So we took to the mean trails of Alta Dena with the LA Veggie Hikers. Always one to cause trouble, my boyfriend got into an minor altercation over a parking space. I will not comment on who was right or who was wrong.He pulled a U-turn to get into a parking space and someone in the car behind him pulled a U-turn to get into the same parking space. Looks were exchanged.
Obviously someone in this relationship didn’t get a check next to “plays well with others”.Luckily for the both of us,  I got a check mark next to “seeks validation.”
Today I decided to bring along something delicious my favorite Los-Angeles based vegetarian hikers. I decided that cookies are hands down the best snack for the middle of a hike. Not only were they a great pick-me-up, they were also easy to carry in the rockin’ backpack I got from work.
I got to thinking about what went in to a good trail mix. I knew that I needed dried fruit and nuts, and I almost used chocolate chips. However, at the last minute I decided on carob chips instead. I’m big on the carob chips lately, because they are lower in fat and calories than chocolate. They also pack in more nutrition, and in a cookie the taste is indiscernible. <tangent> Whole Foods sometimes carries carob chips in the bulk section, but I found out the other day that they usually only have them during the holidays. It wasn’t a big loss, though, because I did end up with a perfect excuse to visit the co-op. They not only had carob chips, but I also went home with some cinnamon bread made from wheat berries. This is going to be very important, as I am planning on going on the McDougall plan this week </tangent>. More on that later.
I did not commit to a fruit/nut combination before going to the bulk section. Sometimes locking yourself in to a cookie filling can really backfire. So, I allowed the availability to be my guide and came up with some of the most delicious, moist, chewy vegan cookies I’ve ever had.

Trail Mix Cookies

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. applesauce
  • 2 TBSP white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds
  • 6 dried figs, sliced
  • 1/4 c. dried cherries
  • 1/4 c. carob chips

Pre-heat the oven to 375
In a bowl, mash the banana until it is smooth. Add sugars and applesauce and whisk together for a few minutes, until creamy.
Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix very well.
Add half of the flour and mix well. Then incorporate the other half.
Mix in the oats
Gently fold in the fruit, carob, and nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet. One lined with parchment is best.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are slightly browned.