Ok, I have another one of my weird confessions. I love granola and trail mix, but I nearly have panic attacks when I try to buy them at the store, because there are so many options, and none of them are exactly right. You know what I mean? Like this one has all of my favorite nuts but it has those weird little grainy pineapple chunks instead of delicious blueberries. Or that one has the right fruits, but it has those weird gigantic brazil nuts (pretty much the only nut I don't like). Or the most annoying--the ones that list the exact perfect combination of all of your favorite ingredients, but there are only 2 each of almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and blueberries, and the rest is peanuts. COME ON! Nothing against peanuts. I love 'em. But if I want peanuts, I'll buy peanuts. Are ya'll with me on this?
Anyway, the solution? Make it at home. It takes like 3-1/2 minutes (besides cooking time for the granola) to put the whole situation together. Super easy, and you can make sure it has whatever you want in it and nothing else. :-)
Here is the combination I used this time:
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 cup coconut sugar
zest of one large orange
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Combine oats, nuts, quinoa, coconut sugar, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
3. Melt together the butter and maple syrup.
4. Drizzle syrup mixture over oat and nut mixture and combine well.
5. Spread evenly onto sprayed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in airtight container.
***It is also delicious to add dried fruits like blueberries and cranberries, but those shouldn't be added until after cooking. I like to keep the mixture plain so that in addition to having it as a stand alone snack, it can be used as a topping for baked/broiled fruits (in which case I don't need the dried fruit in there). But for sure throw in some dried blueberries or yogurt covered raisins if you like! And if you accidentally drop a few chocolate chips in there, too, I'm not here to judge. :-P