I made the cardinal sin of grocery shopping while hungry recently and came home with some awesome trail mix.
It had raisins and craisins, pepitas, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc.
Joey saw it and commented that it looked like the perfect mixture to go into some granola bars.
As always, he was right, and I started looking online for the right recipe to use my trail mix in.
The recipe I found comes from the blog “The Chunky Chef.” You can find it at https://www.thechunkychef.com/no-bake-chewy-trail-mix-granola-bars/. If you want to make your own mixture, see her post to get the amounts of each item, or just use your favorite trail mix. This recipe is infinitely customizable. I upped the amount of vanilla and cinnamon in my version, too.
Trail Mix Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
- 2 1/2 cups trail mix a combo of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.
- 1/3 cup peanut butter crunchy or smooth
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prepare an 8-by-8-inch pan by lining it with waxed paper, hanging the paper out over the edges to easily remove the bars later.
- Add the oats and trail mix to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. (It won’t take long.)
- Pour the mixture over top of the oats and trail mix and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated.
- Dump it into the prepared pan and top with another piece of waxed paper. Using a glass or another pan, compact the mixture down as much as possible in the pan so it’s as dense as you can get it.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours before removing from the pan and slicing into bars. Refrigerate the bars in an airtight container.
The best part about this recipe is you can literally use whatever trail mix ingredients you want. If you’re into the raisins, M&Ms and peanuts mix, that would be delicious, or if you just want to put your favorite kind of nut or dried fruit in, that would work, too.
My bars fell apart a little, which I think was because I cut them long and skinny instead of a little wider and shorter. I also wonder if I didn’t compact them down as much as I should have.
But falling apart or not, they were really good. The honey and vanilla added just the right amount of sweetness, and the cinnamon gave them a warm, homey flavor.
These would be a great summertime snack to have around, especially since you don’t have to heat up the whole house to make them, and it’s nice to have a granola bar that isn’t full of preservatives, too.
I’m always in the mood for a good trail mix. Having some peanut butter and oats tossed in makes it even better.
This piece first appeared in print on April 18, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.