Fairmont Lake Louise Granola Bars


There’s something about the academic calendar. Even though I’m no longer a student and not teaching at the moment, fall brings out the ‘I want new pencils’ mentality in me. So with that, I’ve been thinking about making my favorite recipe for granola bars. Not that I have a lunch to pack. But even so…it’s a nice breakfast treat with a cup of coffee, good walking-the-dog energy, and a reminder of a winter hunkered down with snowshoes in the middle of nowhere. For those of you who have munchkins in school or are, yourself, immersed in academia somehow, make these and tote them to class. I have many times (as you can see by my scribbles and revisions).

I got this recipe from the nice folks at the coffee shop at the Fairmont Hotel in Lake Louise, Canada. My mom and my two sisters and I went up there a few years ago after Christmas. For some reason, I have a selective memory about the trip: I remember the absolutely heinous ride up the mountain with the driver drinking out of a flask, falling asleep, and swerving into the other lane of traffic numerous times (I don’t pray often, but I did that day); I remember realizing how hard cross-country skiing is…when I was miles from the hotel; I remember how much Asian tourists seem to love a good English tea service. And I remember these incredible granola bars. The snow-shoe guides created them for their own snacks, but they were so popular with people on their tours, that they started selling them in the coffee shop. My sister, Zoe, and I would make a pilgrimage downstairs in our little black ski pants, looking like we were about to take on the great outdoors when really we were about to take on The New York Times and some nutty goodness. Now you can, too.


Lake Louise Guide's Granola Bars

Lake Louise Guide's Granola Bars

  • Yield: 12 (four-inch bars)
  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 17 mins
  • Total time: 27 mins

The nice thing about this recipe is, although it calls for a variety of different nuts, you can really use what you have in your pantry. You obviously wouldn’t want to substitute the main ingredients (oats, honey, wheat bran) for something else. But if you prefer cranberries to raisins (as I do) or want to throw in some chocolate chips, dates, candied ginger, or dried apricots — this is the perfect recipe to experiment. Also, I go to the bulk section of the market as the recipe calls for small quantities of numerous ingredients that I don’t always have on hand.

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if that's a concern)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 cup wheat bran (or oat bran)
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup milk powder
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp. fancy molasses

Instructions

Preheat over to 375. Mix oil, honey, and molasses together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix well (I like to use my hands here). Press mixture out onto a shallow rimmed baking sheet (I use an 11 x 7 inch pan) that has been lightly oiled or buttered. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares. When they come out of the oven, they’ll be pretty malleable to the touch, and you’ll probably be tempted to put them back into the oven. Don’t. When they cool, they will firm up. Wrap in plastic wrap and they should keep for a good week.

Comments

  1. Rachael

    These are also a great treat for those dieting (like myself :/) They provide a great, but small, filling snack! I'm definitely making some for my walks to the bus stop after a 9 hour shift!

  2. Megan Gordon

    Thanks, guys!. Marti: Hope this week has been going well. Student + teacher mix is always fun to negotiate. And Rachael, I never thought of them in terms of dieting but yes, they're actually not bad at all. Fat, but all good fat!

  3. Anonymous

    You made these!!! Oh how I miss them. Love, Jiggs.

  4. Glitterati

    Oooh, thanks so much for posting this! I too took their snowshoeing tour this past holiday season, and was too charmed by the yummy granola our guide had. (Was she a sweet blonde lady by any chance?)

    Anyway, I don't know if it was the snowshoeing-induced hunger, or the exhilaration of eating it on an icy mountain top with a cup of steaming maple tea. But I've been thinking about that granola ever since. The guide had put some good chocolate chips in the mix too. Can't wait to try this out!

    1. megang

      How cool that you've tried them, too. I know what you mean: not sure if it was the sub-zero temperatures, but I would get strangely excited when it was snacktime :) Enjoy...I've made them many times and they always turn out really well (chocolate chips would be a great addition!)

  5. Cari

    These look delicious! I'd love to feature them on my site, www.canigettherecipe.com if you are keen with full credits and links back to your site. Please let me know!

  6. Ardis Peck

    My friend made the bar and it was de-lish however it wasn't sticking together so well. She did use the 1/4 cup milk powder for binding power.
    Any hints out there?
    Thanks,
    Ardis

    1. megang

      Hi Ardis: Did she use the proper amount of honey and canola oil (the oil is really the most important part in keeping it all together?). Make sure she didn't skimp on those ... I've never had that problem. I hope they were still delicious!

  7. Charlene

    I tried these also this past weekend after seeing an article in a magazine. Mine did not hold together either. But then only baked for 12 minutes. I am eating it with a spoon- very delicious. I will crumble it back up and add a little more oil and bake in the oven for another good 10 minutes.

    1. megang

      Hi Charlene. So sorry to hear this. I have never had a problem, but I'm encouraged to try them again because it has been quite some time...you're a smart woman to crumble them up -- ice cream topping? Thanks for checking in and leaving that helpful feedback.

