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Nature's Path debuts new line in time for Valentine's Day
Here at the Calgary Journal food blog, we are always up for tantalizing our taste buds in new ways.
So, when a gigantic box arrived with our names on it one day we took it as a good sign.
Inside were four bags of Love Crunch granola from Nature's Path based out of Richmond, B.C.
Developed from the love story of the founder's son Arjan and his wife, Rimjhim, Love Crunch is said to be a marriage of community, taste and health.
Happy Valentine's Day!
I must say that Love Crunch was truly love at first bite.
I tried the Apple Crumble with pecans, greens apples, chia and cinnamon and the Dark Chocolate and Red Berries with organic flax, coconut and cocoa. Both granola flavours are dairy-free and use certified organic ingredients.
The Dark Chocolate and Red Berries with organic flax, coconut and cocoa was rich and flavourful. The chocolate and coconut combined to create a satisfying sweetness, while the rolled oats and flax gave a perfect crunchiness that was oh so fulfilling at seven in the morning.
The big chunks of chocolate took this granola beyond your ordinary breakfast food. In addition to breakfast, I found myself eating this granola after a workout or as a snack —whenever I could get away with it.
It tastes just like a dessert food, but the granola gives me a hit of Omega-6, five grams of protein, is low in sodium and provides 12 per cent of my recommended daily iron in-take. That means I can eat five bowls if I want to. Right?!
I loved this as a post-workout snack mixed in with some soy yogurt or coconut yogurt, or for breakfast with almond milk topped with plenty of fruit like bananas and strawberries. I thought the berries were a little sparse - there was a whole lot of granola and not a lot of berries.
The Apple Crumble was more generous with the freeze-dried apples. The Apple Crum-ble truly tasted like apple pie in a breakfast bowl. With chewy pieces of dried apple, chunks of pecans and a taste of cinnamon, this was a nice stand-in for the apple pie oatmeal I usually make for breakfast. I didn't like this one as much as the Dark Chocolate and Red Berries one, but that's because chocolate can do no wrong.
For anyone who considers granola health food and eats it with fresh fruit instead of sug-ar, this isn't for you. For someone looking for an indulgent, tasty breakfast that they don't have to feel too guilty about having every once and a while, this will be right up your alley.
It's worth mentioning that for every bag of Love Crunch bought, the company donate san equal amount to food banks in food or cash, up to $1 million.
While Silvia tasted the two vegan versions of this granola, I got to indulge in the two fla-vours that had milk ingredients: Carrot Cake and the Aloha Blend.
And indulge I did.
The Carrot Cake featured everything you'd find in a homemade version — raisins, pe-cans, yogurt, carrots and pineapple. While, I expected it to be difficult to carry off a car-rot cake flavour in a hard, crunchy granola, Nature's Path came pretty darn close. The only thing that was missing was the cream cheese icing, which would be impossible to duplicate in granola form.
The Aloha Blend transported me to a Caribbean island, where I could snack on this granola all day instead of sipping on pina coladas. It's coconut, white chocolate chunks and freeze dried pineapple definitely brought a smile to my face during Calgary's cold snap in January.
However, I did find the freeze-dried pineapple chunks to be a little sour at times, espe-cially when they were eaten alone. All the flavours definitely work best together in this blend.
I'm with Silvia in that these granolas shouldn't be considered uber healthy. The Carrot Cake flavour has 14 grams of sugar per half a cup and the Aloha blend has 12 grams of sugar per half a cup. And with only three grams of fibre per serving, the health benefits of Love Crunch don't outweigh the negatives for me.
That said, I can still see myself buying a bag of Love Crunch for a fun snack to have on hand. It's re-sealable bag, makes sure that it will stay fresh long enough that I won't have to worry about it going stale.
I also appreciate that Nature's Path has made an effort to show that it is making re-sponsible food. On the back of the Love Crunch packaging and on Nature's Path's web-site, you can see that they are involved with ensuring their products use non-genetically modified ingredients and sustainable farming techniques.
Silvia will add the Dark Chocolate and Red Berries mix to her list of post-workout snack choices and but will add more fruit to it.
Laura will buy a bag of Love Crunch from time to time and thinks it would be a great snack to have while watching a romantic comedy.
Love Crunch granolas are priced between $4.59 and $5.29. They can be found in Calgary at London Drugs and Sobeys.