Thursday, June 21, 2012

Granola Bars--great for road trips!

The breathtaking Badlands
Robert and I just returned from a hiking trip around the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota (and the stark but mesmerizing Badlands).  These granola bars went along for the ride and provided some chewy sustenance on the ol' trail.  The original recipe comes from Alton Brown, with just a few tweaks. These are very sturdy and chewy granola bars, so it helps to cut them into small bites to get your teeth around them.  By the end of the week-long trip, the last few had been jostled into granola crumble, but they held up surprisingly well on the trail!

Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced, raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup flax meal (or wheat germ)
1/2 cup honey (I used summer honey)
1/8 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of apricots and cranberries)

Oil an 8x8 baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the oats, almonds, coconut and flaxmeal on a cookie sheet and toast for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Combine the honey and brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove the oats et al.  from the oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees.  Place oats et al. in a bowl and immediately add the honey mixture along with the dried fruit.  Toss to combine very well.  Pour mixture into the oiled baking dish, and use a cup to press it firmly and evenly down.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Cool completely and cut into 1-inch bars. 

Buffalo at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
From the top of Rankin Ridge Trail,
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

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