Trail Mix Cookies and Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

Get ready for the first week of school with two easy recipes you can make now and have on hand for later. Make healthy homemade peanut butter granola with your kids. It’s a delicious crunchy topping for yogurt or oats overnight, or you can eat it on its own, served with almond or oat milk. Serve it with fruit and peanut butter for a snack, or just eat it on the fly. Even better, you can do it at home and have fun with your kids.

Next, bake cookies. It’s always fun to find a treat in your lunchbox, and the first week of school calls for something special. Wholesome Trail Mix Cookies are a handful of your favorite trail mix made into a soft, chewy cookie. Just the right mix of salty and sweet with lots of nutty crunch, this is a snack you can feel good about. Perfect for back to school, you can stash them in a lunch box or stash them in your car or backpack to take on your next adventure. Loaded with roasted nuts, dried fruit, hearty whole grain oats and chocolate, they’re perfect for boosting everyone’s mood and energy.

Use any kind of nuts and as many nuts as you want. Same for dried fruits. I used cherries and dried apricots, but cranberries, blueberries or raisins would all work. I also chopped my fruit a little so the pieces weren’t too big. Toasting nuts and oats before adding them to cookie dough increases their flavor. I used one plate for the nuts and seeds and another for the oats, being careful not to burn them.

Use sunflower butter and only use seeds if you want to make them nut-free. I used gluten free oats to make them gluten free. If you make this with flax eggs, the cookie dough is safe to eat raw. You can taste the batter before baking it and decide if you want to add more maple syrup. You can use chopped sweet and sour chocolate bars, or shavings or discs, if you prefer chocolate chips instead. Swap 2 eggs if you don’t want it plant-based, but I wanted to keep this vegan, so I used flax eggs, a mixture of ground flax seeds and water, as below.

Double the recipe and freeze half. You’ll be ready with healthy, freshly baked cookies in the busy weeks ahead. Here’s to a great start to the new school year!

Trail mix cookies

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup assorted dried fruit
  • (cut into 1/2″ pieces if large)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • flaky sea salt (optional)

Combine ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Put aside.

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven, then preheat to 350°F. Toast nuts, seeds and oats on rimmed baking sheets, stirring once, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, vanilla, maple syrup, prepared flax eggs, salt and baking soda in large bowl; let stand until nuts are cool.

Add the dried fruit and chocolate chips to the cooled nut mixture. Mix the peanut butter mixture well, then stir in the rolled oats. Stir in nut mixture until well blended. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

Use a 1/3 cup measure to distribute the batter, pressing down firmly. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then use the bottom of a measuring cup or your hand to press the cookies into 2 1/2-inch-diameter disks about 3/4-inch-thick . Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Bake until golden brown and edges are just set, 10 to 13 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. Can be done 1 week in advance. Store tightly sealed at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 8 cookies.

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

  • 2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (for vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.

Combine oats, cinnamon and salt in small bowl; put aside.

In microwave-safe dish or on stovetop, melt peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) together, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined. Spread the mixture on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until granola is lightly browned, stirring once halfway through baking. To test for doneness, remove a small portion and let cool. If it hardens, the granola is done. Remove from oven and let stand until cool. Once cooled, break it up. Store tightly, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months.

– recipe from

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden and write about all the things that make life so good in Vancouver and the North West.

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