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Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed
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Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/01/2009 08:24:12 MST Print View

After my wife made a big batch of apricot & white chocolate oatmeal cookies I got to thinking about how expensive the commercial bars are. Her cookie batch was as big as about $50 worth of commercial bars. A bit too sweet though and they probably would crumble and taste stale on a weeklong trip.

So how about it- What's your favorite trail bar recipe?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
These are one of my favorites: on 03/01/2009 10:36:57 MST Print View

This is one I have had on our website for a couple years:

With homemade items try to eat your product within 3-4 days of baking it. Most homemade items can be frozen safely in advance (cut into individual portions, wrap, and store in large freezer bags.). Most frozen items are good for 1-2 months in a freezer.

The "You can make them your way" Bars

Call them a chewy granola bar or an energy bar, either way, these are good! They freeze well also (wrap them up two bars to a bag for an easy trail snack out of the freezer.) Trust me, you will LOVE these bars. Yes, they are high in fat, but if you are hiking hard, you will burn it off. And they are better for you than a candy bar!

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or whatever fruit you prefer!)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or other nut of choice, unsalted)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, craisins,wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and pecans.
4. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, egg, and vanilla; pour into flour mixture, and mix by hand until the liquid is evenly distributed.
5. I use rubber gloves for this.
6. Press evenly into the prepared baking pan. Make sure it is packed in tightly.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are golden.
8. Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.

Makes 12-16 bars.
Notes: These bars take well to using applesauce or baby prunes as part of the oil. Brown sugar Splenda® works well as a way to cut back on the sugar content for diabetics. Any nut can be used, and feel free to change the fruit or add chocolate chips, etc to the batter! These bars have been made by a number of hikers on hiking forums, and the consensus is they are dang good!- no matter how you change the recipe!

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/02/2009 06:36:33 MST Print View

Original recipe is from here:

This one is also good (I add choc. covered raisins to it:

These are AMAZING. Very easy to make, and delicious. Slightly sticky - I wrap my individual bars in parchment paper. I subtract the espresso bean and do combo's like dried raspberry/walnut or pistachio/apricot/cherry. Best breakfast ever. I also throw in a bit of vanilla protein powder when heating the rice syrup.

Big Sur Power Bar Recipe

If you can't find the crisp brown rice cereal, no worries - just use regular rice cereal for ex: Rice Crispies - just stay clear of "puffed" rice cereal, it will throw the recipe off. Feel free to substitute other types of nuts, seeds, or whatever little goodies you can dream up.

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.

On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.

Makes 16 to 24 bars.

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
RE: Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/02/2009 07:54:03 MST Print View


have you tried using olive oil or grapeseed oil instead of vegetable oil?

I just think they would be a little "healthier" fats, but don't know how they would taste or affect the consistency...

I might have to try one of these out for taste...


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
RE: Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/02/2009 08:02:43 MST Print View

Tell me about that single egg. What does it do? Is it a binder?
Can it be left out to extend the bar's un-refrigerated life?


Edited by greg23 on 03/02/2009 08:11:55 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
RE: Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/02/2009 11:18:19 MST Print View

Thanks all for the recipes. I'll try some in the coming months to see which I like.

According to my bread machine, egg actually increases the shelf life of baked goods. (I don't know if that means they don't dry out, or mold).

I would rather have the ability to make bars that would last at least a week on the trail. Would putting the bars in ziploc bags while still hot help to extend shelf life?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Oils/fats/shelf life on 03/02/2009 13:24:50 MST Print View

Egg can be important to bind an item - but yes, you can replace it. You can do a slurry of flax seed to replace it. It won't taste the same but it will add the "mouth feel" and the binding. Also give more fiber.

On oils: sure, you can use nearly any oil! Be aware that olive oil will have a real flavor added unless you get a lightly flavored one. Not the place to use that super fruity extra virgin ;-) You could also use a mix of oils.

As for storage I would not seal up hot ones - they will sweat and that could lead to mold very fast.

If you have teeth that are strong with many homemade bars you can treat them like biscottio: after baking, cut them thin and then bake a second time, on a cookie sheet. Get the average time from a biscottio recipe and go from there. This will give you a VERY shelf stable treat. Won't be the same, but it works. You could also use your dehydrator as well....heck, I do it with fat free cakes! (I use applesauce for fat called/egg whites only, no yolks).

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: bar recipe on 03/02/2009 21:03:58 MST Print View

I received this recipe in the mail recently. I have not tried it myself. I'm not even sure what all the ingredients are.

I really want to try to make my own bars. Maybe I will search for the ingredients at the hippie food coop tomorrow.

