Trail Mix Granola from Sweet, Savory, and Free

From Sweet, Savory, and Free by Debbie Adler


The first time I made granola, I told my son that it was a new cereal he could eat in the morning. He looked dubiously at the bowl of toasted, caramelized oats, seeds, and dried fruit and said, “Where’s the cereal?” I realized then that he was so used to getting his breakfast from a box that anything else was suspect. That was the day I got an F on my mommy report card! After that, I was determined to make sure my son ate mostly unprocessed foods and more of the “real” stuff. The transition was not as hard as I thought it would be, and now this granola is his favorite thing to eat, any time of the day. The crunchy texture, the “popped” quinoa, which is a revelation in and of itself, and the natural sweetness of it all is a slam-dunk in deliciousness.

Must Have

1/2 cup yellow quinoa
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or raisins (you can use any dried fruit you desire)

Must Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a 15 × 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add the quinoa to a medium skillet over medium heat and give the pan a few shakes until you hear the quinoa popping, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes.
  3. Mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Add the popped quinoa and make a well in the middle.
  4. Add the orange juice, coconut nectar, and vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it around evenly.
  6. Bake until the oats are golden brown and toasted, about 25 minutes. Stir the mixture halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet from the oven to a wire rack, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Mix in the dried fruit.
  7. Serve over yogurt, ice cream, or oatmeal with nondairy milk, or just eat it on its own. I also use it in my Trail Mix Macaroons.

SERVING SIZE: 1/2 CUP Calories 175; Total Fat 7.0g; Protein 6.5g; Cholesterol 0.0g; Sodium 20mg; Fiber 4.5g; Sugars 10.0g; Total Carbohydrate 33.0g


  1. G.E. Boroush said on

    Sounds like a good recipe. But what the heck is coconut nectar? I’ve seen coconut oil, shredded coconut, whole coconut, coconut milk, coconut cream but I have not ever seen coconut nectar. Could you please clarify? Thank you!!

    • Heather Butterfield said on

      Good question! Coconut nectar is an unrefined, low-glycemic (supposedly nutrient-dense) sweetener with a unique flavor. It’s similar to agave nectar or maple syrup in consistency. I’ve see it at my local Whole Foods and you can also purchase it online. Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Connect with us


July 2024

Subscribe to our Newsletter