I am over the moon – people who know me know that my heart is in the Northwoods. Having guided wilderness canoe trips there for 4 seasons, I feel a very deep and soulful connection to the lake country… and as a geographer by trade, I know that “sense of place” is something that makes people who they are.
So, you can imagine my excitement at finally getting back on the water! We will hit the water (the Boundary Waters, to be exact) in early October for a 7 day trek. Since this is a pleasure trip, I can’t wait to cook up some “gourmet” trail food – especially walleye! I have been searching through all of our camping recipes for some new meals and some homemade substitutes for things that we typically grab at the store.
I promise to return to our adventures in dehydrated ground beef in an upcoming post (I know, it sounds just wonderful and looks like grape nuts cereal)—but today is all about the granola bars. I’ve made chewy, I’ve made crunchy, I’ve made hearty, and I’ve made bare bones, and I think this recipe is the perfect mix of all of the above:
3 cups Quick Oats
14 oz Sweetened/Condensed Milk
2 T butter, melted
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1 to 1/5 cups white chocolate chips
½ to 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 pan. Depending on how nonstick your pans are, you might consider using parchment paper as a liner (it will really help when you want to get it out of the pan to cut into bars).
Mix all of the ingredients together, using your hands if necessary. Press the mix firmly into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool, then cut into the bar size of your choice. I cut ours fairly big as we will be canoe camping in the fall – not only burning 1000s of calories a day but also in the cold! After cutting, I put the bars in stacks of 2 and vacuum-sealed them before putting them in the freezer for safe keeping. The bars are fairly dense, but you can add and subtract ingredients easily and to taste!
Just getting these done and ready has me dancing around the house in anticipation of the trip – guess that gives a new definition to (granola) bar hopping…