I recently discovered a The Real Food Store in Exeter. It prides itself on being “one of the one of the largest community-owned food enterprises in the country“. I picked up a couple of treats, some homemade seeded sourdough, baked on the premises, some tahini paste, and a free sample pack of Midfields Granola.
Just to clarify granola is “basically oats, with perhaps some nuts and sweetener, toasted until crunchy. Muesli contains similar ingredients, but it’s not toasted and has a chewier texture.” So now you know.
I decided to have my granola scattered over some banana soft serve for breakfast with a Matcha Orange Juice shot. Have you tried banana soft serve (aka banana ice cream)? It is amazing and really doing the rounds in the blogosphere! It can be found on choosing raw. Healthy enough for breakfast, it’s simply frozen bananas whizzed up in a blender. Even my mini-chopper/processor can cope with this one. I tend to throw in a bit of non-frozen banana to help it along though.
So, back to this granola. My sample was the ‘original’ flavour: “A crisp golden cereal with finest Scottish jumbo oat flakes, wheat flakes, chopped almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
NO ADDED SALT”
It certainly was crisp. It was sweet, but not too sweet as some can be. I added a teaspoon or so of dried cranberries for the chewy ‘mouth-feel’ which does push up the sugar content. I think some granolas give me a dry mouth – i didn’t get that with this granola.
How does it stack up nutritionally?
Nutritional Information: typical values per 100g
Energy 444kcal; 1864kj
of which sugars 5.9g
of which saturates 2.0g
Dietary Fibre (AOAC) 6.8g
Sodium 0.0 (14mg)
Oats are good for you, and here oats are the base of the granola. Oats are rich in soluble fibre which (amongst other things) slows the rate of sugar absorption (read keeps you fuller for longer and balances out your sugar levels) and have been linked to better heart health. 6.8g fibre, not bad – better than a piece of toast!
One major problem with granola is that it is loaded with sugar, usually in the form of honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, dried fruit etc. It’s best to pick out a granola which has less than 10g of sugar per serving (about 2.5 tsp) – Result! However, NHS Live well guidelines give the following recommendations:
Look for the “Carbohydrates (of which sugars)” figure in the nutrition label.
- high – over 15g of total sugars per 100g
- low – 5g of total sugars or less per 100g
If the amount of sugars per 100g is between these figures, then that is a medium level of sugars. A medium level of sugar for this one – not bad as far as granola goes!
Protein comes from the chopped almonds and sunflower and pumpkin seeds which also provide fats. 15.2g of these are the healthier unsaturated fats. The NHS Live Well guidelines recommend that we cut down on saturated fat –
- The average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.
- The average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
In the traffic light system for saturated fat:
High = More than 5g saturates per 100g. May display a red traffic light.
Low = 1.5g saturates or less per 100g. May display a green traffic light.
Medium = If the amount of fat or saturated fat per 100g is in between these figures, that is a medium level, and may be colour coded amber.
So this granola scrapes into the medium/amber category.
The old adage says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – get some granola in you!