Trail mix has been around for awhile. It is called trail mix because it’s the perfect food for hiking, a day-long journey or traveling on vacation. It is said that California surfers ‘invented’ trail mix in the 1960s when they mixed peanuts and raisins to pack for the beach. It provided a mixture of protein and carbs that would provide plenty of energy without spoiling in the hot sun.
Trail mix was mentioned a decade earlier, though, in a novel by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac was a mid-1950’s beat generation author. The beat generation, with their far out ideas, preceded the hippie culture of the 1960s. Kerouac had the two main characters in his 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums, packing trail mix for a marathon hiking trip.
From Trail Mix to Granola
Regardless of who gets credit for the invention, trail mix grew to include additional ingredients. Gorp or good ole’ raisins and peanuts turned into granola, oats,raisins and peanuts. Sometimes a few M&Ms were thrown in.
Trail Mix and Dried Fruit
Today, trail mix recipes have been customized, but all of them include dried fruit. Dried fruit retains all of the nutrition of when it was fresh. Fruit can be dried in a few days in the sun or in a few hours in a food dehydrator.
Honey and vegetable oil can be added to turn trail mix into more of a cereal-like granola. It can be eaten alone or used as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.
Persimmons and Trail Mix
Persimmon Granola-Trail Mix
Fall is a good time to try a trail mix made with dried persimmons. There are several different types of persimmons. Some are astringent and others are non-astringent. An astringent is an agent that shrinks bodily tissues. That is why astringent persimmons make your mouth pucker unless they are so ripe they are almost rotten. The small American persimmons and the Hachiya persimmon are astringent. The American persimmon is good for making a tangy persimmon salsa that goes well with fish.
Fuyu persimmons are sweet when still firm. Unlike the American persimmon, they are not full of seeds. These two reasons make Fuyu persimmons good for drying in a food dehydrator.
Persimmons are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrition. They have antioxidants that fight free radicals. They are an excellent source of vitamins A & C, potassium, manganese, copper and folic acid.
Try the recipe in the amounts I used or tweak to your own taste.
Ingredients for Trail Mix
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup dried persimmons
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
Putting the persimmon trail mix together
Toast the oats just a few minutes in a warm oven. Mix the cinnamon in with the oats. Warm the oil and honey together. Place oats in a large bowl. Now add the walnuts, and coconut and chopped dried persimmons. Stir and coat ingredients with the honey and oil mixture. Spread with spatula on a baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes in a 150-degree oven.
Coat Ingredients with Oil and Honey
Coat all dry ingredients with oil and honey.