This Pantry Staple Is the Secret to Crunchier Everything

Granola in salad

February 24, 2021

By Geraldine Campbell

When I was growing up, granola was something of a niche food. Synonymous with healthy eating, it was also associated with environmentalism and a penchant for wearing Birkenstocks. (For the record, I support both of those things. I may or may not currently be wearing Birkenstocks with socks while drinking out of my eco-friendly coffee mug.)

These days, granola is so mainstream! There are about a zillion different brands out there and just as many recipes for making your own. Of course, it’s delicious with milk (or mylk), yogurt, or your favorite smoothie bowl. But granola has the potential to be so much more. Specifically, it has the ability to add crunch to dishes sweet and savory, from crisps and crumbles to salads and soups.

Go ahead, think outside the bowl. Here are 5 sweet and savory ways to use granola.

1. Sprinkle over salads.

Want to make your WFH salad so much more exciting? Add a handful granola. It adds a bit of sweetness, a ton of texture, and also some substance to your midday meal. So you’ll be satisfied, but not stuffed. Late-afternoon munchies? Not you.

Baked apples
Photo Credit: @alexisdeboschnek

2. Make a super-simple fruit crisp.

Fruit crisps (and crumbles) are, in my opinion, the perfect dessert. And, I’m just going to put this out there, I also believe they are a perfectly acceptable breakfast. This is especially true if you make them with granola instead of butter, sugar, and oats and serve with yogurt instead of a dollop of whipped cream.

granola cookies
Photo Credit: Accidental Happy Baker

3. Bake healthier cookies.

If I am honest, I believe that “healthy cookies” are a bit of an oxymoron. But healthier cookies? That I can get behind. You can add granola as a mix-in to most drop cookies, or look for a recipe that calls specifically for granola. Either way, consider other easy swaps like using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. And try to use organic butter and milk if possible.

Get a recipe: Healthy Granola Cookies from Accidental Happy Baker

pumpkin soup with granola
Photo Credit: May I Have That Recipe

4. Soup up your soup.

Who doesn’t love a creamy, luscious soup? But there’s something that makes even the creamiest potato soup into something even better. Yep, you guessed it.

Get a recipe: Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Savory Granola from May I Have That Recipe?

Granola crusted tempeh
Photo Credit: @thecuttingveg

5. Use as an alternative to bread crumbs.

If you’re looking for some crunch, but want to skip the bread crumbs, consider your favorite granola as a healthier alternative. Granola-coated tempeh fingers has a nice ring doesn’t it?