By Emily Woodbury
Being an avid hiker, I’m always on the lookout for tasty, healthy snack options to get me up those big climbs. I try to always buy good trail food: nuts, dried fruit, jerky, cheese sticks, etc. But in all honesty, it’s really hard to find snacks that aren’t totally awful for your body. Most protein bar companies advertise themselves as healthy, their packaging shows a man climbing a mountain, a woman rock climbing – but in reality, they’re full of sugars and artificial flavors. Ironic right? Sure, there may be some almonds and dates in there but also another 5,000 ingredients I don’t need.
Sadly, hiking season here in Washington has come to an end. Well, for those like me who don’t like (or have the gear) to hike in the snow. However, Linda’s recipe is one I’m going to keep on hand, for my hikes next summer, yes, but also for now on these rainy days when I have some indoor time to cook and explore new recipes.
RVers, tent campers, hikers, rock climbers, whatever outdoor activity it is that we take part in, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all on the go all the time. We need quick food for the road – skip drive-thrus and Costco protein bars, we have a kitchen, we have no excuse to not make our own healthier options. As RVers we have an advantage because we travel with our kitchens. We can say, “Hey, let’s go on a hike tomorrow in _____ park” and make these nut bars the night before. Pretty great deal, right? I sure think so.
Healthy Snack Bars
- 1.5 cups whole raw cashews
- 1.5 cups whole raw almonds
- 1 cup chopped raw pecans
- 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 2/3 cup apple sauce
- 2/3 cup sorghum
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 oz chopped dark chocolate (80% or higher)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and chocolate.
Pour the applesauce, sorghum, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. The moment the mixture is completely melted, and the edges are bubbling, turn off the heat and pour in the nuts.
Quickly mix the nuts & chocolate into the syrup with a wooden spoon, until they are completely coated.
Pour the nut mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a piece of wax paper or wooden spoon to press the mixture firmly together.
Bake the nut bars on the center rack for approximately 20 minutes until the tops are golden.
Then (this is the hard part) allow the nut bars to cool for at least 45 minutes in the pan.
Lift the whole pan of nut bars out of the pan, by the edges of the parchment paper. Cut into 24 bars. Spread the bars apart.
Allow to fully cool before wrapping. Store in an air-tight container at freeze for up to a month.
NOTE: to make substitutions : Just be sure to have 3 cups whole nuts and 3 cups of small nut pieces, so they HOLD TOGETHER well.
Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for submitting, Linda!
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