You probably know by now that I’m not a picky eater. I will eat pretty much anything Andrew Zimmern would dare bring to his lips, at least once. But I can get particular about certain things. One of them is granola.
I confess that I am very, very, and I mean very, particular with my granola. I do love my granola — it’s one of my favorite breakfast and snack foods. And when I find a granola blend that I like, I stick to it. It can be hard to convince me that there might be better granolas out there. I find that time and again, I eagerly try new varieties, only to determine, “Meh. That was okay. My favorite brand is better.” For that reason, I won’t even attempt to make my own.
So, when the kind folks at 18 Rabbits offered to send me samples of their granola and bars, I was both excited and worried. Excited because I am a granola junkie. Worried because I was already feeling the pressure of my critical granola palate.
As I learned more about the San Francisco-based company, I liked what I read. 18 Rabbits is committed to producing a pure, delicious, organic product, without excessive sugars or saturated fats. They maintain relationships with their farmers for locally sourced ingredients. As I strive to eat more responsibly, these are all things I love to hear when trying a new product.
Did the granola live up to its philosophy?
I am happy to say, yes.
The granola bars were wholesome, filling, and tasted, for lack of a better descriptive, clean. None of this sugary, sticky stuff; the granola bars were delicious without feeling like candy. My favorite flavor of the five varieties was the Belle Bananas Foster, made with organic bananas and dates.
Even better, I was remarkably pleased with the granola. I especially loved their Gracious Granola, which has Pecan, Almond and Maple and is made with organic oats, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. What I did not expect was for my husband to fall in love with the Gracious Granola. He’s a strict oatmeal-for-weekday-breakfast kind of guy, but once he tasted this granola, he actually requested that we keep it stocked in the pantry at all times.
But here’s what I loved best:
The 18 Rabbits Gracious Granola worked fantastically in an Apple Granola Crisp. The maple and coconut flavors added dimension to the topping, and I loved the extra crunch from the pecans, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Served a la mode with a rich vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, I can’t imagine making apple crisp any other way.
Disclaimer/Disclosure: 18 Rabbits kindly shared samples of their granola and granola bars, however, I am under no obligation to review or write about their products. I share my opinions because I sincerely loved what I tasted and believe you will, too.
Apple Granola Crisp
- 4 cups apples, peeled and diced (Granny Smith & Fuji work well)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup granola (I recommend 18 Rabbits Gracious Granola)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour, and toss to mix. Put in a buttered shallow baking dish (pie pan or 8×8 brownie pan). To make topping, combine flour, sugar and butter and mix until it looks like course crumbs, using a pastry cutter or food processor. Add granola and cinnamon and mix a little more. Spread topping evenly over fruit and pat down gently with your fingertips. Bake until the top is light brown and crisp, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.