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Before being diagnosed with celiac disease I ate granola. Not every day, but occasionally for breakfast and sometimes as a snack. I have, however, been disappointed with the gluten-free granolas I have tasted over the last five years. Gluten free cereals in general are so-so at best and pretty awful in general. Wandering the aisles at the grocery store recently, Udi's granolas caught my eye. There were a good variety of flavors, and we have had favorable results with Udi's products, so I thought, "Why not?"
The Crunchy Original Granola is just that: crunchy. The oats are baked well and hold up well in milk and with yogurt. The granola also contains cashews, raisins, banana chips, and pistachios, bound together with a bit of honey and some canola oil. The toasted flavors are great, and while it is only slightly sweet the raisins and banana chips offer perfect sugared hits to balance what is, all in all, a very good granola.
The numbers compare with most conventional, lower fat granolas on the market made with gluten-containing grains. A quarter cup comes in at 120 calories, but no one eats 1/4 cup of cereal, do they? It is much more realistic to think of a serving as 1/2 cup, which would be 240 calories. Considering that, there are 12 grams of fat, almost all of it monounsaturated, 4 grams of fiber and no sodium (in the 1/2 cup serving).
That's right. No sodium.
It is pretty difficult to find good breakfast cereals these days without any added salt, so it is refreshing to see, gluten free or not.
The Cherry Walnut Granola Clusters have comparable numbers, with 1/2 cup containing the same 240 calories. It is lower in fat and higher in fiber (at 6 grams) as well as containing a whopping 30 milligrams of sodium.
The flavor is oddly more astringent than the Udi's Original Granola. It may come from the lower fat content, which seems to make the granola a little dryer. It could be from the brown rice meal or possibly the flax seed. There is, however, a very good fruit flavor with small bits of dried cherry in the clusters. That's about it, though. This is a fairly one dimensional granola and the reason I have not been eating granola since being on a gluten free diet. Most of them are quite bland. This one is serviceable, but nothing special.
We can't say that you shouldn't buy the cherry version, because it is good - just not great. Their original version is a winner, however, and 1/4 cup over a cup of yogurt makes a great breakfast.