueberry flavor.