"Best. Granola. Ever.", said by me every time a new batch of Kitchun granola makes its way to me. Paleo granolas as a group are an embarrassment of riches right now; there is so much awesomeness to be savored and munched. One could be both torn and super-happy. Why? Because this espresso-dusted cocoa-licious new flavor from Kitchun is out of this world tasty, and because our top-5 granola lists are probably at a 5-way tie right now. But this flavor is up there: walnuts, cashews, banana chips, cocoa and espresso is the magical formula for my next meal, breakfast or dinner. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Breakfast cereal is so 1980s. Warm oatmeal, so 90s (both 1990s and 1890s!). But granola, which took hold some time in the 80s and just kept getting better, is reaching an amazing peak with the help of folks like Kitchun. This flavor combines the best parts of breakfast: fruit, crunchy things, milk, and coffee. Yes, that's right. In this nosh-worthy bag are all the things needed for a complete morning meal, from bananas to nuts to coconut milk to espresso powder dusted in the mix for a bit of punch and depth of flavor. You won't get a buzz from the caffeine, but you will get a buzzy happy feeling from the taste. That's a promise.
Taste the espresso love from a little Austin company called Kitchun: "no-grain-ola" with whole nuts, spices, dried fruit, a dusting of coffee, and a little bit of non-refined sweeteners to make everything scrumptious.
What's this granola like? Start by opening the bag and peering down within to spot the mocha hue of the chunks of sweetness, all toasty and aromatic. There's good chunks of banana in there, no doubt about it. Pluck out a few pieces and crunch down: this is definitely not a soft-baked granola. Your jaw loves to work out - this is the granola to make it happy. Find your favorite liquid to pour over the morsels, from raw milk to homemade yogurt to kefir or even nut milks. Heck, I think heavy cream would be a little bit great. And since it's breakfast time (we think), I'd be tempted to chill down a glass of coffee made tan by heavy cream and pour THAT over the lot. Now that's a crazy kind of coffee concoction you can literally sink your teeth into. (Take that, butter coffee!)
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..."
Why No-Grain-Ola is so good for you
First, this is a darn delicious way to start your day, or end it, or anything in between. Get your cacao and coffee fix off to an early start with Wake Me Up Before You Coco, an amalgamation of whole cashews, banana chips, and walnuts pasted together with coconut milk, and maple syrup. Yow. Yes, there are additional things going on, like cinnamon and vanilla and some coconut, but the almost savory espresso backbeat steals the show.
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.
Here are some of the amazing ingredients in Kitchun No-Grain-Ola
Walnuts are a low-carb, high-antioxidant food, loaded with nourishing protein, fiber, and ultra-high levels of healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids to fuel your brain and heart. Shaped like a mini-brain, people have been eating walnuts for thousands of years as a “brain food” super-nut.
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 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.
First, just to clarify, “raw” chocolate has actually been fermented, which is a very good thing nutritionally. Fermentation makes foods a lot more digestible, activating compounds that you want to be eating, and neutralizing those you don’t. So all so-called raw chocolate is actually fermented. No, it doesn’t have a funky taste like kimchi or sauerkraut, but you can definitely taste a tangy tannic quality in good dark chocolate, not dissimilar from wine.
The benefits of raw chocolate (compared to cooked) include: much higher levels of antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love), omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that makes us feel goooood.)
How to eat Kitchun No-Grain-Ola
There are lots of ways to enjoy No-Grain-Ola, from savory to sweet. You be the creator of your own yummy consumption.
- With your own freshly made yogurt
- Crumbled over roasted carrots
- As topping for your favorite green salad
- In a bowl with raw dairy, whether cream or milk
- Out of the bag, of course
- "Borrowed" from a paleo friend's breakfast bowl next to you at the table
About Kitchun, in their own words
"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!"
Here are answers to some of your most important questions!
What the flip is No-Grain-Ola?!
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.