Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan, Organic, High Fibre. Nope, we are not playing Food Trends Bingo™. I am describing *some* of the characteristics of Wild Thing granola and Wild Thing bars. Actually, the Wild Thing bars get one more – raw – woohoo, bingo! No, no no, seriously.
I confess to getting hooked on Wild Thing Mountain Berry Granola after discovering it within Wholefoods. There are many gluten free granola choices in Wholefoods but the Wild Thing Mountain Berry granola is highly suspicious. By suspicious, I mean it is almost *as if* it was designed by a committee of my own taste-buds. I imagine them sneaking off after dark to work overnight in secret along with Wild Thing. They would don tiny white lab coats and progress through product design, prototypes and taste-testing. At the end of a very busy night they surely congratulated themselves before jubilantly heading back in time for breakfast. Listen up sight, hearing, smell and touch, we nailed this one for the commander! Yes they did.
Eaten alone as a trail mix. Nice!
Eaten warm with a light coating of coconut, macadamia or walnut oil. Better!
Eaten mixed into a bowl of coconut yogurt. Yummy!
Eaten as a topping on *ice cream of choice*. Decadently scrumptious!
Eaten . . . .nope, four servings is enough!
With this as my primer, I simply had to try *everything* that Wild Thing have to offer and share the love. I started with the Wild Thing Bars, this post is about the gorgeous granolas.
The Wild Thing Granola Range, Spoon by Spoon
You may already know that aroma rather than taste makes up most of the wonderful complexity of flavour. These granolas each have their own characteristic aroma. All three offer toasted coconut, strongest and heady from the Island Coconut. The Mountain Berry adds just a hint of mildly tart, fruity notes and the Equatorial Cacao has unmistakable chocolateyness. Savour these before eating!
Island Coconut Granola
There is an initial, rewarding crunch. Sometimes the seeds come through as the primary flavour, sometimes the nuts. The variety between each spoonful keeps delivering surprise and delight The gentle sweetness of the coconut sugar and raisins is the kiss goodbye as you finish.
Ingredients: toasted coconut chips* (24%), sunflower seeds*, pumpkin seeds, raisins* (10%), cashew nuts* (7.5%), coconut sugar*, brazil nuts* (7%), brown linseeds* (milled), coconut powder* (2.5%), coconut oil*.
Mountain Berry Granola
Less crunchy, but still a heady, tantalising blend of texture variety within each bite, giving way to a soft succulence. The cranberries and goji berries present themselves boldly towards the end. They are welcome to linger. Here is an idea, try freezing this before eating. The mulberries, normally chewy, become brittle and break apart as you bite them. Try it :-)
Ingredients: sunflower seeds*, toasted coconut chips*, raisins*, cranberries* (10.7%), coconut sugar*, brown linseeds* (milled), goji berries* (4.9%), white mulberries* (2.9%), coconut oil*, cashew nuts*, pumpkin seeds*, coconut powder*, Himalayan salt
Equatorial Cacao Granola
If you mindfully eat fine chocolate you will be familiar with the flavour journey it takes you on. There is a distinct beginning, middle and end and the flavour notes evolve over time. The same is true for this granola. As you chew, the cacao does that magical thing and melts at your body temperature, releasing the high flavour notes.
Ingredients: sunflower seeds*, toasted coconut chips*, raisins*, cashew nuts* (8.9%), coconut sugar*, dates*, brown linseeds* (milled), raw cacao powder* (4.5%), pumpkin seeds*, coconut oil*, coconut powder*, raw cacao nibs* (2%), vanilla powder*
Gluten-Free versus “Produced in a factory that . . . “
There is just one caveat. The granolas are labelled gluten-free but also, at time of buying, have a “produced in a factory where . . . gluten are handled” statement on the boxes. This is one type of ‘precautionary allergen label’ otherwise known as ‘may contain’ and should not be combined with the label gluten-free. To label a product Gluten-Free *must* mean that the product contains less than 20 ppm gluten.
Precautionary allergen labels do not have legal definitions but Food Standards Agency Guidance is to apply them only if a risk is significant rather than remote. So vendors that apply both gluten-free and a precautionary adice label are either not complying with the gluten-free definition or not following the guidance. Hopefully the latter but neither is good so whenever I see this I challenge it.
Despite this I absolutely trust that these granolas are safe for me as a coeliac AND recommend them to others. The reason is that when I challenged and enquired about the label issue the response was excellent. Not only was the information provided fully satisying but there was also an undertaking to follow up. This may take time but I am comfortable with the acceptance of the issue and follow-up. Copied below is an edited summary of information received.
The bars are made in a gluten free environment . . . we are not using any gluten containing raw materials. Cross contamination during the production cycle is also excluded. Our factory is a gluten-free facility, no gluten-containing cereals are introduced in our factory.
We have a monitoring program in place, and we have the accreditation issued by the competent Italian Ministry. Two of the granola products have a lab certificate confirming <5ppm from the Food Allergen Centre, these are the Mountain Berry granola and Island Coconut.
Where to Buy Wild Thing Granola?
Right now, following a launch in September 2016 Wild Thing Granola are only from Wholefoods stores. Thanks to frequent stock outs I am still yet to find the elusive fourth variety, Rainforest Fruit Granola, in the wild. Have you seen it? Have you tried it? I am hunting it, it cannot elude me forever :-)