Move over, Quaker Oats. Our search for great granolas took us beyond the grocery.
Humble granola—a deceivingly simple combination of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit—can range from grocery store-dull to gourmet in terms of preparation and presentation. For true connoisseurs, below are four of our favorite locally made granolas, whether you’re eating out, bringing a bag home or both.Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
In describing her bakeshop’s Salty & Sweet Granola, owner Perrie Wilkof freely admits, “I love salt.” Inspired by the Brooklyn-based Early Bird brand, Wilkof tested her own recipe, initially experimenting with olive oil and coconut flakes before choosing coconut oil to give her granola flavor without weighing it down. Wilkof uses high-end ingredients, including maple syrup as the primary sweetener combined with brown sugar, pecans, almonds and sunflower seeds. The result is a brilliantly salty, nutty, crunchy and caramelized blend that’s featured in the café’s House Granola ($7), a fall favorite paired with Greek yogurt, oat milk or whole milk. Dough Mama’s granola also comes in 12-ounce bags ($10), which you can find at the Clintonville café (3335 N. High St.) and the North Market’s Mini-Super grocery stand. dough-mama.com
The Little Kitchen Food Truck
For those with dietary restrictions, Chloe Graffeo’s food truck offers an entirely plant-based menu as well as many gluten-free items. Graffeo’s vegan granola, for example, leaves out honey and nuts in favor of chia seeds, hemp seeds and coconut. Layers of this unique blend combine with vanilla-coconut yogurt, fresh berries and cacao nibs in her Superfood Yogurt Parfait ($9), available during farmers markets and breakfast events, plus the occasional lunch menu. Seasonal variations, including pumpkin spice and gingerbread, occasionally top the trucks’ standout smoothie bowls. thelittlekitchentruck.com
Having baked granola for friends and houseguests for many years, Eliza Ingram recalls reading the labels on grocery store varieties and deciding “to create a line that contained a fraction of the sugar and was loaded with all the extra good things … like ample seeds, nuts and fruit.” Premium local and organic ingredients are featured in Ingram Acres’ five granola flavors: Cranberry Almond, Blueberry Muffin, Rise & Shine, Cocoa-Nut and Cherry Pistachio. You can find 11-ounce bags ($8.50) at Fantasy Cupcake in Canal Winchester (Ingram’s home base) as well as Speckled Hen Market in Worthington and at the Clintonville, Gahanna, Groveport and Franklin Park Conservatory farmers markets. facebook.com/ingramacresllc
When Mollie and Kelly Fankhauser opened their Bexley café (2424 E. Main St.) in 2016, they wanted a menu option for those able to peer past the tempting bakery case. The pair recalled a favorite New York-based café called Bluestone Lane, where they enjoyed a granola and yogurt with lemon curd that distinctly “offset the yogurt with citrus and helped smooth it out,” Mollie says. Using the same curd recipe found in their seasonal Lemon Meringue cupcakes, Kittie’s Yogi & Granola ($8) combines Hartzler Family Dairy plain yogurt with a “more is more” approach to the granola itself, a mixture of almonds, pecans, coconut and dried cherries. Granola also is available in 16-ounce bags ($12); call ahead to pick up a bag at Kittie’s Cakes in German Village (495 S. Third St.). kittiescakes.com