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Granola

When we hear “granola”, the first thing that comes to mind is healthy food, and we are not wrong. Granola is a healthy food, made from rolled oats, nuts, and honey, with added raisins and dates or other dried fruits, yogurt or milk, nut butters, and fresh fruit. Some of the benefits of eating granola include lowering cholesterol levels and preventing the onset of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The key word is eating just enough. Overindulging in granola can trigger weight gain. In 2016, the British news organization Independent published a news article warning the public about the threat posed by eating granola in the morning, explaining that it has a lot of sugar and such a diet is dangerous to health. A New York Times article explains that granola is actually a dessert and not breakfast food. The Globe and Mail describes the granola bar as a “dressed-up junk food”.

Nonetheless, many businesses continue to associate granola with healthy eating. In a bowl, it is enjoyable to eat because it is crispy. As an energy bar, it is easy to eat, filling, and helps you regain strength especially if you are in the middle of something that is physically tasking (exercise, sports, manual labor, to name a few). It is not just nutritious and lightweight, it is also easy to make and easy to find in groceries and supermarkets.

Granola Trivia

  • Dr. James Caleb Jackson was the inventor of granola. It was invented in Dansville, New York in 1863. He called it “granula”, made of dense bran granules soaked in milk. It has no added sugar.
  • The annual National Granola Bar Day is celebrated every January 21.
  • Edward Thayer Sr. patented and sold the first granola bar sold in the United States.
  • The longest granola bar measures 128 m (420 ft). This was made by the University of California, done at the National Association of College and University Food Services Pacific Region conference on March 28, 2015.

Granola Buying Guide

Where to buy: granola and granola bars are very common items sold in groceries and supermarkets. You can also order granola and granola bars online. These will be delivered by courier service to your home or shipping address.

When buying granola or a box of granola bars in the grocery or supermarket, check the ingredients and pick the brand with the lowest sugar per serving. Another thing to check is expiration or the best-before date. If you expect to store granola or granola bars for a period of time at home, it is important that you are buying an item that will go bad in a matter of days because it is near its best-before or expiration date. You should also check the packaging. Any damage or signs of tampering could’ve compromised the contents of the box or pack, and you should immediately bring this to the attention of the store attendants.

Since you are in the grocery or supermarket buying, why not buy the ingredients for making homemade granola and make your own? The advantage of home-made granola is that you can control the amount of sugar you put into it. More importantly, you can tell your children or kin who will eat the granola that it was made with love.

Granola is available all year long so do not buy a lot; just enough until the next grocery day.

Granola Production & Farming in Texas

Many Texans love granola. A lot of people saw the potential for success of starting a granola business in a place where people love granola, and as a result, there are currently several granola businesses based in Texas. Oh, Snap White Rock Granola is based in Dallas while House Granola is in Austin. Texas even has its own brand of keto and vegan granola, courtesy of Park Lane Pantry, a women-owned business based in Dallas-Fort Worth, while a San Antonio-based company (Wildway) specializes in selling grain-free granola. The Waldo Way Dairy Farm and Artisan Bakery in Tyler, Texas makes and sells gluten-free granola.

Granola also became part of the rise of artisan / artisanal food production in recent years, and in Texas, companies like Marigold Artisanal Granola, Dad’s Premium Granola, Ace Bakery Artisan Granola, Udi’s Artisan Original Granola (all located in Austin), and Lilly Point Farm Granola in Argyle, Texas are now part of the state’s granola business landscape. There are more. Small-scale businesses focused on making and selling home-made granola is a thriving enterprise in Texas.

Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:

An online source – a non-profit association dedicated to gathering information and data about food products – listed 25 known additives found in granola products.

