7 Steps to Homemade Trail Bars

Looking for a quick snack to help keep you full and focused? One of the keys to any good snack is to make sure it has high quality protein content. Protein can assist us with satiety (or fullness) and plant-based protein sources have great health benefits such as reduction in chronic disease risk. These “traveling trail bars” are a perfect combination of protein, fruit, and grains to fuel your journey.

Traveling Trail Bar

1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats (don’t use instant oats – your bars will not hold up!)

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (or cashews)

1 cup pitted dates

2 tbsp ground flax seeds (our bodies can digest ground flax much better than whole)

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

¼ cup maple syrup, agave syrup, or honey

¼ cup creamy almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter 

1. Toast nuts and rolled oats in a 350° F oven for 7-10 minutes on a lined baking sheet. They are ready when they just start to look golden brown and smell “toasty”. Remember convection ovens work much faster than regular conventional ovens – watch these closely to prevent over-roasting. 

2. While those roast, place dates in a blender or food processor for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

3. Place toasted walnuts and oats with the dates in a bowl and add the chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds. 

4. Microwave nut butter and honey in a bowl for 20-30 seconds to make mixture easier to pour.

5. Transfer the mixture over the dates, oats, and walnuts and mix by hand.

6. Transfer to a dish – up to you if you want to make thicker blocks or longer, skinnier bars. Use the bottom of a glass to even out the mixture or roll out with a small rolling pin.

7. Let cool in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove bars from freezer and cut into squares or rectangles. (I recommend packing bars or squares into plastic bags and storing them in freezer to take out and pack in lunch box or purse).

These bars are fantastic on their own, to use as a spoon for yogurt, or to crumble over salads to add protein, fiber, omega 3s, and vitamins. Enjoy on the go or at home. Vary up your ingredients for a new take on this recipe each week!

 

Christine Steinmetz