More than once I’ve tried making things with chocolate, reasoning that as cool as we keep it inside the car it would be just fine. If you are planning a road trip this summer, take it from someone who logged over 15,000 miles in road trips the last year alone: chocolate never works in the summer. And if you make the mistake and give it a go, not only will you likely have the joy of listening to your children argue about who got the most melted chocolate on the other (it happened) , your car with be a mess. And, if you get really lucky, one of your children will put said chocolate treat in the drink holder. The chocolate will melt then harden and you will be in an endless cycle of melting and hardening (and little chocolate hands and clothes) until you can get somewhere to clean it out.
Of course you can use a cooler, but I generally find that there is only enough space in our cooler for meals (we never do fast food) and MY Green & Black’s chocolate bars. (Priorities, right?)
So, that leaves me looking at other alternatives for the kids. These Cranberry Almond Quinoa Granola Bars are the perfect solution! They hold up well thanks to the honey and are packed with real food nutrition. Because who wants to deal with kids who are jacked up on sugar and MSG while trapped inside a car for eight hours?
One thing I would like to point out is that the flavor of the honey you use will greatly impact the flavor for the final dish. Recently after trying Manuka honey for the first time, I was blown away at the flavor. I have always thought that I wasn’t crazy about honey (both boys love it though!) but really I was just buying the wrong stuff. Since then I’ve been exploring severl local, raw, organic and sustainable honey companies at Farmer’s Markets and I’ve been blown away at the variety of flavors and amazing taste.
What are your favorite road trip snacks?
- 2 cups quinoa flakes
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut oil plus more for the pan & bowl
- 3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup shredded coconuts
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup honey (see note)
- 1/2 cup muscavado sugar (or light brown)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place quinoa flakes and almonds on a lined cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes, string occasionally. Reduce oven to 325.
- Line a 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and coat the paper with oil. (Make sure the paper extends over the sides.)
- Coat a large bowl well with coconut oil. Place quinoa mixture, cranberries, coconut, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds in bowl.
- In a medium saucepan heat 1/4 cup coconut oil, honey and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves then boil for 1 minute. Pour over quinoa mixture and spread until coated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, rotating pan half way through. Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes then carefully lift directly onto the rack using parchment paper. Cool completely prior to cutting. (Don’t skimp on this - they need to be cool so they will stick together.
Servings 12, Calories 270, Fat 13.3g, Carbohydrates 35g, Protein 5.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 238g, Fiber 3.4g, Sugars 21.4g, WW Pts 7 Note: For a vegan alternative, I recommend coconut nectar. Agave or maple syrup will not hold together as well.