When you’re out on the trails and exploring, you need quick and easily digestible food to go. You can go to the store and get an “energy bar” loaded with sugars and syrups, or you can make your own. Here’s how to make a nutritious granola bar, guaranteed to strike the proper fuel balance.
Prep time: 25 minutes
1. In small batches, mash the dates into a paste. A pestle and mortar works great. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the almonds, peanuts, seeds, oats, and raisins. Mix. Add the cinnamon and salt. Grate the chocolate square into the bowl. Combine well.
2. Add the date paste into the dry mixture. Evenly distribute the molasses, nut butter, and honey into the bowl. Using your hands, work the mixture and date paste together until you have a thick yet moldable “dough.” It will get sticky.
3. Cut the wax paper to be twice as long as your pan. Lay half the paper into the pan, letting the excess drape out. Place the mixture into the pan and spread as evenly as possible. Bring the excess wax paper over the top and use a rolling pin to spread evenly, pressing into the corners.
4. To tighten the edges, bring the paper over the top of the bars, away from the pan, and press firmly with your hand. Let the bars refrigerate for 3-4 hours. If you have a salt tooth like me, peel back the top layer of paper and sprinkle coarse salt over the bars before consuming.
5. After refrigeration, use a heavy knife to cut the bars into squares. One pan makes approximately 20 bars, but you can slice to your preferred size. To hit the trails, wrap each bar in saran wrap or wax paper. Uneaten bars will save in the refrigerator for up to five days.
A note on ingredients: The nuts, seeds, and raisins can be substituted to your preferred ingredients, however, stick with raw nuts and seeds and unsweetened dried fruit. Oil roasted nuts and sugar-sweetened dried fruit defeats the purpose of these nutritious guys!