This Is Something For EVERYONE

I am guilty of it. YOU are likely guilty of it. Most of us are probably guilty of it. We ignore the fringe foods in favor of our staples and our routine. There is so much good stuff out there, we just need to search a little harder and maybe consider looking past the “big-name” brands.

I am already VERY experienced with Enjoy Life’s Cinnamon Raisin Granola…so could these new flavors meet my high expectations that were set by the Cinnamon Raisin flavor?

It is easy to walk down the same grocery aisle each week and buy the same stuff. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that…I have a slight addiction to a particular cereal, and I always seem to grab many of the same products on each shopping trip. But we need to look beyond our staples and beyond the products we are already comfortable with, so that we can experience some truly tasty things.

I walk down the same Whole Foods aisles all the time. Our attention is usually focused primarily on the “end-caps,” or anything on eye-level shelves, where the BIG food manufactures get to proudly display their products. I bet you rarely even notice things on the bottom shelves; These are the oddball foods  that are often overlooked and hidden in the shadows cast by all the “popular” products.

There is plenty of weird food out there and there are a lot of things that should be avoided. Plus, the vast options offered for even the most basic items can be overwhelming. BUT if you are willing to take a risk and try something new you, then you can be happily rewarded.

Healthy products made by smaller companies are almost always destined to be placed on the bottom shelves or the  isolated corners of many grocery stores. These “speciality” products are easily ignored by casual shoppers, and that is a sad, sad thing. The unobservant and unadventurous are really missing out on some good grub.

It is almost a joke at how many ways this granola manages to meet almost EVERYONE’s dietary requirements. Unless you are allergic to foods that taste freaking amazing, then there in NO good reason for you to not be giving this stuff a try.

I found a granola a few months backed that I LOVED. This Enjoy Life granola was one of these unique, “speciality” foods that unfortunately was exiled to the dark-lit bottom shelf of the Whole Foods cereal aisle; so I had been missing out on this tasty breakfast option for a long time.

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to try some other products made by Enjoy Life…and WOW, they make some tasty stuff, ALL of which is probably neglected by everyone but the MOST observant shopper or someone specifically seeking out these particular products.

Now there is good reason for Enjoy Life products to be treated as outcasts, as they were originally designed for a niche market…In a box sent to me by Enjoy Life, I got a couple bags of granola. Labeled on the bags is how “allergy-friendly,” this stuff was. Upon closer inspection, I was actually shocked at the list of things NOT in this granola. First of all, it was clearly labeled to be gluten-free; but it specifically listed that it is free of wheat, peanuts,  egg, soy, fish, shelfish…oh and it is officially Kosher and even Halal certified by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. So if you are a devout Muslim, following a gluten free diet, and you are severely allergic to any type of nut, dairy, soy, egg or fish and you feel like trying to stick to a Kosher foods, then this is the granola for you. Plus there is a good amount of fiber, it is low in fat, and is an overall healthy breakfast option.

Crunchy flakes + chocolate chips = tasty awesomeness

I could care less about the hypo-allergenic nature which this granola is designed specifically to be. I am not really allergic to anything  except  for blue cheese (I hate the taste of the stuff) and fried foods (because I am freaking healthy). And I believe the majority of shoppers are  not really in the search for a granola that is so allergy-friendly. So it makes sense why this niche product is so easily overlooked and not yet “main-stream.”  BUT YOU MUST TRY IT. Basically NO ONE can be allergic to the stuff, and it meets multiple religious and dietary/nutritional standards, so EVERYONE should  at least try this granola, unless you simply don’t like food that tastes good….then you are screwed.

Enjoy Life granola has got a VERY crunchy, brittle texture. Because it is NOT made with oats, like your stereotypical granola, you do not get that chewiness you probably are familiar with. BUT, this is NOT a bad thing. Enjoy Life granola puts a new spin on granola, and I really appreciate its intense crunch that holds up well even after sitting in yogurt. And the flavors….damn they are tasty! The Double Chocolate Crunch Granola has got chocolate flavor infused into each flake, guaranteeing that every mouthful is plenty tasty. But Enjoy Life goes even further and includes actual “mini chocolate chips,” which give a nice strong chocolate flavor kick to the mouth. This crunchy granola with the chocolate bits make for a very decadent way to top yogurt or pudding. Oh, and if truly love your chocolate, Enjoy Life even sells bags of just their chocolate in “chunk” form.  These bags are great for baking and of course they also meets Enjoy Life’s high alergy-friendly and taste standards.

Cheesecake flavored pudding topped with the chocolate granola was a very satisfying snack. The little chocolate chips really do provide big chocolaty taste.

I also got to try the Very Berry Crunch Granola which traded chocolate for bits of freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries. I found this one to be a little sweeter than I expected, but overall the taste was amazing.  This berry flavored granola went perfectly on top of some Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. While the chocolate granola definitely felt more like a dessert treat, the berry granola was “all-purpose” and made its way into various snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and yes…dinners. The berry granola pretty much paired well with everything including fruit, honey, pancake syrup, cinnamon and various flavored yogurt.

Both granolas also have the perfect sized “clusters.” I am so fed up with granola that has those massive golf-ball-sized “clusters, ” that require you to break them up. I understand the value of large clusters for TRAIL MIX, but for granola, clusters need to be properly designed. They need to be just big enough to give you some crunch/texture, and small enough to easily fit on a spoon with yogurt and fruit. Enjoy Life has perfected their clusters… I am serious: their perfectly engineered cluster size is something that really should be listed on their packaging along with all the other benefits they boast about. When you know that Enjoy Life granola clusters are actually bite sized, then who cares about the granola being “fish-free” (well maybe the folks who break out in rashes if they consume fish, but you get the point…cluster size is critical).

The perfect breakfast.

So what you need to do is STOP ignoring all those other products that you walk by each week. Take a chance and look at a few of the “fringe” products. Even if you are not allergic to anything or are not looking for some product that meets a specific diet, these “speciality” foods can be damn good. And once you discover the wide range of foods you have neglected looking at, you will feel like you were just let in on a huge secret. Your life suddenly will have been gifted a whole new pantry of possibilities. And they are some tasty possibilities.

So if you are a health nut, who can’t eat nuts (or wheat, or fish, or egg, or soy, etc., etc.), than Enjoy Life granola is sure to be something you want to check out.  MORE IMPORTANTLY, if you are tired of the same junk you have been eating and want something new and delicious, then you need to expand your culinary horizons and  get a bag of this stuff. So accept that there is more to life then the Kellogg’s and “end-caps” and start paying attention to the bottom shelves and shady sections of the grocery store.

Oh, and Enjoy Life gets bonus points for having kick-ass bar codes on the bottom of their bags.

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Categories: Recommendations

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out; www.FedUpFood.com

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12 Comments on “This Is Something For EVERYONE”

  1. May 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I love exploring the foods in a grocery store and my other half is more like lets do this and get out – ha!

    • May 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      Me, too! I love checking out all the random stuff that most people just overlook. Mrs. Fed Up does get angry at how I can get so sidetracked just staring out the different seasonings in the store, or when I carefully study EACH box of cereal.

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