Are you tired of your daily granola breakfast? I was. When I first moved to the USA three years ago, I fell in love with the commercial granola brands here. Back in Australia, we mostly ate (less sweetened) cereal and muesli, so the much more indulgent (and sugary) granola was something new to me. I kept eating the same kinds widely available in supermarkets here for two years, and probably gained a few pounds because of it.
Then, a combination of boredom, missing the muesli back home, and the desire to find healthier, yet still tasty, granola alternatives led to my granola hunt. Since then, I’ve discovered a whole new world of granola and its alternatives. Breakfast has never tasted this good.
Curious? I reviewed seven alternatives to regular granola that are healthy, tasty, and have the added benefits of being suitable for people with special dietary requirements. They will for sure get your taste buds excited about breakfast again.
Blissful Eats granola is free from grains, making it suitable for people that are on the Whole30 diet, a Paleo diet, or are fighting against inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or autoimmune problems.
If cinnamon-y granola is your jam, you will love Blissful Eats. Like almonds? Their almond bliss granola is chock-full of almond butter, almonds, and almond meal. If you have a nut allergy, they also have nut-free options such as one made from dried apples, cinnamon, and coconut.
2. Evoke Muesli
You may not be too familiar with muesli, but it is commonly eaten for breakfast in many European countries and the Land Down Under. Muesli is a cereal made from whole grains and a variety of other ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and coconut chips. Unlike many granola options, muesli tends to not be baked and contains less oil and sugar.
Evoke Muesli contains no added sugar, and sources its light sweetness from the dried fruits added. It is great served with milk or yogurt. Since it isn’t baked, I most enjoy serving it soaked overnight in milk, as the process softens the oats and makes it easier to digest.
Michele’s makes some top-notch granola that won them the esteemed 2016 sofi award (like the Oscars of the Specialty Food industry) in the competitive category “Best Bread, Muffin, Granola, or Cereal.” But they also make a toasted muesli that has the crunch of your beloved granola but with less oil and sugar.
It is lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup. The toasting gives it that crispy texture, making it perfect for those who find raw muesli a little dry. You can enjoy it straight with yogurt as opposed to first soaking it in milk to soften it up.
4. Nana Joes
Handmade in beautiful San Francisco, founder and chef Michelle was driven to make the first Nana Joes granola recipe by the need to have something nourishing to fuel her surfing activities. Everything is lovingly handmade in this granola, from scraping the vanilla bean to grinding the nut butter to grating the orange zest.
Aside from being vegan and gluten free, notable things about Nana Joes granola include a variety of gourmet flavors like hazelnut, date, and thyme (yes, the thyme really shines through) and a savory blend which is completely unsweetened, not even with coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, or dried fruits.
The original Palenola contains a bunch of nuts and seeds blended with unsweetened coconut and berries, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. Like the name suggests, it is suitable for people on a Paleo diet, or who are simply looking to eat a grain-free diet.
My favorite is the Piña Colada, which has lots of dried coconut, almond flakes, and pineapple. Coconut lovers be warned: it is very, very addictive.
Purely Elizabeth recently introduced two grain-free granola options, one original and one flavored with organic banana puree. It is full of chunky clusters of cashew, coconut, and superfood seeds, all stuck together by creamy cashew butter and coconut oil, with a touch of sweetness from coconut sugar. It is perfect for sprinkling on your yogurt bowl and ice cream, or eaten straight out of the bag.
This nutty granola is great for those going grain-free, or who are simply looking for a low-carb, high-protein granola option, because it does not contain dried fruits, which can be high in sugar.
Their founders fell in love with muesli while honeymooning in New Zealand, and decided to make their own when they came back to America. Their original recipe pays tribute to the muesli their founders first tasted in New Zealand, with nuts, cinnamon, coconut, and dried banana.
While it isn’t toasted, Seven Sundays’ muesli has a nice crisp to it, making it suitable for eating straight with yogurt or milk. However, it is also delicious soaked overnight. Their Bircher variety is particularly great for making overnight oats, as is its fancier cousin, the Bircher muesli. They also make a variety of muesli squares, which are a healthier alternative to granola bars.
So, breakfast does not need to be boring. If you are tired of your regular granola breakfast, try switching it up with some of these alternatives.