Walnut Granola Trail Bars


You guys! I am coming undone again reading all your lovely comments. Who would have thought so many people would care what my little family eats for dinner? But as the late, great Laurie Colwin once said (stop me if you’ve heard this one), “it’s not only the Great Works of mankind that make a culture. It is the daily things, like what people eat and how they serve it.” Which is why if you ever invite me into your kitchen I will attempt to snoop in your cupboards and peek into recipe boxes. I can’t help it. You’ve been warned.

Dinner around here has been mostly leftovers for the past few days – last night was the last of this sausage and lentil beauty, which actually improved with the addition of a fresh chunky Italian sausage (the lamb ones had been eaten, with lentils to spare), browned in the skillet with the lentils added to heat through as it finished cooking. Tonight – Mike just left to go jam (have I mentioned he’s a drummer boy?) without wanting to eat (we had plenty of party food at our nephew’s 3rd birthday party today) and I’m heading out to Ironwood later with A to see Magnolia Buckskin, and Ironwood has fantastic food, so I’m saving myself. As I type W is eating leftover rotini and these walnut trail bars, which I made for a show on portable ski snacks and I think are worth sharing.

Like most granola bars these are made with oats and nuts and seeds and dried fruit, bound together with sticky stuff and butter. Keeping with roughly these proportions, you could substitute any number of grains, nuts and seeds. The original recipe instructed pulsing the dried apricots, butter and honey in the food processor and then stirring the resulting paste into the dry ingredients, but that seemed too messy an endeavor, and what about all of you who don’t own food processors? So instead I chopped the apricots, melted the butter (replacing half of it with oil), and stirred that plus the honey into the dry ingredients. These do tend to stick to the pan (line it with parchment, or wrestle them out while they’re still warm) but are worth the effort – just like granola in bar form.

Walnut Granola Trail Bars

adapted from walnutinfo.com.

3 cups old fashioned (large flake) rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour (or try quinoa flour for gluten-free bars)
1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame or flax seeds
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup canola or flax oil
1/2 cup honey or golden syrup

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts, cherries, apricots, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, coconut and sesame seeds.

Add the melted butter, oil and honey and stir until everything is well blended. Press evenly into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Cut into bars while still warm. Makes 24 bars.

Per bar: about 250 cal, 6 g pro, 14 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 26 g carb, 3 g fibre, 10 mg chol, 85 mg sodium.



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35 comments on “Walnut Granola Trail Bars

  1. The Inorganic Gardener
    January 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

    They look and sound yummy! I must try those soon. I love granola bars and usually try and keep some in the house for snacking on. If I wanted to make the recipe into non-bar-form “normal” granola, do I need to reduce anything or is it just a case of taking it out of the oven often and mixing it to keep it from packing together?


  2. JulieVR
    January 4, 2009 at 9:39 am

    If you wanted to make it as granola, leave out the chocolate and fruit and spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet – bake at 300 for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Take it out and stir in the fruit. And if you want the chocolate chips, wait until it’s completely cool!

  3. Ann
    January 4, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Oh, thanks for the tip for turning it into granola. I’ll try that for sure.

  4. The Inorganic Gardener
    January 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks Julie – that’s very helpful! I’ll be sure to give both the bar and “free” granola versions a try in the coming weeks. The Geek needs c.4200kcals per day as he’s ultrasporty so I’m hoping a few of these will stop him eating me out of house and home!


  5. Doréus
    January 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    “Fresh, chunky Italian sausage”. Where do you get those in these here parts? I’ve been looking around for decent sausage ever since I got here…

  6. JulieVR
    January 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    You’re in Red Deer, right? Are you not a Spolumbos fan?

  7. Doréus
    January 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, Red Deer. Spolumbos, is that the sausage store I’ve glimpsed at behind Superstore? Somehow, I never got around to going there…

  8. JulieVR
    January 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    No – I’m not sure what that place is – Spolumbos sausage is sold at Safeway and Superstore though. And there are plenty of sausage shops if you’re ever in Calgary!

  9. Doréus
    January 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Oh! I see. I actually was thinking more like sausages made by real butchers… Corrupted by 10 years living in Montréal and having access to public markets that had hundreds of varieties of fresh sausages (not the kind that is mass-marketed). That was the kind of thing I was thinking about. So if there are good addresses in Calgary, I’m soooo there! Here, there are some available in the summer at the Farmers’ Market, but that’s about it: once a week, between May and October! I need a larger freezer!

    And by the way, you’re welcome to rummage through my cabinets and recipe files any time!

  10. JulieVR
    January 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Yep, Spolumbos (http://spolumbos.com/) are real sausages. They are based in Calgary (a few blocks from my house) and sold at Safeway and other grocery stores, so you’d at least be able to get them in Red Deer. Not quite as mass-marketed as you’re thinking. In Calgary, try Illichmann’s sausage shop just off International Avenue, or the Better Butcher in Acadia shopping centre, Valta Bison, Carmen Creek Bison, Rocky’s Meats & Delicatessen, Regina’s in the Crossroads farmers’ market, Bon Ton meat market, Gour-Mart in Bowness, Jan’s meats & deli, Valbella sausages are available at Sunterra; The Butcher Shoppe in Airdrie might be closer for you…

  11. Jen C
    January 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I love the new banner – it looks sharp!!! Your trail bars sound amazing – I’m going to try them this coming weekend! I also plan on making a HUGE batch of homemade ravioli for the freezer but am still trying to find a good filling recipe….so anything that anyone has, please let me know!!! I am thinking cheese (ricotta, parm, pesto, etc.).
    Mmmmm Spolumbo’s – at least I can still get them here in SK at Superstore….thank god!

