Post updated September 2017. Originally posted September 2014.
Not-especially-amusing-but-I’m-sharing-with-you-anyway-fact: For about the first four years of our marriage, Michael wasn’t a breakfast person. Four years. It’s something I reeeeally don’t understand. I’m hangry if I’m up very long without eating.
What started helping him was actually banana bread. I made a batch every week, and he could take it to work and pull it out when his stomach finally decided he was ready to eat. It worked well enough for a while, but curiously enough, what REALLY made the difference was changing our diet. Michael discovered after a few weeks that giving up dairy had suddenly made all the chronic stomach issues he’d battled for years simply disappear. Gone.
These days, he doesn’t wake up feeling sick, he’s off stomach medication, and he eats a big breakfast before heading off to work. Which is a great thing, since I’m raising a family of MAJOR breakfast people. This granola? One of our faves.
His current breakfast of choice is this trail mix granola. We’ve made it for a month straight, and he can’t get enough. The magic ingredient is the banana chips. I’m not a huge banana chip person, but I’ve found that they really add something special when combined with slightly sweetened granola loaded with lots of nuts and dried fruits. As for the rest of the mix, I call it trail mix granola because you just toss together the things that YOU like.
For the nuts, you could try anything! I used a combination of cashews, almonds, and pecans, but you could try anything–hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, etc. For the dried fruit, I used dried cherries and raisins, but dried apricots, blueberries, currants, or tropical fruits like papaya or mango would all work here. Mix it up and use what you like!
Oh, and please do eat some breakfast. I’ll feel so much better 🙂
Notes on the Recipe:
Gluten Free Notes – Oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but you have to buy certified gluten free oats to avoid cross contamination. I’ve searched high and low, and my favorite gluten free oats are either these Bob’s Red Mill ones (I order in bulk) or the Trader Joe’s ones.
Try it like this! You really can add any favorite mix-ins here. Nut free? Great! Add pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Love dried cherries? Double up! Don’t be afraid to get creative! It’s awesome with dried pineapple and coconut for a tropical vibe, or with dried apricots and cherries for a summery twist.
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You can change this up any way you please. The basic formula should be 3c oats + 2c nuts + 1 c banana chips + 1 1/2 cups dried fruit
- 3 cups gluten free rolled (old-fashioned) oats
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4–1/2 tsp almond extract
- pinch salt
- 1 cup banana chips
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- In a large bowl, toss oats with nuts, syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Toss to coat well. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet (parchment or a silicone baking mat work well). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring once to brown evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- When the oat/nut mixture is cool, toss with banana chips and dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.