Granola is a popular breakfast and snack food that got its name from a trademarked term in the late 19th century. The term “granola” was used to refer to foods consisting of whole grain products crumbled and baked until crispy. This food was invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium in 1894. It was later revived in the 1960s, with added fruits and nuts to it to make it a health food, which was very popular with the hippie movement. Granola contains rolled oats, nuts, honey and sometimes rice, usually baked until crispy. During this baking process the mixture looses and gets characteristic cereal consistency. Dried fruits, raisins and dates are often added to enrich the flavor.
Calories in granola
Calories in granola vary from brand to brand. Here is a quick review of most popular granola brands, and their calorie value:
- Homemade granola, 1 Cup - 122 g, 597 calories
- Granola: 100% Natural Oats & Honey, 1/2 Cup - 51 g, 219 calories
- Low Fat Granola without Raisins, 1/2 Cup - 49 g, 186 calories
- Low Fat Granola with Raisins, 2/3 Cup - 60 g, 220 calories
- Classic Granola, 1/2 Cup - 51 g, 180 calories
- Plain granola bar, 1 bar - 25 g, 118 calories
- Granola Bar, Hard with Almonds, 1 Bar - 28.3 g, 140 calories
- Soft Plain granola bar, 1 bar - 28 g, 124 calories
- Granola Bar: Soft, Milk Chocolate Coating, Peanut Butter, 1 Bar - 28.3 g, 144 calories
How to consume it
Granola usually comes in the form of cereal but it is also available in a bar form. Granola is most commonly enjoyed with yogurt, milk, fruit juices, honey, strawberries, bananas and other cereals. It can be added to many dishes, and combined with flax seeds, to improve digestion. Because of its high nutritional value and light weight, granola is popular with people who are hiking, camping or backpacking.
This can be very healthy food choice, but the actual health benefits of granola depend mainly in individual ingredients. Rolled oats and whole grains, for example, are great sources of slow burning energy, while dried fruits provide various antioxidants. But, all granola products aren't created equal. Pre-packed commercial brands of granola are often very high in sugar, which can be hazardous to health. To get the maximum health benefits from granola, one should prepare it at home, with healthy organic ingredients. A mixture of rolled oats, flax seed, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, dates and dried apricots, makes highly recommended and well balanced healthy food.