With that in mind, I decided to go back to eating regular oatmeal for breakfast, adding trail mix and dried fruit. In the past I would just buy a bulk trail mix, but since I had so many of the ingredients already on hand I thought it would be just as easy to make my own.
And it was. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, put my mix of nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and baked them on a middle rack for about 25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to make sure they weren't burning. I did almost burn one batch and they were not good. They were edible and too expensive to throw away, but I will never make that mistake again. I set the timer and I check.
What I love about making it myself is that I control the ratio of the kinds of nuts, and the fruit. I use the expensive nuts more sparingly and go wild with the less expensive. I also have all of the nuts available for other uses, which I would not be able to do if I were buying the pre-mixed packages.
I don't know if making it at home is less expensive than buying the pre-packaged version. That would depend on each batch, and what you ratio of more and less expensive nuts you used. But when the prices range from about $3/lb to $15/lb for the various sees and nuts, you know the pre-packagers are using mostly the cheaper ingredients and averaging higher on the pricing.
But the main reason I like making my own mix? It just tastes better.
HOW TO MAKE TRAIL MIX
Note: You can use any combination of nuts and seeds, in any amounts.
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
Combine all ingredients in a rimmed baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until nuts are golden. Check and stir every ten minutes.
Let cool and mix with the raisins and cranberries. Store in an airtight container for a few weeks.
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.