Two things I love — chocolate and granola — have come together in a magical concoction. Purely magical. I'm talking about the kind of magic only made by unicorns and fairy godmothers. I'm talking about Nutty Steph's.
Nutty Steph's is a little company started in 2003 by Jaquelyn Rieke (a.k.a. Steph), a former math teacher with superhero-esque granola-making powers. Rieke made the right career shift. This woman can make some damn good granola, especially when that's combined with sweet 'n' bitter dark chocolate. I know because her company sent me samples to review on this blog.
First, I tore into the Dark Chocolate Vermont Granola Magic Chunks:
I think the name says it all. Chewy chunks of maple-sweetened granola are covered in a layer of 71 percent cacao chocolate. It's like a candy bar, but it somehow seems healthier as you bite down on crispy granola under those layers of chocolate that just melt in your mouth.
I thought for sure that the plain chocolate flavor would be my favorite. But I guessed wrong. These Black Forest Magic Chunks really took me by surprise:
Same concept as the dark chocolate flavor, but these have bits of dried fruit like in one of those granola bars that have raisins and cranberries. I couldn't tell what the fruit was, since it was covered in chocolate, but I'm guessing it was one or the other or both. Also, I should note that these were sample bags, so they weren't all the way full. If you order some, you'll get more chunks!
Next, I decided to sample Nutty Steph's Vermont Granola on its own:
A few handfuls of this crunchy, sweet granola was the perfect tide-me-over-til-dinner driving snack on a trip across town to pick up my cat's medicine at the pharmacy. It doesn't clump like some granolas. Instead, each small piece is separate from one another. This stuff would be great with So Delicious Greek Coconut Milk Yogurt.
Nutty Steph's also included some samples of their chocolate bars:
The Blackbird Dark Chocolate was loaded with sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds. But they were mostly ground up, so you'd get all the health benefits of eating seeds with all the deliciousness of dark chocolate. Yet there was still a hint of seedy crunch. Delicious!
But the Lemon Ginger Pecan Dark Chocolate!!! There are no words to describe how awesome this was. Hands down the best sample of all the bunch. I don't even like crystallized ginger, which is used in this bar. But somehow, when combined with lemon oil and pecan chunks, it just works. Maybe I just love all things lemon so much that it overpowers my dislike of crystallized ginger. I will be ordering more of this from Nutty Steph's for sure!
By the way, these are just a small selection of Nutty Steph's products. Their website is full of all kinds of goodness. There's a cherry-pine nut-popcorn-walnut chocolate bar, peanut butter Magic Chunks, mint Magic Chunks. The list goes on.
I have a few bites of each sample left, but sadly, I'm not allowed to have any chocolate until Thursday!! I'm doing a three-day detox (more on that tomorrow and Wednesday), so I'm counting down the days until I can savor my last bites of lemon chocolate and fruity chocolate-covered granola.