Mar 1, 2009 at 7:24 am #1234439
After my wife made a big batch of apricot & white chocolate oatmeal cookies I got to thinking about how expensive the commercial bars are. Her cookie batch was as big as about $50 worth of commercial bars. A bit too sweet though and they probably would crumble and taste stale on a weeklong trip.
So how about it- What's your favorite trail bar recipe?Mar 1, 2009 at 9:36 am #1481726
This is one I have had on our website for a couple years:
With homemade items try to eat your product within 3-4 days of baking it. Most homemade items can be frozen safely in advance (cut into individual portions, wrap, and store in large freezer bags.). Most frozen items are good for 1-2 months in a freezer.
The "You can make them your way" Bars
Call them a chewy granola bar or an energy bar, either way, these are good! They freeze well also (wrap them up two bars to a bag for an easy trail snack out of the freezer.) Trust me, you will LOVE these bars. Yes, they are high in fat, but if you are hiking hard, you will burn it off. And they are better for you than a candy bar!
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or whatever fruit you prefer!)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or other nut of choice, unsalted)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, craisins,wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and pecans.
4. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, egg, and vanilla; pour into flour mixture, and mix by hand until the liquid is evenly distributed.
5. I use rubber gloves for this.
6. Press evenly into the prepared baking pan. Make sure it is packed in tightly.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are golden.
8. Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.
Makes 12-16 bars.
Notes: These bars take well to using applesauce or baby prunes as part of the oil. Brown sugar Splenda® works well as a way to cut back on the sugar content for diabetics. Any nut can be used, and feel free to change the fruit or add chocolate chips, etc to the batter! These bars have been made by a number of hikers on hiking forums, and the consensus is they are dang good!- no matter how you change the recipe!Mar 2, 2009 at 5:36 am #1481888
@angelazLocale: New England
Original recipe is from here: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/video-big-sur-power-bars-recipe.html
This one is also good (I add choc. covered raisins to it:
These are AMAZING. Very easy to make, and delicious. Slightly sticky – I wrap my individual bars in parchment paper. I subtract the espresso bean and do combo's like dried raspberry/walnut or pistachio/apricot/cherry. Best breakfast ever. I also throw in a bit of vanilla protein powder when heating the rice syrup.
Big Sur Power Bar Recipe
If you can't find the crisp brown rice cereal, no worries – just use regular rice cereal for ex: Rice Crispies – just stay clear of "puffed" rice cereal, it will throw the recipe off. Feel free to substitute other types of nuts, seeds, or whatever little goodies you can dream up.
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.
On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.
Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.
Makes 16 to 24 bars.Mar 2, 2009 at 6:54 am #1481902
have you tried using olive oil or grapeseed oil instead of vegetable oil?
I just think they would be a little "healthier" fats, but don't know how they would taste or affect the consistency…
I might have to try one of these out for taste…
Thanks!Mar 2, 2009 at 7:02 am #1481904
Tell me about that single egg. What does it do? Is it a binder?
Can it be left out to extend the bar's un-refrigerated life?
Thanks.Mar 2, 2009 at 10:18 am #1481968
Thanks all for the recipes. I'll try some in the coming months to see which I like.
According to my bread machine, egg actually increases the shelf life of baked goods. (I don't know if that means they don't dry out, or mold).
I would rather have the ability to make bars that would last at least a week on the trail. Would putting the bars in ziploc bags while still hot help to extend shelf life?Mar 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm #1482005
Egg can be important to bind an item – but yes, you can replace it. You can do a slurry of flax seed to replace it. It won't taste the same but it will add the "mouth feel" and the binding. Also give more fiber.
On oils: sure, you can use nearly any oil! Be aware that olive oil will have a real flavor added unless you get a lightly flavored one. Not the place to use that super fruity extra virgin ;-) You could also use a mix of oils.
As for storage I would not seal up hot ones – they will sweat and that could lead to mold very fast.
If you have teeth that are strong with many homemade bars you can treat them like biscottio: after baking, cut them thin and then bake a second time, on a cookie sheet. Get the average time from a biscottio recipe and go from there. This will give you a VERY shelf stable treat. Won't be the same, but it works. You could also use your dehydrator as well….heck, I do it with fat free cakes! (I use applesauce for fat called/egg whites only, no yolks).Mar 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm #1482166
I received this recipe in the mail recently. I have not tried it myself. I'm not even sure what all the ingredients are.
I really want to try to make my own bars. Maybe I will search for the ingredients at the hippie food coop tomorrow.
Home Made Hi Fat Hi Protein Energy Bars
2 cups soft coconut oil
16 oz raw almond butter
1/2 cup raw honey
Pour over and mix well:
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup fine coconut
1/2 cup Goatein protein powder
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup chopped pecans
(You could probably also add flax seeds )
Press into 9×13 pan. Chill and cut.Mar 3, 2009 at 10:12 am #1482302
These bars are fairly heavy. Isn't there a recipe out there that would allow you to bring a "dry mix" in individual baggies and just add water on the trail, mix and eat?
May not be as easy, but would save weight and you could just make it a thick slurry, seal the baggie, bite off a corner and suck it out that way for no mess.
