Granola with Milk & Berries | No-Cook Backpacking Recipe

By Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD

Updated September 16, 2022
This post may contain affiliate links.
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It may seem almost too easy to be true, but granola with milk powder and fruit is a complete meal and makes the perfect no-cook backpacking breakfast. Why?

  • Because it’s one of the most efficient no-cook backpacking breakfasts for packing in carbohydrates.
  • For long-distance hikers, a high carbohydrate diet will keep your energy up for those long days on trail.
  • Pairing the granola and freeze-dried fruit with protein will help that energy last even longer.
  • You can even use granola as an evening snack to replenish glycogen stores to encourage recovery.

Luckily, no-cook backpacking granola’s best friend is milk powder – a good source of protein. The berries contain antioxidants, which help to tame inflammation and speed recovery. Granola is as fast as it gets and almost impossible to mess up. We usually call it breakfast, but who says you can’t have it for lunch or dinner too?

Looking for a way to use up those freeze-dried blueberries?

Consider trying our flavorful and nutrition-packed Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal ultralight backpacking breakfast recipe.

When you’re ready to add to your no-cook meal repertoire, be sure to check out our favorite no-cook backpacking recipes.

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    Granola with Milk & Berries

    Backcountry Foodie Recipe
    When compared to the Mountain House® granola meal, our recipe provides an additional 200 calories and more than twice the protein per bag. Our recipe can also be prepared for a fraction of the cost. Win-win!
    Rate This Recipe
    4.77 from 17 votes
    View Comments / Leave A Review

    NUTRITION (per serving)

    cal/oz 135
    cal/gram 4.8
    Calories 740 kcal
    PROTEIN 32 g
    CARBS 78 g
    Fiber 9 g
    Added Sugar 0 g
    Fat 36 g
    Sodium 210 mg
    Home Prep Time 1 minute
    Field Prep Time 2 minutes
    WT/SERVING 5.5 oz (155 g)
    MEAL PREPDehydrator Not Required, Four Ingredients or Less, No-Cook
    Diet TYPESGluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Low-Sugar, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
    Servings1 serving



    INSTRUCTIONS (per serving)


    • Put all ingredients in a bag or container to be used in the backcountry.


    • Add 4 oz (120 mL) cold water or to the desired flavor.
    • Stir to mix well.
    • Let stand to allow the berries to rehydrate.
    • Stir to mix well and enjoy!



    • Total sugar (per serving): 39 g, including no added sugar.
    • To reduce calories by 100, replace whole milk powder with non-fat milk powder.
    • We recommend reading food labels and choosing full-fat granola without dried fruit to maximize the calories per weight ratio.
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    Granola with milk and berries


    Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD, is a registered dietitian and ultralight long-distance backpacker with over 20 years of nutrition and backpacking experience. She’s also the founder and owner of Backcountry Foodie, an online ultralight recipes and meal planning platform for backpackers. She also enjoys teaching hikers about backpacking nutrition via virtual masterclassesYouTube videos, and podcast episodes. You can follow Aaron’s adventures in the kitchen and the backcountry via Instagram and Facebook.


    • I was able to find reasonably-priced, freeze-dried fruit and whole milk powder online, but full-fat granola seems a bit more difficult and confusing. Any suggestions for good options for the granola?

      • Great question, Steve! To keep the caloric density of granola as high as possible, my preference is to choose granola that doesn’t have dried fruit but does have nuts and seeds. Ancient grains granola options tend to be calorically dense and high in protein. Here are two examples: Purely Elizabeth brand ancient grains granola ( and the Bear Naked brand granola ( I hope that helps a bit.

        PS – The Dollar Tree, Big Lots, and Trader Joe’s are great places to purchase small quantities of freeze-dried fruit inexpensively. Check the snack food aisle.

        • Aaron, thanks for your reply and advice. I’ve been looking at options and did try the lower sugar Bear Naked triple berry granola. It was tasty enough but didn’t seem very substantial. Today I was looking at options in Trader Joe’s and noticed that their house brand Muesli has better statistics than most granolas. A 1/2 cup serving has 250 calories with 5g fiber and 10g protein and only 5g sugar. The lower sugar is very helpful when there is one person in the group watching their sugar intake. This Muesli fits with your thinking about caloric density, having sunflower and pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds. We’ll try it tomorrow to see how we like it with a little dehydrated fruit from Trader Joe’s added for color/flavor.

          • Steve
            How did you like this recipe with the TRADER JOE’S in house muesli?


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