Taste Test Thursday: Granolas

Mornings that start off with a bowl with plain vanilla yogurt, honey, and granola are perfect.

But the type of granola makes all the difference. Crunchy, chewy, or nutty—we have our preferences. To me, granola is a personal thing, a personal choice.

To make your mornings even better, we tasted five different types. Since breakfast oat choices are overwhelming and limitless, I decided to stick with plain, original recipes that A) use coconut and B) have nuts. You can judge me all you want for my criteria. I like coconut and nuts. What can I say.

1_taste_test_name

A. Central Market’s super nutty granola – Dallas, TX

B. Village Baking Co’s original granola – Dallas, TX (Only $5!)

C. Lifestyle Granolas’ original recipe – Spokane, WA

D. Udi’s original granola – Denver, CO

E. Whole Food’s super nutty granola – Dallas, TX
ACentral
3_tasting_notes
Ingredients: whole rolled oats, milled cane sugar, vegetable oil, molasses, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts, honey, salt, natural flavor, cardamom seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg

  • “Is granola supposed to be chewy?”
  • “Cardboardy with a hint of honey.”
  • “Not super crisp. Lots of small pieces/no chunks.”
  • “Good crunch. Like the nuts. Sweet but not too sweet.”
  • “Looked bland, but very good!”

 

BVillage
3_tasting_notes
Ingredients: honey, canola oil, almonds, coconut, and oats

  • “Looks perfectly toasted. I love coconut shavings.”
  • “Nice coconut-y crunch. Would be delicious with cereal.”
  • “Little almond slivers. Chunkier texture.”
  • “Tastes more like honey. Better crunch.”
  • “On the sweet side. Nice golden color.”

C
3_tasting_notes
Ingredients: rolled oats, honey, cashews, almonds, safflower oil, molasses, coconut, pure vanilla extract, sea salt

  • “No flavor, a sad excuse for granola.”
  • “A hint of banana. Would be good with yogurt and sliced bananas.”
  • “Tastes like almonds.”
  • “I swear I taste a hint of pistachio.”
  • “Nutty. Love this one. Multiple flavors. I like the hard clusters.”

 

D
3_tasting_notes
Ingredients: whole oats, wildflower honey, canola oil, raisins, banana chips, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachio nuts

  • “Tastes like I bit into a banana.”
  • “Tastes more nutty. I like the addition of raisins and nuts.”
  • “I like the mixture of nuts, raisins, etc. If I were going to the woods, I’d take this one.”
  • “Love the raisins, but the granola is pretty basic.”

 

E
3_tasting_notes
Ingredients: whole rolled oats, milled cane sugar, vegetable oil, molasses, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts, honey, salt, natural flavor, cardamom seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg

  • “Bland. Where’s the fun if it’s just oats?”
  • “I think bird seed may taste like this.”
  • “Bland. I don’t even care.”
  • “Boring like rice cakes.”
  • “Sweeter. Nutty. Peanut butter flavor.”

 

4_tally_up

5 votes for (B) Village Baking Co.
1 votes for (A) Central Market
1 vote for (C) Lifestyle Granola
1 vote for (D) Udi’s

5_conclusion

Winner: Village Baking Co.

Village Baking Co.’s granola was so vastly better than all the other ones in the pack, that even Tim Rogers—who typed the comment: “This tastes like granola” for granolas A through E—said ‘B’ was different from all the others. He ended up picking it as his first choice.

For me, Village Baking’s granola is chunky mixed with not-chunky, and coconut mixed with nuts. It’s colorful, pretty, toasty, and cereal-like. I eat this with milk all the time, and it’s perfect for yogurt, too. Whenever I visit friends in other states, I bring a bag of this stuff with me as a present for them. It’s a cheap present (only $5!), and gives people a little taste of Dallas. I love it.

Also, did anyone notice that Central Market and Whole Foods’ super nutty granola recipes are almost the exact same? I wonder who copied whom…