Small Batch Sweets: Michele's Granola
Granola is definitely one of those products that benefits from a little TLC. The best bowls I've had are always homemade or picked up in a random general store somewhere, boasting bigger oat chunks and more interesting add-ins. Michele's Granola certainly started out that way, as a one-woman farmers' market stand in Maryland.
She's recently upped her production, making it available to select stores in the Maryland area and to the country through her website. But you probably already have your favorite granola, or you get so confused in the granola section of Whole Foods you turn, panicked, and pick up a box of Kashi instead. So why is this worth trying?
All of her blends have nice big clusters, which is my top priority in granola. Even better, these aren't what I call star burst clusters (see: Kellogg's Low Fat Granola), rather they're big, thick shapes that have clearly come from the original, rectangular giant granola sheet on the pan.
There are 5 flavors: Original, Cherry Chocolate, Cinnamon Raisin, Pumpkin Spice, and nut-free Ginger Hemp. Chocolate Cherry is awesome, but for breakfast, Cinnamon Raisin is my favorite: it's heavily spiced with cinnamon, but the flavor is authentic—no artificial Cinnabon flavor here. The raisins are plump and plentiful, and walnuts add a crunch without challenging for flavor dominance. In short, the granola is like a great oatmeal cookie meeting a bowl of cereal, but the spice, not the sugar, does most of the talking.
You can find Michele's online and at some retail locations including Whole Foods Market and Wegmans.