By Jenna - @jenbenna
Now that summer is here, I am reminded of so many fond memories of my childhood summer days at the New Jersey shore. Among them are memories of treats like water ice, Jersey corn on the cob and my Aunt Brenda’s famous trail mix bars. These were a summertime classic. Their chocolatey goodness was anxiously anticipated every time we headed down to my grandparents’ beach house.
When I recently asked my mom for the recipe, I couldn't believe some of things that were in those tasty bars. The first ingredient was corn syrup...yikes! I knew I needed to recreate these bars with healthier ingredients that I feel good about eating today.
I swapped the corn syrup for organic brown rice syrup, used a combo of Wild Friends Classic Creamy PB + Peanut Cashew Super Butter, added organic peanuts and marine collagen, and made it completely dairy free!
Here is the new and improved trail mix bar recipe!
- ½ cup organic brown rice syrup
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3/4 cup Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter*
- 3/4 cup Wild Friends Peanut Cashew Super Butter*
- ½ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup marine collagen or collagen peptides (optional)**
- 1 cup raisins (be sure to unstick these and separate the individual pieces)
- 1 cup granola (original flavor-nothing special or it’ll alter the taste)
- In a medium saucepan, combine brown rice syrup, brown sugar, and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat and stir continuously with a rubber spatula. Meanwhile, combine peanut butter and peanuts.
- Once the sugar mixture gets very bubbly, add the peanut butter mixture and combine. Remove from heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot (off heat) in the order listed. For the collagen, add in small amounts in order to evenly incorporate. Chocolate chips should melt completely into the mixture. Be sure to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients like granola, in order to avoid dry spots. Bonus: arm workout for the day DONE!
- Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment or wax paper. Spread mixture evenly across pan and flatten as much as possible. Check for dry spots where mixture isn’t sticking together. These will crumble once the bars solidify, so be sure to mix them in.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes and remove immediately to slice into bars. If you leave it in the fridge too long, it’ll be hard to slice. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Makes about 30-40 bars depending on the size.
- For the nut butters, be sure to mix the natural oils first before adding to the measuring cups. You don’t want the nut butters to be too oily.
- I wanted to use two flavors but you certainly don't have to. Using 1 1/2 cup of one flavor will work just fine.
- Marine collagen is totally optional! To keep this recipe vegan, just omit. Bars will be slightly stickier but it shouldn’t alter the texture too much. I added them for a bit more nutritional benefit! Grass-fed collagen would work well too.
If you want to try out Wild Friends for yourself, use my code “jenna20” at checkout on their website for 20% off every order!