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Food Fight: Great Grains Protein Blend vs. Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola

food-fight-granola-proteinThe ol’ honey ‘n oats flavor of granola has been popular for a long time, but which one is the best? With so many to choose from, I tend to stand in the grocery aisle for a while as I compare nutrients, ingredients and pricing. So, it’s time to let Fit Bottomed Eats take over and give you our opinion on Great Grains Protein Blend and Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola. Two varieties that have a honey ‘n oats thing going on — plus added protein. On your mark … get crunchin’ … go!

Taste and Texture

Great Grains Protein Blend Honey, Oats and Seeds: My first thought? This cereal is wayyy too bland. Although the cereal has almonds, pumpkin seeds and clusters with sunflower seeds, these yummy additions are few and far between. Mostly, you just get a bunch of flakes — which are pretty good but do not carry the wowza punch. Leaving me slightly disappointed, I also tried Great Grains’ Protein Cinnamon Hazelnut Blend and was met with an awesome taste. This cereal is much more flavorful than Honey, Oats and Seeds, and you can taste the cinnamon in the multi-grain flakes right away. Go Great Grains! So much yummier; it even seemed to have more almonds, hazelnuts and clusters than the other variety (although that might just be the way the bag was packaged).
Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola Oats ‘n Honey: Man oh man, my taste buds went, “yum, yum, YUM!” These crunch clusters are very similar to Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Bars, but without all that sugary syrup they’re drenched in (fun when you’re a kid, way too sweet when you’re an adult). They carry a light, but not overpowering flavor of honey — and if you take just one bite, here come the oats. This granola will probably end up being another food I make Jenn take away (on the possibility I eat the whole bag because it’s so tasty!). Since I tried two Great Grains selections, I had to try two Nature Valley flavors, right? Right. As I geared up for something explosive with Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate, I was not disappointed. I love, love, love that you can taste the chocolate flavor but that it does not overpower you with sugar.
Winner: Easy-peasy. Although I loved Great Grains Cinnamon Hazelnut Protein Blend, the winner is easily Nature Valley. So delectable and completely unpredictable, you can’t go wrong with Nature Valley.

Nutritional Facts

Great Grains Protein Blend Honey, Oats and Seeds: When I was little, I automatically went for marshmallow cereal and begged my mom for some. What did mom do? Put the cereal back on the shelf and gave me some options that were higher in protein and fiber, and lower in sugar (not at all what a kid wants — phooey). Great Grains though is definitely a food my mom would have okay-ed. With 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 220 calories (for 1 cup, not including milk), we would have both had smiles on our faces. Although Great Grains does have 8 grams of sugar (mom gasping) and 5 grams of fat, I think we have found a cereal with both benefits and negatives. Plus, the fat mostly comes from seeds.
Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola Oats ‘n Honey: My first thought was “Yahoo! This is our winner due to the fact that it has 210 calories (okay, not that big a drop, but I like seeing those low numbers)!” That was until I looked a little closer. Nature Valley does have 10 less calories, but the serving size is half of that of Great Grains. What a bummer that is! Nature Valley packs in 10 grams of protein — two more than Great Grains — which is quite impressive seeing how it is half the amount of Great Grains. But we have to dock some points when you see that Nature Valley has 12 grams of sugar, 4.5 grams of fat and only 3 grams of fiber.
Winner: Although the nutrition is pretty similar, Great Grains comes out on top for a couple reasons. First, it has more minerals and vitamins. Second, even though Great Grains does not have the same awesome amount of protein, it does contain less sugar, more fiber and about the same amount of fat. Added bonus? You get to eat twice as much.

Ingredient List

Great Grains Protein Blend Honey, Oats and Seeds: The first three ingredients listed all start with whole grains (a pretty good word, and it has 26 grams out of your 48 grams recommended per day!). This granola has pea protein, a great type of protein that’s becoming more and more popular. Great Grains has a long-ish ingredient list, but it’s all pretty minimally processed.
Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola Oats ‘n Honey: Starting with whole-grain oats, Nature Valley has a simpler list than Great Grains and uses soy protein isolate (now that’s a word I know). Although sugar is the second ingredient listed …
Winner: Although Nature Valley technically has a shorter ingredient list, Great Grains has a less processed one. So for that, it wins!

And the Food Fight Champion Is…

Cue the drum roll, please … for Great Grains. Whether taste, nutrition or ingredients are what do it for you, this granola has something that pleases everyone — including us. Hooray!
What kind of granola do you think kicks butt? —Maria

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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