Nick and I have been hiking nearly every weekend to get in tip top shape to tackle Mount Saint Helens. While the vast majority of the hikes have us down and back in a matter of hours without needing much more than water, we've been tackling more difficult hikes that might require a break at the summit and a few more calories. If you're like me, you may have an overabundance of rolled oats, nuts and dried fruit laying around in the pantry that seem to never go away. Why not make granola?
It's not as difficult and hippie as it may seem. Granola is super easy to make, even for the baking-challenged. It's an incredibly simple and delicious way to get rid of excess oats, raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, coconut and even the extra 1/4 cup of chocolate chips that you have laying around in a plastic baggie and managed not to consume during a late-night, sweet tooth binge.
Here is a great basic recipe that you can use with stuff you may have laying around the house: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/granola-recipe/index.html
However, you don't need to follow this recipe exactly as long as you have the proportional measurements right. I replaced the cashews with peanuts and pecans, nixed the coconut and sprinkled in cinnamon and nutmeg. In addition to raisins, I added dried apples to make an apple crisp granola. You can take an basic granola or granola bar recipe and make it your own with leftover bits of baking stuff around the kitchen, which I somehow seem to magically accumulate.
I'll be enjoying some of my homemade granola plain and on top of a mountain, but you can eat it as cereal or sprinkle some on top of yogurt or oatmeal.... either on top of a mountain or in the comfort of your own kitchen.