Start your morning with these 5 local granolas
Madison businesses are making granolas you'll want to add to yogurt, pour in a bowl with milk or just eat plain out of the bag.
Upgrade breakfast with one of these local mixes.
Owner and baker Kirk Smock of Origin Breads has had his hands full (literally) trying to make enough granola to keep up with demand. Origin Breads’ handmade maple pecan blend goes heavy on nuts and seeds, using pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, rolled oats and a dash of Wisconsin maple syrup. Smock says he always enjoyed eating granola but was often disappointed by the options available in stores. With his blend, Smock reduces the added sugars and makes it extra crunchy. He creates batches several times a week to ensure freshness. Smock recently released two other blends: dark chocolate cashew and golden cherry almond. 931 E. Main St., 608-381-2125, originbreads.com
Sparked by the Pandemic
Stella’s Bakery didn’t start making granola regularly until the pandemic began, but since then it’s turned into a staple item. Stella’s Bakery owner and president Jennifer Patrello says the granola came about because their team needed a product that could last on the shelf after sales from the Dane County Farmers’ Market — the bakery’s main source of revenue — dropped off due to the market’s temporary location change. They quickly realized they had almost all the ingredients needed for granola, so Patrello went back to recipes from her mom — who founded Stella’s — to find a homemade granola she could replicate. Her favorite mix wound up being cherry almond granola with Wisconsin-grown cherries. Patrello says the mixture isn’t too sweet and can be added to any meal that might need a little extra crunch. 2908 Syene Road, 608-663-2690, stellasofmadison.com
At Bloom Bake Shop, owner Annemarie Maitri says baking from scratch and sourcing ethically is just what their team does, so it should be no surprise that they make their granola that way as well. Maitri says all the granola at Bloom is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Bloom offers two varieties of granola — a house blend and maple chai. Bloom’s house granola features six all-natural ingredients, including gluten-free oats and maple syrup. Maitri says the house granola is sweet, with a tiny touch of saltiness. The maple chai is made slightly sweeter with more syrup. 1851 Monroe St., 608-628-2249, bloombakeshop.com
Pastry chef Shannon Berry says the goal at Pasture and Plenty is to make it easier to eat local. Its maple granola combines nuts, seeds, oats and coconut with Wisconsin cherries. Then local maple syrup is brought to a boil and poured on top of the dry mix before baking begins. Most importantly, Berry says the granola has to be sampled once it’s finished cooking — just to make sure it tastes as delicious as it makes the kitchen smell. Pasture and Plenty decided to make the maple variety the staple granola of the store because Berry says the texture and toasty, warm flavor that the Wisconsin syrup provides can’t be beat. 2433 University Ave., 608-665-3770, pastureandplenty.com
Paleo Mama Bakery makes its granola blends without grains or gluten. The bakery offers two flavors of granola — cranberry walnut and chocolate cherry — that are soft-baked at a low heat to make the final product a tad less crunchy. Owner Belle Pleva says she prefers the cranberry walnut variety because of its perfect blend of flavors. The granola has apple juice-sweetened cranberries, and then a little cinnamon, salt and honey to go along with the raw nuts. Pleva says the granola is gluten- and grain-free because Paleo Mama is all about providing healthy alternatives for customers who have food allergies or intolerances, or those who simply want to enjoy foods made with natural ingredients. 409 S. Few St., 608-286-1041, paleomamabakery.com
Nathan Denzin is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.
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