Homemade trail bars


There is nothing like having made your own trail bars when you are out hiking, fishing, or hunting.  You know exactly what is in it and how much energy it can provide you.  This is my favorite recipe to use when making my own bars.  It has peanut butter for a high amount of energy for a small size bar and steel cut oats for a nice chewy texture.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (2 ounces/60 grams)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Total time to make this is about 50 minutes.

1. First preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Blend the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Then beat the peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended (I love having a kitchen aid). Blend egg and egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Add to the peanut butter mixture, along with oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix together. Mix in oats, dried cranberries (or other dried fruit/berries), nuts, and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish. Use a piece of plastic wrap to spread batter into an even layer.

3. Bake the bars until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into 24 bars. One serving is one 2 x 2-inch bar.

You can store these in a jar for several week or you can individually wrap them and store them in the freezer until you need them for a trip.  There are about 170-200 calories per bar depending on the exact mix you use.  For a little pick me up you can also add instant coffee to the mix.

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