Pros: all natural; no HFCS; great flavor; whole almonds
Cons: can be expensive; not organic
Granola is probably my favorite type of cereal to have for breakfast. When I started a wheat-free trial diet this month, I had to find granola without wheat, and one was Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola.
Bear Naked granolas come in resealable bags and have a clear window in the packaging which allows you to see the food inside. The fruit and nut variety I purchased appeared to be in a solid lump in the bag. The granola looked sticky, and was all stuck together. I could see whole almonds and dried fruit in it, so it looked good!
The bag contains 12 ounces (340g). The seal on the bag works great so I don't need to worry about it not sealing or coming apart.
As I mentioned above, the granola was all stuck together. Maple syrup and honey are in the ingredients, and I'm guessing those are the sticky culprits. When you pour it out, you can gently break it apart from the outside of the bag and it pours out fine. It's not stuck tightly together.
The texture of the granola is a bit chewy with crunch here and there from the nuts. It isn't a hard style of granola. I like it like that.
Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola is full of flavors. You get the oats, plus the flavor of the maple syrup and general sweetness, plus the nuts and fruits. I like that the maple syrup isn't a strong flavor. Not that the flavor or maple is bad, I just don't like it to be strong in a granola or cereal. The balance of it is perfect in here.
Almonds are the prominent nut, but they're in whole form. Not many granola or cereals use whole almonds, most use slivers. I like the whole almonds. There are also walnuts and pecans in this granola, which I don't care for. However, I get one, maybe two pieces of those per bowl, so there aren't many in the entire bag. Good for someone like me who dislikes those nuts, but bad for those who love them.
As for the fruit, it's comprised of raisins and dried cranberries. Like walnuts, I'm not a raisin fan, but I've kind of learned to like them in cereal, as long as there are other flavors to accompany the raisins. I find there are about equal numbers of raisins and cranberries. The cranberries give a nice slight tart to the overall flavor, and it something I love in cereal.
Overall, this is a great blend of flavors. It's not too sweet, but still has enough sweetness to keep it from becoming bland. What I really like is that the sweetness isn't from actual added sugar, but from other sweet sources (other than the sweetened cranberries).
whole grain oats, honey, canola oil, almonds, coconut, raisins (raisins, glycerin, sunflower oil), sweetened dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar, glycerin, sunflower oil), maple syrup, pecans, walnuts, oat bran, ground flax seeds, toasted sesame seeds
Although it contains coconut, I don't taste it in this granola.
A serving is only 1/4 cup (30g), which isn't nearly enough for me. This is a very filling granola, however, and I find that I don't eat as much of Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola as I do other granola.
In the 1/4 cup (without milk), you'll consume 140 calories and 7g of fat (1.5g saturated fat). You also get 2g fiber and 3g protein, and 6g sugar. No real vitamins or minerals to speak of. It's not jam packed full of nutrients like a lot of fortified cereals are, but the nuts found in Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola are very good for you, and you get whole grains which are also healthy.
When I eat this before work, it's anywhere from six to eight hours before I get a change to have even a snack. So, I'm happy to report that Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola keeps me full, satisfied, and energized for many hours, allowing me to work without feeling insanely hungry and low on energy. I get no sugar crash or sudden dip in energy, which is important to me.
I buy Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola at Walmart for $3.50. I've seen it at grocery stores for as much as $5.00. Walmart's price is very reasonable for a quality product that delivers what I need in a breakfast. Bear Naked makes other granola flavors that I'd love to try if I could find them.