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I’m a food writer, so it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m generally excited to eat every meal of the day. (I’m guessing you share in my excitement because you’re reading this site!) Breakfast probably brings me the most joy: At no other time are you encouraged to skip over savory and go straight to the sweet. And while I don’t mind a cheesy omelet every once in a while, my preference in the mornings definitely veers towards the dessert flavors. My all-time favorite breakfast is a layered granola parfait made up of local, whole-milk yogurt, fresh berries, and a generous pour of oaty clusters.
That last element is the most crucial: Too much dried fruit means you’ll find yourself close to losing a tooth by gnawing on a sticky, chewy clump. Too many oats and you’ll lose the nuances of flavor that make a good granola unparalleled. And while I like a bit of sugar in the morning, overly sweet mixes can leave me feeling zapped for the rest of the day. As you may have surmised by now, I have quite a few thoughts when it comes to my granola.
It wasn’t uncommon for me to have half a dozen different varieties hanging out in my pantry, until I discovered Marge Granola during a weekly stop at Murray’s Cheese. Ever since, I’ve become a monogamous eater. And, dear reader, when Murray’s stopped selling it a few years ago, I started ordering it in five-pound pillow packs directly from the warehouse in Seattle.
For my tastes, it is the platonic ideal of granola: It has crisp toasted oats and locally sourced dried fruit that retains its plumpness, and is just sweet enough (my favorite flavor, Blueberry Almond Flax, only has 2 grams of sugar for 1/3 of a cup). And, as I learned from chatting with Chief Granola Officer (I know!), Kyle Stembaugh, it’s also wildly fresh. “We bake everything each week in our small Seattle bakery,” he told me. “And many of our online orders ship just after the granola has been cooled and packaged.” In addition to being low-sugar, all of Marge’s granolas are also vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, making them an excellent breakfast staple to stock if you have specific dietary requirements.
I’ve also recently discovered that I can even enjoy my favorite granola while traveling. Marge now makes adorable mini snack packs that, thankfully, fit a lot better in my overnight bag than the behemoth five-pound bags.
Do you have a favorite brand of granola? Tell us about it in the comments.
Juliet Izon is a travel, food, and design writer who splits her time between New York City and the Hudson Valley. She is also the former entertainment and bookings editor for Modern Luxury magazines. When not writing, you can find her baking scones with her daughter Aveline, or exploring New York’s excellent theater and museum scene with her husband Mike.