AVA Rafting & Zipline offers many more activities than just whitewater rafting. We offer half day to multiday adventures that feature paddle boarding, ziplining, rappelling, rock climbing, horseback riding, and much, much more. Some of the trips even include riverside meals prepared by your guide! With all the energy you will burn it is important to pack snacks to hold you over between meals. One of my favorite on-the-go snacks is granola.
When it comes to store bought granola, I am a major fan of Boulder Granola original. The company is based in Colorado, founded in 1969, and their motto is ‘unleash your inner hippie.’ Their products are certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, plus they support natural farming practices. The original granola is a blend of oats, nuts, and seeds that are natural sweetened with maple syrup and organic coconut.
It is extremely simple to make your own granola at home. I follow Boulder Granola’s model of using organic ingredients but when you DIY there is the opportunity to combine your favorite flavors for a custom-made snack. Below are a few summertime homemade granola recipes, packed full of protein powered fuel and bursts of tasty goodness.
For each of the following recipes I create a similar granola base. I combine 5 cups of rolled oats, ¾ cup golden flax seeds, 2 cups sunflower seeds, and 2 cups pumpkin seeds into a large bowl. I prefer salted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, but it is healthier to eat them raw. In a saucepan, I slowly bring to a boil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup agave, 1 cup honey, and 1 cup canola oil. Next, I pour the saucepan over the bowl of dry mix, stir, and spread a thin layer onto cookie sheets. Use wax paper to prevent your granola from sticking to the trays and bake at 325 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, should take about 20 minutes. Make sure the granola has the opportunity to cool before adding any fruit or chocolate.
Strawberry & Chocolate
Using the granola base recipe, I add 2 cups of organic dried strawberries and 1 ¼ cup of chocolate chips. A healthier alternative to chocolate is carob chips, which are similar in flavor and sweet. Compared to cocoa, carob is fat-free, caffeine-free, doesn’t trigger migraines, and carob provides twice the amount of calcium.
You can try this recipe with a few small substitutions for a richer, more mature flavor. First adjustment is to substitute 2 cups chopped walnuts, rather than pumpkin seeds, in the granola recipe. After the granola has baked and been allowed to cool, add 2 cups of dried raspberries instead of the strawberries. Lastly, you will mix in 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips and 2/3 cup white chocolate chips.
Despite living in the Rocky Mountains, I love the taste of the tropics. For an island inspired snack, take the granola recipe from above and add a mix of dried, organic banana chips with dried chunks of pineapple, papaya, cranberries, and shredded coconut.
Another tropical favorite has a few alterations to the granola recipe’s dry mix. Still use 5 cups of rolled oats and ¾ cup golden flax seeds, but then add only 1 cup sunflower seeds and 1 cup pumpkin seeds. Also add to the dry mix ¾ cup macadamia nuts, ½ cup Brazil nuts, and ¾ cup cashews, each finely chopped. If you are unable to find bags of the nuts pre-chopped, than pour the specified measurements into a sealed plastic bag, wrap the bag with a dish towel, place it on top of a cutting board, and use a meat-tenderizing hammer to smash the nuts until they are tiny. After mixing the dry ingredients with the melted contents from the saucepan and baking them, add dried pineapple and chocolate covered almonds. More or less depending upon how sweet you’d like your snack. This recipe is a little bit more decadent than the last but it is sure to satisfy your cravings. The cashews add 3.75 grams of protein to your granola, raw macadamia nuts are 8.25 grams, and Brazil nuts are 9.5 grams of protein. Although covered in chocolate, a cup of the almonds is 30 grams of protein.
Now that you have a few ideas for homemade granola, make some plans to get outside and explore! For any suggestions or help booking a trip, give us a call at 1-800-370-0581.