Crunch On This: The Story Behind Granola

Crunch On This: The Story Behind Granola
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Crunch On This: The Story Behind Granola

When Dr. Jackson created the delicious cold cereal, the original name was actually "granula."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Dr. Jackson sued Dr. Kellogg for his granola creation, forcing Dr. Kellogg to switch the spelling from "granula" to "granola." In 1889, Dr. Kellogg was selling two tons of granola per week. And yes, Dr. Kellogg is the man behind the curtain at the Kellogg brand empire.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Charles W. Post spent a year as a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium (Kellogg's Sanitarium) in 1891. Upon leaving, he created his own health retreat, and in 1898, created Grape Nuts, derived from Dr. Jackson's basic granula recipe. Charles W. Post was also the man who founded Post cereal brand.

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Typically, one cup of granola contains (on average), 453 calories, 12+ grams of fat, 80+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10+ grams of protein.

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Looking for a few fabulous granola recipes? Continue clicking through our slideshow for Kitchen Daily favorites!

Image Credit: Jupiter Images

Honey Nut Granola

As with any granola recipe you can substitute and add any of your favorite nuts and/or dried fruits. Just keep in mind the more you add the more the calories increase.

Get the recipe: Honey Nut Granola

Image Credit: Skinny Mom's Kitchen

Apple-Candied Fennel Seed Granola

The granola will form small clumps and brown as it bakes. It’s delicious with milk right out of the oven.

Get the recipe: Apple-Candied Fennel Seed Granola

Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars

Perfect for making ahead of time and grabbing on the go!

Get the recipe: Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars

Maple-Nut Granola

Make a large batch and sprinkle on top of yogurt, add to ice cream or snatch a bag for munching on the go!

Get the recipe: Maple-Nut Granola

Lisa's Granola

This recipe features pepitas, also known as hulled pumpkin seeds!

Get the recipe: Lisa's Granola


While some say granola dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks, it wasn't on the public's radar until the 19th century. Thanks to health advocate, Dr. James Caleb Jackson, granola started its journey in 1863, during the Civil War, in Jackson's upstate New York sanitarium. However, it didn't always start off glazed in maple-deliciousness, or combined with dried fruits and nuts. In fact, the original recipe started with baking graham flour into brittle cakes (which, truthfully, couldn't be served without a little milk to seal the deal).

So, how did this tasty treat and first-ever cold cereal become so popular? Dr. Jackson encountered some competition when Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a doctor with his own sanitarium based in Michigan, began experimenting with batches of his own. Both doctors had one thing in common: they were digestive evangelists, seeking out new ways to create cold cereals. However, it was Kellogg who ultimately won the race, delivering a product to shelves that would soon become a public favorite.

Ultimately, granola spread like wildfire during the hippie movement of the 1960s. There was a new desire to search for healthier alternatives to sugary cereals and become more health-conscious. In 1972, the first mass-market granola, Heartland Natural Cereal, hit the shelves. From there, the land of healthy crunch became a gold mine.

To learn more about how granola came to be and find a few of our favorite granola recipes, Check out the slideshow above!

For more stories behind our favorite foods, check out:

The Story Behind General Tso's Chicken
Oh My Darling Clementine
Granny Smith: Did She Really Exist?

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