Granola is a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners such as brown sugar, and sometimes puffed rice.
During the baking process, the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose breakfast cereal consistency.
Dried fruit, such as raisins and dates, and confections such as chocolate are sometimes added. Granola, particularly if it includes flax seeds, is often used to improve digestion. Granola is often eaten in combination with yogurt, honey, fresh fruit (such as bananas, strawberries or blueberries), milk or other forms of cereal. It also serves as a topping for various pastries, desserts or ice cream.
Granola is carried by people who are hiking, camping, or backpacking because it is nutritious, lightweight, high in calories, and easy to store.
As a snack, it is often combined with honey or corn syrup and condensed into a bar form that makes it easy to carry for packed lunches, hiking, or other outdoor activities.
Granula was invented in Dansville, New York, by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium in 1863. It was also known as Our Home on the Hillside; thus the company formed to sell Jackson’s cereal was known as the Our Home Granula Company. Granula was composed of Graham flour and was similar to an oversized form of Grape-Nuts. A similar cereal was developed by John Harvey Kellogg. It too was initially known as Granula, but the name was changed to Granola to avoid legal problems with Jackson.