Story by Nancy Ransohoff
Photos by Lindsay Dobbs
When private chef and caterer Kim Redman’s clients began clamoring for her tasty homemade granola, she obliged by launching a line of her crunchelicious culinary creation. Now packaged in eye-catching bags with a colorful illustration reminiscent of vintage fruit-packing labels, Ocean Ranch Organics (805/455-9852) granolas are available all over California from Bakersfield to Los Angeles. But it’s what’s inside those bags that makes me sit up and grab my spoon.
“I wanted to make granolas that really have a distinct flavor,” says Redman. And that she did. Handmade with all-natural and organic ingredients in small batches, Ocean Ranch Organics granola comes in five flavor-packed varieties: Honey Sesame, Meyer Lemon Blue, Oaxacan Chocolate, Pomegranate and Cranberry Orange. Several of the flavors were inspired by what Redman grows on her Carpinteria ranch, the Honey Sesame echoes her fondness for Japanese cuisine, and the chocolate version grew out of the several years she spent in Oaxaca and southern Mexico.
Like so many Santa Barbarans, Redman came to town in 1989 to attend UCSB. After college, she worked as a marketing director for a company that assisted farmers and artists throughout Central and South America in the development and marketing of their products. Upon returning to Santa Barbara 15 years ago, Redman started Ambrosia Gourmet Catering. Her focus on healthful organic cooking was a natural fit with spas and retreat centers around the country, and many of her private clients were athletes in training. In her quest to serve an energy-packed delicious and nutritious breakfast that would satisfy her clients’ varied tastes and needs, she played around with different recipes until she landed on the perfect combination.
In addition to the great taste, Redman aimed to “boost the nutritional value, and I wanted to do it naturally, so I added quinoa, flax and hempseed.” The granola is slow roasted to lock in the flavor and crunchy-chewy texture. It’s great straight up as a snack, swirled into yogurt, as a morning wake-up with milk and fruit, and as a guilt-assuaging ice cream topper. Grab your granola locally at Lassen’s Natural Foods, Lazy Acres, Mesa Produce, Pierre Lafond Montecito Market, Plow to Porch Organics, Tri-County Produce and Isla Vista Food Co-op; in Carpinteria at Lucky Llama Coffee and Pacific Health Foods; and in Santa Ynez Valley at Valley Grind, New Frontiers Natural Marketplace and Olive Hill Farm tasting room.
This story was originally published in the Spring issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.