Tag Archives: Dried Fruit

Healthy Hiker’s Energy Bars


Now that the weather is getting warmer and we’re looking forward to summer and spending more time outside, here’s a easy and healthy snack you can take with you on your next hike. The beauty of this recipe is that you can substitute any dried fruit you like, and can also add various ingredients such as flax seed or additional nuts or seeds if desired. If you’re allergic to peanut butter, you can substitute almond or sunflower seed butter instead. The protein hit from the peanut butter, oats and eggs should help keep you going for hours! Not only are these good while you’re on the trail, but they’re also a nice reward after a good hike!

Diff: Easy Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20-23 min.


½ c. whole wheat flour

1-2 T. flax seed if desired (can be ground)

1 t. ground cinnamon

½ t. baking soda

1/8 t. kosher or sea salt

2 t. pure vanilla extract

½ c. packed brown sugar

1 large egg

2 large egg whites or equivalent

1 c. dried cranberries or sweet dried cherries

½ c. coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

½ – ¾ c. chocolate chips

½ c. smooth or chuncky peanut butter

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

½ c. organic honey

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9 X 13 pan with olive oil.

  1. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.


  1. Beat peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey in a large bowl until blended.



  1. Blend egg and egg whites with fork in a small bowl, then add to peanut butter mixture along with oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth.



  1. Add flour mixture and mix with spatula. Mix in oats, cranberries/cherries, choice of nuts and chocolate chips.




  1. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish. Use spatula to even out.


  1. Bake until lightly brown and firm to touch, 2-23 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.


Enjoy! This is wonderful served with fruit and a glass of cold milk. 

Hope all of you will be able to enjoy some time in the great outdoors this week. Wishing all of you God’s blessings, happy hiking, good health and good eating!

Smiles, Maria


Avocado Mango Salad


The spring sun has warmed the earth and the flowers are finally blooming. This time of year you’ll most often find me working in the backyard planting new perennials in my flowerbeds and looking forward to putting in a vegetable garden.  When the weather warms up, my appetite changes from wanting the heavier stews, soups and pastas of winter to salads and lighter fare. I love to play with flavors and textures in salads, and when I came across this recipe, I just had to try it. The sweetness of the mango and dried cherries combined with the creaminess of the avocado, the bite of the red onion and crisp mixed greens is just wonderful! You can dress it with either a creamy balsamic vinaigrette or just a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. You can add coarsely chopped pecans for extra crunch if you’d like.  With just six ingredients, this salad is easy to put together and is pretty enough to serve at a special luncheon.

Diff: Easy Prep: 15 min. Serves: Six



8 cups mixed lettuces or baby romaine

1 ripe mango, peeled, sliced thin, cut into strips

1 ripe avocado, pitted, diced into 1 inch cubes

½ cup dried red cherries

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 lime, cut in half

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette

1 T. Dijon mustard


1. To make vinaigrette, place olive oil and mustard into a large bowl, and using a whisk, combine the two ingredients until blended into one color. (This will take a few minutes).  Add vinegar and mix well with whisk. Set aside.


2. Place mango in a small bowl and squeeze ½ of lime in bowl and mix together to coat.



3. Place diced avocado in another small bowl and squeeze remaining lime in bowl and mix gently.


4. Place lettuce into large serving container, top with mango, avocado, dried cherries, red onion and pecans, if desired.


5. Drizzle desired amount of vinaigrette over salad. Lightly toss and serve.


I hope you enjoy this light and healthy dish. It is excellent paired with soup and fresh bread. Until next week, wishing you all God’s blessings, good health and good eating!