What does “o.a.t.s.” stand for? Outrageously addictive tasty snack? Obscenely arduous to stop [eating]? Yes, but no. Simply put, o.a.t.s. is oats. Plus a handful of other identifiable ingredients (all of which I can pronounce), combined to create a truly delicious “granola for the foodie.”
o.a.t.s. granola was developed only a year ago by two Westport women, Julie Gaines and Dana Noorily. Both women are busy moms – between them they have five kids under the age of seven – and passionate foodies. Disappointed by commercial granolas, Julie set out to bake her own at home. After sharing the results with Dana, they joined forces, selling hundreds of mason jars of the granola through friends and family last holiday season.
Very quickly, Double L Market began selling the crunchy goodness, and Julie and Dana stepped up production at a nearby commercial kitchen. Soon o.a.t.s. granola was selling at four Whole Foods stores and a number of independent markets locally. As of December, the product is also being sold at all Stew Leonard’s stores.
Stew Leonard’s has a long history of giving local food businesses their start, including Newman’s Own and Bear Naked (both of which launched at the Norwalk store). It’s an exciting beginning for o.a.t.s. granola.
Currently, the granola is available in original and dark chocolate varieties. Both are sweetened only with honey (no high fructose corn syrup), and have a delicate texture featuring toasted whole pecans, almonds and walnuts. Cinnamon, vanilla, clove, nutmeg and decaf espresso impart a flavor that’s rich and complex . . . and definitely not too sweet. It’s sweet and crunchy enough to be enjoyed by kids, yet savory enough to be meant for grown-up palates. The addition of dark chocolate achieves a kind of cereal/dessert nirvana. For brunch, sprinkled on Greek yogurt or oatmeal, as a dessert topping, hostess gift or inhaled straight out of the bag, this granola defies all the old granola stereotypes and clichés. It’s not bark and twigs. It’s a decadent treat-in-a-bowl (or bag).
What’s n.e.x.t. for o.a.t.s.? Possible extensions include a nut-free version, additional flavors and/or bars. I hope they add a warning label –- because this stuff is seriously addictive.
Now get o.u.t. . . . and get o.a.t.s.!
[o.a.t.s. granola is available at Stew Leonard’s stores, Double L Market (Westport), Rowayton Market, Juliska (Stamford), Ring Bros Marketplace (S. Dennis, MA), Spic & Span Market (Southport), Village Market (Wilton), Ancona’s Market (Ridgefield), Peter’s Weston Market, Palmer’s Market (Darien), Whole Foods (Westport and Fairfield), Union Market (Brooklyn).