The Granola Bar is Born!



First a definition of “granola bar” is in order. Since oats are one of the key ingredients of any granola, we’re defining granola bar to be any chewy, bar-shaped concoction that contains oats.

Granola bars are also usually very dense, composed of chunks of stuff with something sticky holding them together. If there are expanses of plain dough, you’re getting suspiciously close to cookie territory.

MIT’s website credits inventor Stanley Mason with creating the first granola bar. This is the guy who invented the first disposable contoured diaper, the squeezable ketchup bottle, and the dental floss dispenser, so it’s not hard to picture him coming up with the granola bar. 

On the other hand, a fellow named Herrick Kimball swears he came up with the idea first, in 1975, when he was just 17. Mason died in 2006, so it’s unlikely the matter will ever be resolved (though Wikipedia sides with Mason).

Whoever invented the concept, you can invent your own variation and take credit.


The basic ingredients are:


Other grains (flakes, wheat germ, etc.)

Chunky things (dried fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut, etc.)

Sweetener (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.)

Fat or oil (nut butter, butter, oil, coconut oil)

Flavorings (vanilla, cinnamon

The basic instructions are:

mix everything together

press into a pan

cook for a little while and cool

cut into bars

You can do this. Your kids can do this. You can have fun – and the kids can wow their friends when they bring their own granola bars to school. (Or you can wow the dweeb in the next cubicle, at work.)

We recommend you start by trying an existing recipe to get the hang of it, then have fun experimenting. When you make your own, you can keep the sweetness to a reasonable level, for a much healthier bar. 

The good folks at Whole Grain Gourmet have given us a recipe for Coconut Almond Granola Bars, with a traditional granola-bar consistency, and Multigrain Energy Bars, a denser, higher-protein take more like commercial energy bars (only better!).

Check out Whole Grain Gourmet (and our own recipe pages) for lots of wonderful whole grain recipes. 

Even after National Granola Bar Day is over, you’ll want to be ready for National Banana Bread Day (February 23), Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day (March 11), National Pretzel Day (April 26) and any other excuse to experiment with new whole grain recipes! (Cindy).

16 thoughts on “The Granola Bar is Born!

  1. I love them but they don’t like me. Anything grainy upsets my gut.

    They look good though.

    1. That’s not good. There has to be one out of the many selections, that is agreeable. Or, homemade may be your security!🤔

      1. :) And the cost….been there done that.

        I love it when I discover a cafe that sells gluten free, wheat free, citrus free and grain free. LOL!

        They can sell Paleo but not to me. :)

      2. So great that we have many cafes today with many options including our own home versions. Thanks kindly for dropping by and have s sensational weekend!

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