I don’t think I could find a single person that doesn’t like sweet and chewy granola bars on trail. Unfortunately nearly all commercial bars are packed with unhealthy ingredients, basically a candy bar in disguise and the ones that are made with good ingredients are really expensive. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of natural sweetener in these bars, but I’ll take maple syrup over High Fructose Corn Syrup any day and you can make your own for a fraction of the price.
Easy to make, super tasty and much, much cheaper per bar than any commercial bar.
NOTE: You can pretty much pour the finished syrup over any 1/2 cup of seeds and nuts, 3/4 cup of dried fruit and 1 cup of puffed seeds (quinoa, rice etc…) and coconut and it will work. Raisins, blueberries or cherries with cashews, walnuts and quinoa, or even apricots are great options. Dried mango works for sure, but it’s an expensive ingredient especially when you eat most of it while you’re making the snacks. I personally don’t like them any sweeter but if you do chocolate chips are a great addition.
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup whole almonds, roasted
- ¼ cup dates, pitted
- ½ cup cranberries
- 1 cup puffed rice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup of high quality mini chocolate chips, or
- ½ carob nibs. or
- ½ cup yogurt chips, or
- ½ cup nut butter
- In a food processor, or kick-ass 1960’s blender combine pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dates and cranberries. Grind until it pumpkin seeds and dates are completely broken up. Pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in whole roasted almonds, puffed rice and coconut flakes. Set aside.
- In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine maple syrup, rice syrup, salt, and vanilla. Bring to rolling boil, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 200 - 210 on a candy thermometer. Immediately, pour mixture slowly over nut and fruit mixture, stir until evenly coated.
- Scrape the mixture into a 16x8 parchment lined glass dish. Allow to cool, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12-16 equal pieces.
- NOTE: TO ROAST THE NUTS AND SEEDS (OPTIONAL): Spread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 5-7 minutes, until lightly toasted. DO NOT ROAST COCONUT FLAKES WITH NUTS. COCONUT WILL BURN BEFORE NUTS HAVE ROASTED.