What is granola?
Granola is among the most popular breakfast choices in the USA. In recent years, breakfast cafés and shops in Europe have also begun catching on to this American trend. But what is granola and how does it differ from muesli? Granola contains oats baked in oil and sweetener such as honey or syrup. The mixture is usually complemented with nuts and dried fruits. In simple terms, granola is just baked and sweetened muesli. Granola is eaten in combination with yogurt or fresh full-fat milk. It can also be used as a topping for baked products such as small cakes. Often, fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries or bananas are mixed with granola, which also makes it an excellent ingredient for use in desserts.
Outlandish granola creations from the USA
This crunchy muesli is providing serious competition for American breakfast favourites like bagels, waffles or bacon and eggs nowadays. In New York City, granola is truly being reinvented. The latest wave of innovations was started by a smart café that supplied visitors to the flea market in Brooklyn with home-made organic granola, which made a real impression on the general public a few years ago. Word of mouth ensured that this granola phenomenon subsequently spread like wild fire. “Granola bars” popped up all over Brooklyn. An artisan granola producer also settled in the borough, allowing visitors to try the most unusual granola trends. From “sweet & spicy” to “plain & puritan”, everything is possible, including granola with vegetables, vegan granola, gluten-free granola and granola bars. The granola renaissance has even permeated New York’s culinary elite. In the Four Seasons hotel restaurant, for instance, the seasonal salad is sometimes garnished with granola made of oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts, raisins and dried apricots – dressed in champagne vinaigrette! The image makeover that this previously sugary crunchy muesli has undergone in NYC has now spread to the rest of the nation.
In sun-kissed California, Caribbean restaurants combine their own home-made breakfast granola with preserved mangos, green papaya and pineapple – the colours really bring the breakfast bowl to life! In rural Boulder (Colorado), in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, granola is done a little differently. The cooks at the restaurant “OAK at Fourteenth” coat their roast elk in rosemary and pistachio granola. Here, pine nut and citrus granola is also served with sweet potatoes. Talula’s Garden in Pennsylvania also proves that granola has long since emancipated itself from the breakfast bowl in the USA. In this restaurant, it is combined with everything from goat’s cheese to foie gras. You can find out about the most outlandish trends and explore links to the restaurants mentioned above in this New York Times article.
Another important aspect of granola for health-conscious Americans is that all ingredients are sourced from certified organic growers and local producers. This gives granola, which generally contains more fat and sugar than standard muesli, a “healthy touch” compared to conventional supermarket products. Especially at breakfast, Americans don’t like to count calories but instead rely on a nutritious and delicious start to the day with oil-baked oats, honey, nuts, dried fruits and good whole milk.
Would you like to get creative with granola? At mymuesli, you can mix your own!
mymuesli’s Muesli Mixer offers our Crunchy Honey Granola base. In contrast to our Crunchy and Oat base made of oats, barley and wheat flakes, puffed rice and unrefined cane sugar, the granola base only contains oats. These are baked until crispy in organic honey – a process which gives them a pleasant, subtle sweetness. That is why our granola muesli tastes so delicious with tart, sour or hearty ingredients. There is also a wide selection of nuts, seeds, fruits and extras in the Muesli Mixer which you can use to put together your very own individual granola. All ingredients are sourced from certified organic producers. Have fun mixing! Alternatively, you could simply try out one of our ready-made granola creations.