Anything but Salad’s Calista Goh weighs up the pros and cons of chomping granola bars on the road.
Text by Cherrie Yu, illustrations by Tim Cheng
What is granola?
Typically consumed as a breakfast or snack food, granola traditionally consists of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, honey and sometimes puffed rice, baked until crisp and loosened into chunks by stirring during baking.
What is the difference between granola and muesli?
The easiest way to differentiate between the two is that granola is baked and muesli is raw. Granola has additional oils, butter and a sweetener to act as a binding agent to form clusters post-baking. Muesli does not use oils, butter or sweeteners and is typically much looser in texture and relies on dried fruits as a sweetener.
What’s the difference between granola bars, energy bars and protein bars?
Granola bars focus more on sugars and carbohydrates while protein bars focus on functional ingredients, protein and quality of protein. Personally, I believe bananas, fruit, sprouted nuts and seeds and other forms of natural whole foods serve equally well as energy fuels or snacks.
What makes granola bars suitable for road trips?
They are convenient: small, pocket-friendly, easy to eat and provide instant energy. However, the high sugar and carbohydrate content doesn’t make granola bars very suitable for travel. If you are doing a lot of backpacking and cannot prepare your own snacks or do not have easy access to healthier choices, then a granola bar is a suitable travel snack as a convenient way to provide the sugar and energy requirements for physical exertion.
People are concerned about the sugar content in granola bars; what is an appropriate amount?
I would recommend less than seven grams of sugar per bar, or serving of cereal, granola or muesli. That is a healthy level. Anything more is too much for one meal.
Co-founder of Anything but Salads
Goh started work in the F&B industry at age 15. The restaurateur and entrepreneur was a co-founder of Cafe Del Mar Singapore in 2000, and has since founded several enterprises, including Red Dot Cafe at age 18, BoBo café at 21, and Hong Kong’s multi award-winning health food company Anything but Salads at age 26.