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Baked cookies © Microsoft Office Online
What do you munch when you're crunching
calories on a rail-trail?

Tell Us ...
Do you know of any fun trail events or celebrations coming up this year? Maybe you've signed up for a race or a group ride, or there is an interesting fundraiser on a local rail-trail? If any happenings on the 2009 calendar have particularly caught your eye, share them with Karl at karl@railstotrails.org.

With all e-mails and photos*, please include where you currently live as well any caption info.

*All photos submitted to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy may be used in any and all organizational materials.
Munch and Go:

In February, we asked you to tell us about your favorite trail snack recipes. Some readers recommend different granolas to help you get up and go, while others have tried to perfect the right mix of dried fruits and nuts for mid-trail energy. So whether you go nuts for nuts, or you get a hankering for sweeter treats after a satisfying workout, enjoy these secrets to rail-trail sustenance.


Phyllis Pryor — Albuquerque, N.M.
This recipe makes a very hearty cookie and is actually a lot like an energy bar, but without the additives and preservatives. It really refuels you when you are partway through a ride or hike. It also is good at the end of a ride to help rebuild your body.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. The dough will be very stiff (I recommend using a full-size electric mixer). 
 
4 large eggs
1 t. each vanilla and mapleine 
1 c. raisins
3/4 c. dried cranberries
(beat eggs and flavorings, add dried fruit and set aside to soak)
 
1 c. canola oil
1 c. turbinado or white sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
(beat together in mixer)
 
2 1/2 c. oat flour (whole wheat is okay)
1/2 c. rice flour
1 t. each baking soda and cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. Morton's Lite salt
(sift together and blend into sugar mixture)
 
Blend egg/dried fruit mixture into sugar/flour mixture
 
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. sesame seeds
2 c. coarse rolled oats
(add to mixer and blend in)
 
Spoon onto cookie sheets and bake till golden brown (about 20 minutes). Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from cookie sheet
otherwise they will crumble.

Freeze in ziplock bags with 6 to 8 cookies, available for the next hike or bike ride.

Shannon Gittleman — South Tampa, Fla. 
Over the years my husband and I have tried different concoctions, and this one is by far our favorite:
 
Heartland Granola Cereal
Peanut M&M's
Craisins
White chocolate chips
 
We love it!


Lisa Banik — Waterbury, Conn.
I usually start with some sort of nut or seed for protein and energy, then add in some sort of dried fruits for sweetness and variety. I find that, if I can afford it, using organic ingredients is tastier, and of course healthier. Here's a mix I make a lot:
 
Equal parts: 
Shelled, unsalted almonds or walnuts
Shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds
Dried apricots, chopped
Dried cranberries (Craisins), or dried cherries
Shredded coconut pieces
 
I either make a small batch and place in small bags, or I make one big batch and store in a reusable, plastic container so it's ready when I'm in a rush.


Greg Friese — Wausau, Wis.
My homemade granola recipe would make a great snack for bike riders. I eat it to fuel up in the morning:

Greg's Great Granola

Chop 1 cup pecans or walnuts
Add 1 cup wheat germ
Add 1 cup coconut
Add 1 shake of cinnamon (about 1 t.)
Add 1 splash of vanilla (about 1 t.)
Mix all ingredients
Mix in half a box of rolled oats (not quick oats). This is about 4 to 7 cups
Mix all ingredients
Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Add 1/2 cup of honey (or 1/2 cup of brown sugar)
Mix all ingredients
Microwave for 3.5 minutes (times will vary depending on your microwave power)
Stir well (to release some heat)
Microwave for 3.5 minutes
Stir well (to release some more heat)
Microwave for 3 minutes
Stir really well to release a lot of heat
Mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins or other dried fruit (I like Craisans)
Allow to cool
Store in air-tight container
Serve for breakfast or with yogurt, ice cream or pudding

Ken Kolk — Shelbyville, Mich.
I'm a diabetic and I carry mixed nuts, fresh fruit, diet soda and water. My wife has major health issues and can have bouts with low blood sugar, so she carries M&M's, fresh fruit, homemade cookies, water and regular soda. We often stop for ice cream, or a diet soda for me and a shake for her.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy does not endorse any of the products or brands mentioned in the above "Tell Us" responses. All expressed preferences are solely the opinions of eNews subscribers, not Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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