Laura's Gourmet Granola
Better Nutrition|January 2022
If you’re tired of granola that’s more candy than health food, chef and entrepreneur Laura Briscoe’s offerings are just what you’ve been looking for.
By Neil Zevnik, Photography by Suzie Barber, Pornchai Mittongtare

“Creating a product that makes people feel good— that’s what chefs do,” says Laura Briscoe, founder of Laura’s Gourmet Granola. “We create recipes, a dish, or a meal that plays a role in a wonderful moment.”

Shopping for granola? Prepare to be utterly overwhelmed by a bewildering profusion of cartons, sacks, and containers encompassing an extensive panoply of flavors and ingredients. And let’s not even get started on the dizzying stacked rows of granola bars on the shelves.

It was not always thus, of course. Once upon a time, there was only “granula,” the first-ever cold breakfast product. Invented by health reformer James Caleb Jackson in 1853, it promised much more than simply good nutrition. According to Mr. Jackson, it was a “pure” food that would help make you calm, give you better Christian values, and even reduce carnal desire—a lot to ask of a breakfast cereal, however healthy it might be.

The idea was stolen by another health reformer, John Harvey Kellogg (yes, that Kellogg), and under the slightly altered name “granola” was soon off and running. By the time the hippie ’60s rolled around, granola had become a darling of the counterculture, inspiring the slightly derisive moniker “granola-head.”

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