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Going Within: Within/Without Granola's Deliciously Mindful Ingredients

Eating healthy can be difficult, especially with the huge selection of processed foods we’re constantly surrounded by in grocery stores, gas stations and fast food restaurants. Thinking about how to avoid these foods can be overwhelming and even stressful when trying to make a change in your diet. 

The reality is that even small food substitutions can have major benefits such as fewer calories, lower sugar and lower cholesterol. These changes can have huge impacts on your mind and body, including everything from weight loss to an increased mood! We have experienced the effects of these substitutions first hand at Within/Without, and that is why we embarked on a journey to create a granola snack that is free from refined sugars, grains, gluten, dairy and soy, all the while retaining a delicious chewy texture and sweet flavor. 

Here we’ll take you through a deep dive of the ingredients we use in our granola and explain some of the functional benefits it has on the body. Feel free to use these ingredient substitutions in your own cooking as well!

Honey vs Cane Sugar

Do you know the differences between honey and cane sugar? There are a ton! Using honey in our all natural granola has a lot of benefits, the first of which it provides more nutrients than regular old sugar. Honey is packed with way more antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals than traditional cane sugar. Another major difference between the two sweeteners is the effect it has on digestion. Due to its composition, regular sugar has to be ingested before being broken down. However, with honey, bees add enzymes to it which means the sugars are partially broken down, making it easier to digest. This will give you longer lasting energy without the crash typically associated with sugar.

Almonds vs Oats

Grains and processed carbohydrates can have less than ideal effects on the body, which is why Within/Without granola is made with a mix of almonds and walnuts instead of oats. Grains (such as oats) are turned into glucose inside the body. Although glucose is necessary in moderation, too much of it can create problems! If a person is eating too many processed carbohydrates, the excess glucose needs a place to go and therefore is stored in fat cells which causes weight gain, high blood pressure and thyroid issues. On the other hand, almonds have a slew of added benefits including a great source of digestion-friendly fiber, vitamin E, protein, and can also lower cholesterol.

Almond Flour vs Traditional Wheat Flour

Another key ingredient in Within/Without granola is almond flour. Foods made with refined wheat flour can be high in carbs but low in fat and fiber. Almond flour, on the other hand, is low in carbs but high in healthy fats and fiber. These properties put almond flour low on the glycemic index, which means it releases sugar slowly into the body providing for a sustained source of energy. Along with these benefits, almond flour is a great source of magnesium. This is a crucial nutrient that has many roles in the body, including controlling blood sugar.

Coconut oil vs. Vegetable oils

Using coconut oil over other vegetable oils (corn, soybean, etc.), adds many health benefits to our all natural Within/Without granola. Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids which provide quick bursts of energy and can even lower your risk for heart disease. Coconut oil has also been found to reduce hunger, helping you to eat less. One study found that men who consumed these healthy fatty acids ate 256 fewer calories per day on average. It is because of these reasons that coconut oil can be beneficial as a substitute for various vegetable oils. Plus, it helps to give Within/Without its signature slightly sweet and nutty taste!

Vanilla vs Natural Flavorings

In order to create natural flavorings from the vanilla plant itself, manufacturers add solvents, preservatives and other chemicals, and they don’t have to disclose any of this on the label! Oftentimes, these additives make up most of the flavoring - up to 80-90%, to be exact. Although these natural flavorings may not have any noticeable negative effects on the body, they are anything but natural. It is for this reason we use only real 100% vanilla in our granola in order to deliver the most pure and flavorful product possible.

Now that you know more about our ingredient choices and the health benefits behind it, we hope it makes our grain-free granolas just a tad sweeter. Comment below on how you incorporate these ingredients into your home cooking or baking!

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