That is “Ola!” as in “Granola”.
Typically on any given Sunday at around 11:00, my husband Dan, my daughters Hayley and Brooke and I can be found somewhere eating brunch. Almost like a ritual, Dan and our daughters will share some sort of yogurt concoction with their meal; typically a mixture of yogurt, fruit and granola. I don’t usually partake in this Sunday morning tradition, not because I am not invited to, although they are more than happy to have more to themselves, but it is more because I am not a huge fan of granola.
I can’t put finger on why I am not a fan of granola. I can’t say it is because I am a nutritionist and many granolas are unnecessarily loaded with sugar and fat. Granola is one of those foods that appear super healthy but isn’t always. But that isn’t why I would not like it. I like plenty of foods that are relatively high in calories, fat and sugar.
Long before I ever became a nutritionist I knew I wasn’t a granola-groupie lover (people who like granola tend to love granola). Maybe it has something to do with the purist in me when it comes to certain foods – I don’t particularly enjoy a bunch of different foods mixed together which is what granola traditionally is. It’s a mix of oats, cereals, nuts, seeds and/or dried fruit. I like having them paired; maybe cereal with some almonds or cashews with dried apricots as a snack, but too many mixed together — it just isn’t my thang.
So when my family, being granola-groupies, urged me to make them their favorite breakfast treat during the week how could I, in good conscience, deny them of that? Come on, yogurt and fruit are involved here. So I scoured the shelves of my local supermarket to find a granola that would fit the bill. There must have been 50 different varieties of granola. Boxes and bags, filled the shelves of this food that mimics and is touted as a healthy cereal. Granola, for the most part is really not designed to be eaten as a cereal, it is more like a condiment; it is designed to be sprinkled on a food almost like a TASTE ENHANCER.
Just then I see it. This bag of granola, from a company that I had never heard from before, just appears. It is named “Ola!” and the bag speaks to me, and not because the bag is the same color blue as the iconic jeweler Tiffany’s color blue. The bag reads, “100% Natural No Nut Vanilla handbaked granola”. AHHHHHH, picture everything around me going dark with a beam of light shining down on it.
I picked up the bag to read the ingredients. Jackpot! I had found it! A 1/3 cup serving of Ola! No Nut Vanilla Granola has 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 3 grams of sugar. The short list of ingredients included gluten-free oats, pure maple syrup, blue agave nectar, gluten-free oat bran, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon and sea salt. It was just what I was looking for. But, would my family like it? That was the big question.
The next morning I made them the breakfast that they were dying for, “the parfait platter”. I don’t know if I was ever so excited to have them wake up in the morning — yes I wake up before my kids. I eagerly waited for them to come downstairs; I swear, I was almost like a child on Christmas morning. I was probably jumping up and down clapping my hands as they walked towards their seats. They both sat at the counter, eyes wide opened, excited to what they are about to enjoy, “Mom you made it!”, my 4 year old Brooke shrieked. They were eating with such vigor; to say they loved it would be a gross understatement. Hayley, my 5 year old taunting me said, “Mommy you need to try it. It’s awesome. You always say, ‘Try new foods you may like it’.” She is right. So I tried it. It was very good.
Now, I can’t put my finger on why I love this granola by Ola. I can’t say I love it because it is healthy and fits my nutrition “requirements”, because that wouldn’t change my taste preferences and make me like it. Maybe it is because it is pure granola and it allows me the flexibility to add whatever I want to it. Who knows? It doesn’t matter. I just love this granola by Ola.
I can stock this away as an awesome moment — I need as many as I can get since there are quite a few not-so-awesome ones. But this was a moment I was able to give my kids the scrumptious breakfast they wanted and I was able to make it healthier by incorporating a granola that was superior to the others I have seen. Yay!!!
So if you are a granola lover you need to try Ola!. Hey, if you aren’t a granola lover, you need to try Ola! Remember the reminder, “Try new foods you may like it”. You never know it may make you into a granola-groupie too!