Just thinking out loud.Mar 3, 2009 at 11:26 am #1482321
Sure! What you would have is an "energy" fudge of sorts, a raw cookie. Let me see what I have in my files and I can post one or two :)Mar 3, 2009 at 11:43 am #1482328
Exactly! I think that would be pretty good. Thanks for looking for recipes.Mar 3, 2009 at 11:54 am #1482331
Wouldn't dehydrating the above recipes basically give you the same thing? Generally I find that with most energy bars I need to slosh some water around in my mouth to be able to swallow them anyway. I would think dehydrating the energy bar and then adding some water when you take a bite would be the way to go… What do you think??Mar 3, 2009 at 11:57 am #1482332
I've not tried dehydrating much so I really don't know if this would work well. Could you dehydrate something like that very well?Mar 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm #1482348
I'm not sure what is meant by heavy. The key for food is calorie density. Most of the recipes above have no water so are > 100 cal/oz, which is what I shoot for.
If by heavy you mean dry, yeah that's certainly true. I like baking on trail to get by that problem.Mar 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm #1482402
If you have to add water, then you'll either have to eat them at water sources or else you'll end up carrying the water anyway. I suppose there might be a small advantage over a multi-day period.Mar 3, 2009 at 7:40 pm #1482482
My thought would be to only add the water when you were ready to eat. Maybe it wouldn't really save that much weight, but it might make for a nice change of pace.
Anyway, not to steal this fine thread…let's get some more recipes!Mar 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm #1482485
On the add water at eating time question – sure! Look up above where I mentioned making them into biscotti like pieces :-) You can always dehydrate them more.
OK, I need to look at what I have on hand for more recipes ;-)Mar 4, 2009 at 9:57 am #1482637
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients. Start with about a cup of oats then add proportionately from there. Mix all together in mixing bowl till evenly blended. Make the mix to a consistency that is soft, but firm enough to eat with your hands.
Morning jaunt: mix a batch that fills one extra small Ziplock.
Day trip: mix a batch that fills one sandwich size Ziplock.
Full on adventure: mix a batch that fills one a quart size Ziplock.
Caloric information is about 700 calories in a sandwich bag.
Cost is about $0.96 per bag.Mar 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm #1482767
Regarding the water weight in "food bars" –
I minced 3 Power Bars – Oatmeal Raisin, Apple Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter Crisp, weighted them, placed them in a circulating air dryer at 140° for 8 hours, and weighed them again.
The Peanut Butter Crisp lost 3.6 grams or 5.15%
The Oatmeal Raisin lost 3.9 grams, or 5.69%
The Apple Cinnamon lost 4.9 grams or 7.06%
So, for a 5 day trip, at 4 bars a day, you would carry an extra 3.50 ounces of water for the worst case, 2.75 ounces for the best case, or 2.95 ounces if they were equally divided.
I would suggest that is not a huge penalty for the variation in mouth feel, taste, and convenience.Mar 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm #1482769
Sam: That sounds a lot like "Buttery Goodness" from Erin and Hig's Wild Coast adventure.
Greg: Thanks for the science.
Since this thread has evolved from bars to pasty items:
My son's pre-school did "Peanut Butter Play Dough". They each got a scoop on a paper plate. Make into little animal shapes then eat them.
Mix peanut butter and honey to taste, then add powdered milk to adjust consistency similar to Play Doh (R). Very similar to famine relief food Plumpy'Nut and "Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo".
I don't know how well it will keep on the trail with the dried milk vs. corn flour in Moose Goo.Mar 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm #1482771
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Your post, and others like it, are the reason I keep coming back to these forums. Thanks for experimenting.
CaseyMar 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm #1482787
What is corn flour anyway? Is it the same stuff as masa harina they make tortillas out of? Or is it corn starch? Where do you find it?Mar 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm #1482791
Bob's Red Mill make sit btw. You can find it with the other flours :-)
And yes, it is an actual flour of sorts.Mar 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm #1482798
Masa Harina is ground corn treated with lime (the mineral, not the fruit)
corn flour is finely ground corn meal
cornflower is the lovely blue of your eyes (not addressed at anyone in particular, just feeling jocular)Mar 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm #1489593
Laurie Ann MarchMember
@laurie_annLocale: Ontario, Canada
Here is another energy bar recipe. I used a cereal from Kellogg's Canada called Vector (it's a meal replacement – higher protein type cereal) but you can use whatever you prefer.
Blueberry Banana Energy Bars
from A Fork in the Trail © 2008
Makes 10 servings
These no-bake energy bars are very simple to make.
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups high-energy cereal or cereal made of strong flakes, crushed
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried banana chips
1/3 white chocolate chips
Break the banana chips into smaller pieces and set aside. Heat the honey and brown sugar in a large pot and let simmer for 1 minute. (Boiling too long will make the bars brittle.) Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter is well incorporated. Add the crushed cereal, blueberries, almonds, and banana and chocolate chips and combine well.
Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil. Scoop the mixture into the pan and pack down evenly. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the pan contents to a cutting board. Allow to return to room temperature and then cut into 10 bars. Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in ziplock bags. The bars will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Note: Hopefully I haven't posted this one before – if so accept my apologies
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