As spring returns, I’m ready to get back outdoors, work in my lawn and spend some time hiking.

When I’m out for an adventure, I always make sure to have a stash of snacks tucked into my camera bag to stay energized while blazing a trail.

Granola is one of my favorite hiking foods. It’s really simple to make at home, and a lot cheaper and tastier than anything I’ve bought at the store.

If you’re not an outdoor enthusiast, these granola bars also work well for breakfast on the go or an afternoon snack at work to boost energy to power through the rest of the day.

Granola also is very versatile; you can add any dried fruit or nut combinations that you like.

Granola bars


  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon flake sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with foil so it hangs over the sides. Spray with cooking spray. Whisk maple syrup, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the oil.
  2. Process ½ cup oats in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to the bowl with the maple syrup and stir in remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly coated.
  3. Spread mixture into prepared pan in a thin even layer. Compress with a spatula.
  4. Bake 45 minutes, or until deeply golden.
  5. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting.

Makes: 16 bars

 — Adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook”

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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