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Take-Along Treats

Crunchy Granola Bars

As the afternoons begin to warm up, it’s hard to resist the urge to get out and soak up the springtime sun. While the weather entices you outdoors, you may also find yourself eating away from home more frequently. With a little creative thought and preparation, picnics and vacations don’t have to mean a break from your healthy ways.

Don’t leave your tummy high-and-dry. Before you leave home, stock up your picnic basket, backpack, or purse with nutritious snacks. Some delicious and healthy take-along foods include granola bars, nuts or trail mix, muffins, and healthy cookies. Don’t forget that fresh fruit comes pre-wrapped courtesy of Mother Nature. Experiment with some new “fun foods” that can be packed for on-the-go adventures to the mall or the mountains!

These quick and easy granola bars are a healthy and delicious treat that can easily be slipped into a purse, backpack, or picnic basket and this recipe makes enough to share. Make this a family-friendly cooking project—the kids will enjoy eating something they made from scratch.

Quick and Easy Granola Bars (makes about 12 bars)

1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds (or other nuts)
1/2 cup sunflower or other seeds
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit (or a combo)
2 tbsp hemp or other seeds
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (or chocolate pieces)
2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats
2 cups toasted brown rice cereal
1/2 cup nut or seed butter (cashew, almond, etc.)
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the first seven ingredients (almonds through rice cereal) in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the nut butter, rice syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl. Warm in the microwave (or double boiler) until pourable. Drizzle over the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Firmly press the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan lined with parchment paper and pop in the freezer. When cooled and hardened, remove from the pan by lifting it out by the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut into bars and individually wrap.

For 12 bars: 287 calories, 9g protein, 16g fat, 37g carbohydrates, 15g sugar

Allison Brewer
Mother of two, writer, vegetarian, and aspiring triathlete
Author, Get Natured Blog

Recommended: Vive le Vegan!: Simple, Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family by Dreena Burton


Karen La Du commented on 08-Jul-2011 02:39 PM5 out of 5 stars

Check out The Kitchen Yogi so you can make these delicious treats in the shapes of yoga poses. Peace, The Kitchen Yogi

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