You guys! I am coming undone again reading all your lovely comments. Who would have thought so many people would care what my little family eats for dinner? But as the late, great Laurie Colwin once said (stop me if you’ve heard this one), “it’s not only the Great Works of mankind that make a culture. It is the daily things, like what people eat and how they serve it.” Which is why if you ever invite me into your kitchen I will attempt to snoop in your cupboards and peek into recipe boxes. I can’t help it. You’ve been warned.
Dinner around here has been mostly leftovers for the past few days - last night was the last of this sausage and lentil beauty, which actually improved with the addition of a fresh chunky Italian sausage (the lamb ones had been eaten, with lentils to spare), browned in the skillet with the lentils added to heat through as it finished cooking. Tonight – Mike just left to go jam (have I mentioned he’s a drummer boy?) without wanting to eat (we had plenty of party food at our nephew’s 3rd birthday party today) and I’m heading out to Ironwood later with A to see Magnolia Buckskin, and Ironwood has fantastic food, so I’m saving myself. As I type W is eating leftover rotini and these walnut trail bars, which I made for a show on portable ski snacks and I think are worth sharing.
Like most granola bars these are made with oats and nuts and seeds and dried fruit, bound together with sticky stuff and butter. Keeping with roughly these proportions, you could substitute any number of grains, nuts and seeds. The original recipe instructed pulsing the dried apricots, butter and honey in the food processor and then stirring the resulting paste into the dry ingredients, but that seemed too messy an endeavor, and what about all of you who don’t own food processors? So instead I chopped the apricots, melted the butter (replacing half of it with oil), and stirred that plus the honey into the dry ingredients. These do tend to stick to the pan (line it with parchment, or wrestle them out while they’re still warm) but are worth the effort - just like granola in bar form.
Walnut Granola Trail Bars
adapted from walnutinfo.com.
3 cups old fashioned (large flake) rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour (or try quinoa flour for gluten-free bars)
1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame or flax seeds
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup canola or flax oil
1/2 cup honey or golden syrup
Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts, cherries, apricots, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, coconut and sesame seeds.
Add the melted butter, oil and honey and stir until everything is well blended. Press evenly into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Cut into bars while still warm. Makes 24 bars.
Per bar: about 250 cal, 6 g pro, 14 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 26 g carb, 3 g fibre, 10 mg chol, 85 mg sodium.