During the lull between New Year’s and the Super Bowl, a reckoning with food begins. For many, January often means a commitment to healthier eating. Why not get off to a good start with granola? Delicious whole grains, nuts and fruits have the added boost of staying power. It’s easier to stay on track with flavorsome food. Granola fills the bill and Edina restaurants showcase the crunchy cereal in full glory. For some of the best local granola options, head to the Hilltop (recipe below), Good Earth, Red Cow, Coalition, McCormick & Schmick’s, Agra Culture or The Original Pancake House.
Granola isn’t just for breakfast at the Good Earth. “It’s a satisfying breakfast that doesn’t leave you with a heavy feeling. It even works for a quick afternoon snack if you need to be in and out quick,” executive chef Audrey Mazzitello says. Oatmeal, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, dates, raisins and other wholesome ingredients have “a slight sweetness and a subtle spice.” Cup $4, bowl $6, seasonal fruit cup $2.50, plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt $2. 3460 Galleria; 952.925.1001; goodearthmn.com
Look for “After Yoga” on the Red Cow menu for brunch-style granola donned with Greek yogurt, chia seeds, house granola, fruit and local honey ($8). The name? “It just kind of came to us. It seemed so fitting with the yoga groups that come in,” director of finance and marketing Michael Giacomini says. 3624 W. 50th St.; 612.767.4411; redcowmn.com
For breakfast on the sweeter side, try the homemade, raisin-studded granola at Coalition. Fill the bowl to the brim: Take your pick of yogurt or milk with fresh fruit. Breakfast is served daily so it’s easy to greet the day with granola here. $9. 3808 W. 50th St.; 952.456.8979; coalitionrestaurant.com
McCormick & Schmick’s
Imagine the smell of browning sugar, nuts and spices. No, this isn’t a cookie; it’s hazelnut and cashew granola. Housemade with care, the scent lingers. “I love it when they make it. The whole kitchen smells like it,” general manager Rob Cobb says. Yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit complete the breakfast feature ($10), but the allure doesn’t stop there. Admirers have requested McCormick & Schmick’s ship special granola-only orders. 3203 Galleria, Edina Westin Galleria Hotel; 952.920.1142; mccormickandschmicks.com
Agra Culture’s granola parfait is vegetarian and gluten free with Greek yogurt, seasonal fruit, quinoa and chia seeds. When strawberries are included in the fruit, they’re organic. The price is welcomingly good for you, too. $4.5. 3717 W. 50th St.; 612.345.5442; agra-culture.com
The Original Pancake House
The Original Pancake House has an abundance of breakfast temptations. Look for the yogurt and granola with fresh fruit under the fruits and cereals banner. The hearty but healthy blend is proof a good-tasting breakfast can be good for you, too. $4.85/small, $6.95/large. 3501 W. 70th St.; 952.920.4444; ophmn.com
The new Hilltop menu features granola as a breakfast favorite. “We love playing the homemade card,” co-owner Brett Johnson says. “We don’t buy it. We make it here.” Served with fruit and yogurt it’s a great day starter packed with nutritious ingredients. Try making some or stop by the restaurant for the real thing in a yogurt parfait. $7. 5101 Arcadia Ave.; 952.925.5628; hilltopedina.com
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ cup raisins
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and almonds. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients, except the raisins. Mix wet ingredients well. Pour wet ingredients into the oat mixture and mix until fully saturated. Spread evenly over a large parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 275 degrees for one hour and 20 minutes or until fully golden brown and crunchy throughout.
- Mix in the raisins, cool to room temperature and serve. Store remaining granola in an airtight container.