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CT mom creates granola with super foods, no gluten

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Adrienne Lufkin made tons of granola during her 20-year career as a personal chef, but when she came up with a recipe to suit her dietary needs – no gluten, no sweetener – her family loved the taste so much that she started a business.

Her “Struesli,” containing seven superfoods and not a drop of added sweetener, is promoted as, “granola redefined.”

“I really crafted something I want to eat that’s really good for my body,” said Lufkin, who suffers from Crohn’s disease and migraines. “My motivation is being able to add a delicious, nutrient rich addition to everybody’s day.”

Instead of oats as a base, the granola contains tiger nuts – which aren’t nuts at all, but rather a tube-like root vegetable.

The Struesli also contains hemp hearts, flaxseeds, walnuts, pecans, coconut flakes and chia seeds.

A second flavor, Cacao + Coffee has all the original ingredients plus the robust flavor profile of unsweetened cacao, ground artisanal organic coffee and a hint of vanilla bean.

The mom of two who lives in Washington, Conn., also is developing additional flavors.

Adrienne Lufkin of Washington, Ct. with her Struesli," a gluten-free, sweetener-free granola packed with 7 super foods.
Adrienne Lufkin of Washington, Ct. with her Struesli,” a gluten-free, sweetener-free granola packed with 7 super foods.

Struesli’s ingredients fit in with many diets, including paleo, keto, diabetic, heart healthy and gluten-free, Lufkin said.

Ben Pastor, also of Washington, said he has the Cacao + Coffee flavor every day for breakfast on his low-sugar vanilla yogurt and says it’s “super duper delicious” and so nutrient dense that it boosts his energy.

“You taste all those wonderful flavors that don’t get masked by being overly sweetened,” said Pastor, who buys it a market in Bantam. “It’s nutrient dense in a great way. “I’m a Struesli loyal.”

Marcia Puc of Naugatuck said she was originally drawn to Struesli because it contains so many of the superfoods se had been putting on yogurt and smoothie bowls for years from different sources.

“Now, I just grab my bulk bag of Struesli and scoop it out,” she said.

Puc said the tiger nuts and coconut oil give the granola “a delicious sweetness without any added sugars whatsoever.”

“I had a hard time finding a granola without sweeteners. I love that Struesli does not spike your blood sugar,” she said. “I even eat it as a cereal with a bit of plant based milk and berries for dessert.”

Lufkin said granola has this “aura” of being a health food,” but really it’s usually heavy and carby because of the oats and usually sweetened, she said. Her product doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners either.

“It feels lighter than your traditional granola…Oats are very carby and they do weigh you down,” she said.

It didn’t take Lufkin long to figure out the ingredients, but tweaking the amounts took some experimenting.

Lufkin said Struseli is rich in prebiotics, fiber, healthy fats and is completely plant-based.

“My goal would be for people to have it in their pantry either as their stand alone granola or a topping,” she said.

Lufkin was a personal chef to people for 20 years, often cooking in a way to suit health needs.

She was chef to her now husband Dan Lufkin and his late wife, Cynthia Lufkin, a well-known philanthropist.

After Cynthia died of cancer, leaving two children, Dan Lufkin kept Adrienne on as the family’s chef.

“A great love emerged” she said noting she and Dan married in 2015.

The product comes packaged in an attractive cylindrical box of 9 ounces and costs $11.99.

Artist Katie Ré Scheidt, loves Struesli and says, “It’s the perfect hostess gift.”

“Instead of a bottle of wine, I’ll often bring Struesli, everyone is excited to try something healthy that’s also so delicious, and the chic packaging makes it feel festive,” she said.

Struesli, manufactured in Vermont, hit the market Dec. 22 and for now is being distributed through Amazon, the company’s own website, at dozen retail locations, including the high end Erewhon Market stores throughout the Los Angeles area.

Lufkin said the No. 1 comment she gets from customers is “Thanks for creating a granola without any sweetener or sugar.

“It just warms my heart,” Lufkin said, when she gets feedback from people whose lives have been changed by Struesli.

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