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Orange Cosmopolitan Smoothie For Hot Summer Days

Summer is upon us and, with it, fun and adventures. And after the strains and pains of 2020, it seems a momentous time to escape the daily grind. We hope this summer provides you many opportunities to cultivate joy whether it’s visiting with friends and family or getting back to traveling. Above all, we hope they’re filled with joy, connection, and fun––and an Orange Cosmopolitan smoothie in hand! 

In North Carolina, we have already hit the 90s and we assume temperatures are climbing where you live as well. Sometimes, you need a refreshing drink to cool off after adventuring or running errands. This Orange Cosmopolitan smoothie requires some planning (unless you have frozen oranges on hand), but is well worth it! The granola adds heartiness to the blend of fruit and milk. Plus, the frozen oranges mean you don’t need ice and you get a stronger citrus flavor. Try this refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day!

Ingredients

  • 4 mandarin oranges or 2 large oranges (frozen) 
  • 1 cup milk of choice (we love this one!)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Cosmopolitan granola*
  • 1 tablespoons honey or your desired sweetener
  • Optional: whipped cream and granola for garnish

Directions

  1. Peel oranges and place them in the container of your choice in the freezer. Leaving it overnight is easiest, but a few hours should be sufficient.
  2. Add frozen oranges and milk into a blender and blend at medium speed.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and honey (or desired sweetener) and blend lightly.
  4. Pour in Cosmo granola and blend at high speed until incorporated.
  5. After that, serve immediately and garnish with additional granola or whipped cream.

*Note: The ability to blend in the cranberries and nuts from the granola will depend on your blender. Avoid adding nuts and cranberries if you think your blender may have a challenging time with those ingredients.

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News

Think You Know How to Eat Granola? Switch Things Up with These 3 Tips

If you’ve been a long-time granola fan like us, you probably have a specific way you indulge in the crunchy treat. Are you a purist and only take your granola with cow’s milk? Or is yogurt and granola the only combination you’ll consider? At Little Red Wagon Granola, we love to mix up our snacking, so we’ve put together a “how to” eat granola with sweet tips from our team. 

I know how to eat granola, don’t I? 

It seems simple enough: pour granola into a bowl, top with milk or yogurt, enjoy. When it comes to how to eat granola, that’s about as classic as you can get. But once you add in the possibilities of dairy-free or plant-based milk or Icelandic versus Greek yogurt, even simple go-tos can become complicated. 

If you’re ready to try something new in your granola routine, the following options are some of our team’s favorites. 

Try it as a unique topping 

Granola is known for its crunch, which makes it a great topping. But instead of sprinkling it over yogurt, try adding those crunchy clusters to ice cream, frozen yogurt, pudding, custard, or even fruit puree. We’re partial to the Cosmopolitan flavor over a citrus sorbet. On a hot summer evening, there’s almost nothing more refreshing.  

Or as the crust to a cheesecake 

These days, tart and cheesecake recipes are all over social media––and we’ve seen some pretty inventive ones! Secretly, we’re crust fans so why not add our favorite snack in the mix? Instead of making an Oreo or graham cracker crust, throw some granola (our favorite is Original, but go crazy!) into a food processor, mix in butter, and pat down into a tart dish or springform pan. From there, the flavor combinations are endless. A blueberry vegan cheesecake with Lemon Drop crust? Perfect. Or what about a chocolate peanut butter tart with Crunchy Monkey crust? You’ll be the envy of the picnic.  

How about in a baked good?

With a few more ingredients and some imagination, you can transform granola into a baked good that will rival any bakery. The distinctive crunch in these clusters, with good-for-you nuts, makes them the perfect addition for baked favorites like granola cookie bars and baked oatmeal. Trust us, you may never go back to your milk-and-granola breakfast again after trying those. 

Our favorite “how to” eat granola? On its own! 

