Trail Bars || TENDING the TABLETrail Bars || TENDING the TABLEWe spent last weekend in the Methow Valley. We pitched our tent alongside the roaring Methow River and spent our days exploring the plethora of trails, scenic country roads, mountain passes and swimming holes. The fresh air, sun, cold water and exercise all made us feel more alive and the leisurely afternoons at camp, cooking over a one burner camp stove, playing bananagrams, and reading reminded us that slow living and early nights make for greater happiness. Thanks to my organizational tendencies our meals were planned and prepped and easy to prepare, even if they weren’t photogenic enough to share with you here. We had fried rice, veggie sandwiches, pesto scrambled eggs and butter drenched toast, peanut noodles and plenty of apples and peanut butter as well as these trail bars that pack nicely into daypacks or bike jerseys.

Trail Bars || TENDING the TABLETrail Bars || TENDING the TABLEI’ve been making these bars for years but decided to try out some new flavors this time around. Feel free to experiment and use whatever nuts and dried fruit you like.Trail Bars || TENDING the TABLETrail Bars || TENDING the TABLETrail Bars || TENDING the TABLEAnd here are some recent favorites:

The Mazama Store in the Methow carries these lovely locally made wool blankets.

It’s picnic season and these dishes are the way to go.

In love with this shop and especially these mugs.

I’m reading this book and it is fascinating. Learn how eating more sweet potatoes will make you live longer.

These photos make me happy.

TRAIL BARS

Makes 5-6 bars

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup pistachios

½ cup pitted dates

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup dried apricots

¼ cup shredded coconut

PROCEDURE

In a food processor, grind the nuts into a fine meal. Add the dried fruit and shredded coconut and pulse until all the ingredients are combined and have formed a dough.

Transfer the fruit and nut mixture to a pan lined with parchment and press firmly with moist fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the bars are firm enough to slice.

Lift the parchment out of the pan and cut the bars into rectangles.

Wrap the bars in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

VARIATIONS

Peach Ginger Bars

2/3 cup raw cashews

½ cup pitted dates

¼ cup dried peaches

¼ cup dried apricots

¼ cup candied ginger

¼ cup shredded coconut

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1/3 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup raw almonds

½ cup pitted dates

½ cup dried cherries

¼ cup cocoa powder