Granola & Granola Bars

Trail Tips – Granola Recipe

Having a form of quick energy with you when going on a hike or walk is important, whether it’s homemade or store-bought. Everyone’s had a moment where they feel tired and want to rest, and having a snack like trail mix or an energy bar close at hand can help give you the boost to finish your trek without feeling like you’re slogging it the rest of the way. Prepackaged granola or granola bars were my go-to for a long time until I found out how easy it was to make my favorite granola mix at home (not to mention cheaper!).

I started with a recipe I found on Completely Delicious and modified it to mimic a mix found at my local bakery. In the end, my recipe came out like this:

Granola:
  • 4 cups Oats
  • 1.5 cups Almond Slices
  • 1.5 cups White Raisins
  • 1.5 cups Dried Cranberries
  • 9 Tb Maple Syrup
  • 4 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 Tb Cinnamon

Cook on a baking sheet at 350˚ for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

This recipe came out more loosely packed, rather than in clumps, like a lot of granolas, but it was delicious plain or with milk, and the perfect starting point for granola bars! I discovered homemade granola bars while trying to figure out what to do with an excess of granola and oats in my kitchen pantry. After a quick search through the almighty All Recipes I found an easy from-scratch recipe for granola bars that didn’t require actual granola (although that’s my preferred way of making them). After some trial and error, I found the perfect balance between the homemade granola and the granola bar recipes, leaving me with my perfect trail snack.

Granola Bars:
  • 5 cups granola (plus a teeny bit)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/8 cups brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Set aside the salt and mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together the olive oil, honey, eggs, salt, and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients, stirring until everything is evenly mixed. Spread the mixture into an 11×16 oiled baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut the bars immediately and let stand about 10 minutes before attempting to remove from the baking sheet.

These recipes are, of course, infinitely customizable to your personal tastes. I prefer less processed foods with few or no preservatives, and making my own granola and granola bars allows me a freedom to create exactly what I want, all the way down to the sugar and fiber sources and balance of proteins and fats. Give it a try and share your thoughts and variations in the comments!

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