Day 2 of My Favorite Things: Jessica’s Natural Foods
A few years back I started getting sick when I ate rich food. As a foodie I LOVED going to fancy restaurants and trying decadent things. My stomach – which was never a warrior to begin with – started to rebel. The first time I wrote it off as eating a bad batch of “X”. The next time I blamed it on being pregnant. Finally, after a post-pregnancy anniversary dinner showed its face before we walked to the end of the block, I started to pay attention (sorry TMI).
I went to a fantastic gastroenterologist. After an endoscopy she advised I was gluten sensitive. She told me to go 30 days gluten free and see how I felt.
I started my gluten free quest and was lucky enough to have a friend who reached out to help. She had recently started a granola company and offered to send me some. I thought that was so nice! Sure, send me some – I’ll try your granola. Boy, was I surprised! Not only was Jessica’s Natural Foods DELICIOUS but I loved the packaging! I’m all about packaging and as soon as I opened the shipping box and her bright yellow and green granola bags popped out I started to smile. Every morning I went straight for the granola, and the color palate made me happy. I’m simple – nice packaging makes me smile. I judge books by their covers too (don’t tell).
I must admit – despite her recommendations (with yogurt, milk, mixed with other cereals, even a mock graham crust) my favorite way to enjoy her granola was with a spoon directly from the bag. In fact, I had trouble putting it down! My favorite flavor was Almond Cherry – mainly because the Michigan cherries used took me back to my good old days at The University of Michigan. But I must say the Chocolate Chip was a close second. Because you know – it has chocolate in the title. I’m dying to try her newest flavor – Motor City Crunch – which I am excited to announce to the world on The Mint Chip Mama that it is changing its name to “Chocolate Hazelnut”.
Jessica’s Natural Foods is non-GMO verified, gluten-free certified (each small, handmade batch is tested down to 5 ppm, made in a dedicated gluten-free facility in Michigan, and certified through the GFCO). Her all-natural, wholesome ingredients include rolled oats, honey, brown sugar, expeller pressed sunflower oil, ground flax seed, coconut, maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt. All six flavors are also kosher parve. Jessica’s commitment to health translates into refusing to put any artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, highly refined sweeteners, trans fats or cholesterol in her granola.
But again, regardless of how good it is for you, it’s simply delicious! It doesn’t surprise me for a minute that Whole Foods constantly restocks the 25 stores that carry Jessica’s Natural Foods or that in 2011, her Chocolate Chip granola won a blind taste test in the Detroit News beating other national and non-gluten-free granolas. Simply stated – if you like to eat granola, or want to be a person who likes to eat granola, this is a brand you need to know.
Thank you Jessica’s Natural Foods for introducing me to a delicious and healthy product. You have become one of my favorite things!
*GIVEAWAY* Jessica’s Natural Foods has offered to giveaway 3 of her delicious bags of granola to one lucky reader!
To win – please post in the comment section below:
What do you consider your most “granola-y” trait – wearing Birkenstocks, using re-usable bags, only bathing in rain water…
Winner will be chosen Sunday, August 10th.
Here is a little more on Jessica’s Natural Foods because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:
In 2008, Jessica’s husband learned he suffered from gluten intolerance. This inspired Jessica, an engineer and baking enthusiast, to experiment with gluten-free oats so her husband could continue to enjoy his favorite snack, granola. After hundreds of recipe trials, she developed a slow-bake process and ingredient ratio which created a richly flavored, crunchy granola with natural ingredients. The granola was a hit amongst family and friends, giving her the impetus to develop commercial channels. For more information, recipes, or to purchase online visit www.jessicasnaturalfoods.com.
Jessica’s Natural Foods flavors include: Almond Cherry – with chewy Michigan cherries, Chocolate Chip – with semi-sweet chocolate chips, Vanilla Maple – with real Maple Syrup and pure vanilla extract, Cherry & Berry – with chewy cherries, cranberries, and blueberries, Pecan Almond – with crunchy pecans and almonds, and Motor City Crunch – (soon to be called: “Chocolate Hazelnut”) with chocolate and hazelnut. I love that Jessica created this flavor as a tribute to Detroit, aka Motor City, which is near the company’s Birmingham headquarters. Each bag is $6.99 – $7.49.