Whole grains, nuts, and a hit of sugar give you plenty of fuel for a day of outdoor exploring. Sure, you can buy a bag or box of granola. But once you try making your own, you’ll never look back. This makes a big batch—enough for several breakfasts, and plenty of snacking in between. If you’re into the whole lower-glycemic index thing (and for camping, it’s a good idea to keep your energy from hitting the extreme peaks and valleys caused by simple carbohydrates), you can substitute an equal amount of agave nectar for the honey, the maple syrup or both.
Makes about 9 cups
4 cups rolled old-fashioned (not instant) oats
3 cups mixed nuts, (like chopped walnuts, slivered—not sliced—almonds,
and unsalted sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup flour
1 cup golden raisins
- Heat the oven to 350˚F.
- Combine everything except the flour and raisins in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and then stir until everything is evenly coated. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and spread the granola on the sheet in a very even layer.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then toss with a spatula, mixing any darker parts around the edges into the middle; again spread the mixture in an even layer. Bake until the granola is evenly browned but not too dark, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean out the bowl you used to mix the granola and put the raisins in it. As soon as the granola is as dark as you like it, pour the hot granola into the bowl and toss it to incorporate the raisins. Cover the bowl with the baking sheet, and let the granola cool in the bowl (this will help soften the raisins), then break it up with your fingers and transfer it to an airtight container.
- You know the drill. Pour some granola in a bowl, add milk or yogurt, and, if you like, some berries, sliced bananas, peaches or other fruit.
- Milk or yogurt
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Pack leftover granola in sandwich-sized bags to take on a hike.
- Sprinkle it over cooked fruit to make a Quick Campfire Cobbler.
- On frosty mornings, you can enjoy this granola as a hot cereal: Combine 2 parts granola with 1 part water or milk in a pot, bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Or, even easier: Bring water or milk to a boil, pour it over granola in a bowl or mug, cover, and let sit for 2 minutes, then stir.
You can replace the raisins with all kinds of sophisticated dried fruit options, like dried cranberries, apricots, dates, or chopped prunes. And just for fun, you could make yogurt parfaits by layering yogurt, granola, berries and honey in clear cups or glasses.