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Before I get into the granola itself, I need to take a moment to tell you guys just how awesome Luv Michael really is. They are a company based out of New York that Michael Kessaris’s parents helped start. Michael is an 18-year-old with a passion for cooking who just happens to also be autistic. His parents wanted to help start a business so that their son and others with autism could have more fulfilling, productive lives. The slogan on the front of the package says “Autism Made, Autism Paid.” Their mission is to provide meaningful vocational training for the autistic population and to produce exceptional gluten-free and natural products. Luv Michael educates, trains and employs individuals with autism.
There are so many people who either have a family member with autism or who know someone with autism. We know first hand how difficult it is for someone with autism to find ways to be active participants in society, especially as adults. My fiance’s brother had been living with him for many years. They moved into my house over a year ago and his brother had to quit his job since it was over an hour away. He had only been employed a few months, but the effect it had on him was awesome. He had come out of his shell more and was starting to talk more positively about his own future. He really wants to have his own place again. We thought we’d be able to transfer all his information and find something for him near where we live now, but it’s been next to impossible. We keep getting told to call one place, then they tell us to call another. It’s been very difficult and time-consuming. He hasn’t had a job in over a year, he barely comes upstairs, and he’s most definitely back in his shell. We’re actually planning to move back up near where they were before and hoping that we will be able to get him working again soon.
I think Daryl’s brother would be awesome at a job where he could help make or package granola! He’d probably want to take it all home, but I wouldn’t blame him – it’s delicious! In the package, you can see it’s a little different than traditional granola. It looks more like a broken up cookie than the typical granola crumbles you usually find. It’s gluten free which is awesome, but also nut free and dairy free. There are no GMO ingredients and it contains organic ingredients! The Originola variety is loaded with lots of good stuff like cranberries, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon! It kind of reminds me of an oatmeal raisin cookie. I couldn’t stop eating it!
My favorite way to use granola is in a cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. I’d also eat this as cereal or straight from the bag since the pieces are bigger and easier to grab.
Right now you can find 2oz snackable packages of Luv Michaels Originola Granola at New York Fresh & Co., Café Metro and Wild by Nature stores as well as select Starbucks and at local stores in Southampton, New York and throughout Delaware. They are growing and hoping to expand to all 50 states! If you happen to be in one of these areas I really hope you’ll give Luv Michael a try! If you’re not, keep your eyes open – they may be coming to a store near you soon!