On a Search for Toasty Granola
When making granola at home, toast it to maximize its nutty flavor.
// © Zubin Schroff
F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
F&W thought the granola boom was over a few years ago, but the category keeps expanding like crazy! Personal taste when it comes to granola is sort of like chocolate chip cookie appreciation—some people prefer the dough raw, some like their cookies soft and almost gooey, some soft and chewy and some supercrisp.
Whether I make granola at home, which I do all the time, or I buy it (for a change of pace), I’m the charter member of the toasty camp. I think baking brings out the flavor of the oats, seeds and nuts, and since I usually have it as a topping or mix-in with tangy yogurt and supercrisp apples, flavor and texture are key. My favorite brands are the slightly salty Early Bird, which is made with olive oil; the almond-packed Bola granola, from the Berkshires; and one I just tried for the first time at the Natural Foods Expo called Viki’s.
If you want to make your own, where you’re in charge of toastiness and what goes in, here are a couple of my favorite recipes: Grace Parisi’s granola with maple-glazed walnuts and Jessamyn Waldman’s nutty granola from the awesome Hot Bread Kitchen in New York City.