The Origins of the Name Granola and “How Cereal Transformed American Culture” + A Very Easy Granola Recipe

The history of the creation of cereal as told by Ian Lender

Published online at Mental_Floss: Retrieved October 3, 2014

“More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin. Little did they know, their creation would eventually be used to promote everything from radio and cartoons to Mr. T and tooth decay”- Ian Lender

This is article is very entertaining to read. Click the link and you will be surprised to learn how Walt Disney made his first million to start the Disney Empire. It’s all because of cereal.

My friend Anna sent me this article, after we ran into each other at the co-op yesterday. Anna told me she came in for water, but she had a little cart full of what looked like cereal. It was on sale; some cereal flakes that Anna loved. I prefer oatmeal or granola,  I told her.

My mother fed me Cream of Wheat, oatmeal, and I have a distinct memory of Shredded Wheat, which I tried once and rejected. I loved Sugar Pops…yeah, really. (“Sugar Pops are tops” Oh gosh, do I really remember that?) And yes, as the writer of this wonderfully informative and funny article says, cereal makers discovered that “children are suckers”. I would add that children are highly suggestible or hypnotizable.

When I went away to school, there was the morning breakfast ritual of standing behind our chairs at table and eyeing which mini-box of cereal to grab for, after grace, before someone else grabbed the sugary ones. Loser would have to eat plain Corn Flakes – no obvious sugar. We couldn’t touch the food until we sat down. Who says little girls aren’t competitive? Sugar and spice had to come from somewhere.

Many years later, I eat oatmeal and love it. Better yet, I like granola. Once in a while I make it.

Here’s a good quick recipe for granola given to me by a former colleague, Brenda Zellmer. Brenda brought it to work one day and had me try it as a dry snack. I really liked it! I begged her for the recipe. It’s heart healthy and brown sugar is good for energy.

Quick Omega 3 Granola

4 Tbsp Walnut Oil (Bought this especially for the granola)

¾ Cup packed Dark Brown Sugar

¼ Cup Egg Whites (2 eggs)

3 Cups Old Fashioned oats

1 Cup Walnuts or Pecans broken

½ Cup Flaxseed Meal

1 Cup Dates, Raisins, Craisins etc

¼ Cup Honey


The Method

Preheat Oven to 350F

♥ Whisk 2 tablespoons of oil, sugar, 2 egg whites in a bowl; add oats, nuts, and flaxseed: toss well!

♥ Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and rub 2 Tbsp of oil and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar onto the surface.

♥ Spread Mix on cookie sheet evenly. Bake 15 minutes, then stir granola. Bake another 15 minutes.

♥ Then sprinkle dried fruit and honey and bake another 10 minutes.

Very Easy!

I am joining the Fiesta Friday party over at the Novice Gardner’s food blog, who hosts a world wide coterie of foodies and fun.

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

P.S. Not to complain, but there is a dusting of snow forecast for parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Friday night. “Oh darn.”

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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8 Responses to The Origins of the Name Granola and “How Cereal Transformed American Culture” + A Very Easy Granola Recipe

  1. I heard you guys got snow. We had wind chills in the upper 20’s this morning too (Nebraska) but 80’s next week. Welcome to the midwest right? Hey you guys are tough! I love oatmeal and granola so much better than the cereals that we used to eat. I’m definitely going to try this.

    • kunstkitchen says:

      The snow was north of the Twin Cities and nothing that was measurable. Dodged that one! Say, you guys get some pretty good storms too! It’s a quick recipe. I have another recipe, but it’s much more complex.
      80’s next week? I am jealous!

  2. Hilda says:

    The nice thing about this cold weather is it is a joy to turn on the oven. Lovely granola recipe.

  3. Pingback: Crepas de Mole | Fiesta Friday #36 | The Novice Gardener

  4. Snow? Already?? Oh well, you’ll have your fabulous granola to keep you company! It sounds great and I like the story. Thank you for joining Fiesta Friday 🙂

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