Back to School Snacks ~ Granola and Trail Mix


The bell signaling the opening of school is just about to ring and thoughts are turning to the usual new clothes and school supply lists, but the biggest challenge for many health conscious parents is what to put in school lunch boxes and back packs that will provide good healthy nourishment for their growing kids and will at the same time be interesting and appealing so it doesn’t get tossed into the nearest bin.

If you stopped by my booth at the Beaverton Farmers’ Market you would find a selection of healthy snacks such as roasted almonds and hazelnuts, Farmers’ Market Trail Mix, and The Nutty Bavarian’s Favorite Granola so adding good-for-kids healthy stuff to  lunch boxes would be easy.  You can probably find products like these at your farmers’ market as well.  But if you can’t here are a few simple solutions your kids of all ages are sure to love.

Trail mixes are so easy to put together.  You could probably find everything you need in the bulk food section at your local market. The only challenge is coming up with a mixture you and your kids enjoy.  I like crunch so I start with almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, soy nuts, and sunflower seeds. Sweetness comes from dried fruits and yogurt covered raisins.  Included in my mix are dried kiwi, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, dried cranberries and golden raisins.  Cut the fruit into desired sized pieces, combine well, then fill little individual size serving bags and you are set to go. This is just the ticket for all the kiddos who have after after school activities and sports events because they will get a great immediate energy boost from the fruits and nuts.


Granola is just as easy to make at home.  All you have to do is assemble your ingredients and bake the mixture for 30-40 minutes.  The good thing about making your own granola is that it will be just the way to like it, custom made for your own particular taste.  I like lots of fruits and nuts so I add plenty of both.  Following is a good basic recipe that you can easily change.  If you keep the proportions of oats, nuts and fruits and oil and sweetener the same you can add anything you please.


5.0 from 3 reviews
The Nutty Bavarian's Favorite Granola
  • 8 cups old fashioned rolled oats, thick cut if you can find them.
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup brown rice syrup – see comment below
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Place in large roasting pan.
  2. Combine vegetable oil, brown rice syrup, honey and cinnamon in medium bowl. Pour over oat nut mixture and mix well.
  3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven when the mixture is a light golden brown.
  4. Note: Brown rice syrup is a liquid sweetener with the consistency of honey and a slight butterscotch flavor. It’s made by combining barley malt and brown rice and cooked until all the starch has turned to simple sugars. It metabolizes slowly over several hours so is a perfect sweetener for athletes, students, and anybody who wants to avoid dramatic shifts in blood sugar levels. Baked goods made with brown rice syrup are crispy so it is excellent in granola and cookies. Available at specialty groceries such as Whole Foods and on line.
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Making your own granola and trail mix are just two of the many simple ways to add interest, flavor and nutrition to your family’s diet.  Whole grain breads, nut butters, and seasonal fresh fruit are great alternatives to many of the high sugar and fat products that are too readily available. These are just a few ideas for back to school healthy and easy alternatives to nutrition poor lunches and snacks.


Fresh fruit and yogurt, topped with a spoonful of granola is one of my favorite summertime meals.  When I start the day with this yummy combination I know I’m getting a good helping of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber.  And when I need an afternoon energy boost there is nothing better.   I hope you consider incorporating some of these healthy foods into your family’s diet.



  1. Inspired by says

    Cathy, some great tips… I am wondering if you have a cost breakdown of making your own vrs buying at a stand (And believe me, I spent nearly 20 years selling at specialty trade shows, so i understand the hidden costs of licensing, booth space, insurance, packaging materials, etc that do not show up at the supermarket check out). But what would be the cost to assemble a big batch of this… how long does it stay fresh? I have never made this, but i would like to. But it’s just for jackie and myself, so if I make 5 pounds, will it still be good (properly stored) in a month… 2 months… 5 years???

    So, any storage tips too I guess.

    • says

      Hi Dave – Thanks for your comment. These recipes are so flexible with amounts and ingredients and you can turn them into whatever suits your needs. You could cut either recipe in half and select ingredients that are in a certain price range. I add fancier fruits to my trail mix because my customers like that. Dried kiwi and canteloupe are special and spendy so that adds to the cost. Make half a batch of granola if that works better for you. During the winter months when the market isn’t open I usually make 1/4 recipe. If you think you might have it for awhile (more than a month) I would avoid nuts that have a tendency to turn a little rancid like peanuts and hazelnuts. Store in a cool, dark place or in the fridge if you prefer. As you can see, there are no set rules. Shelf life of either recipe is at least 3 months.
      Cathy recently posted..Back to School Snacks ~ Granola and Trail MixMy Profile

  2. Barefeet In The Kitchen says

    What a beautiful display! I love homemade granola. Yours looks fantastic.
    Barefeet In The Kitchen recently posted..Spicy Sausage and Summer Squash SkilletMy Profile

  3. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says

    Wish I lived close so I could pick a a couple bags. They look great – love the packaging. I’ll have to try some new combinations.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes recently posted..Queso Bacon Burgers with Avocado SalsaMy Profile

  4. Ramona says

    Both of those look fantastic.

