Let’s see here… It has been an entire week since I last wrote a blog post. Amidst all the craziness to get ready for a long camping trip and a few days in Seattle, cooking dinners to heat up at the campsite, cooking everything perishable in the refrigerator then freezing them (so nothing gets thrown out), packing clothes for unpredictable rainforest weather and nice clothes for Seattle, laundry and dishes so we don’t come home to a stinky house, making sure we have all the camping gear and food, I wrote three blog posts. One was the Stone Fruit Tart, then two others that were scheduled to come up but didn’t. Blogspot Bloggers please help, do you by any chance know how to schedule posts in advance and have them actually pop up on schedule? I think I did everything right, so there was definitely a moment of frustration when I got back to civilization and found out that it didn’t work. *sad face*
As much as I would love to share our days in the wild and all the food we ate in Seattle, there’s some unpacking, tent-drying, laundry, grocery shopping, yoga catch-up, and (ugh) house cleaning to do. The next few posts will be all about our trip… It’s my obligation to tell you all about it because someday (sooner than later), you simply must see what the Olympic Peninsula has to offer… a true Washington State treasure.
This granola post, now edited, was scheduled to go up last Friday but it didn't. Here it is now though...
It wasn’t until I met DFJ that I discovered how incredibly fun camping is. Last summer we went on a lot of camping trips… the Deschutes (OR) for two days of river rafting, the Columbia Gorge (OR) for some biking and hiking, the San Juan Islands (WA) for a week of kayaking and hiking, and Wallowa Lake (OR) for some hiking.
After recalling our adventures last year, I just realized how lame we have been this year. So, to celebrate this summer, we went to the Olympic Peninsula and camped and explored the park for 5 days and 4 nights (Wednesday of last week until Sunday). Then, we stayed in Seattle from Sunday night until Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s a super snack that I made before we left for our trip. Let me tell you, these are waaaaaaaaaaaay better than any store bought granola bars. A healthy power boost during our five days in the wild.
I wanted to make granola bars for our camping trip. However, I didn’t want to use too much honey and sugar because overly sweet stuff actually hurts my throat and I’ll be honest… yes, I do have a thing against using too much sugar. As a result, the bars ended up crumbly because there was not enough honey and sugar to keep it intact. That is how I ended up calling these babies Granola Crumbles because this is exactly how they turned out… crumbly granola bars.
Do not let this bother you though because these crumbles are awesome all the same. Just make sure to catch the bits that fall off when you bite into them. Maybe use a plate when eating them or better yet, put them in a bowl and dollop a generous helping of plain yogurt. If you take it camping, catch the bits in a baggie or with your hands.
These granola crumbles are delicious! It took a lot of our restraint to save them for the camping trip. The chewy granola pieces look glossy with the sweet, honey-butter coating and everything is made even better with the chocolate glaze.
A power snack that is a cross between healthy and decadent! Make it!
Granola Crumbles (Makes 20 bars, before they crumble)Inspired from Ina Garten’s Homemade Granola Bars, Back to Basics
2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
Sweet Glaze:3 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup sugar, lightly packed
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped cashews, raw
½ cup chopped walnuts, raw
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup crystallized ginger, minced
butter to grease pan
Stir the oats, almonds, and shredded coconut in the roasting pan and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sweet glaze and the chocolate topping.
Place the butter, almond butter, honey, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt in a small sauce pan. Turn the heat on to medium and let the mixture simmer, stirring once or twice to melt everything. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a separate sauce pan, melt the semisweet chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips together using the double boiler method. Since I don’t have a double boiler, this is what I do: Fill a sauce pan half full with water and place the chocolate chips in a separate smaller, metal bowl. Attach the metal bowl to the side of the sauce pan using a clamp. Turn the stove on to medium heat and let the water heat up until the chocolate starts to melt. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until the consistency starts to thin just a bit. When the melted chocolate seems spreadable, turn the heat off and set aside.
When the 10 minutes is up, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Lower the heat to 300 degrees F.
Carefully move the oat-almond-coconut mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the cashews, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Stir everything together well with a rubber spatula. Gradually pour the sweet glaze over the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure that all dry ingredients are well-coated. Add in the raisins, cranberries, and crystallized ginger and stir until everything is well mixed.
Butter the roasting pan again. Be careful when doing so, it might still be hot!
Flatten the granola into the pan and pack everything as tightly as you can. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the top of the granola and spread it all over using a rubber spatula. Bake in the oven for 26-30 minutes.
Let cool for 3-4 hours before cutting the granola.
Use a wooden spatula with a thin, flat edge to cut the granola, so as not to scrape your pan.
If you refrigerate the granola once it has cooled down, it might not crumble as much when you cut it.
The bars stayed intact when we kept them in the cooler during our trip, so you might want to do the same. However, they crumble easily… like I said, make sure to catch the crumbs!