Saturday, May 24, 2014

Purge the Pantry Trail Mix



I have what you'd call an "outdoorsy" family. We like to hike, bike, camp, and be in the woods.  

I also have a very HUNGRY family. And I love having snacks I can grab that I know will satisfy both their hunger and their taste-buds.   This trail mix does both, so it is a big winner!  

I am calling it "Purge the Pantry" Trail Mix because it is a great way to use up whatever you have in your pantry. For me, I needed to get some Cheerios eaten. I guess I've conditioned my kids (and hubby) to have too much of a sweet-tooth, so all the unsweetened cereal I buy goes untouched. 

I bought Cheerios at Costco recently, and they were just sitting in the pantry getting old; I needed to use them.  I also had several boxes of instant oatmeal packets that weren't going away fast enough.  A couple weeks ago, before we left for a hike,  I came up with a plan to combine the Cheerios with the oatmeal to make a snack mix, and it worked! Everyone loved it and asked for more!

It is super fast and easy, and it makes enough to fuel several kids for several outings!

 Here is your basic line-up: 6 cups of unsweetened cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Crispix, etc), 4 packets of flavored instant oatmeal, 1/2 cup liquid sugar (light corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc), 3 tablespoons of oil that is solid at room temp (butter, coconut oil). 

Add-ins: Pictured is just what I had in my pantry.  Your add-ins might include other nuts, dried fruit, M&Ms, chocolate chips (remember chocolate melts, though), pretzels, etc.  For mine, I added in about 1.5 cups of nuts and 1 cup of Craisins and raisins to the base recipe. What I love about this mix is it can be different every time you make it!

Here is the full recipe:

Purge the Pantry Trail Mix

Ingredients:

6 cups of dry, not-sugary breakfast cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Crispix, etc)
4 packets of single-serving flavored instant oatmeal (I like the maple-brown sugar or cinnamon spice)
1/2 cup of liquid sugar (light corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc)
3 tablespoons of butter (or other oil that is solid at room temperature)
2-3 cups of add-ins: nuts, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.

Wax paper for cooling

Directions:

1. Mix cereal, oatmeal, and any nuts or other dry ingredients in a large microwavable bowl. Set aside any dried fruit or chocolate to be added later.

2. Put liquid sugar and butter in a small microwavable bowl.  Microwave on high 30 sec to 1 minute (if it starts boiling pull it out). Stir until butter is all melted.  

3. Pour sugar-butter mix over dry mix and stir to coat.  Microwave this uncovered for 3 minutes, removing to stir every minute. 

4.  Stir any dried fruit into the mix.  Spread the mix on wax paper to cool.  Stir in chocolate add-ins after the mix has cooled.

5. Store in air-tight container or zipper-seal bags. 


Cooling on the wax paper.  This is a good time to take a taste!


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