2 cups Quick Cooking Rolled Oats (1-minute, instant, etc.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup Brown Sugar or Raw Sugar (plain sugar works fine, too)
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Coarsely Chopped Dried Fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries, figs, prunes, etc. - but avoid dried pineapple bits (they turn hard as rocks when cooked!)
1/2 cup Coarsely Chopped Salted Peanuts or Mixed Nuts
1/4 cup Shelled Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Honey
1 fork (or use your fingers if you can't find a fork)
1 sharp knife
1 8" square microwavable dish (these are usually made out of glass)
1 large bowl to mix everything together in
1 coffee cup (for warming stuff in microwave)
9 zip-lock sandwich bags or freezer bags (snack-sized bags will work fine, but make 12 skinny bars instead of 9 fat ones)
How to Prepare:
Combine all dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter... cut the stick in half, plop it in the coffee cup and throw it in the microwave for 15 seconds. If it isn't all melted when it comes out, nuke it again.
Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture while stirring constantly with a fork, until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture is well coated.
Warm the honey to make it thinner and easier to mix - that's warm, not hot! You can use the same cup you used for the butter and nuke it for 10 seconds. If it isn't warm the first time, nuke it again until it is. Add a drop or two of water if it needs further thinning.
Drizzle the warm honey over the mixture while stirring constantly until the honey is evenly distributed. Keep stirring the mixture until there are no lumps or clumps of un-mixed or un-coated ingredients.
Press the mixture evenly into the 8" square microwaveable dish (Hint: It's easier to remove the bars later if you spray the inside of the dish with cooking spray first.)
Nuke it on high for 6 minutes. The mixture will look like it isn't cooked and it will still be soft and crumbly to the touch. Don't worry, it'll firm-up when it cools down.
Let it cool - or - stick it in the 'fridge for about 15 minutes.
With a sharp knife, cut it into 9 rectangular bars, stuff each bar (and anything that falls off of it) into a sandwich bag and press out all the air before sealing the bag.
Bagged Bars can be stored in the 'fridge for 3 or 4 weeks. They'll keep in your backpack for at least a week on the trail.
Dad's Bars make a complete nutritious breakfast with coffee or Tang; or, they make a great "trail lunch" with just plain old water!
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