Maple Walnut Granola
Healthier eating is a strong current trend. So although supermarket shelves and gourmet stores are saturated with granola products, for some baking businesses it’s worth pursuing.
Bake magazine had an article last month, “Grow business with granola” that addressed the strong trend of healthier eating:
“Snacking is a normal occurrence in many people’s daily lives. But while some people choose to reach for greasy potato chips when the snack craving strikes, more and more people are opting for healthier snack options. According to a Statista survey of approximately 24,000 American adults from January 2013 to March 2014, some 56.5 percent of American households eat nutritional snacks. Additionally, approximately 16.8 percent of American households eat chewy granola snacks more often than other nutritional snacks, such as fruit.
“This data points to a potentially new market to which your retail bakery could appeal: granola. By adding granola to your existing product line, you can easily reach this healthy snacking crowd. Doing so has already paid off for Heather Hardcastle, chef and owner of Flour Craft Bakery in San Anselmo, CA.”
The article continues, with some very excellent sales and marketing ideas. But ends with a clear message to those interested in introducing this product. “If you are thinking about launching a granola line, Hardcastle offers this advice: “Cereal/granola is a competitive category. Make sure your product stands out in a fundamental way or that your process yields a unique result, as shelf space is limited.”
Artisan food is another strong trend now. If granola is something you can sell locally, you have an excellent chance of success. But if you envision your product sold outside your region, think it through. Just remember that there are many great products catching dust on gourmet food shelves.
Maple Nut Granola
1 ½ cups oil
1 ½ cups maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon maple extract, optional
10 cups regular rolled oats
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 cups any combination of nuts (walnuts, pecans, filberts, etc.)
1.Preheat oven to 325° and lightly grease (2) 9×13 pans
2.In a large bowl or stockpot, combine oil, maple syrup, vanilla, maple extract if using, and salt.
3.Add oats and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Mix in nuts.
4.Divide mixture between two pans and bake 20 minutes, then stir contents and bake another 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 300° and bake 10-15 minutes longer. Check mixture at 5 minute intervals. When it’s a deep golden brown, it’s done. Do not overbake or it will taste burned.
5.When granola is fully baked, remove from oven to cool. If you like large pieces, press the mixture down with a spatula before cooling. Break up any chunks that are too large and store in an airtight container or plastic bag. Keeps several months.
Home-Based Baking at its Best! Consider packaging granola in snack-sized bags. It’s viewed as a healthier impulse purchase, especially at farmers’ markets and convenience stores.
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