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Kimberley’s Own Simplifies Healthy Snacking

Create three recipes using granola. If that sounds easy, consider that all recipes need to be free of gluten, soy, and corn. Then imagine that the recipes must be easy to reproduce, a cinch to make at home, with a simple ingredient list.

Learn more about the project below.

The Challenge

Kimberley’s Own, a Toronto-based start-up company, produces a vegan, gluten-free, pure oat-based granola that contains no oil, refined sugars, soy, corn, or dairy. When founder Kimberley Lugsdin, a graduate of the George Brown Chef School, wanted recipes to promote the versatility of her granola line, she naturally came to George Brown’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt).

For health-conscious Lugsdin, it was imperative that the recipes include only wholesome, natural ingredients. “To ensure product quality, I had to be very specific about what recipes could and could not include. Students had to work around these restrictions.”

The GBC Solution

For FIRSt Research Food Scientist Moira Cockburn, these limitations provided a great recipe development challenge (and learning opportunity) for Culinary Management Nutrition (CMN) students, building research skills and practical lessons in scientific methodology. “Students realized that you can’t just change five ingredients at once,” Cockburn explains, “but you have to look at each and how it impacts the recipe.”

Student Erynn Mayes agrees. “It was my first time thinking about standards, repeatability, consistency, about learning how to write a methodology, and understand that someone needs to be able to read my recipe and then recreate it.”

The Result

Lugsdin was delighted with the results. The students provided the out-of-the-box thinking she’d hoped for, supported by the state-of-the-art facilities at FIRSt. Two FIRSt-developed recipes have now been launched: NibScotti, a biscotti made from Kimberley’s Own “Nibs & Nuts Blend” and a Datelicious loaf, sweetened with dates rather than sugar and containing the “Just-Seeds Blend.”

The project was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).