Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Croo Snacks and Vikis Granola

Croo Snacks

Croo Snacks

Company: Croo Snacks

Original: Almond + Raisin
Coast: Apricot + Cashew
Mountain: Chocolate + Walnut

Price: $18.99 for eight tubes of 1.23 oz each

Photo Credit: Croo Snacks

Photo Credit: Croo Snacks

The Croo Story: 
On an incredible powder day in January 2016, we opted to skip lunch and keep energy bars in our pocket. We struggled to tear open the packaging on the lift and were unexcited about the prospect of eating a sugary, hard to chew snack. This is why we created CROO Snacks. CROO is a pourable trail mix packaged in an innovative tube. Made of simple and wholesome ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, we bring the fun back to snacking.

When we’re out and about, on the trail, or on the slopes, it’s always good to keep snacks handy, and trail mix and granola bars are convenient and easy to carry. Croo Snacks trail mix comes in tubes that are easy to open, even with one hand and gloves on. The trail mix is delicious! The ingredients are thinly sliced, and you’ll get a variety of flavors when you pour some into your mouth. The three different flavors each have 5-6 ingredients, and all are vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten free, and dairy free. None of them contain peanuts. I can definitely see Croo Snacks as a great new addition to the trail mix selection at the store.

Company: Viki’s Granola

Flavors: Original, Blueberry Almond, Maple Cranberry, Banana Walnut, Apple Cinnamon

Price: $5.99/12oz bulk bag
$11.99/10 x 1.5oz to-go bag
$29.99/30 x 1.5oz assorted to-go bags

The Viki’s Granola StoryHere’s how it all started. Viki, a stay-at-home mom at the time, asked her daughter what she wanted to bring to the school bake sale. When her daughter said, “Granola, please!” Viki, while amused that her daughter wasn’t asking for brownies or cookies, thought to herself, “Easy! Granola … coming right up.” Viki’s baked granola was literally eaten right up—it was such a success that there was not even a crumb left behind. What Viki didn’t expect was what happened after. Days and weeks following the school bake sale, calls and emails poured in from teachers, parents and even from people in the community who had just heard about the bake sale, all asking for Viki’s Granola.

Impressions (Geli): When you hear “granola” you may think of dry and boring crunchies that you are adding to your yogurt for extra fiber. And while Viki’s Granola is perfect as a mix-in, it tastes delicious right out of the bag. When I opened my first bag of Viki’s, I was impressed by the smell of toasted oats and honey. I have eaten it with my oatmeal and in yogurt, and just a handful by itself as a snack. There are no fillers, only seven or eight ingredients that make it yummy and good. Granola is never a low calorie food, so while it’s healthy, I need to be careful to not overdo it.

Brian: Growing up, breakfast was cereal almost every morning. As an adult, I have slightly widened my choices, sometimes going with french toast, oatmeal, fresh fruit, or greek yogurt with granola or oatmeal mixed in. Considering my metabolism and need to have a quick meal on hand before starting work, the latter has been my favorite for a couple years now. It’s a good balance of protein and carbohydrates to start the day and tastes amazing with a little cinnamon or honey mixed in. I was rather pleased to have a chance to sample Viki’s Granola for the blog.

Trying new brands is always interesting, and as I prefer to avoid most packaged foods, I like to look at products that are mostly on the healthy side. The Viki’s Foods granola has an ingredient list about 8 items long, and they are all things I recognize and can pronounce! For those that are gluten intolerant, this is a safe food to eat.

I tried this product with cereal and yogurt and it was great both ways. I didn’t find it overly crunchy like some granolas and the flavor was pleasing. I was able to sample the blueberry almond, maple cranberry, and original. They strike the perfect balance of flavor, definitely not bland, but not laden with it either. I really enjoy the way they complement the Honey flavored Greek yogurt.

I could definitely make this a healthy fuel to begin most mornings with, as it sates my appetite in a substantial fashion, which is no easy task. Being a competitive runner with a high burning metabolism, targeting carbohydrate and protein intake in the morning is a necessity. The Viki’s granola allows me to do that, in a fashion that works with my busy mornings. It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I believe a healthy, filling meal can really set the tone for how it will go.


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