With all that said, you really can’t go wrong with snacking on our granola all by itself. We pride ourselves on unique and delicious flavors that will satisfy you on the go, on their own, or when you need to mix things up. Did our “how to eat granola” tips inspire you? Try all the flavors here

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News

5 Summer Activities That Pair Perfectly With Our Handmade Granola Flavors

Summertime is full of possibilities. With warmer temps and longer nights, the activities range from long hikes to movie nights. We’re always thinking about the perfect snacks to fuel us for all of summer’s adventures––what better way than with our handmade granola flavors? Here are our top five summer activities and snack pairings. 

 

Hiking fuel that goes the distance

We’ve mentioned before that our handmade granola is full of good-for-you fiber and balanced nutrition. When you’re taking a hike on those hot summer days, you need food that will keep you fueled. Little Red Wagon Granola has the perfect blend of healthy fats, proteins, and carbs to keep you energized mile after mile. We suggest munching on the granola by itself. Try the Original or Lemon Drop, they’re both easy to eat by the handful. Or, make your own trail mix with the chocolate-packed Crunchy Monkey and your choice of nuts, seeds, and other mix-ins. 

 

The perfect picnic pair  

A picnic is a perfect excuse to enjoy good food in nature. Pick your favorite park, trail, or even your backyard to enjoy a spread of delicious, snackable foods. Make it unique with a breakfast picnic complete with yogurt and granola parfaits (we recommend Mocha) or a dessert picnic with an assortment of toppings, including granola crumbles! 

 

Handmade granola for the road 

Road tripping is the ultimate summer adventure. We know it’s easy (and even part of the fun!) to grab unhealthy road snacks, but our handmade granola is the perfect alternative. Bring along the Original flavor (no chocolate means no melting) for the perfect crunch while you play I Spy or sing 99 Bottles. 

 

Park day crunchies 

On those perfect, cloudless days, the park is full of endless summer activities. Whether you’re spending all day at the playground, reading a book in the shade, or riding bikes on a park trail, you’ll need snacks. Our variety pack of handmade granola flavors packs the perfect punch and crunch for an all-day park marathon. Plus, the different flavor choices are sure to satisfy cravings for even the pickiest eaters. 

 

Outdoor movie night go-to

There’s almost nothing better than ending a day of adventuring with a movie under the stars. And, we don’t know about you, but no movie night is complete without snacks in our house. We suggest mixing granola with popcorn for a fun crunch, adding it to ice cream, or making chocolate bark with granola and other fun add-ins. 

For grown-up fun, pair Cosmopolitan with fancy movie drinks or Mocha with an espresso to keep you awake during all-night marathons. 

 

Handmade granola for all summer’s adventures

Summer activities are some of our favorites and are, like most things, made better with snacks. We love to pair our handmade granola flavors in ways the whole family can enjoy, and ways that keep us fueled for the next adventure.  

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Recipes

Blackberry-Lemon Granola Cookie Bars

Summer is almost upon us and, with it, comes warmer weather and more sunshine. Our Lemon Drop granola makes a great summertime treat on its own. But sometimes your sweet tooth just craves a little bit more. We took the lemon and white chocolate combo one step further by combining it with one of our other favorite summer foods…berries! Our blackberry-lemon granola cookie bars combine the trifecta of summer flavors with blackberry, lemon, and white chocolate. They are a little slice of heaven in a bar. Give it a try!

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • one lemon juiced and zested
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Lemon Drop granola
  • 6 oz blackberries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a stand mixer, or with an electric hand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in thirds and beat until combined.
  4. Fold in granola and blackberries. 
  5. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the white chocolate chips on top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you want more of a gooey bar, bake until it is just turning golden around the edges. If you want more of a cookie texture, bake for the entire time or until it is more golden.
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Lift entire parchment paper layer onto cutting board and cut into bars.
  9. Enjoy!

These delicious granola cookie bars can also be frozen to be enjoyed for future snacking!  

