It’s never too early to get your healthy on, and Jeanine Manadili of grooviola gourmet granola has a wide assortment of euphoric oat and nut based granolas and cereals for you, or that special loved one.
She began this venture back in 2009 when she tasted a commercial brand of granola and like so many confident and savvy foodies, knew she could produce a superior product. The groovy thing is? She wasn’t even a granola fan! Her sister is conscious of the foods she eats, so Manadili’s passion was born out of helping someone she cares about get a healthy and nutritious start to their day. She finds conventional granolas to be unnecessarily sweet and chewy (read: cardboard textured) with so many raw ingredients like dried fruits.
She started experimenting and her first product was the Original. This nutty blend of oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and canola oil is baked with that distinctive Canadian maple syrup flavour. She began selling it to friends and family and in 2012 her decision to “go big” came. A friend needed a medical treatment that would cost over $35,000, so Manadili helped in the fundraising efforts by producing and selling over 400 bags of grooviola original in 10 days! That’s 400 pounds of crunchy oats and nuts!
She continued to experiment and came up with a variety of different products including a Light version (inspired for her athletic friends) which has the familiar taste to her Original brand, shifting the balance of fat intake and fewer calories. But remember, we’re still talking GOOD FAT like coconut. “Coconuts provide fat that is almost all in the form of health-promoting medium chain fats. Coconuts are an excellent source of manganese, molybdenum, and copper and is also a good source of selenium and zinc.” Didn’t know that, I just love the crunch and unique taste only coconut delivers! For the individual conscious of their gluten intake, there is groovinogluten, where she replaced the oats with a blend of organic whole corn puffs, organic millet puffs and organic brown rice puffs.
Her products are patriotic too: Canadian Prairie oats and sweetened with pure Canadian maple syrup brings the right amount of sweetness as honey is overly saccharine and kills the subtle flavours of the other baked nuts, grains and seeds.
She is also branching in to all natural cereals which touts the same deliciousness of the granolas, without the nuts. I took her suggestion and sprinkled her chocogrooviopuffs over some fruit and added a dollop of vanilla ice cream to see if I could make a tasty and attractive dessert that my guests might gawk at and my kids would eat and the results are not only tasty, but aesthetically impressive. And it tastes like cocoa without the horrible after taste of one of the cocoa-puffs, Count Choculike (a.k.a. “bunny poops” as my family affectionately refers to those junky cereals). An excellent healthy alternative to my family’s highly irregular “during-vacation-only cereal” purchase.
Grooviola also has a peanut butter line that is made with organic smooth peanut butter and is not overly nutty to kill your pallet. She also has grooviochai, to start your very Zen morning which is reminiscent of a warm cup of chai tea.
Manadili continues in her philanthropic ventures. Grooviola is now supporting The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC . By donating $1 from the sale of every 454g bag of original grooviola, donations help to ensure that the hospital’s most urgent needs for state-of-the-art equipment, innovative research, and specialized programs are met. “So now you can enjoy grooviola guilt-free, knowing you’re helping a great cause, too.”
All natural, locally produced, a 1lb bag will cost you $10 but you don’t need a cups worth like mainstream granolas to fill you up. I used about 1/3 of a cup of the Original over some yogurt for my breakfast and this tided me over until late morning. 227 gram bags are $5.50 or for $16 you can get a trio sampler of grooviola, grooviolite and groovinogluten. Stay tuned to her Facebook page as she reveals more experimental flavours. She is has spoken to Jeanne Boucharlat about her gourmet granolas possibly blending with with Les Charlatans’ artisanal syrups .
Her products can be ordered online, and she will be at Puces Pop this week-end. She is also a periodically a guest vendor at the William Sonoma store in Laval.
Grooviola can be bought at Puces Pop this weekend, December 12-14 at Eglise St. Denis (5075 Rue Rivard).