Staff Writer Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the senior content writer and operations manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests o…See full bio
Photo courtesy of Nana Joes Granola.
Nana Joes Granola sprung up 10 years ago in the Bay Area and has been making waves ever since. Envisioned as an après-surf snack by professionally trained pastry chef Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes checks all the boxes when it comes to breakfast and snack foods. While the granola’s hearty and mouthwatering flavors are enough to make you want to add it to your cart, this brand is renowned for using entirely natural ingredients as well as for offering vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly options.
In addition to having a high-quality product, a commitment to community and equity is at the core of Nana Joes’ business model. Pusateri is passionate about providing meaningful, well-paying jobs and helping her team members reach their fullest potential. Nana Joes is also a Certified San Francisco Green Business dedicated to sustainable practices such as avoiding waste, reducing water and energy use, and supporting the local community—all of which lower its carbon footprint.
The love that goes into this product is palpable in each bite. Read on for our granola review and honest thoughts about Nana Joes.
I’ve been called a Birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating hippie once or twice in my life, and while these accusations are fairly accurate—I did live in Humboldt for a few years, after all—finding high-quality granola that tastes good and doesn’t have a ton of added sugar isn’t as easy as you might think. Between avoiding refined sugar and staying clear of the foods I’m allergic to or sensitive to, finding tasty snacks is often quite the feat. Luckily, Nana Joes Granola offers several great options that only taste like guilty pleasures.
Tasting notes: snickerdoodle cookies, warm oatmeal, toasted coconut
Nana Joes Granola’s Sunset Blend is as warm as the name implies. As the first concoction crafted in Nana Joes’ Sunset District kitchen, this granola is special to Pusateri and her team, but its cinnamony profile and unexpected ingredients will make it a staple in your family’s holiday festivities. While it makes for a mouthwatering breakfast year-round, its nutty pecans, gluten-free oats, and sweet coconut bits are likely to transport you to baking with your grandmother during the winter months—making it a familiar treat you’ll crave year after year.
Tasting notes: sweet pumpkin seeds, freshly made nut butter, candied orange zest, maple finish
I was pleasantly surprised by both of the paleo options I tried, but this one has me reaching for more every time I open the bag. It has just the right amount of sweetness and provides enough savory notes to make it a satisfying afternoon snack. Combining zesty orange flavors with slightly sweet almond butter, savory pecans, craveable pumpkin seeds, and a handful of other ingredients—that are easy to pronounce—this mix makes for a great hiking companion, weekday breakfast, or midnight snack.
Tasting notes: cocoa nibs, toffee, coconut
This blend’s complex flavor profile exploded on my taste buds, and, admittedly, it took me a bit by surprise. The chocolate is infused into and coated over the granola, so you won’t find the chocolate chunks you may be familiar with in other chocolate granola varieties. This blend reminded me of Almond Roca candies—thanks to its combination of buttery-toffee with nutty and chocolatey tones—but with a coconut-heavy base (sans the flaky texture of typical shredded coconut). My coconut-loving colleagues couldn’t get enough of this blend! Those who are less enthusiastic about coconut may want to steer towards one of Nana Joe’s other options (there are plenty of unique mixes to try!).
This granola is unlike any other brand I’ve tried. For those watching their carb counts, the Paleo blends are on point, and you won’t even miss the oats.
Whether you’re searching for a new breakfast staple or something to satisfy your hunger later on, you’re sure to find it with Nana Joes. Note that some of these blends—such as those in the Paleo Sunrise Series—clump together into delectable chunks, making them great for out-of-the-bag snacking. The Sunset Blend is better for sprinkling on yogurt or incorporating into an apple crisp.
Nana Joes products are available online and at all Northern California Whole Foods locations as well as select Bay Area farmers markets and grocery stores.
Note: This product was independently reviewed by California.com. We did not receive compensation for writing this review.
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