With summer hikes being one of my go-to activities for a day off, it’s important to make sure I’ve got the right amount of protein to fuel my day. These granola bliss balls help to ensure I get the nutrients I need while going on a difficult hike in the warm weather.
They pack well, stay fresh, and taste like your favorite grocery store picks while being chocked full of protein! This week I took them on two hikes in the middle of a heatwave and they were perfect for energizing at the beginning and end of the trip.
Pop a few granola balls in your bag to snack on before or during the toughest part of your trail for a quick burst of energy. I have been eating them with my breakfasts as well to be sure I have enough protein to feel well throughout the hike. If I’m feeling low on energy during the hike, I’ll pull a few more out and share them with my friends to make sure we get through it.
Hiking in the heat is much harder than on a cool day and you should always pack extra water to compensate for your body sweating. No matter how much protein you have in your diet, if you are dehydrated, you will not feel well during or after the hike.
For the base:
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup nut butter
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Add-ins: 1/8th cup of the following
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate
- Dried cranberries
I separated the combined base ingredients into three even sections before adding in the extras.
Three flavor combinations that taste well and replicate those found in the supermarket are:
- Pistachio, cranberry, and white chocolate
- Dark chocolate and walnuts
- Milk chocolate and almonds
Finely chop the dark chocolate and nuts being used, unless the chocolate is already in chip form.
For this batch, I used barred dark chocolate and chopped it into pieces. For the walnuts and almonds, chopping each nut 2-3 times is enough to break it down, though you can always chop it finer if preferred.
Don’t preheat your oven because these bliss balls are no-bake!
- In a large bowl, combine all base ingredients until the mixture is just sticky enough to bond to itself and hold shape, but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands.
- Divide the batch into equal parts depending on the number of flavors you plan to make. You can store in the fridge with cling wrap if worried about keeping it out while mixing the other ingredients in.
- Make a large ball with your first batch and press into the center for a space to pour in your other ingredients.
- Fold the edges over—this won’t be as neat as it sounds— and then knead the batch for about a minute. Just enough to combine the ingredients well and have nothing fall out.
- Use a spoon to remain consistent with the size of your granola balls. I used a generous tablespoon to achieve the right size for the batch pictured, but you can always change it!
- Repeat for as many batches as you choose and let the formed bliss balls chill on a parchment covered plate in the fridge for about an hour. When the hour is up, either add cling wrap or put in an airtight container to avoid drying out.
- Optional: you can always dip your granola balls in chocolate for added sweetness, but they taste great regardless! I prefer mine plain with chocolate chips or chunks.
If you have a problem with chocolate chips falling out of the batch, you may want to cut them in half or add more nut butter to your mix. This could mean your mix is too dry and cannot hold itself together.
I’ve been so excited to share this post with you all and there will be some similar posts in the near future! I always use my free time in the summer to go on hikes with close friends and discover new places, but we’ve got to be prepared.
Thanks to everyone who has been active on the questionnaires and polls on my Instagram story @TheUntamedOptimist that have helped me shape this post into more than just a simple recipe. I’ll be asking more questions on my future stories so stay tuned! Your feedback is so helpful in deciding which direction to go when writing and I love to hear back from you!
Until then, keep your eye out for unexplored places to venture out to and stay untamed!