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DIRTY GOURMET PLANT POWER - Granola Bar Chews - Outdoor Recipe & Review

DIRTY GOURMET PLANT POWER - Granola Bar Chews - Outdoor Recipe & Review

"Dirty Gourmet PLANT POWER" is a book filled with recipes for the outdoors...on the trail, backpacking, and camping.  Authors Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan have tested and perfected these "outdoor" recipes. 

The book is available at the shop and on-line.  

This "outdoor cookbook" offers a wealth of information, so much more than just the recipes.  You'll find meal planning for week-end or more extensive trips, how to convert your favorite recipes to be outdoor-ready, the Plantry (all about ingredients), how to dehydrate foods, Base Kit checklists for the variety of outdoor excursions you may take, cooking techniques for car camping and the backcountry, and much more.

A very valuable resource for all of us who love getting outdoors and want to make feeding ourselves delicious, nutritious and plant-based.

The 3 women authors of the Dirty Gourmet Plant Power

The authors.


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Granola Bar Chews

Review and Recipe



In the pursuit of being closer to nature, an unassuming query consistently rises to the top: how do we nourish ourselves when in the vast expanse of the outdoors? 

Over the growling in our stomachs, this question’s been on our minds a lot lately.

Once again, we’re looking for answers from “Dirty Gourmet Plant Power” that brings us vegetarian recipes curated explicitly for the trail or campsite (along with a lifeline of information that makes it a lot easier to cook away from the safety and sanctity of your kitchen).

From the types recipes in the book, our attention has been focused on ones we cook up at home for a upcoming day out in the wild.

Number four on our roster turns to our sweet tooth yet again: Granola Bar Chews.

There’s a good number of things about this one!

First, creativity in selection of some ingredients could be as wild as the outdoors. Choosing the nut, the nut butter, the dried fruit combo could lead the adventurous cook to new heights!  Or, as the authors suggest, it could just allow you to use up remnants from other epicurean exploration.

Second, the taste is delightful.  For those with a sweet tooth, it will definitely hit the spot.  On a personal note, I love blueberries, and the delectable dried blueberries in this do not disappoint.  For this batch, an additional few dried cranberries fulfilled the requirement for one cup of dried fruits.

As far as nuts, roasted almonds are a reliable choice.  To be honest, I was hoping to find pistachios because the color looks so great next to the blueberries (see the book’s image on page 83).

The one problem we encountered, and it might be self-inflicted, concerns the structural integrity of these bars.

I made one substitution that may be key; the requisite Brown Rice Syrup eluded my grasp at the grocery store.  A quick Google search at the store assured me Maple Syrup could be an alternative, so I went with that instead of trying to find the Brown Rice Syrup at another shop. 

Right before making this treat, reading the note in the book from one of the authors suggested to me that this substitution might have directly led to this result.  It clearly states that the Brown Rice Syrup is a key ingredient!  She talks about chewiness, which it has, but not specifically about cohesiveness.

So, I might have just proved that the admonition in their write-up about this recipe is so true, but I won’t know until the next time I make this recipe with Brown Rice Syrup!

(Another possible explanation could be not pressing the mixture down firmly enough after it’s poured into the pan. Just know to do that well!)

This treat is extremely delicious (but a bit messy and not fit for the trail this go ‘round), so give it a try, be sure to get the Brown Rice Syrup, press firmly in the pan, and how about eating them at home if they don’t hold together!



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2 cups crisped rice cereal

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup roughly chopped toasted nuts (e.g., almonds, pistachios)

1 cup dried fruit (e.g., blueberries, cranberries, or raisins)

3/4 cup nut or seed butter (almond or sunflower)

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 T coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

 Preheat the voer to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper (that extends beyond the rim so you can pick it up after baking)

In a large bowl, combine the rice cereal, oats, nuts, and dried fruit.

In a saucepan, mix the nut butter, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and salt.  Heat over medium heat until the mixture is well combined and bubbly.  Remove from heat.

Stir in the hot nut-butter mixture into the cereal mixture and mix well.  Spread evenly in the prepared baking pan and press down to ensure that it's even.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before pulling up on the parchment to lift the bars onto a cutting board.  Let cool completely before cutting into the 1 1/2 squares.  Store in an airtight container.


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Thank you for your passion for the outdoors.

The Crew at Mountain Chalet. 

Susan Joy Paul's Colorado Adventure along Poudre Canyon Highway
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