Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars


Dear Mati,

I loved your Rhubarb post and I cannot wait to try it out.  I had never heard of that vegetable (?) and I do not think I have even tried it.  I started seeing it at the super markets this year and I was always curious to learn what you can make with it…and then as I started to read blogs, I realized what it can be used for. And I love its pink and greenish colors.

Today was a very emotional day, but a good emotional day.  I am writing to you from the sky, on a plane on my way to Denver, CO.  My grandfather, Nono Sacky, turned 80 today and my whole family got together to celebrate this astonishing accomplishment:  To celebrate his life and our life together with him.  Living in Miami has been very special because I have gotten to see this part of my family a lot and it was something that I had no idea I was missing so much.  It just makes me sad that we all live so far away, all our families are so physically distant and we only get to get together once in a while. But, once in a while is better than never.  The birthday party was fun.  We took family pictures and my dad showed a video he made for my grandfather with pictures from all his life, pictures of him as a baby, in school, in college, getting married, having his kids, grand kids and even great –grand kids.  What a blessing.  May we all have such a blessed life. Happy Birthday Nono!

The food of course was delicious.  My grandfather ordered the menu, all Sephardic food from Aleppo (in Syria), because apparently Sephardic food from different areas of the world can be different.  It was a feast.  We ate Kibbehs and lahm bi’ajīn, while listening to Syrian music. The food was absolutely delicious and the desserts were even better!  I do hope to learn one day how to make it all even though most are SO time consuming and/or not very healthy because of the amounts of oil you use.

As I said, I am on a plane to Denver for a conference for work and then Adam will meet me on Wednesday in Denver because Thursday we leave on a road trip through Colorado and Utah.  We will be hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies and then we will drive into the Utah desert and mountains for more hiking, some fishing, and beautiful sightseeing. Our road trip ends in Las Vegas.  If I get to connect to the world during our trip I will update you on our adventures and tell you a little bit about cooking while camping.

Last weekend we went fishing in the Florida Keys and I have to tell you, going out and finding your food is a difficult job.  I cannot imagine having to do that every day.  Our lives are made so easy by just going to the supermarket to get anything we want.  We fished for about 4 hours and it was not until they threw some sort of food into the water, did we all start catching lots of fish called Grunt.   We caught 10 Grunt and then got about 4 more from some people that did not claim their catch.  We took them to the restaurant they had on the dock and they cooked them for us.  We ate fresh fish and chips.

I have to admit that lately I have been a little lazy in the kitchen.  It must be the heat of the summer. I have been experimenting with a few things here and there but nothing to special.  I did make some granola bars from a recipe my friend Sandra shared with me.  They were really good, except for the fact that they fell apart as soon as I tried cutting them. But the granola was still good.  I ate it with yogurt for breakfast.  You can add these to your repertoire of healthy bars.  The trick, according to Sandra, is to freeze them when they come out of the oven and then cut them into bars.  Next I will try your coconut flapjacks.

Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and www.smittenkitchen.com

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats)
1/2 – 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups dried fruits and nuts*
1/3 cup almond and peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons olive oil or butter (melted)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry : eanut butter and almond butter, until the mixture is evenly crumbly.   Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.   You can use a piece of plastic wrap to help out with this, as you press down on the back of it.
  3. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges.  They’ll still seem soft and almost under baked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
  4. Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack, and then place in the freezer for at least an hour before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.  To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container.

*Suggestions:  Use hazelnuts, flax seeds, almonds, dried cherries, chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, raisins, apricots, peanut butter chips, etc…

Alright, we are about to land in Houston and I have to run to catch my connecting flight to Denver.

Next update from the Colorado Rockies.

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3 thoughts on “Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars

  1. matinaki28

    Are these photos with your new camera?? They are beautiful! really well lit with nice colors! :) Definitely trying these!

    Living far from family is a very tough thing, and one that it seems we will all have to start getting used to more and more as jobs and relationships take us further away. That is why it is so important to mark huge life events together gathered in one place.

    Have fun on your trip and take lots of pix!

    Reply
  2. beckie

    Hi, your blog is put together so well and is really fun to follow. I wanted to invite you to the arepera that my husband and I operate. El Caribe in Denver…we’re at cherry creek farmers market sats and weds and city park farmers market on sundays 8a-1p. Stop by and see us on your trip! Thanks for the great writing. Beckie

    Reply

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