Camping and hiking could quite possibly be the most synonymous words to the North American lifestyle. The North American wilderness is second to none. Travelers come from far across the globe to experience the ruggedly beautiful scenery and world-class trails, hikes and camping locations and facilities. In stark contrast to these healthy weekend adventures are the highly processed and refined snacks and sugary energy drinks that we often jam into our backpacks, or the greasy salty takeout we turn to in desperation. Instead, why not consider homemade healthy snacks?
These quick fixes often give us short bursts of energy that leaves us ‘crashing’ an hour later and do not provide the nutrients needed to replenish our exhausted bodies and for overall health. Why not consider planning ahead and making some delicious treats at home with slow release energy and healthy ingredients that will leave you feeling amazing!
We have compiled a couple of favorites for you to try. Stay tuned for a series of health snacks here on our BASE Wellness site. We will begin with our Chewy Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars:
These little delights are actually really easy to make and loaded with delicious ingredients, but feel free to add more nuts and seeds – the more the better we say!
- 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats (large flake – not quick or instant)
- 1 cup whole almonds
- ⅓ cup honey or corn syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp almond extract
- ⅔ cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey or corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Cook, stirring, until brown sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes). Transfer syrup to a large mixing bowl, stir in vanilla and almond extracts and cool to room temperature (if not properly cooled, chocolate will melt…)
- In a food processor, place ½ cup large flake oats and pulse to a flour consistency. Add to the mixing bowl with the syrup, along with the remaining 2 cups large flake oats, almonds, cherries and chocolate. Use your hands, moistened with water, to combine all the ingredients well. Press evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
- Allow granola bars to cool completely in the pan, set on top of a wire cooling rack. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips, and then cut each strip in half to yield 12 bars.
Author: Melanie Trepanier
Recipe Author: Jennifer Hill Pallian www.foodess.com