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It might not have the most elegant name, but the MiddView granola bar has plenty of qualities to make up for it.
This staple of Middlebury College outdoor life earned its name from the first-year orientation trip program, MiddView. Every September, more than 300 new students and 75 student leaders head into the backcountry armed with this tasty treat.
In fact, it’s so tasty that it has a way of making first-time backpackers forget about their blisters. So tasty that even after discovering it had been squished by the fuel bottle in the bottom of my pack, I ate every last crumb.
I get asked often about these granola bars, and I remind people that they’re only for the special occasion of introducing new students to the Vermont wilderness. If they were available all year, they wouldn’t be such a delicacy.
Add this granola bar to your pre-trip to do list, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just save it for a special occasion.
MiddView Granola Bars
Yields 30 bars.
· 1 ½ cups rolled oats
· 2 ¼ cups crispy rice cereal
· 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
· 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
· 1/3 cup sesame seeds
· 1/3 cup flax seeds
· 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
· ¾ cup dried sweetened cranberries
· 1 tsp. salt
· 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
· 1 Tbsp. vanilla
· ¾ cup canola oil
· 1 1/8 cup honey
· 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place oats and seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, mixing halfway through.
2. In a large bowl, mix the crispy rice cereal, flour, cranberries, salt, and cinnamon. Add the toasted oat mixture and stir.
3. In a small saucepan on low heat, bring the honey and oil to a boil. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add vanilla and sunflower seed butter.
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
5. Line a baking sheet with buttered parchment paper. Spread mixture on the pan and press firmly with a rolling pin to create an even layer.
6. Bake at 300°F for 25 minutes until golden brown and slightly soft.
7. Allow to cool and firm up. Cut into squares, wrap in plastic, throw in your pack, and enjoy!