This is a guest post by Claire.
I have a love-hate relationship with most store-bought granola. While it’s certainly a better alternative to chips, granola can be deceptively high in calories and fat while being marketed as a staple “healthy” food. And as we all know, it’s easy to keep eating– even though many serving sizes are a piddly ¼-⅓ cup.
That being said, Simply Nature’s Coconut Cacao granola has become a pantry staple for me. It’s a Regular Buy and is $3.29 on Instacart but may be cheaper in-store. The 11-ounce package contains about 10 servings.
From a macronutrient standpoint, there are only 140 calories per every half cup serving, 20 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein. While I wish the protein content was a bit higher, I’m happy with this macro breakdown– especially since I typically enjoy this as a snack and not a meal.
There are also 35mg of sodium, 3g of fiber, and 8g of sugar.
You will find many brand-name granolas run between 200-240 calories for the same serving size while not tasting nearly as good. Sure, a 60-100 calorie difference isn’t insane, but we all know we’re eating more than half a cup.
That brings me to the flavor. One of the reasons I was surprised at the amount of calories in this blend is because of the dessert-like taste. It’s no chocolate sundae, but there is a good amount of cacao nibs, chocolate chips, and coconut flavoring with a dash of saltiness. It is a very satisfyingly sweet and crunchy mix that goes well on top of Greek yogurt, other cereal, or just by itself.
The ingredients consist of gluten free oats, amaranth, millet, cane sugar, chocolate chips, honey, brown rice, coconut oil, cornmeal, almonds, coconut, cocoa powder, natural flavors, brown rice syrup, cacao nibs, soluble corn fiber, sesame seeds, sea salt, corn starch, rice bran extract, and sunflower oil.
This product would not be considered vegan since it contains honey, and the chocolate chips contain butter.
This is my go-to granola, even outside of Aldi. You can’t beat the calories for the taste, the price is better than many other comparable brands (especially gluten-free ones), and it’s perfect with other breakfast foods or on its own.
Claire Tadokoro works in publishing in New York City. Her writing can be found at www.clairetadokoro.com. She’s on Twitter and Instagram @ClaireTadokoro.