Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW: Bear Naked Banana Nut Granola

In one of my previous posts, I was tipped off by a reader that one of his favorite granola cereals was Bear Naked. So, I might as well give this brand a review! Now, keep in mind that my reader's favorite favorite was the Fruit & Nut flavor, but this granola review was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing. I was just hanging out at a friend's house, and I looked up at their refrigerator to see a package of Bear Naked granola right sitting there! It wasn't the Fruit & Nut flavor my reader yearned for- it was their Banana Nut flavor. But I guess that's close. Bananas are a fruit, and this granola has nuts in it too. Don't worry, Mr. Reader! I'll get to the Fruit & Nut someday. Till' then, I'll take your word on its deliciousness. But, for today, I'm reviewing Bear Naked's Banana Nut Granola. 
A 12 oz. package costs around $4.09.
A 1/4 cup serving (30g) contains 140 calories, 60 of them being from fat, 7g of total fat, 2g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 2g of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 5mg of sodium, 18g of total carbohydrates, 2g of dietary fiber, 5g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

And look at this! Bear Naked may or may not be organic, but at least it cut downs on the chemically ingredients. Everything on this very short ingredients list is something I can pronounce. Except that syrup one. Ma-peel-lay syrup? Hm. 

This granola, unlike many other "granolas" I have tried, is PURE granola. It's just oats. Oats and oats and oats. Of course, there are add-ins to these sweetened oats as well, like almonds and banana chip pieces.

First, let's try some of this granola dry. Okay... So, this granola smells very banana-y. Very strong, very strong. Why do so many banana-flavored food items smell so strong? What is it with bananas anyway? They're like good-smelling stink bombs. They get everywhere! The skunk of fruit!
Anyway, the oats taste like banana- very much banana -but they also retain their original oatiness that does give the impression of banana nut bread. Very hearty and sweet. The banana chips were crunchy and sweet, but not too sweet. And the almonds, they were also crunchy, carried the essence of the familiar taste of banana. What is it with bananas? They get their taste over everything! It really sucks when you have a ham sandwich and a banana for lunch and BOTH taste like banana.

In milk, this banana-y cereal retained its sweet and hearty taste. Very yummy. The oats and banana chips got a slight more chewier the longer they stayed in the milk, but it wasn't anyTHING major or unpleasant. I suppose the one con about it all was that all the oats sunk to the bottom of the bowl. And not like I have a problem with a huge pile of soggy, sweet oats at the end of my breakfast (I really don't, I'm not being sarcastic) but I know some people might. So keep that in mind if you are going to eat this stuff with milk.

I'll be honest- I'm not the biggest fan of banana-flavored products. I don't know what it is- if it tastes like a banana but isn't a banana, I normally don't enjoy it. I guess the need the chalky, melt in your mouth, mushy banana texture to go along with the taste. Or something. But this was a surprisingly great granola! "Natural, yet delicious" describes it best. It is a delicious, banana-esque (even banana bread-esque) granola. I had it in milk and also had it dry, and thought it tasted great! Plus, the friend who gave me some of this granola to sample loves it in vanilla yogurt. So I'm guessing it's good in that too. I guess it all depends on your flavor preferences, but this granola is definitely a great buy when you're looking for something natural- or just have a hankering for some good ol' fashioned granola. I would buy a whole bag of this for sure!
I'd give Bear Naked's Banana Nut Granola a 9/10.

What is YOUR favorite flavor of Bear Naked Granola? Let us know in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!
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