I'm behind on blogging yet again! Busy, busy, busy. First of all, I would like to say that my heart goes out to the people of Japan. No one deserves anything like this happen to them. It was truly shocking to turn on the television and see the devastation that the tsunami had caused. Japan can use any help they can get. If you would like to donate, here is a link to the Red Cross Website.
Let's get back to the food. The Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars have to be one of the greatest snacks. It has oats (healthy), almonds and peanuts (healthy), and dried fruit (healthy). Despite being "healthy" it doesn't taste healthy. It's actually pretty filling and doesn't lack in flavor. So, this is my attempt at recreating the Nature Valley Bars by using Ina Garten's recipe as the base.
-The recipe below was my adaption of Ina Garten's Recipe to recreate the Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars. Thus, I omitted some of her ingredients and added in some extras.
Taste: Almost exactly like the Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars. A floral sweetness from the honey with a deep rich sweetness from the brown sugar. In addition, bursts of sweetness and tartness from the raisins and cranberries with hints of nutty-ness from the oats and almonds.
Texture: Not completely chewy like the Nature Valley Bars. Has a crunch on the exterior from the caramelization of the sugar and honey, with the Rice Krispy cereal giving more crunch throughout the bars. Chewiness from the fruit and crunch from the almonds as well.
Original Recipe by Ina Garten, Adapted by Me
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup salted and roasted whole almonds
1 cup Rice Krispy Cereal
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Syrup2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Place the oatmeal on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the almonds, Rice Krispy Cereal, Raisins and Dried Cranberries until evenly combined
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture and mix until well combined
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.