Granola is dangerous. Leave a bag around and it's hard not to take a few handfuls of what's essentially oatmeal cookie crumbles. My recent favorite comes from OATS Granola, a new line created by two moms in Connecticut. Currently they offer four flavors: Original, Vanilla Almond, Toasted Coconut, and Dark Chocolate.
Each bag contains a nice ratio of oat clusters to loose flakes. The Original is straightforward but also not boring: the oats are toasted until crisp and coated in a honeyed sweetness with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a secret ingredient of decaf espresso grounds. Some walnut and pecan slivers find there way in there, too, but it doesn't get crazy. This isn't an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink granola, and I can respect the restraint here.
As for the flavored granolas, if you're into coconut, the Toasted Coconut, combines lightly toasted coconut flakes with the crunchier, honey-sweetened oats. It's a nice yogurt mix-in, as is the Vanilla Almond with its vanilla-laced oats and almonds (both smaller pieces and bigger nuggets). And the Dark Chocolate, studded with chocolate chunks, is by far the cookie-est of all; you're basically eating an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in its deconstructed state with each handful.
Have you been noticing more small-batch brands of granola out there? Any we should try?
OATS Granola can be found ($7 per 9-ounce pouch) at select Whole Foods, or you can order them online.