When did granola become the go-to snack for hikers and the like? I'm not sure, but as far as I'm concerned, that's just a marker of good sense and good taste.
There are certain food items that are overwhelmingly better when made from scratch instead of purchased at the store, and for me, granola falls completely into that category. I can control everything, from the sweetener(s) to the add-ins to the baking process. Plus, it's one of the most versatile things in the food world--you can vary all those conditions and end up with a entirely different (yet still amazingly delicious) product!
Granola bars, on the other hand, find themselves in the store-bought category from time to time. For that reason, I was delighted to try the six crunchy granola bars made by Clif Bar. The flavors range from honey oat (my favorite!) to white chocolate macadamia nut (a close second!) to peanut butter. The bars are made with 70 percent organic ingredients, and each bar includes 3-4 grams of protein as well as one serving of whole grains. These aren't break-your-teeth crunchy granola bars; rather, the blend of grains has been specially designed to create a lighter-textured crunch.
|The view from Stone Mountain in NC.|
My boyfriend loves to hike and has convinced me of its merits as well. I'll never forget the snack he brought along on one of our first adventures--it was some sort of strawberry waffle that looked about as tasty as cardboard. That said, I'm especially excited to share these bars (and my granola) with him.
Good Ol' Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Combine the syrup, honey, melted butter, and oil and pour it over the dry mixture; stir until everything is evenly coated.
Spread out the granola on a greased nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
Remove from oven, allow to cool completely and mix in the dried fruit.
Store in an airtight container.
*Though I received free samples from Clif Bar, the opinions in this post are my own.