Adventure Snack #2: Granola Bars!

It’s time for another adventure snack because, well, it’s time for another adventure! 

Upload from July 08, 2011

Now that I’m settling into the swing of things after spending a week in Banff, I’m back off to the mountains. But this time, it’s going to be a bit different. 

This time, there’s no towel service.
No wine bar.
No lunch buffet boasting six-or-so desserts.
No showers.
No power.
No water.


It’s going to be, as Parks Canada has aptly warned me, “primitive”. 

Upload from July 08, 2011

But no matter, because I’ve got granola bars, and nothing says a good time like a granola bar (the mountain views will help too, I’m sure). Which sounds like a silly thing to say, but these granola bars are good. So good, I refuse (read: hope I don’t have to) to share them with bears.  

Upload from July 08, 2011

Super-simple to make, sweet but not too sweet, and packed with all sorts of tasty things - toasted oats, slivered almonds, shredded coconut and wheat germ, to name a few - these crunchy-chewy bars make for a perfect snack, whether or not a half-day hike is on your agenda. And - my favourite bit - they can be customized to suit you!  

Upload from July 08, 2011

Which means you can load them up with all of your favourite things, like dried fruit, seeds, and nuts. Or chocolate. Bucketloads of chocolate. 

Whatever floats your canoe, right? 

Happy almost-weekend, everyone!
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Granola Bars
Makes 12-24, depending on how generous of a slicer you are
Adapted from smitten kitchen 

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (the kind that cooks in 10 minutes)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (loosely packed)
½ cup toasted wheat germ
⅔ cup honey
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt
1½ cups add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bite-sized bits of chocolate, etc.!)*

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x12-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper. Spread oatmeal, almonds and coconut on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

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2. As soon as it’s out of the oven, pour warm oatmeal mixture into a large bowl, add wheat germ, and stir to combine. Add honey, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Add any additions and stir to (you guessed it!) combine.

Upload from July 08, 2011

3. Pour oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish and, using a silicone spatula or wet fingers, press the mixture into the dish until you can press it down no more! Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 2-3 hours and cut into bars or squares using a sharp serrated knife.** Store bars in an air-tight container in the freezer to maintain crispness. 

Upload from July 08, 2011

*I split one batch of of the granola mixture into two bowls just before mixing in the additions so that I could make two different kinds of granola bars in one go! I tossed equal parts roasted salted peanuts and milk chocolate chunks (altogether totalling 3/4 cup) into one bowl, and equal parts dried sour cherries and dark chocolate chunks (totalling 3/4 cup) in the other.
**I went for bars, which were a bit crumbly; my guess is that squares might hold together a bit better. An extra-firm hand when pressing the mixture into the dish will help too!

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