Makes 18 (1-ounce) treats
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
¾ cup whole-wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons flax seeds, ground or whole
2 tablespoons raisins (or use mixture of dried cranberries, mango, cherries, currants, dates, etc.)
2 tablespoons dried apricots (approximately 4 apricots)
1 ½ tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, or use coconut oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Butter 18 mini-muffin (.5-ounce or 1-ounce) tins. Whisk dry ingredients (first five) in a medium bowl to combine. Set aside. In a small bowl, cover raisins (or dried fruit) and apricots with hot water and microwave on high 2 minutes. Allow fruit to rest in hot water another minute to plump. Drain fruit well. Transfer to a processor and grind fruit fine. Add sunflower seeds and coconut and continue to process until seeds are well chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until mixture is combined, frequently scraping sides of processor bowl. Add dry ingredients, pulsing machine until dough comes together and forms a central clump.
Using a dough scoop, fill muffin tins half-full and flatten tops with your fingers.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the bottom third of oven. Cool. Trail Bites can be popped into zip-top freezer bags and stored, frozen up to a month.
Chef’s note: These bites are perfect for kid snacks because all the large chunks are ground up and unrecognizable. They keep well and travel well. If you don’t have a mini-muffin tin, press dough into a ¼-size baking sheet (9-inch by 12-inch) and cut into 1-inch squares like bar cookies. In place of a food processor use a blender to grind fruit, sunflower seeds and coconut, and mix remaining ingredients by hand in a medium bowl.