Backcountry Granola Recipe

By NOLS Blog

Aug 14, 2015

Granola in a pan
Nuts, oats, and fruit give you both quick and lasting energy to enjoy a full day of activity. Photo by Molly Herber.

Whether you’re heading out to paddle for the day or planning to travel miles by foot, staying satisfied with good food and plenty of water is essential for happy moods and well-fueled bodies.

This granola is a great meal that you can make for breakfast and eat hot or put together ahead of time and eat later as a high-energy snack. You can customize it in a variety of different ways, too, so if you have picky eaters or dietary restrictions to consider, this recipe is flexible enough to handle them (see below for nutritional information).

Simple and delicious, what more could you want?


  • 5 Tbs. butter or butter substitute
  • 3 cups uncooked oatmeal flakes
  • ⅓ to ½ cup brown sugar or honey (depending on sweetness of fruit)
  • ½ tsp. salt (if nuts used are unsalted)
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1 cup nuts and seeds


  1. Chop fruit and put into a bowl. Add water until fruit is covered.
  2. Melt butter in a frying pan (or fry-bake).
  3. Add uncooked oatmeal and salt, stirring to coat with butter.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over the oatmeal.
  5. Drain water from the fruit, then add fruit and nuts to the frying pan.
  6. Keep stirring until oatmeal is fried to a golden brown.
  7. Eat hot as is, pour milk over it, or let it cool and eat in chunks for breakfast or as trail food.

Variations (!)

Good Food Means Happy Campers
How you will feel when you eat this granola. Photo by Fredrik Norrsell.
  • If there are blueberries, raspberries or other fruits in season where you are, add some on top!

  • Add ½ cup of honey mixed with 2 Tbs. peanut butter for extra calories and yum-factor.
  • Try adding coconut to the mix.
  • A NOLS instructor favorite is to heat the butter, sugar, and honey, plus cinnamon and vanilla, in a frying pan. Then add the oatmeal, dried fruits, coconut, and nuts. Fry the whole mix and enjoy.

Note: This granola doesn’t keep well in hot weather, so if you are in a hot environment, stick with the breakfast version rather than trying to make it last all day.

Nutritional Information

Granola, 1 serving

  • Calories: 761
  • Carb (g): 94
  • Protein (g): 17
  • Fat (g): 39
  • Fiber (g): 11

Granola with Honey and Peanut Butter, 1 serving

  • Calories: 911
  • Carb (g): 131
  • Protein (g): 19
  • Fat (g): 40
  • Fiber (g): 13


Find more recipes in the NOLS Cookery.

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