    I’m going to be in search of some of those ingredients now!
    Ramona recently posted..Yes, he mowedMy Profile

  5. Vickie says

    These look delicious – what a great idea! I like crunch, too. :)
    Vickie recently posted..Grilled Shrimp on Fennel and ArugulaMy Profile

  6. Rita says

    I have gone to the Bulk barn and made trail mix bags for golf games(that is now in the past), but for our travel excursion. I always want to have something healthy and handy when hunger strikes.

  7. Inspired by says

    Great… This is on my list now (Unless I can get to the market in Portland of course

    😉 Dave

  8. Cassie @ Bake Your Day says

    This sounds so good, I love homemade granola and I love trying new recipes. I love all of the dried fruit and nuts in yours!
    Cassie @ Bake Your Day recently posted..My 7 LinksMy Profile

  9. Raina says

    These are two really great ideas! Finding healthy foods that my kids will like for their lunches can be very daunting. These are two healthy and delicious treats that I think they would definitely love. These homemade versions sound much better than the store-bought ones:)
    Raina recently posted..Godiva French Vanilla Coffee, White Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean ShakeMy Profile

  10. Erin @ Making Memories says

    Perfect for school – and not just for the kids. I like to have a bag of this at my desk too! =o) Your pictures are fantastic!
    Erin @ Making Memories recently posted..Some Love From Disney’s Family Fun MagazineMy Profile

  11. Dzoli says

    Great idea.My kiddo is still under school age but I do go couple of days to one:) So this kiddo is gonna make this healthy snack and share;) Thanks:)
    Dzoli recently posted..Padaaaaaaaaa sneeeeeeeeeeg..It is snowiiiiiiiing!My Profile

  12. Kate says

    What a great idea! I like the idea of putting together my own recipe. Your photography is beautiful, as always!
    Kate recently posted..Limoncello and Lemon Cream Fruit TartMy Profile

  13. Linda says

    I make granola often…but I still wish I could get products as great looking as yours at my Farmers Market! I would buy them for sure!
    Linda recently posted..Chicken Souvlaki from Monique….My Profile

  14. ciaochowlinda says

    Love the colorful kiwi and canteloupe in the trail mix. These are great snacks for school kids, or for adults too. I would have trouble restraining myself to just a few handfuls.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..A Tuscan TreatMy Profile

  15. Susan says

    I just made granola last weekend – my favorite recipe from Ain5 which includes maple syrup but the brown rice syrup sounds very intriguing. I’ll look for it! Great pics, Cathy!
    Susan recently posted..Refrigerator PicklesMy Profile

  16. Lavender and Lovage says

    I don’t know anything about trail mix but it looks great and very healthy too…..a great post and I learned something new!
    Thanks Cathy!
    Lavender and Lovage recently posted..We Should Cocoa ~ Chocolate Rose Fairy Cakes for Wicked WednesdayMy Profile

  17. Aimee says

    First off thank you for paying me a visit and leaving such a nice comment:) You and I are in total agreement about festivals:)
    Secondly, your trail mix has my mouth watering–I have never seen trail mix with dried kiwi and cantaloupe!! We grow kiwi here so I know what I will be doing this autumn with at least some of it!! YUM!
    Blessings your way,

  18. Pat says

    Nice mixture! I’d love to make this for road trips! It is healthier than stopping at a fast food restaurants and it would probably store well in the car.
    Pat recently posted..A Quick Trip to the Philly Italian MarketMy Profile

  19. black eyed susans kitchen says

    My daughters like anything with coconut, but I would love to make the granola and send it up to daughter in the middle at college….she would love that surprise! Thanks for the recipe.
    black eyed susans kitchen recently posted..SQUASHED UNDER A TON OF TOMATOESMy Profile

  20. Jeannie says

    Looks so fresh and healthy and yet delicious! I would love to take that to munch for lunch:D
    Jeannie recently posted..Tang Ping Kitchen, KlangMy Profile

  21. Jamie @ Wokintime says

    Great idea for a kid’s snack and beautiful pictures of trail mix! My four-year-old daughter loves to make granola at home because she can get her hands all in it to mix it. I’ve been trying to think of a good project to do with her preschool classmates. I think we’lll make granola! Thanks!
    Jamie @ Wokintime recently posted..A peanut butter pie for loveMy Profile

  22. Karen (Back Road Journal) says

    Hi Cathy, Your trail mix is a beautiful combination of goodies. I’m afraid if I had a bag it would be gone rather quickly. I’m going to make the granola for a friend of mine. I know she will enjoy it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  23. teresa says

    i love feeding my kids things that are so full of nutrition, including protein. these are gorgeous trail mixes, i definitely need to make some!
    teresa recently posted..Quinoa Pilaf with Pine NutsMy Profile

  24. Marilyn says

    Love homemade granola for breakfast with yogurt. I am almost out of granola and need to make more. Haven’t made trail mix for a long, long time. Love it when we travel to nibble on in the car. Thanks for the recipes and reminders.
    Marilyn recently posted..Tea is a ComfortMy Profile

  25. Red Nomad OZ says

    Blow the school kiddies – I want some for myself!!

    Have a great weekend!!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Return to Green Island – via Cairns, Far North QueenslandMy Profile

  26. Nicole says

    This recipe is really delicious! I’m onto my third batch in several weeks. Just wanted to let everyone know it really is as good as it says, so very easy to swap out different nuts and fruit to mix it up.


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