Grainy Granola’s Bad Rap
Years ago, I was at a bar in San Diego, watching a Laker game, wearing my Sunday whites jersey, and started discussing the game with a group of gentlemen. One of the guys started talking about his wife and he described her as “kinda granola”….WHAT?! Ok, A. who describes anyone, particularly a spouse, as “granola”? and B. what does that even mean?! I thought it was hilarious. He used crunchy, hippie, grain-filled, nut-filled snack food to describe his wife. Goodness, I hope my husband never describes me as a food…unless it’s pizza, everyone loves pizza, it’s delicious.
Anyway, I feel like granola can get a bad rap sometimes and people think it’s that funky, dry, crunchy stuff hippies eat when their camping. Well, yeah, it kind of is, but it is always a great mix of flavor-filled goodness dumped into one package! Granola is an easy go-to if you need a quick snack or to top off your morning smoothie. And you know what else is good? TRAIL MIX. Trail mix is full of healthy fats, protein packed nuts, and dried fruit to keep you full and energized throughout the day or if you are needing a pre or post workout snack. So you’ve got grainy granola in the one hand and trail mix in the other….let’s blend em together!
Granola Mix/Trail Crunch
I like granola and I like trail mix, however, I rarely purchase it at the store for a few reasons: 1. too expensive ($10 for a small bag?!) 2. too many sugary add-ins 3. I always tell myself I can make it at home. I’m all for convenience and buying produce pre-chopped, meat pre-marinated, frozen veggies, and all that jazz, but I can’t justify getting trail mix or granola with 20 grams of sugar in it when I can mix some things together in a bowl myself with A LOT less sugar. And I always find myself picking out the good stuff (cough, M&Ms, cough) and leaving the yucky stuff (cough, crystalized ginger, cough).
I got stuck in the trail mix/nuts/granola/cereal section as I was perusing the aisles of Trader Joe’s. I found myself looking at every flavor and mixture there was! Seriously, I think I spend a good 15 minutes in the one aisle. THERE ARE SO MANY! But, again, they were expensive, too sugary, not gluten free, or just not tasty looking. I was intrigued by a bag of Grain Free Granola and decided I’d ‘take a whack at it‘ (name that movie) and try out some grain free granola of my own!
Grain Free Granola Crunch
I came up with this recipe simply by seeing what else I had in my pantry. I like me some sweetness so I found shredded coconut and I purchased a bag of golden raisins. I’m not a huge fan of dried fruits as they are pretty much pure sugar, but I figured a few raisins thrown in will be ok. I’ve tried granola with oatmeal in it before and it never turns out tasty and tends to burn easily. So I omitted the oats and any other grain and focused on the flavors on hand. I’m really diggin’ this granola-y/trail mix-y recipe since it has the flavors of breakfast granola along with the crunch of trail mix. Try it out for yourself!
Yields about 1 1/4 cup
10 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1/4 Cup cashews (raw)
- 1/4 Cup pecan pieces (raw)
- 1/4 Cup pepitas (raw)
- 1/4 Cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth, unsalted)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 Cup golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix cashews, pecans, pepitas, and shredded coconut. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt together coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt until homogenous mixture.
- Pour mixture over dry mix in bowl. Mix ingredients until dry ingredients are coated.
- Pour ingredients onto lined baking sheet and spread into one layer. Bake for 15 minutes stirring 1-2 times about half way through. Bake until nuts are slightly browned and coconut is crunchy.
- Remove from oven and add golden raisins to the mix. Use a spatula to blend mixture.
- Serve over plain greek yogurt or on top of your favorite smoothie.