This year I have taken up trail-running and long-distance hiking. I’ve been a distance runner for nearly 20 years, but my passion for the pavement has been waining. Recently, however, I ran a very challenging half-marathon through the woods, and I’m hooked! I love being amongst the trees and am enjoying the challenge of climbing rough terrain and being completely present while I run or hike. But I am burning through the calories and often find myself losing steam around miles six or seven. Hence, the trail mix bar! It’s a significant energy boost, and these bad boys are DELICIOUS!
The nice thing about these bars is that you can make them any way you want to. I created MY perfect version, and so far, everyone else loves them too! But feel free to get creative and make them with any nut butter, seed, or grain you choose! My husband loves raisins, but I do not, so I made him a batch of his own. One thing I would recommend keeping in the recipe is the coconut nectar. I chose coconut nectar because it has a low glycemic index and is minimally processed. They obtain the nectar directly from the tree, and since it’s not boiled, it doesn’t convert into fructose. It’s also loaded with iron and zinc and contains 17 different amino acids and antioxidants!
I keep them refrigerated, but you don’t need to. Just store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, and they should be good for up to a week!
- 2/3 cup whole raw almonds
- 2/3 cup whole raw cashews
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cups organic old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1/3 cup organic ground flax meal
- 1/3 cup crispy cocoa rice cereal
- 1/3 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raw coconut nectar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (or preferred nut butter)
- 2 Tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup raisins, or dried cranberries (optional)
- Line the bottom of a 9×12″ baking dish with parchment paper. Be sure to have some extra hanging over the sides, making it easier to remove from the pan.
- In a food processor, add the almonds and cashews. Pulse until lightly chopped, and there are only a few if any large pieces are remaining. This step is essential. If you skip it your bars will not stick together.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in sunflower seeds, oats, flax, puffed cereal, and raisins if using. Stir until combined. Set mixture aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, add peanut butter, coconut oil, and coconut nectar. Melt and stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool for 2-3 minutes and then add chocolate chips.
- Add peanut butter mix to dry nut/oat mix and stir well to combine.
- Spoon mixture onto prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth. Be sure to press mixture down firmly into the pan. You want it to be very compact.
- Place bars into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 hours, but preferably overnight.
- When ready, cut bars into rectangles. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week at room temperature or two weeks in the refrigerator.
**Can also be frozen. Layer cut bars in between layers of parchment paper and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 12 weeks. Thaw at room temperature.
Keywords: Granola bars, vegan bars, trail mix