Granola, a Brief History


1829 - Dr Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) advocated vegetarianism (called Grahamism in the 19th century) told people they should shun red meat, alcohol, tobacco, stimulants (coffee, tea) and a new product called white bread. Naturally the butchers and bakers hated this health food “nut”.  He also sold a whole grain wheat flour called, yes, Graham Flour and later developed “Graham Crackers”.

 1863 - Dr. James C. Jackson of Dansville, New York developed what he called "Granula", Graham flour formed into sheets, baked until dry, broken up, baked again, and broken up into even smaller pieces.

 1876 - A sanitarium formerly run by the followers of Dr Graham named the Western Health Reform Institute was renamed Battle Creek Sanitarium. Because of its vegetarian and whole grain emphasis, the diet at the Sanitarium could be a little monotonous, so director Dr. John H. Kellogg (no, his brother) experimented with foods. One of his developments was a breakfast food of whole grains, baked and ground up, which he named "Granula". He was sued by Dr. Jackson, so he renamed his cereal "Granola"!  Dr Kellogg joined with his brother William (in 1902), developed corn flakes and formed the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co., but dropped his granola cereal.

1891 - Charles W. Post spent almost a year as a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. He later opened his own health retreat, and in 1898 used Dr. Jackson's basic recipe for Granula to develop Grape Nuts.

1960s – The hippies brought back the idea of eating all natural, healthy foods and shun the processed, preserved, sugary foods of modern day. Granola was revived by this new health food movement and becomes a "hippie" health food. A group of hippies called “The Hog farmers” fed the masses at Woodstock on granola. It looked nothing like the original Granula or Granola (which looked like over sized Grape Nuts), now it was made from whole grains, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, like raisins.

 1972 - Pet Milk of Saint Louis, Missouri, introduced Heartland Natural Cereal, the first major commercial granola.  At almost the same time, Quaker introduced Quaker 100% Natural Granola.  Within a year, Kellogg's had introduced its "Country Morning" granola cereal and General Mills had introduced its "Nature Valley.

So, in a nutshell!

1829 – Dr. Sylvester Graham  develops Graham flour and later Graham Crackers.

1863 - Dr. James Jackson uses sheets of baked Graham flour to create the first breakfast cereal.

1876 - Dr John Kellogg invents a mix of baked and then re-baked whole grains called “Granola”.

1891 - Charles Post an ex-patient of Battle Creek (health spa) makes his version (Gape Nuts).

1960 - The Hippies of the 1960s revive Dr. Kellogg’s cereal idea with a few changes.

1972 - The major cereal companies markets their own overly sweet and well preserved versions.

2011 – You can now purchase the best granola ever made from Yippie Hippie Granola TM.