Product Review: Sola Granola

This post is part of a mega-review of Sola’s full product collection. Click here to get back to the review home page

Sola Granola. Sola. Granola. Granola from Sola. Granola made with Sola.

If you can believe it, it took me a while to latch onto that. Now I have the riff of “Bartier Cardi” going on in my head except it’s Sola Granola. (By the way, that means nothing to you if you aren’t a hip-hop fan. Sorry!)

All kidding aside…GRANOLA! Yay!

I love the stuff.

Now I’m reviewing this separately from my review of the Sola yogurts because it deserves a standalone post. But that’s my absolute favorite thing to do with granola: put it on yogurt or cottage cheese. I like crunch. Something about crunch just does it for me. So anytime I do yogurt or cottage cheese, I always have to have some crunchy element like nuts, or Fiber One original, or something that makes it crunchy-munchy in my mouth.

So let’s talk about this granola.

The Flavors/Stats

There are three flavors of Sola granola (tee-hee) and the serving size for each is 1/3 cup:

  • Vanilla Almond: 140 calories, 11g fat, 9g carbs, 2g sugars, 2g sugars, 3g sugar alcohols, 9g protein.
  • Double Chocolate: 140 calories, 10g fat, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 3g sugar alcohols, 7g protein
  • Maple Pecan: 140 calories, 11g fat, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 3g sugar alcohols, 7g protein.

I should note that while these have about 9-10g carbs per serving, the net carbs sit around 5-6 grams as you must subtract out both the dietary fiber and sugar alcohols, which the body cannot absorb. I also wanted to note that each bar has between 1-2g of added sugar (which would be from cane sugar). Here’s where you can find the complete ingredient lists for all three flavors of Sola granola. (Look. It’s my product review! I get to be obnoxious.)

The Aesthetics

This granola looked a little bit different that other granolas I’ve seen. I’m used to seeing huge chunks of things, clinging together for dear life through the magic of liquid sugar. This granola, for the most part, wasn’t like that. The Maple Pecan most closely resembled granola I’m used to. The others had a looser configuration. In fact, check it out.

Here’s the Vanilla-Almond

Here’s the Double Chocolate

This is the Maple Pecan

So I was encouraged by the look of it. Especially the Maple Pecan. Check that out. It’s got pecans and PEPITAS! Not only are pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds) one of my favorite munchy things, but I just love saying “pepitas.”

Aside from that, the granola contains things like sunflower seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, and soy crisps.

The Taste/Texture

There’s this interesting dynamic with “healthy granola” that I was hoping wasn’t present in Sola granola. It tends to be chewy and not crunchy. While I like some things chewy, granola isn’t one of them!

The inclusion of nuts (almonds, pecans) and the soy crisp keep it from being chewy, and I really appreciated that! When you put granola into yogurt (stay tuned for that review) it should be able to hold its own! And this granola definitely does.

As for the flavor:

  • Vanilla-Almond: This was true to flavor, although vanilla and almond are not my favorite flavors. (I don’t hate them, I just wouldn’t naturally pick that flavor out of a line-up). It had a light sweetness to it and the aroma of vanilla was pleasant and true.
  • Double Chocolate: I admit this wasn’t as chocolatey as I thought it was going to be. I think it’s triple chocolate because it has a chocolate coating and chocolate chips. The chips came through ok but overall I was underwhelmed a little by the chocolate factor.
  • Maple Pecan Chocolate: Oh. My. GAH! I looooooooved this one. I think it’s the combo of the maple, the crunchiness of the pecans, the pepitas (pepitas!) and the chocolate. Yum, yum, and yum. My only wish (dear Sola) is to maybe give it a slightly salty finish. That would be a home RUN! But the maple flavor came across as authentic and the whole thing was just a joy to eat.

My boyfriend stumbled upon me photographing the granola (Foodies, imagine how strange it is living at my house and finding your kitchen inaccessible for hours because someone is photographing granola) and he tasted all the flavors. He liked the Vanilla-Almond best and made me promise when I’m finished doing my review to give it to him!

The Value

On Amazon, Sola granola is $10.99 a bag.

Sit with it a moment. Just sit with it.

As with all of Sola’s products, I can’t directly apply my price-per-protein-gram methodology because this isn’t a protein supplement, but I will still give you the breakdown. Here’s how that math shakes out:

  • Each bag of Sola granola is $10.99 and has about 10 servings which = 1.09/serving
  • Each serving has about 7 grams of protein. So 1.09 a serving/7 grams of protein = $0.15 per protein gram

That’s actually not bad at all. Moving on from that metric, I wanted to compare this granola with a few others that claim to be high protein. Here’s where the counts and prices fall:

  • Nature Valley Protein Oats ‘n Honey: This goes for different amounts in different places, but the cheapest one I saw on a simple Amazon search was $9.49 for an 11 oz. bag. I couldn’t tell (from their Amazon listing or their website) what the serving size is but if we assume it’s the same as Sola it has about 40 more calories, 32g of carbs, including 12g of sugar and 2 additional grams of protein.
  • ProGranola from Julian Bakery: This goes for $13.99 on its website for a 19.5 oz. bag. There are 15  half-cup servings and each serving has no sugar (sweetened with monkfruit) and 12g of protein.

So when I look at those two choices, here’s what I’m thinking about. The Nature Valley would be a no on the sugar content alone. Sugar + starch = blood sugar drop! Plus…why won’t anyone tell me the serving size?!? (Seriously…on all the Amazon listings and their website, no serving size is listed. Grrrr…)

With the ProGranola, the stats seem very good, but when you adjust it to the same serving size as the Sola, it’s pretty darn close to the Sola, protein-wise. And I personally don’t like monk fruit as a standalone sweetener (please don’t try to convince me to like it…I just don’t). In a blend, I can handle it but by itself is a big NEGATIVE!

So…take that for what you will. In the realm of protein granola, you are going to invest some money in a product that truly has a good amount of protein (and a good carb:protein ratio). This is why it’s always important to read your labels!

The Verdict

Would I buy Sola granola? YES!

Here are the reasons why:

  1. I like granola but the balance of nutrients is important. This has a good carb:protein ratio so that I know, with yogurt or cottage cheese, I’m not going to have a blood sugar drop later.
  2. It’s yummy.
  3. Their product locator says it is sold near me but as of the time of this writing I haven’t been able to get out to the particular store where I can buy it.

So I would buy a bag and use it judiciously. I don’t normally put 1/3 c. of granola in my yogurt. More like 2-3 tablespoons. So it’d last me. And at 10 years post-op I’m actually willing to invest more in my carbs to make sure they are working for me, not against me! Your mileage may vary.

To learn more about Sola Granola, be sure to check out their website, and tell them Nik sent ya!

Oh…before you leave…have you checked out the 2018 Bariatric Foodie No-Flour, Sugar-Free Cookie Collection? If not, here’s the complete rundown on this year’s cookies, all made with Sola sweetener! Or, if you’re more of a “cut straight to the chase” kind of person, you can fill out the form below to download the recipes into a FREE ebook!

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