A bagged lunch is not complete without a little something other than a sandwich and fruit, maybe a muffin or some chips, but the best option is a granola bar. On Class Afloat the students had field trips every time we were in a new port, the whole class and teachers would go off for the day exploring. It was easier to send them with a bag lunch rather than trying to find somewhere to eat in the middle of the day as they hiked dormant volcanos, painted houses for a service project or traipsed around an ancient city. I would pack a lunch of savory sandwich roll, fruit and some new flavor of granola bar based on whatever dried fruit and nuts I happened to have on board. After everything was made I had to wrap everything, most of the time I used cling wrap, rolled out a large piece the length of the counter top, place down bars and cut the wrap with a pizza roller.
Granola bars come in two styles, super crisp or soft and chewy, both have their places but I do prefer something a little softer. This recipe is a great base, you can add whatever nuts and dried fruit you want making it a flexible recipe. There is one secret step to these granola bars that you don’t see in other recipes, hydrating your dried fruit, this way you don’t end up with hard little fruit pellets. I’ve included two flavor options here, one with dried blueberries that reminds me of my favorite breakfast cereal when I was a kid, blueberry morning and one with a tropical vibe.