When we’re camping in the backcountry, we often find ourselves missing certain textures. Most backpacking foods invariably take on a soft, mushy texture. (Think protein bars, oatmeals, boil-in-bag meals). Mush! All of it mush!
There’s nothing wrong with mush, it’s just sometimes we need a break. We need something crunchy, something with some chew. Enter: Coconut Chocolate Granola.
What we love about this backpacking breakfast is how many calories it packs in. It contains over 600 calories per serving, with half of the calories coming from carbs and half coming from fats and proteins. So you get a quick hit of fast-burning energy to get you going in the morning, but then a slow-burn that will carry you all the way to lunch.
With more calories than instant oatmeal and a divinely crunchy texture, this coconut chocolate granola is a great backpacking breakfast to try out on your next hike.
Coconut Chocolate Granola Ingredients
Rolled oats: Oats bring protein and fiber to this granola. Use certified gluten-free oats to make this granola GF.
Coconut flakes: Unsweetened, untoasted. You could also use shredded coconut.
Chopped nuts: Any combination of nuts will work – we used pecans in this recipe. Start with raw nuts; since they get baked along with the rest of the granola, roasted nuts are unnecessary.
Cacao powder: We used Trader Joe’s Cacao Powder in this recipe.
Maple syrup: Adds natural sweetness to the granola. You could substitute with honey if that’s what you have on hand.
Coconut oil: Adds a hint of coconut flavor without being overpowering.
Powdered whole milk: If you’re looking to maximize your calories while backpacking, Nido whole milk powder is the way to go. If you want to make this recipe vegan, use powdered coconut milk (NB, we do find that coconut milk powder doesn’t blend very well in cold water, so you may want to heat your water first.)
Freeze Dried Raspberries: We find these at Trader Joe’s at a reasonable price, but they can also be found online.
How to Make Coconut Chocolate Granola
In terms of homemade granolas, this one is fairly simple to make and uses ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
Simply mix the rolled oats, nuts, cacao powder, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and pinch of salt together in a large bowl until everything is evenly coated.
Spread the mixture onto a lined baking sheet, and then pop it into a 300F oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and add the flaked coconut. Return it to the oven for an additional 5 minutes to toast the coconut.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the granola cool completely before breaking it up and dividing it between 4 bags. Add a tablespoon of powdered milk and a handful of dried raspberries to each bag.
At camp, just add water directly into the bag, shake and stir, and your breakfast is ready!
Parchment Paper: You’ll want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper so the granola doesn’t stick to the pan. You could also use a silicone baking mat if you have one.
BioBag Resealable Compostable Sandwich Bags: If you are trying to cut down on your usage of single-use plastic bags, these resealable compostable sandwich bags from BioBag are a nice alternative. They function just like a standard plastic Ziplock bag, except they won’t take ten million years to decompose in a landfill.
Spork: A good spork is a backpacker’s best friend. We really like the color and designs of these humangear sporks.
Bowl: It’s true you can just eat this granola out of the bag. And if you’re trying to reduce dishes in the morning, that’s what we’d suggest. But if you prefer to have your granola out of a bowl, we really like these flexible humangear bowls. They fold over on themselves to adjust their depth and can be easily stuffed in a bear barrel.