What do you think of when you hear the word granola?
Do you think California? Hippie movement? Health food?
Granola has ties to all three.
Two Californians emerge as the modern-day proponents of this crunchy, delectable food.
Wayne Schlotthauer in Chico, CA, was making a wheat-based granola as far back as 1957 using his grandmother’s recipe from Germany.
Commenting in a Rolling Stone Magazine interview, Schlotthauer said that the crunch in this granola would “take your fillings out.”
In the 1960s, another Californian known simply as Johnny Granola-Seed, began making oat-based granola.
Exchanging the wheat for oats was the dawning of a new day.
Now, it wouldn’t crack your teeth, and it was a delicious, nutritious food certainly embraced by the hippie and health food movement throughout California.
And, of course, big business.
In the 1970s Pet Incorporated, Quaker Oats, Kellogg’s, and General Mills all introduced granola cereals to the market.
Not So Recent History
Granola’s history seems like recent history until you realize in 1863 Dr. James Caleb Jackson served granola at his health spa in Dansville, NY.
He called it Granula and it was made from graham flour.
Being concerned about one’s health is not a new phenomenon.
Health spas, known as sanitoriums, were prevalent even in the 19th century.
Here’s the good news.
It’s a fantastically healthy and delicious food, if you make it at home.
The Healthiest Version of Granola is Made at Home
The even better news is that you can make this at home and it’s super simple.
If you have a well-stocked pantry, more than likely you have the ingredients already on hand.
Oats, walnuts, dried cranberries, egg whites, a bit of brown sugar, and pure maple syrup.
Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oats and walnuts, and stir until the grains and nuts are coated.
Evenly layer the granola on a sheet pan and bake at 350˚ F.
Stir the mixture after 20 minutes and bake for another 10 minutes or so until its brown. As it cools it will crisp up.
You’ve saved a ton of money creating something delcious to eat, and you’ve avoided consuming all the extra additives of processed food.Print
Homemade granola is a snap with this simple recipe. Enjoy this oat-based granola made with maple syrup for breakfast or as a snack.
- 5 cups oats
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Heat oven to 350˚ F.
- In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup and brown sugar over low heat until the brown sugar is dissolved.
- Set aside to cool.
- Mix together the oats and chopped walnuts in a large bowl.
- Once the maple syrup mixture is cool, stir in the vanilla and egg whites.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oats and walnuts.
- Stir until combined.
- Spread the oat mixture onto a sheet pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and stir the mixture.
- Bake another 10 minutes or until toasty, stirring every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
- Stir in the dried cranberries.
This is a basic recipe that can be modified to suit your tastebuds. Substitute the cranberries for walnuts with the dried fruit or nut of your choice. You can also add any additional nuts, seeds, etc., to the base recipe.