One of the many things a gluten free diet can lack is fibre. Where do we get fiber. I would say a good granola could help balance the diet out again, but where is Ireland is there good gluten free granola? That's a question I have asked myself on many occasions.... Well look no further! Here is a tasty, crunchy product by Maria Lucia Bakes...
I was literally blogging a day and I got this lovely opportunity to try a new product from Maria Lucia Bakes. It was granola. So, I obviously missed the postman (well you is ever actually there when the post man arrives!) and decided, because it would be a small package, to take a jog up to the collection office. I'm not going to lie, I looked a bit odd coming back with this box. However, I sort of skipped home because I thought, 'I've breakfast sorted for days now!'
It was packaged up so nicely. I am used to the Tesco Free From Muesli, which quite frankly is dry and I get bored of it very quickly, but it was the closest thing I could find to granola, bar making it obviously.
I opened the package and found information leaflets and a little note form Maria. The note explained that Maria has only been in business a month and is currently rolling out her products to more shops than the current stockists, which are "Get Fresh" in Rathfarnham and "Cavistons" in Glasthule. She's also been busy at the Marlay Park Farmers Market on Saturday's.
According to the leaflet Maria has been making granola for years and decided to help her friend out by making some gluten free. So, they tasted and tested and BAM tasty gluten free granola was born! Even though Maria has just been in business a month her packaging and product are at a professional level. The zip lock bag is both a good and bad thing. While it helps to keep the food fresh, it didn't seal properly. I'd also be concerned it could potentially adding an extra expense.
I love food but I hate having reacts so I inspect anything new! Reaction free, by the way. Definitely a good start! The flavour I was trying out was Cranberry, Coconut, and Chia Seed. All good flavours separately so there's no reason they shouldn't work. Well, it was delicious. I ate three spoons, just to make sure.
So this is all that nutritional stuff that no one really understands but everyone goes to look at and, of course, the ingredients list. We always read the ingredients list, on everything, always. First rule of gluten free dietdom!
On the side of the box Maria has serving suggestions. Really handy. I've made granola bars before using that aforementioned muesli, peanut butter, and honey. It was fine. I had so much of it I had to donate some to anyone willing to take it for a bit! I have a feeling it'd rate higher than "fine" on my baking scale with this instead though. Here's a pic I dug out of those bars:
Granola bars are one of the suggestions for snacks given, but there are more! You can bake them into muffins, make almond butter bars, or crunchy fudge! There needs to be more hours in the day for me to try and make these. All of these!
Breakfast. If you've been looking at the tweets on @dubglutenfree for the last number of days, you'll see I'm interested in what people are having for their gluten free breakfast! I have been trying to be good and go with fresh fruit and yoghurt. Adding this granola was perfect with that. You can add a little honey if it's not sweet enough, but, for me, it didn't need the extra sweetness. A suggestion I would never have thought of was having the granola with just warm or cold milk. It's actually quite nice with just milk. I was pleasantly surprised!
There are two more flavours that I will be tracking down. They are treacle, apricot, & walnut and cashew, almond, & Cinnamon. If anyone out there has tried these, let me know how you got on on twitter or comment below!
Maria Lucia Bakes is available on Twitter and Facebook. Her website is currently under construction.
The granola is retailing online at €5.79 and in shops between €5.99 and €6.25.
Until December 14th Maria Lucia Bakes is having a sale. Simply use the code MLBGRAN15 on the Market Direct Website to avail of the offer.