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Recipes

Crunchy Monkey Banana Peanut Butter Mug Cake

April can be a month of highs and lows. You may or may not have fallen for an April Fool’s joke. In most of the country, April weather can be cold and rainy one day and shorts and t-shirt weather the next day.  Spring break and Easter festivities were more common this year, or at least more savored. Then those pesky things called taxes have to get filed. With everything April can bring, sometimes you just need a comforting snack that requires minimal effort! Our Crunchy Monkey granola is the go-to comfort food for many. Try our Crunchy Monkey Banana Peanut Butter Mug Cake recipe for a quick and easy treat that hits the spot. Whip it up when you need a little pick me up or just because. 

Ingredients 

 1 tsp maple syrup

½ ripe banana

1 tbsp milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

Egg white

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup Crunchy Monkey granola

Whipped cream for topping (make it non-dairy if you need)

Directions 

  1. Smash ½ a ripe banana in a small bowl with a fork
  2. Add maple syrup, milk, peanut butter, egg white, vanilla, and baking powder into a bowl. Blend thoroughly.
  3. Add Crunchy Monkey granola and mix to incorporate.
  4. Pour into a large microwave-safe mug. Ensure that the mug has plenty of space above the mixture as it will rise quite a bit while cooking.
  5. Cook approximately 2 minutes (watch during the last minute to make sure your mug has enough space for the rising mug cake).  Break up time increment if needed. If the cake still looks wet add 15 seconds at a time until the cake center looks set.
  6. Allow mug cake to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Enjoy with whipped cream topping!

 

This delicious banana peanut butter mug cake is perfect for one! 

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News

Tier 3 of Little Red Wagon Granola Values: Healthy Food (the Best Healthy Granola)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of granola must be in want of a healthy snack. Or did we misquote that? What we know for sure is that granola is the ultimate snack––crunchy, delicious, and full of good-for-you ingredients that keep you fueled. The third and final tier of our values is healthy food. Read on to see why we make the best healthy granola. 

More than the best granola: our three-part values

We’ve made it to the last part of our three-tiered values. If you’ve been following along, you know all about Tier 1 (Healthy People) and Tier 2 (Healthy Planet). The third and final value is a huge part of what we think makes the best healthy granola––Healthy Food. And, yes, we know that granola isn’t a superfood, but we do think this super food (see what we did there?) can be part of a balanced diet and a healthy go-to snacking choice. 

Supporting our healthy food value 

What do you think when someone says “healthy food?” Do you picture the food pyramid? Or maybe the broccoli you’d push around your plate as a kid? When we say healthy food, we’re not just talking about what’s on the nutrition label. We’re talking about ingredients, where the food is from, and balanced nutrition.  

 

High-quality ingredients 

Part of what we think makes ours the best healthy granola around is our use of the highest quality local ingredients we can find. When you turn around one of our bags to check the ingredient list, we guarantee that it will be short and pronounceable. By using high-quality ingredients every step of the way, we can control each bag’s overall quality. 

 

Sustainable food sourcing 

Simply put, sustainable eating is better for our planet (refer to Tier 2). Sustainable farms, like our oat supplier in Canada, “encourage biodiversity, conserve scarce water resources, and build healthy soil through techniques like composting and planting cover crops.” To us, sustainable food sourcing for every high-quality ingredient leads to a more delicious, healthier product. 

 

Balanced nutrition 

The definition of what makes food healthy has changed over the years. As a rule, a healthy diet is a balanced diet (we’re all about balance) that includes a good mix of protein, fat, fiber, calcium, and carbohydrates. Our granolas are high in fiber, have healthy fats from nuts, and don’t have any artificial flavors or colors. The balance of protein, carbs, and fat in each bag makes this a snack that keeps you fuller for longer without the crash you’d get from other snacks packed full of artificial sugars and ingredients. 

The best healthy granola should be good for your body and soul

Eating healthy is a personal journey and one that requires balance. Focusing on healthy food as one of our three tiers means we’re committed to providing a high-quality, sustainably sourced, and balanced product. Is it the best healthy granola you’ve ever tasted? Try it out for yourself! Happy snacking!

