I Just Really Love This Grain-Free Granola (And It’s Keto and Paleo-Approved) – MSN Money

© Purely Elizabeth/Getty Images

  • Value:  17/20
  • Functionality: 15/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Variety: 18/20
  • Taste: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100

I was craving cereal. But not in the way one has a bowl of Special K and moves on with their life—I was craving it the way I used to eat it, bowl after bowl, in my parents’ kitchen after a long day of school and extra-curriculars. But my variation of keto—basically just some rendition of lower-carb—and bowls upon bowls of cereal don’t really go together…which is why I was thrilled to find Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Granola flavors—coconut cashew and vanilla almond butter—in my local grocery store.

Most granolas have grain and lots of sugar. But Purely Elizabeth is non-GMO, certified gluten-free, organic, vegan and contains no artificial additives or soy. But it tastes anything but lacking—instead of the usual fillers you’d find in granolas (even grain-free ones) you’ll see more ancient grains (like chia and hemp seeds), coconut sugar, sea salt and whole ingredients, like seeds and nuts as the base for its texture-rich grain-free granola. The overall effect is sweet and salty crunchy goodness that I add to my Greek yogurt or slurp up with a quarter cup of macadamia milk (hello, cereal).

The granola also comes in a bajillion flavors—classic, chocolate sea salt, blueberry hemp, cranberry pecan, pumpkin cinnamon, maple almond better, chocolate peanut butter, maple walnut, vanilla almond butter, chocolate hazelnut, coconut cashew, banana nut butter and cinnamon peanut butter. I have personally tried (and loved) coconut cashew and vanilla almond butter—I prefer things less sweet and it turns out these two flavors are both keto- and paleo-approved.

Buyer beware, however. Not every flavor is keto, paleo or grain-free. But fear not: the packaging clearly labels what’s what. For example, the flavors I tried had clear “grain-free” written on the packaging, while the “classic” flavor is dubbed “ancient grain granola” and includes organic, gluten-free oats. You can even shop by keto, paleo or grain-free on Purely Elizabeth’s website so you don’t accidentally purchase a flavor that doesn’t fit your diet. Still, because of this possible confusion, I dinked a few points off of the functionality category. 

As for the price, this granola isn’t cheap—a 12 oz. bag goes for $6.99—but it’s not made with cheap ingredients. Every ingredient listed is organic, non-GMO and packed with nutrients. For a hot second there I considered, “Could I make this myself at a lower price point?” But when I really thought about it, and all the whole nuts, seeds and expensive raw ingredients I would need…and the answer was, “Not really.” So, if you’re looking for a decadent granola that fits your restricted diet, look no further. This stuff is delicious.

Shop the Flavors ($6.99) 

RELATED: Safe + Fair Drizzled Popcorn Is Just as Good as Actual Dessert (And Far Healthier, Too)

Gallery: These Low-Calorie Ice Cream Brands Legit Taste Amazing (We Tried Them All!) (Prevention)

When summer comes around, nothing can stop me from entering the frozen dessert aisle and heading straight for whatever I'm craving. Ice cream sandwiches? Coffee ice cream? Mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt? Yes, yes, and yes! But after scooping spoonfuls into a bowl (and sometimes straight into my mouth), I'm left wondering: Why do I feel so icky? If you can relate, look no further than the nutrition label. I realized the brands I grew up with—and tend to choose as an adult—don't accommodate a healthy lifestyle by any dietitian's standards. Loaded with high amounts of sugar, fat, and calories, these traditional ice creams make it almost impossible to keep up with the recommended 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, says Mia Syn, M.S., R.D.N. It's a big reason why healthy ice creams have increased in popularity. However, while some treats like ice cream and frozen yogurt are marketed as "healthy," "low-calorie," or "light," we've found that some crowned with the health halo are far from it. "You have to look closely at the label because if it says 'low-fat,' it might be loaded with extra sugar, and if it's low-calorie, it might contain artificial sweeteners that can irritate your stomach and have you running to the bathroom," explains Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of Read It Before You Eat It. So, can ice cream be healthy?Yes, there are plenty of healthy ice cream choices out there (including Halo Top!), but choosing the best cone, cup, or pop goes back to reading the ingredient list and nutrition labels carefully. Keep in mind that finding a healthier ice cream is not fully dependent on the calorie count says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., and CEO of NY Nutrition Group. "The quality of calories are much more important than the total amount of calories consumed," she says. "Pay attention to nutrient density, sodium, sugar or other certain artificial ingredients."Before heading to the supermarket, I had two clear goals in mind: A) Don't be tricked by low-calorie labels and B) Don't be afraid of the taste. I really like the idea of eating healthy ice cream, but I don't necessarily want it to taste healthy. If that's the case, is it really a treat?Our dietitian experts tell Prevention.com to look for ice creams that are between 150 to 200 calories per serving, have less than 12 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of total fat. And you know what? There were several brands at my local supermarket with multiple flavors that landed within these guidelines. I gladly put them into the cart before "airplaning" a spoonful into my mouth. For three days, I tried different ice creams, frozen yogurt, and discovered that healthy options can actually be super fulfilling without needing to go for seconds. "Often times, having a serving of a lower sugar, fat, and calorie option can be equally as satisfying as the full fat and sugar counterpart, if you choose the right brand made with the right ingredients!" says Elizabeth Shaw, M.S. R.D.N. C.P.T., nutrition expert and author of The Instant Pot Cookbook For Dummies & The Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies. Now you've heard all about my shopping experiences. Let's get to yours! Below, find our curated list of the best healthy ice creams to buy in 2020: