Erika Boll's chewy Toasted Oat granola makes gluten-free a treat.
Dublin native Erika Boll is living the classic entrepreneurial story. She took her grandmother's peanut and raisin granola recipe, made it gluten-free and built a company around it: The Toasted Oat.
"She was on to something. She used to make huge Ziploc bags of it and divide it up," Boll says about her grandmother. "The only change we've made is she used wheat germ. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I thought 'Oh gosh, how am I going to adapt it?' And what worked great was exchanging golden flaxseed meal for the wheat germ, one for one, and we were able to maintain the rest of the recipe perfectly."
Tasting more like a chewy, fresh-baked oatmeal cookie than a typical granola, Toasted Oat comes in four regular flavors: peanut and raisin; white chocolate and macadamia; blueberry and flax; and cashew and apricot. It's a great complement for yogurt, of course, or as an ice cream topper. Thinking lunch? Crumble cashew and apricot on a salad with sliced chicken and goat cheese.
Boll started local retail sales in the summer of 2013, and by 2015 Toasted Oat hit regional shelves at Whole Foods and Kroger. She intends to grow Toasted Oat into a national brand, and earlier this year the company started taking on investors. This winter, it will introduce new packaging and a new flavor: cherry and almond.
"I think the most surprising thing for me is that a really small percentage of our following is gluten-free," Boll says. "It really has grown far beyond where I thought the key consumer would be."
You can find Toasted Oat locally at Whole Foods, Lucky's, Raisin Rack, Fresh Thyme and select Kroger stores. thetoastedoat.com