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Tier 2 of Our Granola Company Values: Healthy Planet

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: there’s only one planet Earth and it’s our job to take care of it. As a family-oriented granola company, we’re also future-oriented. And we think that means making sustainable choices now that leave the planet better for the next generations. That’s why tier two of our values is, fittingly, supporting a healthy planet. 

 

Why we gave our granola company three-part values

When we purchased Little Red Wagon Granola over a year ago, we had fallen in love with the hand-baked, delicious granola. And the company’s commitment to supporting local. 

We added our own three-part values because, first and foremost, we think a company (even a granola company) should stand for more than just its products or services. This month’s blog focuses on our dedication to sustainability and making this planet as healthy as we can. 

 

How we support our goal of a healthy planet 

Sustainability in packaging, sourcing, and consumption are all equally important. The key here is that it’s not just up to food companies (like us), it’s also up to individuals (like you!) to make a difference. 

 

Sustainable packaging

We’re so excited that our new packaging has begun hitting the shelves of our favorite grocery stores (maybe you’ve seen them?!). The vibrant packages do more than make you smile as you put a bag (or five) in your shopping cart. 

Our sustainable packaging means these beauties use non-toxic ink from a manufacuter that reduces greenhouse gas emmission. Plus, they’re fully recyclable. After you’ve finished your last bowl of granola, just drop them off at a Store Drop Off location. 

 

Healthy, sustainably-sourced ingredients

Scroll through the granola shop on our site or turn your bag over, and you’ll find a deliciously short ingredient list. We left out the bad stuff in favor of ingredients you can pronounce that we intentionally source. If you read our blog on sustainably sourced oats, you know that we work with a small farm in Canada that’s committed to minimally processed, delicious oat-producing. 

The nuts, dried fruits, and other scrumptious add-ins are equally intentional. You won’t find any unnecessary ingredients on our lists. Because we know how important good food is for our customers and the planet.  

 

Waste reduction 

Did you know that about 80 billion pounds of food are thrown away annually in the United States? We don’t know about you, but that makes us want to eat every last crumb. Food waste might be only one piece of the healthy planet pie (had to), but we’re committed to doing our part to decrease it.

That’s why we designed an efficient process that ensures all food goes from our bakery to our customers with as little waste as possible during production. This also means that we purchase ingredients from and partner with brands that also make commitments to minimal waste. And use every last crumb! 

 

More than your average granola company 

At Little Red Wagon Granola, we want you to feel good about every bag you buy. And with each purchase you’ll be getting more than just crunchy, perfectly baked and spiced granola clusters. You’ll also be getting our commitment as a company to one of the most important things––a healthy planet. Now that’s worth celebrating. 

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Recipes

Green Oatmeal Raisin Muffins Just in Time for St. Paddy’s

Spring is nearly here and St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner! We are all ready to move on from the dark, cold days of winter to the warmer, sunnier days of spring.  New Year’s resolutions may have started to get dusty, but we all could use a little more green in our diets.  What better way to get more green in our diets, than by starting the day with a healthy dose of spinach? Our green oatmeal raisin muffins are a simple and delicious way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the most important meal of the day.  Try prepping a batch on the weekend to have a healthy breakfast on the go during the week.  You could also bake a batch on St. Paddy’s Day to get a festive start to the day!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 5.5 oz (~1.5 cups) Original granola (complete with oats and raisins!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • One large banana
  • 4 oz raw baby spinach
  • One egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin wells with baking cups.*
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour, Original granola, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. With a blender, add milk, banana, spinach, maple syrup, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mix until just incorporated.
  5. Divide mixture between 12 lined muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 20-22 mins at 350°F until muffins are just browned.
  7. Remove oatmeal raisin muffins from pan when cool enough to handle.  Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before enjoying. 

 

*If you have silicone baking cups or a silicone pan, the use of silicone will minimize sticking.  Regular muffin liners will have some sticking to the muffins.

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News

Tier 1 of Little Red Wagon Granola Values: Healthy People

In the last year, we’ve all seen how an imbalance between work and everything else can wear on people. And if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we could all do with a lot less stress in our lives. The first tier of our Little Red Wagon Granola values is healthy people––supporting those that make our company what it is. 

