I LOVE granola. It's my guilty pleasure. I eat it with fruit in my Greek yogurt almost everyday. Sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for dessert. I love the crunch and I love the taste. And while I think we should all try our best to limit our processed food intake, I believe granola can be the lesser evil to many other options out there. That said, I will warn you that most granola, yes, even kinds labeled organic and marketed as healthy, are not in your best interest to consume. Most granola is laden with sugar. As a general rule, if sugar is the first or second ingredient in any type of cereal, it should be avoided. Beware that sugar is often disguised with less obvious terms, such as "evaporated cane juice." News flash: it's sugar. 

So go check your cabinets and discard of those overly sweetened processed cereals I know you are hiding. Swap them for some healthier options. Here are my three favorites:

Go Raw original granola contains just four ingredients: sprouted organic buckwheat grouts, organic dates, sprouted organic flax seeds and organic raisins. This is about as guilt-free as it gets: no added sweeteners, all organic ingredients, and the benefits of sprouted flax seeds. Sprouted flax seeds contain all the essential amino acids, alpha-linolenic acid: an essential omega 3 fatty acid, magnesium, potassium and iron. Oh and guess what else? Buckwheat is gluten-free. It's actually the seed of a plant, Fagopyrum esculentum.

If you are a fan of Post Grape Nuts cereal, you will like Ezekiel. It has the same satisfying crunch, but with the added benefits of sprouted grains and a hint of cinnamon. Sprouted wheat contains significantly less gluten than regularly processed wheat and a much higher content of soluble fiber. Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel is made from organic sprouted wheat, organic raisins, organic malted barley, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted millet, organic sprouted lentils, organic sprouted soybeans, organic sprouted spelt, filtered water, sea salt and organic cinnamon.

While Go Raw and Ezekiel are cabinet staples for me, this pumpkin fig granola is a once-in-a-while grocery store splurge. I was hesitant to include it on my list, because - gasp - organic coconut palm sugar is the second ingredient, which contradicts my rule above. Coconut palm sugar is a better choice than cane sugar, but it must be enjoyed in moderation. It is minimally processed, contains a few nutrients, and has a lower glycemic index than table sugar - causing less of a spike in blood sugar. Purely Elizabeth pumpkin fig granola contains organic certified gluten-free oats, organic coconut palm sugar, organic raw virgin coconut oil, organic puffed amaranth, organic quinoa flakes, organic pumpkin seeds, dried figs, organic sunflower seeds, organic chia seeds, organic cinnamon and sea salt. It is decadent, delicious, and it should be considered dessert (a wise alternative to most, however!).