Our backpacking trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in less than a month. We pawed through our supply of backpacker food, and we finally, finally, will have eaten the surplus meals we made for our PCT hike two years ago and the remaining long-range-patrol meals my military-minded father gave me as a wedding gift. A blank slate of food is exciting! Whatever will we eat for our five missing breakfasts? Anyone who knows me already knows the answer: “Oats!” Our hiker breakfasts usually consist of coffee (a little indulgence on the trail never hurt anyone whereas inflicting me on anyone without coffee has certainly led to pains) and some form of oats.
I love making granola for backpacker breakfasts trail specifically because I can either eat it cold as cereal or (if I’m too cold) as an oatmeal-style breakfast by using hot water instead. Better yet, since we package our meals in quart-sized ziplock bags, no dishes need to be washed because we eat breakfast straight out of the bag. Our strategy leaves us more time to sit and savor the coffee while watching sunrise peek over horizon (and, of course, become an alert, considerate human being again thanks to the miracles of Starbucks instant coffee).
I was inspired to make this granola because my mom once made a peach pie with blueberries in it, and I fell in love. My memories of this pie are a blend of nostalgia and foodie erotica. We called it “Peachberry Pie,” and we demolished it. Although this Peachberry Granola will have nothing on the memories of that delectable treat of yore, I’m looking forward to making new memories on the trail where hauling a pie into the backcountry isn’t exactly feasible.
makes 10 cups
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 pint peach jam (16 oz)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (or canola)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- Variation: Consider adding in some spices, like cinnamon or cloves.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the oats for 10 minutes, turning once.
- At the same time, bring coconut oil and peach jam to a boil; reduce temperature to simmer.
- Remove oats from the oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees.
- Combine oats, flaxseed, shredded coconut, almonds, salt, and vanilla in a bowl.
- Remove the jam-oil combination and pour over the dry cereal. Mix thoroughly.
- Place contents on baking sheet and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, stir in 1 cup dried blueberries.
- For the trail, package in quart-sized ziplock bags and optionally add in 1/3 cup powdered milk or soy milk to taste.
- On the trail, add 1 cup cold or hot water or eat dry.
Nutrition Stats for the Backpacker:
- 450 calories / 1 cup
- 9 grams protein
- 61 grams carbohydrates
- 9 grams fiber
- 32 grams sugar
- 21 grams total fat
- Trail weight: 4 ½ ounces (not including powdered milk)