TAYLOR COLUMN: Hard to imagine a world without granola

Granola has been around way longer than the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg first coined the term in the 1870s for his cereal mixture of grains, oats, nuts and honey, which he originally called Granula. But that name was already taken, so Kellogg was forced to modify, if only by a letter.

Kellogg ran the storied Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan in the late 19th century. He was a champion of healthy living and eating practices, and residents of the sanitarium were followers of Grahamism, a vegetarian lifestyle with a focus on whole-wheat grain flour.

His brother, Will, also helped run the sanitarium at one time. The brothers had a falling out, and Will was the one who went on to make Kellogg cereals, such as cornflakes, a household name. But no granola; it's time was yet to come.

Interestingly, one-time sanitarium patient C.W. Post developed Grape-Nuts based on Granula, which was the first manufactured breakfast cereal. Granula was made from sheets of a baked Graham flour dough that was broken into small bits.

Granola has so many variations today and is found in countless products and homemade goodies that it's hard to imagine a food world without it.

That was part of the problem trying to help Laura De La Maza of Mount Pleasant. She wants to retrieve an old Granola Balls recipe that was published in The News and Courier in the early 1990s. I couldn't locate it in our recipe archives. And when I went online to search, there was a sea of recipes. None I looked at were a great match.

Laura recalls these ingredients in the recipe: oats, honey, dates, wheat germ and peanut butter.

I don't think this is it, but maybe:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup mixed dried fruit (can substitute dates)

1/2 cup wheat germ

Shredded coconut or chopped peanuts for rolling

In a large bowl, place the peanut butter, honey, oats, dried fruit and wheat germ and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Shape the mix into 1-inch balls.

Roll balls in the coconut or chopped peanuts. Arrange balls in layers in a plastic container or tin with a tight-fitting lid with waxed paper between the layers.


Carol Dotterer of Charleston also offered a variation for Laura's request. She notes, "Sometimes it's fun to try variations -- tweak the recipe maybe to suit your taste!"

1 cup nonfat dry milk crystals

1/2 pound peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 cup crisp rice cereal

1 cup 100 percent bran flakes

1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients well. Flatten mixture in large pan. Chill overnight. Cut into 2x1-inch servings.


Who's got the recipe?

Gerard "O.B." O'Brien of West Ashley would love to have the recipes for the beignets and mac and cheese from the former Marie Laveau's restaurant in Avondale. Could use a lifeline from local food and beverage folks!

June Sassard of Mount Pleasant seeks a recipe for Vidalia onion casserole. She enjoyed one made by friend who lives in Georgia, and believes the ingredients included saltine crackers, mushroom soup and cheese.

Last call: Donna Maria LaBrasca of Charleston asked about a recipe for Sugar-Free Fruit Cookies published in this newspaper in the late '70s to mid-'80s. This recipe didn't turn up either in the archives or from readers so far. I found nothing in my cookbooks and had worse luck searching the Web.

Donna describes it: "It's a unique little cookie that is sweetened only by the chopped, dried fruit and chopped nuts that are in it. It resembled a thumbprint jam cookie, both in size and in its crumbly texture. In addition to the usual butter and flour, there was also sesame seed in the cookie, which added to the delightfully crumbly, slightly crunchy result. ... It's the perfect treat to have with hot tea, or when you want a cookie that isn't overly sweet."

Any clues out there?

We also would welcome more recipes for the Cottageville reader interested in tasty ways to a prepare a pork loin roast.

If there's a recipe you've lost, have memories of or a dish you are just wondering about, let us know. Email Food Editor Teresa Taylor at food@postandcourier.com or call 937-4886.