Peanuts and almonds have an oligopoly over the nut butter market.
There, I said it. If Vladimir Nutin and his secret legume agents take me down, you’ll find my full manifesto buried 50 paces east of the old Siberian walnut factory.
All I’m saying is that, while peanut and almond butter is good and all, I think other nut butters deserve their moment in the sunflower oil-emulsified sun.
Cashew butter is delightful. Pecan butter is an underrated gem. And wingnut butter contains so much iron!
Yet General Mills and Nature Valley chose to use peanut butter and almond butter to flavor their newest pouches of granola. I’ll forgive them for now because they used honey in their almond butter granola, but if I’m martyred for this expository review, I’ll be leaving a scathing eulogy.
Oh well, might as well munch while I wait for my door to be punched down.
Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Review
Starting with the more iconic flavor of the two, I gobbled a handful of Nature Valley’s PB granola, keeping a scoop of jelly in my other hand in case of emergency.
While there aren’t very many clusters in it, this gravelly granola is still crunchy enough to make Grape Nuts look like Gerber Creamed Corn. While building my molars’ biceps, I noticed that while this granola tastes authentically like peanut butter, the two halves are pretty distinctly divorced from one another.
One the front end, this granola tastes strongly of salted peanuts, plain and simple. It’s savory and well-roasted, but it’s a pretty mouth-drying sensation, so have milk (almond or otherwise) on hand to keep yourself from appearing in a cinnamon challenge-esque viral video.
The butter taste comes in the aftertaste, as its Reese’s-like oiliness gives the otherwise neutral oat flavor a mouthwatering coating. Collectively, the taste is delightfully genuine and addictive, but I do wish I could stir this stuff up like watery natural peanut butter to bring unity to its disparate flavor palate.
Guess I’ll just have to eat it faster.
Nature Valley Honey Almond Butter Granola Review
Compared to peanut butter’s golden-brown standard for quality, honey almond butter feels like a wildcard. But in reality, this granola just tastes a lot like mineralized, photo-realistic Honey Nut Cheerios.
Let me explain: while Honey Nut Cheerios have a burst of sugary honey and a palpably enhanced nuttiness from its almond extract, Nature Valley’s Honey Almond Butter Granola survives on the inherent sweetness of its ingredients alone. That means there’s only a meager and largely bland almond taste, glazed over by a pronounced floral honey sweetness that’s made darkly caramelized by the granola’s twist of molasses.
It’s a fun and memorable flavor (imagine if a gingerbread man and a Teddy Graham got forcefully smushed together via Large Hadron Collider), but its comparative lack of nuttiness leaves its Peanut Butter brother as the more truthful and tasty of the two.
While Honey Almond Butter feels like it could be near-interchangeable with the Winnie-the-Poohzillion different honey granolas out there, Peanut Butter stands out as something you could charmingly mix into a fruit yogurt or smoothie.
At the same time, both are solid (both literally and critically) granolas, so if you need a healthy treat or buckshot for an edible scatter-gun, these are worth a try.
Burglars beware, you’re in for a wholesome scare!
The Bowl: Nature Valley Nut Butter Granolas – Peanut Butter & Honey Almond Butter
The Breakdown: Peanut Butter is a nice, albeit piecemeal savory-sweet treat, and Honey Almond loses its nutty namesake, but both bring much needed flavor density to an otherwise homogenized granola aisle.
The Bottom Line (PB): 8 buff bicuspids out of 10
The Bottom Line (Honey Almond): 7 Teddy Graham God Particles out of 10