Posts tagged ‘granola’

April 14, 2011

Never Shake Your Granola

Let me start by saying that I have hopefully saved you all from a future of embarrassing episodes involving granola by writing this post. Consider this a public service announcement of sorts.

I know we all share a need to find the chewy clumps. That’s the best part of any granola. In fact, I never buy granola that looks like it (gasp) might not have the clumps.

Granola clumps are like the adult chapter in the childhood Lucky Charms dilemma. Nobody ever cared about the cereal – you only wanted to crunchy mallows.

Now that we’re all down with the proper amount of granola clumpage, you can certainly understand why my roommate found me one Saturday afternoon furiously shaking this:

I bought this granola on a complete whim because I could see the clumps from across the aisle. I had to have it. I could already see it on top of banana oats, mixed into yogurt, sprinkled on toast. Big chewy cinnamony clumps. Amen.

There is evil lurking in this granola, I am sad to say. Only upon my arrival home did I realize this mix contained…Brazil nuts.

Simply put, Brazil nuts suck. They have no flavor and they hog all the space. AND they lack the nutritonal punch of most other nuts, to boot! They don’t even have a health leg to stand on. I know, this is called rainforest granola. We could just pretend that we included Brazil nuts, though, and really just double the amount of cashews….right? You got that, Whofie?

Anyhoot, back to the oh so important lesson I am preparing to pass along to you. My roommate found me shaking the heck out of the container and grumbling to myself something like “gah, why do they always end up at the top?!”. You see, ever since I bought the granola, the dumb Brazil nuts had been ending up at the top of the batch, making it that much more difficult to locate the clumpy gems that I was really after. Ever morning I would shake up the mix in the hopes of bringing clumps to the top with no avail. The stupid Brazilies just kept surfacing.

As it turns out, there’s a name for this occurence. Wanna venture a guess?

The Brazil Nut Effect.


Just days after watching me search for clumpies in vain, my roommate’s professor brought up this phenomenon. Whenever there is a mixture of rocks, sand, silt etc., the larger pieces (the rocks) will end up at the top. She wowed the class by shaking a container filled with sand, rocks, and a golf ball and, ta da, the golf ball ended up at the top.


I have spent the last weeks like Sisyphus. Finding a few clumps only to end up back where I started after shaking the damn container. Okay, so maybe not quite like Sisyphus. Maybe we’ll just say I’ve spent the last few weeks being a total bird brain.

Never shake your granola.