organic vegetarian meals for the trail

Trail Bar Recipe

We’ve talked about Lara Bars before. These simple bars combine a few basic raw ingredients, such as dates, berries and nuts into some delicious flavors. Not only do they burst with taste, but they are loaded in healthy calories (200+ per bar). We’ll show you how you can make these EASY fruit and nut bars at home. The recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare since no cooking is required.

Basic Trail Bar Recipe (yields 2 bars)

  • 1/4 cup chopped whole dates (not pieces coated in dextrose)
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries or apricots are good)
  • 1/3 cup nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts are good)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions: Pulse pitted dates and fruit in food processor until a paste forms. Remove the paste and pulse the nuts until finely chopped. Mix the nuts with the fruit paste and cinnamon. Divide mixture in half. Knead the mixture into 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around each bar and shape into a bar form, about 4″ long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick. Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator until your hike. These will stay good for several months if kept refrigerated or frozen. Eat within 3 – 6 weeks if you do not refrigerate.

Nutrition per Serving (1 bar): Calories 207; Fat 9.4g; Protein 3.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 24.9g; Sodium 0.4mg.

These bars are loaded in heart-healthy unsaturated fat (poly and mono) making them perfect for backpackers.

Flavor Variations

This recipe can be adapted for countless flavor variations.  Here are a few –

—PB & J (cheap and delicious!): Use 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries and 1/4 cup raisins or dates; roasted peanuts for the nuts.
Apricot-Almond (our 2nd favorite): Use 1/3 cup dried apricots and 2 tablespoons dates (to measure 1/2 cup total); use almonds for the nuts.

Tropical: Use tropical fruit bits (pre-packaged from the supermarket); use raw cashews for the nuts. Add 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, and 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice to the mix.

Blueberry Bliss: Use 1/4 cup dried blueberries and 1/4 cup dates; use almonds for the nuts. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, and a drop of almond extract to the mix.

Cashew Cookie Dough: Reverse the proportions of fruit to nuts–Use 1/3 cup dates for the fruit and 1/2 cup raw cashews for the nuts.

Pistachio Heaven: Same as cashew cookie dough, but use raw pistachios and add a tiny drop of almond extract.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: Same as cashew cookie dough but use raw or roasted (lightly salted) peanuts for the nuts.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Same as cashew cookie dough, but add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch of cinnamon and 1/2 ounce very finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate to the mix.
Recipe Source:

Making PB & J (Outdoor Herbivore’s favorite)

Measure out

1/4 cup of whole pitted dates

1/4 cup of dried cherries

1/4 cup of roasted peanuts

Pulse dates and fruit in a food processor until a paste forms.

Remove fruit paste.  Pulse nuts separately.

Mix in the nuts and spices (cinnamon in this case) with the fruit paste.

Divide mixture into 2 balls.

Wrap the plastic around each bar and shape into a bar form, about 4″ long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick.

These will stay good for several months if kept refrigerated or frozen.  Eat within  several weeks if you do not refrigerate. We suggest making a batch of different flavor combinations and keeping a stock for hikes / traveling. Enjoy!


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4 thoughts on “Trail Bar Recipe”

  • I found your page here about homemade trail bars while desperately trying to find info on how to make homemade fruit & nut bars that will last several months on long backpacking treks like the PCT. I have a dehydrator, which I would assume would have these bars last a long time, except my first batch did not dry out enough at 105 degrees for over 24 hours in the dehydrator. The raw food websites don’t have much info on this either.. everyone says you need to freeze or refrigerate if you don’t eat within a few days… Any ideas, links, suggestions???

    Thank You!

  • Hi Danielle! I don’t see why these wouldn’t stay fresh for several months in temperate conditions if kept away from direct light and sealed well. All the ingredients in the bars are already dried, so as long as you stick with the recipe when you make the bars (don’t add liquids), I think they should keep fine. I would consume them within 6 months though since most dried fruit products start to lose nutritional value after that. Let me know how it works out for you.

  • Thanks! I will try it and see how long they last. I agree since the ingredients are all dry that it should be stable. I’ll keep you posted 🙂 Appreciate your thoughts.

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