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Your Trail Bars Are About to Get a Whole Lot Better

Spice things up on your next hike with this stellar trail bar recipe.

By: Jacalyn Beales + Save to a List

Have you ever made your own trail bars? I mean the "healthy" kind, loaded with super-foods instead of confectionery meant to mask the sawdust taste of rolled oats? 

Yeah, they were probably disgusting. 

Trail bars are to hikers what Sephora is to pretty much every girl's makeup cabinet, if you wear makeup. Which I don't, because I am clearly too busy making trail bars. Low-key amazing trail bars. I'm not bragging and saying your trail bars don't add up but, let's be real, most homemade trail bars taste like healthy compost if you don't litter them with the sweet stuff - chocolate, peanut butter, jam, jelly, syrup...other gooey stuff you put on ice cream, not in trail bars. But hey, trail bars are supposed to be healthy and disgusting. They're meant to fuel your body and give you the energy you need to stick it out on the mountains, climb a really big hill, go spelunking...whatever you like to do. 

Be honest, you've never met a Kashi bar you actually liked. "Chocolate Coconut Bar?" Yeah, okay (wink wink). 

If you're looking to add a little spice (and booze, yes, booze) to your next hike, there's a healthier way of doing it without falling off the trail. Aside from the health benefits of the other ingredients in these bars, vodka can help with headaches and acts as an antiseptic whilst hot peppers like jalapenos can help ward off diseases. With a recipe for hot and boozey, no-cooking-required trail bars like this one, your next hike or outdoor adventure is about to get a bit more spicy. 

Hot tip: you can "customize" the ingredients in these bars to your liking but keep it healthy, people. 

Chocolate Jalapeno & Vodka Trail Bars

Ingredients you'll need to make 'em: 
  • 2 cups rolled oats, finely ground (or any type of oat you like) 
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder 
  • 3 tbsp protein powder (vegan, non-vegan, whatever floats your boat) 
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric powder 
  • 2 tbsp PB2 powdered peanut butter 
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts 
  • 1 tbsp psyllium seed husk
  • 1 cup melted organic coconut oil (can use any oil you like if you're not a fan of coconut) 
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, etc) 
  • 1 tbsp organic honey 
  • 2 tbsp vodka (whatever brand you like) 
  • 1 jalapeno with the seeds, finely chopped or grated 

Optional: I like to add in a small sprinkle of dried goji berries, mulberries, blueberries, dates, figs and slivered almonds. 

Directions to whip these up:

1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together until well incorporated. Feel free to add a sprinkle of pink salt for shits & giggles. 

2. Once incorporated, add in your optional ingredients or whatever you like in your trail bars. Mix again to incorporate. Then add in wet ingredients with the finely chopped jalapeno. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients come together in a slightly wet/sticky mix. 

3. Transfer into a non-stick baking dish or pan - if you don't have a nonstick dish, line your dish or pan with parchment or wax paper. Spread the mixture evenly in the dish, then cover with cling film and store in the fridge for up to 3 hours or overnight to set. Cut into your desired shape, chuck them in a bag and hit the trails. 

Turn it into granola:

You can easily turn this mix into granola by spreading it out evenly on a non-stick baking sheet and baking it in your oven at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until brown and crispy! Allow to cool, then break up with a spoon and throw it in a jar for an easy breakfast or trail snack. 

Here's what these disgustingly delicious trail bars look like when I make them

Cover photo: I Believe I Can Fry

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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