From Arugula to Ziti: Granola Bars

This weekend the first signs of spring emerged. Birds sang, buds grew, and the temperature slowly crept upwards. The sun came out, the snow melted, and for the first time in a while I opened my windows to air out my apartment.

Most of the year, in good weather, my husband and I like to hike. We're not great hikers— we don't take on crazy terrain or extreme lengths—but we enjoy driving out of the city and traipsing through the woods. Oftentimes we'll also bring a picnic and just enjoy being away from our computer monitors for a few hours. This weekend the weather was ideal for the first hike of the season. And while the snow had not totally vanished from the trail yet, it was lovely. Lovely just like the homemade granola bars we packed for our picnic lunch.

Homemade granola bars are easy to make and delicious. These are a chewy granola bar with oats, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and honey. I opted to buy a trail mix (instead of buying all the nuts and fruits separately) because it was cheaper. You could add in whatever nuts or fruits you like, chocolate chips or maybe some toffee or caramel chunks. They're easy, healthy, and a fun snack for enjoying the spring weather!

Granola Bars

2 cups oats
2 cups trail mix
½ cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
Butter
¼ cup wheat germ

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you're using a trail mix, separate the fruits and nuts. On a baking sheet spread out the oats, nuts, and coconut. Bake for 15 minutes.

While that is baking, combine brown sugar and honey in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the salt and mix until everything is combined. Remove from heat.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 baking dish with butter and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine honey mixture, oat mixture, dried fruit, and wheat germ. Stir together so that everything is fully incorporated. Press into baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool completely, then slice and serve or individually package for snacks, lunchboxes and picnics.

 

Elena Rosemond-Hoerr is a writer and photographer and can be found on her own website, biscuitsandsuch.com.
 
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