  8. Valerie G

    These are really delicious! I baked them for 17 minutes after pressing into a 11x7" glass dish -- they didn't hold together after fully cooled so I baked them again for another 10 minutes the second day, still didn't hold together. On the third day I transferred the whole thing to a 10x12" casserole dish and baked them again for another 15 minutes. (I was determined to make it work.) I'm happy to report I now have granola *bars*. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe -- they really are incredible!

  9. Beth

    I love that your recipe is actually on Lake Louise stationary! These are in the oven now, and I can't wait to try them...(this is a perfect recipe to make on a cool Ottawa night while my hubs watches football).

Join the Discussion

Winter Comfort Food

Winter Morning Porridge

Winter Morning Porridge

I intended on baking holiday cookies to share with you today, but when I sat down to brainstorm all I could think about, truly, was the morning porridge I've been making and how that's really what I wanted to send you away with. The holiday season always seems to zoom on by at its own clip with little regard for how most of us wish it would just slow down, and this year feels like no exception. We got our tree last week and I've been making a point to sit in the living room and admire the twinkle as much as possible. I have lofty goals of snowflakes and gingerbread men and stringing cranberries and popcorn, but I'm also trying to get comfortable with the fact that everything may not get done, and that sitting amongst the twinkle is really the most important. That and a warm breakfast before the day spins into gear. This multi-grain porridge has proved to be a saving grace on busy weekday mornings, and it reheats beautifully so I've been making a big pot and bringing it to work with some extra chopped almonds and fresh pomegranate seeds. While cookies are certainly on the horizon, I think I'll have this recipe to thank for getting us through the busy days ahead. 

Read More
Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

We returned home from San Francisco on New Years Eve just in time for dinner, and craving greens -- or anything other than baked goods and pizza (ohhhh San Francisco, how I love your bakeries. And citrus. And winter sunshine).  Instead of driving straight home, we stopped at our co-op where I ran in for some arugula, an avocado, a bottle of Prosecco, and for the checkout guys to not-so-subtly mock the outlook of our New Years Eve: rousing party, eh? They looked to be in their mid-twenties and I figured I probably looked ancient to them, sad even. But really, there wasn't much sad (or rousing, to be fair) about our evening: putting Oliver to bed, opening up holiday cards and hanging them in the kitchen, and toasting the New Year with arugula, half a quesadilla and sparkling wine. It wasn't lavish. But it's what we both needed. (Or at least what we had to work with.) Since then, I've been more inspired to cook lots of "real" food versus all of the treats and appetizers and snacks the holidays always bring on. I made Julia Turshen's curried red lentils for the millionth time, a wintry whole grain salad with tuna and fennel, roasted potatoes, and this simple green minestrone that I've taken for lunch this week. Determined to fit as many seasonal vegetables into a bowl as humanly possible, I spooned a colorful pesto on top, as much for the reminder of warmer days to come as for the accent in the soup (and for the enjoyment later of slathering the leftover pesto on crusty bread).

Read More
Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard

Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard

If I asked you about what you like to cook at home when the week gets busy, I'm willing to bet it might be something simple. While there are countless websites and blogs and innumerable resources to find any kind of recipe we may crave, it's often the simple, repetitive dishes that we've either grown up with or come to love that call to us when cooking (or life in general) seems overwhelming or when we're feeling depleted. While my go-to is typically breakfast burritos or whole grain bowls, this Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard would make one very fine, very doable house meal on rotation. The adaptations are endless, and its made from largely pantry ingredients. I never thought I'd hop on the cauliflower "rice" bandwagon, but I have to say after making it a few times, I get the hype. 

Read More
Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.

Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.

Read More
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Crust

Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Crust

It's been a uniformly gray and rainy week in Seattle, and I'd planned on making a big pot of salmon chowder to have for the weekend, but then the new issue of Bon Appetit landed on my doorstep with that inviting "Pies for Dinner" cover, and I started to think about how long it's been since I made my very favorite recipe from my cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings. I'm often asked at book events which recipe I love most, and it's a tough one to answer because I have favorites for different moods or occasions, but I'd say that this savory tart is right up there. The cornmeal millet crust is one of my party tricks; when we need a quick brunch recipe, this is what I pull out of my back pocket because it's so simple and delicious. This is a no-roll, no fuss crust with a slightly sandy, crumbly texture thanks to the cornmeal, and a delightful crunch from the millet. In the past, I've used the crust and custard recipe as the base for any number of fillings: on The Kitchn last year, I did a version with greens and gruyere, and I teach cooking classes that often include a version heavy on local mushrooms and shallot. So if you are not keen on salmon or have some vegetables you're looking to use up this week, feel free to fold in whatever is inspiring you right now. Sometimes at this point in winter that can be hard, so hopefully this recipe may help a little. 

Read More