Little Red Wagon Granola tiered values

Because our values are three-tiered, we want to give customers a chance to learn about each

one in-depth. We developed these tiered values because we believe that every company should stand for something and work toward making the world and their employee’s lives better. Our focus this month is on healthy people and how we try to maintain that value across our business, especially when it comes to how we treat our employees.

How we support our goal of healthy people

We wouldn’t be where we are today without our incredible employees. They’re the people who embody Little Red Wagon Granola values and work tirelessly to craft delicious, quality granola. We support our ‘healthy people’ value in three big ways: work-life balance, competitive wages, and comprehensive benefits. 

Work-life balance

If you look at recent work-life statistics, they’re pretty shocking. Over half of US employees need help managing this balance. And 25% surveyed felt work-related stress to the point of screaming. We think we can do better. 

That’s why we gave our employees a Monday through Thursday schedule (nine-hour days). So each week they have an extra day to regroup and relax. This schedule helps employees take care of their life outside of work, spend extra time with family and friends, go to a weekday appointment, and practice self-care. 

Competitive Wage

No matter how a business shows or says they value their employees if the pay does not reflect their values, it’s probably not the best place to work. We offer our employees a competitive, liveable wage so they can fully enjoy their work with one less thing to worry about. 

Comprehensive Benefits

We think benefits play an important role in a balanced life. Since they’re not scrambling to find time or resources to stay healthy, our employees can focus on what matters. To support this, we offer competitive health benefits and paid time off. 

And although we can’t go out because of COVID, we make it a point to pause, celebrate, and indulge for the holidays and important milestones throughout the year. Even at six feet apart. We are a food company after all, so we enjoy good food and ‘breaking bread’ together to show our team that they’re appreciated. 

Granola with intention 

When you purchase a bag of Little Red Wagon Granola, you’re supporting a team of highly dedicated and passionate individuals. Every cluster of granola in every bag is baked with intention and quality in mind––by people who are encouraged to have balance in every facet of their lives.

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Recipes

Red Velvet Overnight Oatmeal Recipe for a Valentine’s Treat

 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, plan a special start to the day with this red velvet overnight oatmeal recipe. This decadent— but secretly healthy—treat is the perfect blend of creamy coconut, crunchy-chewy mocha granola, and satisfying cocoa. 

Treat yourself, your honey, or your kids to this delicious treat for a hearty breakfast or dessert. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mocha Granola
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut milk (cream)
  • 4 oz. condensed milk
  • ½ cup cooked beets (canned or Love Beets)
  • Optional toppings: fresh raspberries, whipped cream, baking chocolate

Directions

  1. In a blender, measure and pour ½ cup coconut milk. If you are using canned coconut milk, we recommend adding more of the cream from the top of the can which will create a more mousse-like texture.
  2. Add the condensed milk to the blender. This amount can be adjusted based on your preference for sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add more condensed milk. If you would like it less sweet, add in more of the coconut milk.
  3. Add 1 tbsp vanilla and 1 tbsp cocoa (more if you want it) into the mixture in the blender.
  4. Add approximately ½ cup of beets into the blender mixture. The beets will give you the beautiful red color and add nutrition that isn’t found in food coloring. If you’re worried about the taste, you can go a little lighter on the beets.  
  5. Blend the mixture thoroughly until everything is smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetness, vanilla, and cocoa to your own preference. Re-blend as needed. Note: The beet taste is less prominent once the flavors marry.
  6. Add the Mocha granola into the mixture and stir (don’t blend) well to incorporate. If you like your oatmeal a little thicker, add more granola. If you like your oatmeal a little thinner, add less granola.
  7. Empty the overnight oat mixture into mason jars or ramekins and refrigerate overnight. 
  8. Garnish in the morning with fresh fruit such as raspberries, whipped cream, and/or shaved chocolate.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Makes approximately two 8 oz servings. Red velvet overnight oatmeal recipe scales easily for your household.