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Easy, light (and gluten-free) summer snacking

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Everyone likes seasonal treats. What would summer be without cold watermelon or ice cream? However, with all those vacations and travel modes, sometimes you just can't pack a watermelon in your carry-on luggage. What is out there that is new, can be enjoyed as is, and can be used as an added ingredient too? Of course, it has to be delicious, have good nutrtitional value, and should cost a reasonable amount for what you get as well, right?

One new product that fits the tall order of all of the above is Van's Blueberry Walnut Soft Baked Granola Clusters. On top of all the features mentioned, it is also gluten-free (for those folks who have to or choose to eat without gluten in their diets). Here are some ideas you might try using the 11 ounce bag of chewy deliciousness in a creative way...

1. Use the granola in your own homemade yogurt parfait. Slice in some extra strawberries or other favorite fresh summer fruit (like peaches) and make it an amazing meal, big dessert, or just a hefty snack.

2. Making muffins? After putting the batter in the muffin cup pan, toss a tablespoon of this granola on top of each muffin for all the enjoyment of a 'strussel' topping with more nutrition and texture.

3. Pancakes? Whether using a regular mix or a gluten-free mix, add into the batter 1/2 to 1 cup of crumbled granola clusters and cook as directed. Turn your pancakes into granola-cakes.

... or in a not-so-creative way...

4. Eat it right out of the bag. If you have any self-control, you could portion it out into smaller plastic bags so you would have some for later... or another day. The softness of the oats adds to the 'chew' - something that is usually missing in gluten-free products. The light sweetness is enjoyable, the dried berries and crunchy walnuts makes it complete snack or treat (if you throw in a few tablespoons of your favorite chocolate chips, too).

For more product information, see: http://www.vansfoods.com/ . And don't forget to join the e-club. According to Van's, "Our eClub is equal parts news, nutrition advice and sweet special offers you won't find anywhere else. Join now and find out what it's like to get the latest updates, recipes and deals when they're fresh out of the oven." See: http://www.vansfoods.com/e-club and start saving while enjoying your summer, too.

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