Ever ambitious I attempted two different granola bar recipes for my family vacation to Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton International Peace Park in Alberta, Canada last month. My adapted version of Nicole at Baking Bite's Coconut, Almond Cranberry Granola Bars resulted in granola instead of granola bars. Oops. While granola isn't the most portable, this was a tasty mistake and is a recipe I'll revisit. Maybe one day I'll even make the original version following all the instructions!
This granola tastes like a beach vacation thanks to the dried pineapple, papaya, mango and coconut. It's lightly sweet with occasional taste-bud sparking touches of salt and I've been very happy eating it, slowly to make it last as long as possible. The use of Buckwheat, which adds a bit of crunch, was inspired by Kath Eats Real Food.
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat (for some crunch)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (mine was large, kosher flakes which made the salt really pop out)
3/4 cup chopped, dried pineapple, mango and papaya (used no sugar added where possible)
Line a 9×9″ square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, lightly greased.
In a large bowl, combine oats, buckwheat, almond meal, ground flaxseed and coconut.
In a small saucepan, combine agave syrup, brown sugar and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Pour into oat mixture and stir until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. At this point it should look something like unbaked granola. Stir in dried pineapple, mango and papaya.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down into an even layer. Let it cool, crumble it out eating bites and then store the remainder to enjoy during the week (or longer if you refrigerate it).
Crypt Lake in Waterton International Peace Park. After taking a ferry, my brother, myself and the rest of the passengers trekked past 4 waterfalls, climbed a small ladder, crawled through a tunnel and crept along a ledge holding a wire to reach an elevation of 2,200 feet and the aforementioned lake. On the way back we took an extension to see Hellroaring Falls, which were noisy but a bit weak as it was August. This was the hardest hike I've done to date - we conquered the approximately 11.2 miles in approximately 6.5 hours. :)