Great Granola Showdown!

May 2017 - Nutrition

Once upon a time you would visit a grocery store shelf in search of granola and have 2-3 products to pick from.  Fast forward to today and that aisle is PACKED with options…which is wonderful and overwhelming at the same time!  Granola, a simple cereal usually made from oats, nuts, fruit, some source of fat and something to sweeten it, can come in all shapes and sizes.  From big crunchy clusters to soft and chewy crumbly granola, I’m in love with it all!  Of course, some granolas are better than others, so I raided the shelves at Nature’s Fare Markets to taste test some of the top granolas on the market to save you from the pain of buying a gazillion bags of it to figure it out on your own!

Of course, I had help with this task.  Charlie was an eager volunteer, digging his cute little hands into every bag and giving me his rating out of 10.  He was pretty biased, and had one particular favourite that rocked his world (see below).  I didn’t know it was possible to get a rating of 1260 out of 5… but that’s what you get when you add chocolate to a granola and give it to your five year old!

Nature’s Fare Markets is a perfect place to generate my ‘sample size’ for my ‘study’ (code for filling my face with granola). They do a great job of sourcing products that are healthier and better for the environment, which makes grocery shopping much easier and far less stressful.  Regardless of the rating, remember that granola is very energy-dense, and if you’re trying to watch your weight, pay attention to the serving sizes: they aren’t big my friends.  I use granola less as a cereal and more as a topping to add to yogurt parfaits or even to sprinkle on oatmeal or another cereal as a way to jazz it up.

We taste tested 12 different granolas and came up with the following conclusions!  All ratings are on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest rating, and are weighted on taste and nutrition.

Terra Breads Original Granola (organic, non-GMO) 

  • Calories per 1/3 c. serving= 210
  • Sugar per serving=10g / fibre per serving=4g
  • Protein per serving=4g
  • Tasting notes: This granola is soft with large oat clusters, loaded with fruit and whole nuts.  Very wholesome and a nice taste that I wouldn’t get tired of!  Good for snacking on as-is, it sticks together.  A little higher in sugar than some of the others but not by much.
  • 5 STARS

Hippie Granola, Vanilla Almond (organic, gluten-free)

  • Calories per 1/2 c. serving= 230
  • Sugar per serving=10g / fibre per serving=5g
  • Protein per serving=6g
  • Tasting notes: Large crispy clusters with a nice coconut crunch, good snacking granola, not too sweet.
  • 4 STARS

One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Oat Granola, Vanilla Chia (non-GMO, organic, gluten-free)

  • Calories per 1/2 c. serving= 240
  • Sugar per serving=10g / fibre per serving=6g
  • Protein per serving=6g
  • Tasting notes: Very crunchy granola with some clusters in it, a bit sweeter tasting with a bit of a bitter after taste.  This was my least favourite granola from a taste perspective, but it is a pretty good option based on nutrition as it has a bit higher fibre and protein than some of the others.
  • 2-3 STARS (because taste is subjective!)

Otari GLUTENULL Hemp Granola (gluten-gree, organic, non-GMO)

  • Calories per 1/4c. serving= 160
  • Sugar per serving=8g / fibre per serving=4g
  • Protein per serving=4g
  • Tasting notes: Not really a traditional granola, more of a fruit and nut mix but delicious nonetheless if you modify your expectations!  I would use this more of a topping, which is why I left it at 1/4 c. serving.
  • 5 STARS

Granola Girl (80% organic)

  • Calories per 1/3 c. serving= 140
  • Sugar per serving=7g / fibre per serving=2g
  • Protein per serving=3g
  • Tasting notes: Very lightly sweetened (reflected in the calorie content), a bit chewy, and only lightly toasted, I really enjoyed it!  A little less fibre per serving than some of the others, but an average amount of sugar and protein vs other granolas.
  • 5 STARS

Nature’s Path Coconut Chia Granola (organic, non-GMO)

  • Calories per 3/4 c. serving= 270
  • Sugar per serving=9g / fibre per serving=6g
  • Protein per serving=5g
  • Tasting notes: Super crunchy granola with large clusters and lightly sweetened oats and a nice subtle coconut flavour. I like how they listed a more reasonable serving size on the label!
  • 4 STARS 

Stephano’s Secret Stash, Apple Crisp Bliss (organic, gluten-free, non-GMO)

  • Calories per 55 g (estimated 1/3 c.) serving= 230
  • Sugar per serving=8g / fibre per serving=4g
  • Protein per serving=5g
  • Tasting notes: LOVE the apple cinnamon flavour of this granola, it’s crunchy and not-too-sweet, nice work Stephano.  Charlie loved this one too.
  • 5 STARS

Nature’s Path Vanilla Pumpkin Seed (organic, non-GMO, gluten-free)

  • Calories per 1/2 c. serving= 240
  • Sugar per serving=13g / fibre per serving=5g
  • Protein per serving=5g
  • Tasting notes: Crunchy granola with lots of small clusters and a neutral flavour that a lot of people would like.  Slightly higher sugar than some of the other granolas, but it’s gluten-free which is a bonus for those who need to avoid it!
  • 5 STARS

GluteNull Quinoa Granola (gluten-free, non-GMO)

  • Calories per 1/2 c. serving= 240
  • Sugar per serving=4g / fibre per serving=6g
  • Protein per serving=8g
  • Tasting notes: Soft granola with heaps of nuts, tastes more like a delicious trail mix, very little quinoa but still yummy!  Higher in fibre and protein vs other granolas thanks to the extra ‘roughage’ in the ingredients, this one is a nutrition powerhouse!
  • 4 STARS

The Granola King Hazelnut Hemp Granola

  • Calories per 70g (estimated 2/3 c.) serving= 340
  • Sugar per serving=13g / fibre per serving=7g
  • Protein per serving=9g
  • Tasting notes: Very nice tasting granola with a nice change of flavour courtesy of the hazelnuts.  Lightly sweetened with honey
  • 3 STARS

KIND Healthy Grains, Oats & Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut (non-GMO)

  • Calories per 1/3 c. serving= 130
  • Sugar per serving=6g / fibre per serving=3g
  • Protein per serving=3g
  • Tasting notes: I love the taste of this granola, it reminds me of my mom’s oatmeal coconut cookies!  Not too high in sugar, this is one of my favourites!
  • 5 STARS

Nature’s Path Love Crunch, Dark Chocolate & Red Berries (organic, non-GMO)

  • Calories per 1/2 c. serving= 260
  • Sugar per serving=12g / fibre per serving=3g
  • Protein per serving=5g
  • Tasting notes: A very indulgent granola – Charlie’s favourite by a landslide.  He gave it a 1260 out of 10 (don’t ask where he got that number from, it kept going up with every bite!).  I would eat this more as a dessert, it’s only a bit higher in sugar vs other granolas (ok, I MAY have eaten it in the morning too), super yummy as are the other flavours of the Love Crunch!  AND they give a back to food banks with every bag that you buy, love it!
  • 5 -5 STARS (or 1260 STARS if you’re Charlie)

Thank you to Nature’s Fare Markets for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own.

Tori is a Registered Dietitian and self-proclaimed foodie. Her nutrition philosophy embraces moderation and quality without deprivation. She started up Fraîche Nutrition on a whim in August 2014, inspired to help share her love of food and educate others on simple healthy eating at the same time. Tori believes that food and nutrition has become overly complicated, and hopes to help others live healthier lives one wholesome recipe at a time.

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