Home Made Hi Fat Hi Protein Energy Bars

Stir together:
2 cups soft coconut oil
16 oz raw almond butter
1/2 cup raw honey

Pour over and mix well:
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup fine coconut
1/2 cup Goatein protein powder
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup chopped pecans

(You could probably also add flax seeds )

Press into 9×13 pan. Chill and cut.

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 11:12:32 MST Print View

These bars are fairly heavy. Isn't there a recipe out there that would allow you to bring a "dry mix" in individual baggies and just add water on the trail, mix and eat?

May not be as easy, but would save weight and you could just make it a thick slurry, seal the baggie, bite off a corner and suck it out that way for no mess.

Just thinking out loud.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 12:26:01 MST Print View

Sure! What you would have is an "energy" fudge of sorts, a raw cookie. Let me see what I have in my files and I can post one or two :)

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 12:43:13 MST Print View

Exactly! I think that would be pretty good. Thanks for looking for recipes.

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 12:54:25 MST Print View

Wouldn't dehydrating the above recipes basically give you the same thing? Generally I find that with most energy bars I need to slosh some water around in my mouth to be able to swallow them anyway. I would think dehydrating the energy bar and then adding some water when you take a bite would be the way to go... What do you think??

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 12:57:13 MST Print View

I've not tried dehydrating much so I really don't know if this would work well. Could you dehydrate something like that very well?

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/03/2009 13:42:21 MST Print View

I'm not sure what is meant by heavy. The key for food is calorie density. Most of the recipes above have no water so are > 100 cal/oz, which is what I shoot for.

If by heavy you mean dry, yeah that's certainly true. I like baking on trail to get by that problem.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Add water? on 03/03/2009 16:15:27 MST Print View

If you have to add water, then you'll either have to eat them at water sources or else you'll end up carrying the water anyway. I suppose there might be a small advantage over a multi-day period.

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Add water? on 03/03/2009 20:40:08 MST Print View

My thought would be to only add the water when you were ready to eat. Maybe it wouldn't really save that much weight, but it might make for a nice change of pace.

Anyway, not to steal this fine thread...let's get some more recipes!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Add water? on 03/03/2009 20:44:26 MST Print View

On the add water at eating time question - sure! Look up above where I mentioned making them into biscotti like pieces :-) You can always dehydrate them more.

OK, I need to look at what I have on hand for more recipes ;-)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pro-bar, Clif-bar like recipes needed on 03/04/2009 10:57:13 MST Print View

Dry ingredients:
Brown sugar
Ovaltine (Cocoa)

Wet ingredients:
Peanut butter

Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients. Start with about a cup of oats then add proportionately from there. Mix all together in mixing bowl till evenly blended. Make the mix to a consistency that is soft, but firm enough to eat with your hands.

Morning jaunt: mix a batch that fills one extra small Ziplock.
Day trip: mix a batch that fills one sandwich size Ziplock.
Full on adventure: mix a batch that fills one a quart size Ziplock.

Caloric information is about 700 calories in a sandwich bag.
Cost is about $0.96 per bag.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: pardon my ignorance on 03/04/2009 16:42:16 MST Print View

Regarding the water weight in "food bars" -

I minced 3 Power Bars - Oatmeal Raisin, Apple Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter Crisp, weighted them, placed them in a circulating air dryer at 140° for 8 hours, and weighed them again.

The Peanut Butter Crisp lost 3.6 grams or 5.15%
The Oatmeal Raisin lost 3.9 grams, or 5.69%
The Apple Cinnamon lost 4.9 grams or 7.06%

So, for a 5 day trip, at 4 bars a day, you would carry an extra 3.50 ounces of water for the worst case, 2.75 ounces for the best case, or 2.95 ounces if they were equally divided.

I would suggest that is not a huge penalty for the variation in mouth feel, taste, and convenience.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Peanut Butter Play Dough on 03/04/2009 16:54:38 MST Print View

Sam: That sounds a lot like "Buttery Goodness" from Erin and Hig's Wild Coast adventure.

Greg: Thanks for the science.

Since this thread has evolved from bars to pasty items:

My son's pre-school did "Peanut Butter Play Dough". They each got a scoop on a paper plate. Make into little animal shapes then eat them.

Peanut Butter
Powdered milk

Mix peanut butter and honey to taste, then add powdered milk to adjust consistency similar to Play Doh (R). Very similar to famine relief food Plumpy'Nut and "Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo".

I don't know how well it will keep on the trail with the dried milk vs. corn flour in Moose Goo.

Edited by jimqpublic on 03/04/2009 16:59:11 MST.