Here’s a celebratory date you may not already know: National Granola Bar Day.

Yep, a whole day dedicated to showing our appreciation for the energy-packed snack. And what better way to show some love than by chowing down on one of the world’s most loved and convenient goodies? On January 21st, when you’re crunched for time (who isn’t?) stow one of these quick snacks in your bag or briefcase. Unwrap, indulge, and appreciate the convenience of this healthy and ready-to-eat quick bite.

The History of Granola Bars

So, what’s the history behind this convenient mini-meal?

While no one is certain who invented the granola bar, Stanley Mason is credited with condensing granola into a compact bar. A prolific inventor, Mason also dreamed up the disposable diaper, microwave cookware, and the squeezable ketchup bottle, among many other creations.

By combining whole oats or other grains with viscous substances like honey, agave nectar, and butter, this well-loved snack is formed into a sticky mass. The mixture is then pressed into a pan and baked until firm. Alternatively, chewy granola bars are either packaged raw or cooked for a short period of time to retain their relatively sticky texture. Bars are then cut into their final shape and may keep for several months, depending on their ingredient list. Add-ins may include nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, or spices to enhance the bars’ flavor and provide additional nutrition.

Considered a staple for hikers, endurance athletes, busy adults, school children, and frazzled college kids, granola bars have made their way into the lives of millions. Offering a healthy ratio of carbs, protein, and fats, they provide quick nutrition when energy levels are low and time is limited.

On National Granola Bar Day, consider researching healthy recipes you can make for family and friends. Granola bars are excellent for quick bites while running out the door or for fueling strenuous hikes and day trips. With such convenience and nutrition, granola bars deserve some serious appreciation.

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