Granola is made from oats which were dehulled (the husk was peeled off), steamed with direct steam, toasted in an oven and rolled with rollers. Granola bars are essentially whole oats which are combined with other ingredients, including syrups or binders, and are cooled or baked to achieve the desired shape.
Some poskim rule that the steaming and then toasting of the granola is considered cooking and confers the status of “daisa”1 (porridge) and require the brocha of mezonos and a brocha acharonah of al hamichya. Most poskim, however, are of the opinion that these steps are insufficient to be considered cooking and, therefore, the brocha is ha’adamah. This is the prevalent Halachic opinion.
If the granola was baked, another question is raised. Since liquid is added to the slurry before baking (making it sticky) is it still considered cooking and, therefore, mezonos? Although a significant amount of liquid is usually needed to make something considered “cooked”, the use of a small amount of liquid could be potentially considered frying, which is considered a type of cooking2. If a granola bar is considered cooked, cooked grain of the “five kinds” of grain is considered porridge and requires the blessing of mezonos3. This is especially true considering that the bar was baked, which according to most poskim, is enough for it to be mezonos. Therefore, the brocha on a baked granola bar is mezonos and the brocha acharonah is al hamichya.
If the granola is not baked or cooked, the brocha before eating is ha’adamah. When it comes to the brocha acharonah, there is an opinion that says that one should say the special blessing4 that is used for the Shivas HaMinim (which includes oats). Since the usual version of this brocha only addresses fruits that grow on trees (al ha’eitz), one should refrain from eating a kezayis (27 dense cubic centimeters5) in seven6 minutes, so that the brocha acharonah will be borei nefashos or eat it as part of a meal that includes bread. If one did eat a kezayis within seven minutes, the brocha acharonah should still be borei nefashos.7
ראה סדר ברכות הנהנין לאדמו”ר הזקן פ”א ס”ח 1
ראה שם פ”ב ס’ י”א 2
3 Although the brocha is mezonos, there is no concern with Pas Yisroel.
שם בשיטת ר”ת 4
5 1.64 inches
6 Per the opinion of the קדצ חמצ . Other opinions say that it’s around 4 minutes.