Modern granola is a crunchy blend of rolled oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit held together by sticky-sweet binders.
The first commercial breakfast cereal ever produced, “Granula” was the creation of New York doctor and health advocate James Caleb Jackson in the late 1800s as a healthy alternative to the usual bacon and eggs. In its original form, granula was a basic cereal made from graham flour and bore little resemblance to modern recipes. Still, the cereal was a hit and soon found imitators, including a very similar product from Kellogg’s, called “Granola” to skirt a lawsuit. Cold cereals became a staple at the breakfast table and, as variations became more abundant, Granula and its imitators faded from prominence as more flavorful cereals rose in popularity.
Granola may have become little more than a footnote in the cereal wars, if not for the hippie movement of the 1960s. A burgeoning health food movement brought granola back from virtual extinction, although new recipes replaced graham flour with rolled oats, coconut, added sweet binders like honey or maple syrup and flavorful dried fruits, seeds and nuts. By the early 70s, packaged granola was back on grocery store shelves and cemented its place on the food scene as a breakfast cereal, snack food and a favorite topping for yogurt and desserts.
Granola takes many forms these days. Using honey, maple syrup, agave or other sticky sweeteners to hold it together, any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits and be added to the mix to produce a granola to suit any palate.
Our all-natural, homemade recipe features pecans, sunflower seeds, maple syrup and a rotating blend of dried fruits like apples, raisins and apricots for a rich, not overly-sweet version of the “hippie” favorite. A little egg white helps provide clumping and a delightful crunch. Dr. Jackson might not recognize this decedent of his original effort to change the way America eats breakfast, but it’s the best thing ever to happen to our morning yogurt.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups dried fruit, chopped (raisins, cranberries, apricots, apples, etc)
Combine oats, coconut, pecans and sunflower seeds in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk oil, maple syrup, egg white and salt together.
Add wet mix to dry and stir to fully coat.
Spread onto a baking sheet.
Bake in 275 degrees for 60 minutes (or until golden brown), stirring after 20 and 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to fully cool on sheet.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in dried fruit to fully combine.
Store in an airtight container.