Thursday, March 13, 2014

Morning Miles are the Best; Get Up and Hike

Several years ago, I was hiking with my Scout Troop over Walnut Mountain near Hot Springs, NC.  We decided to take a lunch break at the shelter.  One of the boys pulled out the journal and found a list titled “Truths of the Trail”.  My guess is a very clever hiker caught in a rain storm wrote it.  One of several “truths” that have stuck with me is “Morning miles are the best; Get up and hike",

To get a quick start, I never cook breakfast in camp.  During the summer months this let’s me take advantage of the cooler temperatures and in the winter moving helps warm me up.  My breakfast of choice is a homemade Paleo granola bar.  Its packed with about 970 calories to help fuel my morning.  I make these ahead of time and toss them in the freezer.  When I head out on the trail, I pack a bar for each morning.


PALEO GRANOLA INGREDIENTS
adapted from a recipe by Aniki Poli 

½ cup Coconut Oil (melted)

4 TBS Vannilla Extract

1 tsp Almond Extract

¼ cup Honey

3 ½ cups Coconut Flakes

½ cup Sliced Almonds

½ cup peacans

½ cup Sunflower Seeds

½ cup Pumpkin Seeds

¼ cup Flax Seeds

½ tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Nutmeg



Mix the liquid ingredients together in a measuring cup and mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour them into a pan and place in a 300 degree oven.  Stir every 10 minutes and continue to toast until the coconut turns golden.  It usually takes about 40 minutes to get the desired results.



Once the granola is made, its time to make the bars.


PALEO GRANOLA BAR INGREDIENTS

3 Boxes Chopped Dates (8oz. boxes)

7 cups Granola (recipe from above)

8 oz. Dried Berries (Blueberries, Crranberries, Cherries)


Place half of a package of dates, a cup of granola and a ¼ cup of berries in a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like cookie crumbs.  Dump the mixture into a 9x13 glass caserole dish.  Repeat until all the ingredients are used.  Process the last cup of granola by itself and mix it into the other ingredients. Press down on the date mixture with a spatula then cover with parchment and press flat as possible with the bottom of a small jar. The thinner you press them, the better they will hold together. 


Cover the dish and place in the freezer to firm the bars. When they are hard enough, cut into 8 equal parts.  Package using a vacuum sealer and return to the freezer until needed. 

When out hiking I tuck my poles under one arm and eat until I find a great view to look at while I finish breakfast.