These easy to make and customize gluten-free pumpkin trail mix cookies are loaded with dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, and your favorite fall flavors. Great to enjoy as a quick breakfast or as a snack at your desk or on the trail.
I’m basic. I love Fall in New England. I’m a hiker anyway, but there is something about the colors and smells of the forest in Fall that holds a special place in my heart. Midway through a hike, usually when we get to the lookout, we’ll stop and have a snack or a drink. Trail mix has been my go-to snack lately so I wanted to mix things up and came up with these healthy trail mix cookies. Being from Connecticut I, of course, had to make it pumpkin flavored. I know, so basic.
Is it Trail Mix or GORP?
I may be showing my age here, but do you know or even heard of G.O.R.P.? G.O.R.P. is short for Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts. Basically, it is trail mix, but with chocolate pieces, usually M&Ms. The combination of dried fruit, seeds, nuts, and chocolate give you the simple carbs, sugar, salt, fat, calories, and caffeine (in the chocolate) you need for energy while hiking, kayaking, etc.
Hippies kind of made it popular but the combo existed way before the 1960s. Fun fact: There is a record dating back to 1833 when Danish students ate a snack called studenterhavre, or student oats. The snack consisted of raisins and almonds and during the holidays they’d add pieces of chocolate.
I suppose technically these are GORP cookies, but I feel funny saying GORP.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Trail Mix Cookies
Most of the ingredients for these cookies are pantry staples. All are easy to find at your local market or grocery store.
- rolled oats
- ground flaxseed
- pumpkin puree (you can make your own puree or buy canned. If you buy canned make sure it is pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling.)
- maple syrup
- spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and allspice
- mix-ins: chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips
How To Make Healthy Pumpkin Trail Mix Cookies
It honestly does not get much easier than this recipe. Only 4 steps and the last one is to eat them.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Scoop out the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Let ’em cool. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Trail Mix Cookie Swaps
These cookies are so customizable to your tastes.
- Walnuts can be swapped for hazelnuts, pecans, almonds or cashew.
- Or make it nut-free and swap the nuts for pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Use all the spices or just the few that you like most. Adjust the amounts to your palate.
- Swap dried cranberries for other dried fruits like good ol’ raisins, or dried cherries.
- Swap dark chocolate chips for milk chocolate chips or peanut butter chips.
- Or make it dairy-free and vegan by using vegan chocolate chips or carob chips.
Healthy Pumpkin Trail Mix Cookies
- 2.5 cups rolled oats
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir until well-combined.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough into two tablespoon balls and place them on the baking sheets. Lightly press down on the dough balls to flatten just slightly.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Once baked remove from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before carefully placing the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
Photos by Renato Ghio