Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gluten-Free Granola: Double-Chocolate-Crunch by Enjoy Life

Gluten-Free Granola
Double-Chocolate-Crunch by Enjoy Life

I definitely love chocolate, and with a product-name that includes the phrase "double chocolate", Enjoy Life got my attention quickly with their latest flavor of nut-free and gluten-free granola: Double Chocolate Crunch. What makes it a "double" is the addition of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips that complement the cocoa throughout the granola.

Taste and Texture

Here is a close-up picture that reveals the texture of the double-chocolate gluten-free granola, with the most visible component being the brown-rice flakes that make up the bulk of the product; you can also perhaps make out the mini-chocolate-chips in there too.

As you may gather from the texture demonstrated in the picture, this granola delivers a rather crunchy and hearty consistency — between the brown rice flakes and the other complementary ingredients of rice crisps, inulin (ground chicory root: for fiber), and ground flaxseed, there is plenty of mouth-presence to satisfy those of us that want our granola to have some discernible chunks / clusters in it.  I found it quite satisfying and appealing to my senses.

Nutrition Information

Between the rice bran (in the gluten-free rice crisps) and the additional inulin, Enjoy Life has delivered 4-grams of fiber per 1/2cup serving.  Not bad.  But, there are also 11-grams of sugars from the the components containing evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, raisin juice concentrate, and honey.  This made for a sweetness that many people may enjoy a lot, but a sweetness which I found to be perhaps 50% more than required; I rarely consume sweeter cereals, which is why I labeled this granola a "snack food" as much as a cereal for my personal consumption habits.  Total carbohydrates (carbs) come in at 36-grams per 1/2-cup serving, total fats are 4g (2g saturated; 0g cholesterol) and total protein is 3g/serving.

Enjoy life has bumped-up the vitamins and minerals in their gluten-free granola by adding some magnesium, iron, B1, B3, B5, B6, and Zinc, which  is nice for those wishing to get a bit of a vitamin-boost from their morning cereal (and, like most main-stream gluten-containing cereals theses days also offer).  Where Enjoy-Life also beats many main-stream cereals (aside from being wheat-free, gluten-free, diary-free, nut-free, soy-free) is in the low-sodium level too (only 40mg/serving), which is quite nice for anyone on a low-salt/low-sodium diet.

Other Observations

My next observation has little to do with the quality of their gluten-free granola or other products, but rather with the fact that the Enjoy Life's website is essentially useless unless you have Adobe Flash Player installed.  Although I have Flash Player for Google Chrome (my primary browser), I do not have it installed for Internet Explorer, and the Enjoy Life website is just awful in the non-Flash mode as it continually tries to install Flash instead of offering some fall-back HTML-only version of the site.  I really wonder how their site performs on mobile devices or other non-Flash-capable devices.

It has been quite a while since I last reviewed any Enjoy-Life products (in fact, I think it was 2007).  Here are some links to those earlier reviews:
Those early reviews may or may not be that helpful anymore, as I would expect at least some aspects of the products and their gluten-free recipes / formulations have changed since then, but feel free to check our what I observed then and compare.

Gluten-Free Granola: Price / Cost

As many of you already know, gluten-free cereals tend to cost much more than their non-GF counterparts, though with some selective shopping around, sometimes we can minimize the cost-differential.

So far, the best price I have seen for this Enjoy-Life double-chocolate-crunch granola is for a THREE-PACK (of 12-ounce bags) at for $13.06 (current price), bringing the per-bag price down to $4.35 (which equates to 36-cents/ounce or $5.80/pound).

I personally find nearly all cereal ridiculously overpriced these days (like most "finished products"), as I just can not understand how such dirt-cheap constituent-components (like brown rice flakes) and evaporated cane juice can end up costing so much by the time they are combined and sold at retail as cereal.  I do understand that certified gluten-free ingredients (or the process of certifying ingredients and/or the finished product as gluten-free) can add to the cost, but it is still a bit troubling when one considers that at bulk-price levels on the commodities-market, rice is well under 50-cents/pound when quoted at per-metric-ton rates.  But, unless you have a way to make your own gluten-free granola and save a lot of money, this is the best price I have yet observed for the double-chocolate variety reviewed herein.

Gluten-Free Product-Review Summary

The combination of cocoa and chocolate-chips really delivers on the "double chocolate" promise advertised on the bag, and if you enjoy chocolate as much as I do, you will undoubtedly find this granola perfect for both a breakfast item and a snack food.  I give this gluten-free granola a big thumbs-up, though I found it just a *bit* sweeter than I would have preferred personally.


glutenfrei said...

very good and mhhhhh

Kristina said...

This looks really good! I'd love to try it with milk and over yogurt! I'll be looking for this next time I go to the store! Thanks for the product review!