Monday, August 22, 2016

Luv Michael: Locally-Sourced Organic Granola that Gives Back

I love snacking. Finding new delicious snacks is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I especially like finding snacks from companies like Luv Michael that not only create great foods, but they give back to the community!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Luv Michael creates snackable granola using the finest organic ingredients. Each batch is made by people with autism, known as "granologists" by the Luv Michael team. They empower their granologists by providing living wages and the opportunity to learn independent life skills. They also deliver a product that tastes delicious!

Luv Michael is a non-profit that was inspired by Michael Kessaris, an 18-year-old with autism who has a passion for cooking. Finding a career was not easy for him, though, as he was unable to enroll in culinary school without a high school diploma. His parents, Drs. Lisa Liberatore and Dimitri Kessaris, helped create the food-based business so that Michael and others with autism could be active participants in the working world.

The Luv Michael Pilot Program in Manhasset, New York aims to create a workforce development program for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Participants will enroll in the Luv Michael Employment & Independent Living program to help them transition from the existing educational system. The program will consist of a traditional academic education, business development, fitness and nutrition, and the opportunity to become certified in ServSafe.

I absolutely love what Luv Michael is doing! I think it's amazing that non-profits like this exist to help people, and their success is inspiring. You can help support their mission of providing jobs for adults living with autism by purchasing Luv Michael granola. Their two ounce granola bags are available at all New York Fresh & Co. stores, Cafe Metro, and Wild by Nature stores. It's also available at select Starbucks in Southampton, New York and throughout Delaware. They are expanding daily and hope to soon serve all 50 states!

So, clearly, Luv Michael is doing something amazing. As a non-profit, they're grateful for any and all tax deductible donations, but you can also help out simply by purchasing their granola. I tried the two ounce bag of their Originola flavor and it is amazing. I have to admit that I'm usually not a big granola fan because I find it to be too crumbly and messy to eat, but this stuff is perfect for me! It comes in bigger chunks and is super easy to snack on without making a mess.

The ingredients are organic gluten-free rolled oats, organic brown rice syrup (brown rice, water), organic dried cranberries, organic raisins, Mission: Maple Syrup, organic sunflower seed oil, organic brown chia seeds, organic flaxseed, organic puffed millet, organic vanilla extract, organic cinnamon powder, organic ground nutmeg, and organic sea salt. As you can see, lots of great organic ingredients! It's also nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

The Originola granola is lightly sweet and has a great crunch. I love the cinnamon notes, and the cranberries and raisins add just enough fruity sweetness. I thought it was fantastic and I am going to buy more from the Luv Michael website for sure!
Bottom Line: Luv Michael is really doing a great thing and I'm so happy I had the opportunity to share their product with you! I highly recommend giving their granola a try. You'll get a yummy snack and the satisfaction of knowing you're helping a non-profit organization that's creating great opportunities for those living with autism!

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