Do you like your breakfast to sound like "crunch, crunch, chew"? If yes, the kind of soft-baked granola that lines many paleo-fied shelves these days ain't for you. Get a load of this crispy maple humdinger from a little Austin company called Kitchun: "no-grain-ola" with whole nuts, spices, and a little bit of non-refined sweetener to make everything scrumptious. When Honey Met Maple is an amazing amalgamation of crispy rich chunks — whole cashews and almonds — pasted together with almond butter, honey, and maple syrup. Yow.
It's true that I have a bit of a granola "problem." I love finding new kinds of granola, making my own, investigating new delicious brands that hit my local shelves. And yet, having really good granola on my own shelf is a wee bit dangerous, for it leads to the desire to eat it 3 meals per day. Not that that would be a big problem when I'm eating something as amazing as Kitchun granolas. Their recipes are simple—but not too simple—and the resulting breakfast kibble is reason enough to stockpile homemade yogurt or kefir.
What is there to love about Kitchun's no-grain-olas? In a nutshell (ha!), it is the crunch. These are no soft and yielding morsels like you'll find in many other paleo-friendly granolas (many of which are tasty in their own regard, of course) but rather crispy and rich chunks perfumed with vanilla and maple and honey. This is the "cereal" that finally is worthy to replace the supposedly natural granolas of our youth. When Honey Met Maple is the flavor I have a hard time keeping my paws out of. Maybe it's the honey, maybe it's the cashews, maybe it's the coconut. Honestly, it is the sum of all the parts plus a little more, bringing back memories not just of that mass-produced granola but also of the instant oatmeal packets in the maple flavor. That what makes this awesome: the flavor, the memories, all of it made possible by real ingredients and a bit of love.
First, this is a darn delicious way to start your day, or end it, or anything in between (remember that three-meals-per-day comment?) The first flavor I tried was When Honey Met Maple, an amalgamation of whole cashews and almonds pasted together with almond butter, honey, and maple syrup. Yow. Yes, there are additional things going on, like seeds and vanilla and some coconut, but the whole crispy cashews steal the show.
I'll let the ladies of Kitchun describe their creative process and inspiration that goes into their recipes, "We have taken the idea of healthy snacking to a whole new level with our No-Grain-ola. First in our line of grain free, gluten free, soy free and dairy free products, When Honey Met Maple is a delicious and healthy treat for every kind of eater."
The names that the ladies of Kitchun have assigned are both adorable and evocative. You have to wonder if they were former brand strategists for Ben & Jerry's or have cats named things like Walter Cronkitty or Katy Purry. This flavor combines honey, maple, and nuts to the nth degree, making it my favorite of the three. I can hear my kefir calling me now from the fridge, "hellllp me, I need crunchy things put in me in a bowl....please....lonely..."
Raw Almond Butter
Almonds are naturally delicious and extremely nourishing. Healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, tryptophan and vitamin E are just a handful of the key nutrients that make almonds so nutritious. Almonds are so nutritious — their list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. They’re full of health-giving fats, like oleic acid and linoleic acid, powerful antioxidants that can protect against many forms of cancer (oleic acid can protect women against breast cancer specifically), and can also significantly lower the amount of LDL in your blood, and reduce your risk for heart disease. Almonds can effectively improve your complexion, slow down your aging process, help improve your blood profile by reducing your LDL, build a strong immune system, prevent the onset of high blood pressure and protect you from other diseases like ADHD, asthma and osteoporosis. They can also help speed up your metabolism, and work well in weight control. A wonderful natural sweetness and impressive variety of nutrients makes almonds one of nature’s most perfect foods.
Cashews have a rich supply of oleic acid, a classically beautifying oil, great for skin and hair. It also reduces your blood triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and elevates your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration. Cashews are also rich in linolenic acid, which can effectively lower your blood pressure, and also has antioxidant properties which defend your blood vessels from free radicals.
Cashews contain a small amount of zea-xanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes, providing protective UV ray filtering functions and helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Cashews are an excellent source of vitamin K, which is indispensable to maintaining healthy bones, and has tumor suppression abilities. Studies have shown that increased intake of vitamin K lowers the occurrence of prostate cancer in men, and is effective in both prevention and treatment of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Cashew nuts are very rich source of essential minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Coconut has been used by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years, and is well known for its many amazing properties. Coconut is so nutritious, its list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. Many people eat several tablespoons of coconut oil daily, for the incredible host of benefits it confers. It’s full of health-boosting lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides.
There are lots of ways to enjoy No-Grain-Ola, from savory to sweet. You be the creator of your own yummy consumption.
"Gloriana and Keesha met in 2007 while attending the Texas Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu specializing in Patisserie. After graduation in 2008, they opened a specialty cake business named Cake, Please! They worked the business while trying to juggle growing families. Their children, including newborns were regulars in the kitchen. Keesha now has 3 children and Gloriana has 2. They were just two friends who loved baking together and getting to bring their children to work and have fun! As the business grew, so did the time commitment. They left the cake business to spend more time with their families.
Later, they started making granola bars for fun in the kitchen for themselves and their children. Their friends and families loved them! At the same time, they were both looking into gluten free eating for their families so they used gluten free oats. They had many suggestions that their granola was good enough to sell somewhere, so they started selling at the Farmers Markets as Granola Mama( a play on the fact that they were mamas in the kitchen baking granola). They thought this was a great plan just to work a couple of days a week together.
By the summer of 2014 they had both taken grains out of their diets and saw a need for more grain free snack options so they took the grains out of the granola. At this point they knew they wanted to get more serious about the business again and began actively promoting the product and making changes. They played with new flavor combinations and tweaked the previous recipes. In 2015 they changed the name and brand to better suit the growth as a company as they have so much more planned for the future of the business. All of that and they are still friends who have fun baking together!"
Don't freak out! It’s Granola — only better! NO grain. NO gluten. NO soy. NO dairy. JUST tasty, good-for-you ingredients put together by the fearless chefs at Kitchun. Why are they fearless? Because they aren’t afraid to flip the kitchen table and test new ways to snack.