E322 – Lecithins
E322i – Lecithin
E500 – Sodium carbonates
E500ii – Sodium hydrogen carbonate
E450 – Diphosphates
E450i – Disodium diphosphate
E503 – Ammonium carbonates
E503ii – Ammonium hydrogen carbonate
E330 – Citric acid
E422 – Glycerol
E14XX – Modified Starch
E160a – Carotene
E160ai – Beta-carotene
E334 – L(+)-tartaric acid
E401 – Sodium alginate
E202 – Potassium sorbate
E473 – Sucrose esters of fatty acids
E492 – Sorbitan tristearate
E476 – Polyglycerol polyricinoleate
E904 – Shellac
E965 – Maltitol
E392 – Extracts of rosemary
E482 – Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate 
E1200 – Polydextrose
E414 – Acacia gum

Packaging:

Store-bought granola usually comes in a resealable food-grade bag. Sizes vary depending on how much you want to buy. Some packaging has a transparent part so that customers can see for themselves the granola they are buying. Packaging should include all the important information consumers need to know, like expiration or best-before date, ingredients, nutritional information, name of the manufacturer, etc.

If you buy a granola bar, its wrapper consists of two layers of flexible polypropylene plastic with a layer of aluminum in between. The wrapper is designed this way so that the granola bar stays fresh and retains its shelf-life for as long as possible. These granola bars are individually wrapped and usually sold by the box.  

Enjoying Granolas

Eating granola is as simple as scooping granola from the container for a bowl full of this yummy food. The fun part about eating granola is that you can customize it. You can pour milk into the bowl and eat it like cereal. For a mixture of crunchy and soft, a variety of toppings will do the trick. Sliced fruits like apple, banana, melon, peaches, and other fruits are a great addition to your granola. You can also add other smaller fresh fruits like berries. You can also add dried fruits and nuts. Some use nut butters, preserves, jellies, and jams to add sweet and sour flavors to the granola. 

You can eat granola for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can eat it as a snack. Because it helps the body to get energized, it is an excellent trail food and people make granola bars because it is a convenient food to eat on the go. Granola with warm milk is perfect during cold weather. Granola with fresh fruits is a refreshing summer snack.  

Storage:

It is easy and simple to store granola. Just put it in an airtight food container and place it in a cool, dry spot. No need to refrigerate it. But if you want, you can also freeze granola and granola bars. Put these inside a freezer bag or plastic wrap and put it inside the freezer.

Make your own granola

Having granola at home is very convenient especially if you are in a hurry and have no time to cook a meal or a snack. Granola is a healthy food, which makes this a good choice if you are thinking of losing weight or simply want to start eating healthy and avoiding fast food or junk food. You don’t have to buy granola bars. You can make granola at home using ingredients available in any grocery or supermarket. Prep time is 15 minutes and cooking time only takes 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 

This recipe serves 10. 

Ingredients:

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats, 3 cups.
  • Sliced almonds, 1 cup.
  • Raisins, 1 cup. You can use other dried fruit, like dried cherries or dried cranberries.
  • Canola oil, 1/2 cup. You can also use coconut oil or olive oil.
  • Honey, 1/2 cup. You can also use maple syrup.
  • Ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon.

Method

Step 1. Heat the oven to 300°F. 
Step 2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 3. Using a large bowl, combine oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk.
Step 4. Put the oats and almonds in the bowl. Stir and mix completely.
Step 5. Transfer the contents of the bowl to the baking sheet. Spread it evenly. Break apart clumps that you find.
Step 6. Put the baking sheet inside the oven and bake for 20 minutes. During the 10-minute mark, stir the contents of the baking sheet. Make sure it remains evenly spread.
Step 7. When the oats are golden-brown and the almonds are toasted, your granola is ready.
Step 8. Bring it out of the oven. Mix the dried fruits and let them cool.
Step 9. Once it is completely cool, crush the clumps using your hands. 
Step 10. Transfer in a mason jar or any food container with a lid.
Step 11. Store at room temperature. 

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 597 30%
  • Carbs: 65g 22%
  • Sugar: 24.4g
  • Fiber: 11g 44%
  • Protein: 18.1g 36%
  • Fat: 29.4g 45%
  • Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

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