|Simple 6-Ingredient Trail Mix|
Here's a really simple 6-item trail mix recipe that takes just a few minutes of active work and can be prepared from ingredients readily found in your grocery store.
Simple Six-Ingredient Trail Mix Recipe
4 cups/12 ounces high quality rolled oats (that is, not Quaker and not steel cut)
2 cups/7 ounces slivered almonds
1/2 cup/4 fluid ounces amber (grade B) maple syrup
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 cups/8 ounces dried sweetened cranberries (or other fruit of your choice)
2 cups/11 ounces peanut M&Ms
Yield: 2-1/2 pounds trail mix
You'll need a half sheet tray or other rimmed cookie sheet, preferably with a silicone mat to keep clean up a breeze. And you'll need a big bowl to mix everything in.
Start by preheating your oven to about 350F. In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, maple syrup, and salt. This quantity of salt will make it taste very salty. When you're out on the trail sweating away, you're going to want this salt. You'll crave it with every fiber in your being. Trust me on this. Too salty when you're not exercising is just right.
Spread the oat mix on a sheet tray (and silicone mat if you have one) and place it in the oven. It's going to take about 30 minutes to get to a consistent golden brown. The oats will brown from the outside of the pan to the middle, so you want to mix it periodically for even browning. I stir it after 10 minutes, again after 10 more minutes, and finally after 5 more minutes.
|Bake to Golden Brown, About 30 Minutes|
Lay the bag flat, press out all the excess air, and re-seal for storage. Ann and I repackage it into smaller bags for each hike.
A word or two on ingredients:
Oats. If you don't already know, Quaker rolled oats suck. (Indra Nooyi, call me. I'll tell you just how bad.) High dollar steel cut oats have to be cooked to be edible. Buy the best quality rolled oats you can find. I get mine in bulk from my dry goods supplier.
Maple Syrup. Chefs and pastry chefs use grade B and leave grade A for the tourists. Grade B is cheaper, darker, and more flavorful. Mine comes from Highland County, Virginia.
Salt. It's always Morton's Kosher for me and my restaurant kitchen. Always reliable. If you use another salt with a different crystal size, you may have to adjust the quantity of salt in the recipe.
Peanut M&Ms. I rarely ever use pre-prepared foods. I want really salty peanuts and chocolate in my trail mix. If you've ever rolled your own with chunks of chocolate, you know why Mars has made a fortune telling you "melts in your mouth and not in your hands." Just don't turn the bag over and read the ingredients. Be bad. You're burning a ton of calories on the trail.