Best and Healthiest Granola Brands
Granola has seen its ups and downs in the world of food trends. This hearty mixture of oats and ingredients like brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and nuts is a fan favorite for starting the day. But not all granolas are created equal. Some brands are loaded with added sugars that turn an otherwise healthy breakfast into a sugar-crash waiting to happen.
But it is possible to find healthier alternatives in the granola aisle. First, let’s talk about what makes good granola, and then we will move on to some of our favorites.
What Makes a Good Granola?
To find the best granolas to sprinkle on your morning yogurt, we need to evaluate three things: taste, ingredient quality, and nutritional profile. If you have spent any time finding healthy alternatives to food, you might have noticed that foods marketed as healthy often lack flavor.
The best granola recipes don’t have to compromise taste to be healthier. Most often, that rich taste comes from using high-quality, whole food ingredients that boost the nutritional value naturally. Look for whole grains and low sugar varieties to pick the healthiest granola brands.
Related: Where Do Oats Come From?
Our Top Picks for Traditional Granola
Now, without further adieu, we have rounded up our top choices for granolas that are both tasty and nutritious. When it comes to granola, low sugar and whole grains make all of the difference between a good-at-marketing brand and a good-for-you brand.
1. Nana Joes Sunset Blend Granola
Imagine a perfect blend of nutty and sweet. The sunset blend features pecans, mulberries, coconut and gluten-free oats for a delightfully satisfying and naturally-sweetened morning crunch. Nana Joes is a San Francisco-area bakery with a passion for creating food from wholesome ingredients.
2. Bob’s Red Mill Granola
Red Mill checks all of the right boxes from a brand committed to providing wholesome ingredients from whole grains. They offer a dozen varieties of good-for-you granolas along with all of the pantry staples like flours, oats, and baking mixes to expand your whole-grain selections.
3. Bakery on Main
Here is a brand dedicated to our mission of providing a healthy concoction without compromising on taste. Bakery on Main is full of whole grains and some unique add-ins like navy beans, brown rice, and millet. The cranberry almond maple flavor is worth a try.
4. Erin Bakers Homestyle Granola
Another brand committed to healthier eating, Erin Bakers, started out by revolutionizing the breakfast menu with the first commercially available breakfast cookie. Good ingredients and good business principles have helped the brand grow, and today they have a full line of granola products that meet all of the requirements to make our list.
Our Top Picks for Keto and Paleo-friendly Granolas
While granola is typically made with an oat base, a new oat-less trend is emerging to satisfy the low-carb lifestyle audience. These keto and paleo-friendly granolas use the same principles as traditional recipes; they just focus on containing various nuts and seeds and steer clear of the grains.
1. Nana Joes Granola Paleo Sunrise Granola
Nana Joes Granola hits all of the right flavors with this paleo granola recipe. The tart taste of cranberry, savory body of cinnamon, and sweet finish of coconut take your tastebuds through a journey so intense you will forget you’re missing the oats. And, best of all, Nana Joes Granola is committed to whole food ingredients, so this is another recipe in the ‘real food’ column.
Nana Joes Granola is a company committed to using culinary passion for serving their community. All of Nana Joes Granola’s products are made with whole food ingredients and a whole lot of love. Learn more about our story today.
2. Wildway Grain-free Granola
If you are looking for a low-carb way to enjoy the classic taste of warm apple pie with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla notes, here is one to try. Wildway grain-free granola has nothing but ingredients that you recognize, like dates, apples, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, and the perfect blend of spices. The Wildway brand is built on strong values founded on sustainable living and a connection to nature.
3. McCabes Caveman Crunch or Spicy Dino-Mite
If you are looking for a taste of something a little different, try McCabe's granola, available in a spicy dino-mite flavor. All recipes by McCabes Granola are low-sugar, no fillers, and no chemicals to fit with a wide range of healthy and natural dietary lifestyles. In addition to four Palo flavors, they have traditional granola options as well.
The world of granola is a bit larger than you might think. Loose granola and granola bars might be the only granola products you have had the pleasure of encountering. But there is a subculture of granola lovers keen on finding all of the delicious ways to enjoy it. While some of these are not technically granola, they are close enough to earn a mention on our list.
4. Seven Sundays Muesli Mixes
Muesli and granola are pretty similar - we might even consider them cousins. Both are made from a varying mixture of oats, seeds, and nuts. Both can be healthy or filled with unnecessary sugars and fillers. The key difference is that granola is baked and muesli is not. Ingredients like oats may be toasted in muesli, but the mixture is not baked, which gives granola the extra crunchiness. If muesli is more your speed, we like Seven Sundays for their no sugar added, natural ingredient approach.
5. The Original Breakfast Cookie
Erin Bakers was founded on the concept of creating the original breakfast cookie. All cookies are made from whole-grain ingredients and start with a base of oats, just like granola. In fact, Erin Bakers branched out to include a full line of granolas. These delicious breakfast cookies are great for on the go and come in a variety of flavors like double chocolate chunk, apple cinnamon, and oatmeal raisin.
The Bottom Line
Granola can be one of two things - a healthy food or an empty-calorie mindfield. Buying better granola brands means knowing the difference between whole food ingredients and the dozen or so ways that food manufacturers hide sugar on the ingredient labels. It means looking at the brand before buying the food. But it doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or quality just to save a few calories. All of the granola brands on our list fit the standard definition of ‘healthy’ because they are made with a focus on whole-food ingredients and make a conscious effort to limit the added sugars.
Nana Joes Granola has been cooking up delicious, whole-food granola mixes with not-so-traditional flavor combinations since 2010. Shop our line of granola products now!