Review – gRUNola All Natural No-Preservative Granola/Energy Bar

grunolalogo

This is pretty much the best of all worlds for me!

I’m reviewing something that tastes good, is good for me, provides healthy energy when needed, and was created and is sold by a company right here in New York State.

Can’t get much better than that.

The item is a gRunola, an all-natural no-preservative granola/energy bar from the company of the same name.

My wife had previously contacted the company and offered to review their product on her blog, which is getting a lot of hits and has a loyal band of followers – MyWeightLossJourney.com

gRunola was very generous and sent along a good sampling, and my wife was also generous enough to share them with me in exchange for my perspective on how I liked them, too.

After trying a couple during a few hiking trips we have made, and really enjoying them; I decided to do a little review myself.

Grunola

So on to the review…

Firstly, check out their Facebook page – gRunola as well as their website.  You’ll find photos, information, testimonials, news, and a list of ingredients.  And of course you can order some for yourself on the website.

Their tagline is “Fuel Naturally”, and that’s just what these are.  All natural ingredients selected to make these bars the “perfect fuel”; to use a phrase from the website.

Now I don’t know if they are indeed the “perfect fuel”, not being a sports or health expert, but they certainly ‘hit the spot’ when I was out on long hikes and needed some extra energy and something to fill me up.   And something that tasted great too!

Despite not being a sports or health expert, I have done a lot of research on what is healthy and what is not and I think I have some passing knowledge of value.

And the gRunola is indeed made with things that are considered to be generally healthy and good for you.

Ingredients

Teff is one of those ingredients.

You can click the link to see more about it on Wikipedia.  And, of course (and excuse the detour here), when doing ANY research on anything it’s always good to get lot of miscellaneous information and data, facts and opinions from multiple and myriad sources, both from searching good ol’ Google as well as your favorite and trusted sources of information on a particular subject, too.

Teff

Teff

In this case you can search your favorite nutrition, medical, and healthy eating websites for info on teff, if you wish.

A few trusted and informative sources for me are the Academy of Nutrition  and Dietetics (EatRight.org), MayoClinic.com, and the Institute of Food Technologies.

Okay, back to the review and teff.

Teff is a grain or grass from eastern Africa and is used in various parts of the world and is being grown here experimentally. It’s packed with nutrients and calcium and iron and amino acids and lysine (great for soft tissue repair, great for whatever you are doing when working out), and is a great source of carbs and fiber, and is gluten-free.

It’s considered an “ancient grain” – which means it’s been around for millennia, unchanged, versus other things like corn and rice which have been engineered and bred over the years for commercial purposes, bearing little resemblance to how they started out in the wild.

Chia is another major ingredient in the gRunola. I believe this is another “ancient grain”, this time from South America.  Again, a great source of protein and fiber and lots of nutrients and it’s outer shell evolved to keep the seeds hydrated in dry climates, so when ingested the shell slowly releases it’s carb-load over time.

You’ll also find things that you might be more more familiar with, like Quinoa – another South American seed high in protein, fiber, calcium and other nutrients.

There are other ingredients of course, some depending on which flavor of bar that you get.  Some of the other ingredients can be various nuts, dried fruits, coconut, cinnamon, and/or chocolate, etc.

There are no artificial or processed ingredients or artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, nor even refined sugars or trans fats.  The sweeteners that are used are honey, New York State Maple Syrup, pure cane brown sugar, and some agave.

Packaging

The bars are packaged in a plain transparent plastic package with a non-slip sort of texture on either side, and it looks as though the plastic is shrunk-wrapped around the bar.  Which is kind of nice when space is at a premium in your backpack, once in a while I have an energy bar by a particular manufacturer who’s package is filled with air around the bar, and even that small amount of space can waste a small amount of area in my biking bag for example –  a place where even a half inch can be premium space.
Grunola - back of package
There is the company logo and the kind of bar on the front, and an ingredient label on the back, probably put on by hand.

The packages are very simple to open, anywhere along their sides or top.  Yet while we were on vacation we hiked in the pouring rain for a few hours with a pair of bars in our backpacks, and the packages got wet but didn’t soak through into the bar itself.

But if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly package this doesn’t seem to be any more or less than any other granola or energy bar package, unfortunately.  But how can you package a product in an environmentally-friendly package and still keep it fresh and sealed?  I’m not sure.

Taste and Consistency

Unlike some other granola and energy bars; or just plain trail mix or packaged granola, these are very very moist and you don’t need to worry about having to take a mouthful of water between every bite just to wash it down.

Each bar, regardless of flavor, is moist and flavorful, and sweet without being cloyingly artificial-sweet.  When you sink your teeth into one you can easily imagine you are eating something good for you, just from the taste.  Yet the same moistness and sweetness and flavoring of whichever kind of bar you got makes it seem a little decadent – as if you ARE eating something full of sugar and artificial flavorings.

It certainly doesn’t taste quite like any other healthy or non-healthy energy bar or the granola bar I’ve ever had.  It has an earthy taste, slightly unfamiliar but pleasant, especially after a few bites.

The Flavors

So far the company has three flavors – Dark Chocolate Coconut, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Mixed Berry.Chocolate Chips

I love chocolate, and the Dark Chocolate Coconut was extremely good as well as the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.  There was  plenty of chocolate on each, especially for me since I like it so well.  The chocolate is in the form of large chocolate drops on the top of each bar – four each, positioned so you get a nice bit of chocolate on each bite.

blueberriesBoth were excellent, but surprisingly I think I liked the Mixed Berry the best – the berries were perfect in it, lots in each bite.  There was something about it that I particularly liked the best.

Conclusion

Sure, there’s other all-natural energy bars but none quite like this with the same ingredients.  I think you’ll find the taste unique, and if you’re a New York resident (New York the state – not just New York the city) you’re also supporting ‘local’ New York State businesses.

So for a tasty, and healthy, granola and energy bar give it a try!

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