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Opa's Granola Recipe ~ Trail Mix Recipe

Bowl of granola filled with lots of different kinds of nuts
Yum

This is (IMO) the BEST Granola recipe because it's so easy and so healthy. It's become our traditional German breakfast, similar to müsli. Hubby, that's OPA, uses it as a late-night snack! He'll even put it on his late-night ice cream as a topping.

It's so delicious and nourishing to nibble on just the way it is. Put some in a baggie to take on your next hike. You've got homemade trail mix!

Opa's favorite Trail Mix / Granola Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups nuts, see hints below
  • 2 cups mixed seeds, see hints below
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup raisins, see hints below

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, put oats, nuts, and seeds. Stir in honey or maple syrup. You can tell when it's well stirred in - the oats will appear moist.
  • Spread on 2 metal cookie sheets with rims.
  • Bake 10 minutes, stir, exchange positions of sheets.
  • Repeat twice, being careful not to let granola burn. The main idea is to get all the granola nicely toasted. If you don't stir it, the outside areas will brown and possibly burn before the rest of the granola has browned. Watch closely during last 10 minutes, and remove earlier if browning too quickly.
  • When cold, add dried raisins and store in seal-able containers. Keeps well at room temperature

Hints:

  • Use any combination of nuts. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, soya nuts, corn nuts - these all work great
  • Use any combination of seeds. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are super (no shells, please)
  • Add dried fruits, such as apricots (cut into quarters), prunes (cut into quarters), currants, cranberries, strawberries, cherriesalong with the raisins, about an extra cup. If you prefer, you can add these dried fruits after 20 minutes of baking to make them a bit chewier. To cut prunes or apricots easily, use scissors.
  • Add bran, wheat germ, almost anything to the oats. Try something new and let me know how you changed my recipe for granola into yours.
  • For a homemade trail mix, you can add a bit more honey so the mix will have "clusters" of mix.

Granola vs. Müsli vs. Trail Mix

Is there a difference between granola, Müsli, and Trail Mix?

Yes. Although they have similar ingredients, granola is the term used for this cereal when it's been toasted, (usually) sweetened and served with milk. Trail Mix is the same, only eaten 'out of hand' ... on the trail!

Müsli is raw and unsweetened. Often, it's mixed with milk the night before, refrigerated, and then eaten for breakfast. 

Homemade granola recipeHere's Opa's fav ... with lots of dried apricots and nuts

How and why I created this recipe ...

Knowing heavily sugar-laden store-bought cereal wasn't healthy, I looked for an alternative. Store-bought granola seemed better, but the sugar content was still too high.

I started experimenting and the recipe for granola is above. Use it as a basic recipe. Then, use the hints section to make changes. The result? Delicious, yet different granola every time. Though the procedure is the same, the ingredients keep changing. It depends on what's on sale, what we crave, and what's in the cupboard.

The basic granola recipe is posted here. The hints section will show how to alter it. Baking is the only tricky part. You MUST stay in the kitchen, but only for a half hour.


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Bowl of granola

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