Friday, April 22, 2016

Made Good

Granola.  Not my favorite thing, and one I am rather particular about.  I've certainly tried my share of granola, generally in cereal form or bar form, but, it has never been my "go to" snack.  For cereal form, I want the right style of clumps, the right kind of mix-ins.  For bars, I want the right kind of chewy/crispy balance.  I'm rarely satisfied on the granola front, although sometimes I do enjoy a greek yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait, particularly if I make it with Worthy Granola (still my favorite!).

But, when I was visiting another office, I saw an interesting form of granola in the micro kitchens: granola "minis" by Made Good.  They looked like little bite size nibbles.  Since I'm such a snacker, this form appealed to me.

Of course, the market being what it is these days, they boast all the standard claims: non-GMO, whole grains, low sugar, dairy-free, nut-free, organic, gluten-free, etc.  They add in an extra goodie: they contain a full serving of vegetables.  Yes, vegetables in your granola.  Just go with it for now.

In addition to the minis, Made Good makes regular granola bars. The bars come in four varieties (chocolate chip, mixed berry, chocolate banana, and apple cinnamon).  The bites also come in four varieties, randomly replacing mixed berry with strawberry, but the others are all the same.

I tried two varieties, and, they weren't bad.  I don't want more of them, but, they were certainly interesting to try.  The aforementioned vegetables come in the form of a vegetable powder added to all varieties, containing spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms.  You can detect it, but, it is subtle, and I'm sure it helps trick some children into eating their vegetables, which I'm sure is some of the appeal.
Strawberry Granola Minis.
"Sweet juicy strawberries and gluten free oats. These granola minis taste like strawberry season all year."

Given the variety, I was a bit surprised to find dried apples and apricots in addition to the strawberry bits.  The base also contained oats and other standard granola fillers (sugar, agave, oil, brown rice, tapioca flour), and then of course, the vegetable powder.

They were ... fine.  I loved the idea of mini, munchable granola bites, since I love snacking on granola, but, for some reason, I didn't love these.  Lots of fruity flavor from the bits of dried fruit, but, they were a softer style overall, not as crispy as I like my granola.

Overall, fine, but, just not quite what I was after.  I sorta wanted to put them on ice cream or something as a crumble top.
Chocolate Banana Minis.
"Rich dark chocolate and ripe bananas. These granola minis taste just like dessert and contain the nutrients found in one  full serving of vegetables."

Next I tried the chocolate banana flavor.  The base was standard oats, sugar, oil, crisp brown rice, tapioca flour, and agave, this time with banana and chocolate chips mixed in.  I was much happier with this selection.  They were crunchier, and tasted like chocolate chip banana bread, just in crunchy granola form.  There was a slightly strange chew to them though, that I couldn't quite place.  It seemed like there was dried fruit in them, but there wasn't.  They weren't crispy or chewy, just, somewhere in-between.

There was also a slight strange flavor, sorta like when you have some kind of quickbread and find out someone snuck zucchini in it.  This no doubt came from the vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushroom).  It wasn't bad, and it was very subtle, but, slightly detectable.
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