SMOKED PALEO HIKING BARS & BALLS
Nearly every time I browse the snack bar aisle of the grocery store there seems to a be a new "bar" on the market. Balls and "Fat Bombs" seem to be gaining popularity as well. Whether it's that old fashioned peanut butter ball made with peanut butter, honey and powdered milk or a gourmet smoked nut ball, any way you shape it, deliciousness will ensue. There's no end to the ingredient combination in a homemade bar or ball. They can be made high-protein, high-fat, or high-carb simply by adjusting the ingredients. Eaten raw, frozen or baked can change up texture and ingredients can be many or few. The mixture can even be spooned into a resealable plastic bag and stuffed into a backpack for an easy, long-lasting, trail snack. Any way you shape it, adding some smoke flavor is the frosting on the cake... or bar...or ball.
1/4 cup smoked butter
1 1/2 cup smoked nuts (pictured: cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
1/2 smoked raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons smoked molasses, optional
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
10-12 dried apricots
8-10 large medjool dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup nut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
up to 2 cups old-fashioned oats, optional
Prepare Little Chief Smoker or Big Chief Smoker by filling the pan half-way with wood chips. Always make sure clean foil lines the smoker pan to avoid off-flavors. Preheat smoker until chips begin to smoke.
Place nuts and seeds on teflon screen atop a smoker rack. Spread out into a thin layer. Put molasses and butter in shallow dishes and place on a smoker rack. Smoke about 30 minutes or until chips have stopped smoking.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add molasses, nut butter and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and add vanilla.
Pulse smoked nuts and seeds in a food processor.
Place in a large mixing bowl. Pulse apricots, dates, dried cranberries and golden raisins until finely chopped.
Add to the chopped nuts. Add coconut and mix into the nut and fruit mixture. Pour butter mixture into bowl and mix thoroughly.
For a "Fat Bomb", shape mixture into balls or press into a greased 9 X 9 pan. Freeze or refrigerate until ready to eat. These can also be baked at 325 degrees for 7 minutes for a firmer texture.
If adding oatmeal (for some carbohydrate energy) to these bars and balls, pulse up to 2 cups of old-fashioned oats and mix into the nut and fruit mixture. Shape mixture into balls or logs or press into a greased 9 X 9 pan. These can also be baked at 325 degrees for 7-10 minutes for a firmer texture. Freeze for long term storage.
Recipe by: Tiffany Haugen