In preparation for my first big backpacking trip coming up in two weeks, I did a test-run on a recipe I came across in the May Backpackers Magazine. Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars. The recipe sounded too good to pass up especially since there’s that banana peanut butter combination I always love. I’m really excited for the trip–three days, two nights. It’s called the Skyline to the Sea trail. Anyhow, these turned out quite good. I did some modifications. Since I was out of banana chips, I chopped up a few dried bananas instead. And since I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate chips, I used carob, which in my opinion was totally a good move. My only problem was that I think I simmered the brown sugar and the honey for a little too long, which as they warned, may make the bars brittle. They weren’t easy to cut. Instead they kind of turned into a really sticky granola. Next time I will be more conscientious. The cool thing about these granola bars is that you don’t have to bake them! Just stick them in the freezer for a half hour and you’re good. I will definitely be making another batch of these before I embark on my journey, maybe playing around with a different dried fruit like dried strawberries perhaps. These were worth making… the “granola” definitely didn’t last long in my house!
Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from Backpackers Magazine, May 2008 issue
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups high-energy cereal made of strong flakes, crushed
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup banana chips (I used dried banana)
1/3 cup white chocolate chips (I used carob)
Break the banana chips into small pieces and set aside. Heat the honey and brown sugar in a large pot and simmer for 1 minute. (Boiling too long will make the bars brittle.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil. Scoop the mixture into the pan and pack down evenly. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the pan contents to a cutting board. Allow to return to room temperature and then cut into 10 bars. Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in zip-top bags. The bars will keep in the freezer for three months (if you don’t eat them before then!!!).