  12. Kathy H
    January 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I like your new header, too! Your wee one is growing up so fast; that is a priceless picture of him!

    The granola sound great, I’m gonna give it a try.

  13. Shelley
    January 4, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Julie I have loved reading your blog over this past year. You are my favorite food blog.I have laughed and adored your food photos and descriptions of your life. What a generous offering! I will surely buy the book and am sad to see it is over….what a commitment! Thank-you!

  14. Rajee
    January 5, 2009 at 12:31 am

    can I omit shredded coconut? Pls let me know whether it’s too sweet as I prefer less sweet.It’s very healthy. I want to try it. Very delicious bars

  15. Doréus
    January 5, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Got to add my positive feedback for the masthead. And thanks for the tips!

  16. Theresa
    January 5, 2009 at 6:50 am

    You can try Spolumbo’s from the meat counter in Save On (East Hill Red Deer). That way you can buy just one to try it out!
    If you get Julie to Red Deer to rummage your cupboards bring her to my house too. She’d be in heaven in the tupperware zone at my house too.

  17. Dolores
    January 5, 2009 at 6:52 am

    The Trail Bars sound wonderful. All of your recipes are wonderful. You make cooking fun again. Thank-you for that. My daughter and I so enjoyed your blog.

  18. Tina
    January 5, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Oh, thank God! I have been away from the computer for a few days and was holding my breath this morning, but here you are! Thanks!

  19. Doréus
    January 5, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Theresa, that’s my usual supermarket; how did I miss them all this time? I guess it’s a matter of knowing what they are. Thanks. And Julie has not dropped any hints as to heading for my kitchen. Yet. We might be luckier tempting her for our Bacon Saturdays…

  20. Erica B.
    January 5, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Hey Julie,

    Just noticed the new heading, very nice! Love the pic of W taking a pic of his dinner :)

  21. Cathy
    January 5, 2009 at 10:30 am

    So glad I found your blog. It’s wonderful! Can’t wait to read last year’s posts and become a regular visitor this year.

  22. JulieVR
    January 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

    You can totally leave out the coconut, and even cut back on sugar if you like. I meant to add – if you like coconut flavour but not the calories and saturated fat it contains, use coconut extract instead of vanilla.

  23. Fiona
    January 5, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I am totally going to make these! Granola bars are expensive, and these look delicious. All I need is flaxseed…

    I love the new banner! I’m so glad you’re going to keep posting.

  24. Avery
    January 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I had my parents over for dinner the other night(very impromptu), and made your Chicken & White Bean Stew with Pesto (which I served with cornmeal biscuits) after seeing you make it on Its Just Food! It was awesome, and everyone loved it, especially me because a)it was incredibly easy, and b)used up a can of white kidney beans that I don’t even remember buying!! Thanks again, Julie!!

  25. Carla
    January 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Just a note, Julie to say how much I have enjoyed your blog this year. Also I love your new pictures at the top of your site. I would be among the first in line to pick up ‘dinner with Julie’ in book format! Do keep us posted! I am so glad you have decided to keep going with your blog – you are inspiring to many of us!!

  26. The Happy Slob Housecleaner
    January 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Yum! Those trail bars look SOOOO good…I think I would just use some brown rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill is good – nice and finely ground, and available at all the supermarkets.) Thanks Julie! Glad to see you back blogging, and so sorry to hear you’ve been so sick. Take care of yourself!


  27. Olivia
    March 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Julie! So, my children and I made these bars tonight and they are not only fun to make (the kids had a BLAST dumping all the ingredients in!) but they also taste absolutely fabulous! Thank you for the recipe!

  28. Heather
    August 10, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I just made these are they taste FABULOUS but mine are not holding together in bar form very well. I’m pretty sure I followed the recipe other than swapping out types of nuts.
    Any idea what i might have done wrong or how a person could twaek these so they can be handed to a child on the fly
    PS-I found you blog after a friend baked me breakfast bean cookies which is now our family’s favorite. I’m so excited to try more of your wonderful recipes!

  29. JulieVR
    August 10, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Hmmm.. yes I do recall them being a bit crumbly! Perhaps bake them for a bit less time, or add a little bit more of any (or all) of the liquids? If they’re way too crumbly – crumble them up and call it chunky granola! I remember sprinkling the bits from the pan on yogurt!

  30. Heather
    August 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I should have waited til morning to ask. They are holding together much better this morning now that they are fully cooled. They are so yummy and so very filling.

  31. Kelli
    September 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Made these today, they were great!

  32. Mary Ann
    January 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I just made these but I followed the original instructions to blend the apricots and butter into a paste ( as shown in the recipe over @family kitchen) and the bars are both chewy and holding together very well. Only subsitute I made was to use raisins instead of the cranberries-I also added a dash of vannila extract to the apricot butter paste. Delicious and easy to make.

  33. Nicole
    March 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    These granola bars are awesome, just like every other recipe I’ve tried of yours. Even my husband raved about the bars and it takes a lot to impress him food wise. Your site is now the number one place I go to get new recipes. I came across it by chance about a month ago. Keep up the great work.

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