When it's crunch time in the morning or snack time at your desk, it's nice to have some granola squirreled away. Real Simple staffers sampled 187(!) varieties to find the best.
Best Oats and Honey
Cascadian Farm Oats and Honey
Bite-size clusters of organic oats stay crunchy in milk, even at the bottom of the cereal bowl. Unlike some overly sweet competitors, this pick has a honey-vanilla flavor balanced by sea salt.
To buy: $4 for 16 ounces; target.com.
Best for Health Nuts
Nature's Path Chia Plus Coconut
An organic cereal that's packed with omega-3–rich chia seeds and dried coconut. Plus, the oat base is mixed with airy puffed rice, so it won't leave you feeling weighed down.
To buy: $3.30 for 12.3 ounces; target.com.
Best to Buy in Bulk
Early Bird Foods & Co. Gets the Worm
This fun pick (an all-natural gummy worm is buried in each bag, like an old-school cereal-box prize) is largely sold online. But the olive oil–oat mix is worth the wait. Roasted in tiny batches so that it's extra crispy and fresh, it tastes exactly like homemade.
To buy: $52 for six 12-ounce bags; earlybirdfoods.com.
Best for Kids
18 Rabbits Caramel Apple Jr. Organic Granola Cereal
Little ones will gobble up this combo of brown rice crisps, sunflower seeds, and dried apple. Real caramel sweetens the deal but doesn't add a whopping amount of sugar—a two-thirds-cup serving has eight grams (less than most of the other winners have).
To buy: $5.50 for eight ounces; 18rabbits.com.
Barbara's Better Than Granola Dark Chocolate Cranberry
Many options in this category use tough, freeze-dried berries. This medley of multigrain wheat squares, sliced almonds, and oats includes plump dried cranberries instead—plus 70 percent cacao dark chocolate curls. Bonus: It contains nearly double the protein of many other granolas on the market.
To buy: $6 for 10 ounces; amazon.com.
Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Honey Oat
Forget mysterious ingredients and fillers that may or may not be wheat-free. This winner keeps it simple—with oats, brown rice flour, and brown sugar. Loose like muesli (meaning small clumps), it's excellent in warmed milk.
To buy: $5.70 for 12 ounces; at grocery stores and amazon.com.