For those longer hikes and backpacking trips, it’s important to have protein and energy-packed snacks at your chewing disposal. But let’s face it, healthy snacks can be expensive, plus there’s all that extra packaging, and who knows what really goes in them if you didn’t make it yourself, right?
I faced a similar dilemma while prepping for my annual Ladies’ Backpacking Weekend, and decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of loading up on Kind bars and Soy Joys (though I do love them), I tried my own homemade granola bars and a sweet treat. Thanks to Minimalist Baker for this awesome 5 ingredient recipe, which both accommodates great taste and easy creation.
Cranberry, Apricot and Nut Oat Granola Bars
Adopted from the Minimalist Baker
Ingredients (makes about 20 square bars)
- 3/4 cup dried apricots (you could sub or add dates)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped unsalted almonds
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup almond butter (easily replaced with sunflower or peanut butter
- 1 tsp salt
- Optional: ground cinnamon
- Process apricots and cranberries in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency, which will help the mixture bond.
- Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
- Place oats, chopped almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and apricot blend in a bowl – set aside.
- Warm honey and your preferred nut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. (This is key. I was lazy and ended up just pouring in room temperature honey and almond butter and the bars didn’t bond well.) Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the apricots and cranberries to disperse throughout.
- Add cinnamon and salt to taste.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
- Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from pan and chop into even bars. Store in an airtight container or keep them fresh for longer by storing in the freezer.