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nashoba valley winery

We didn’t make it for our bike ride this morning…I had a flat tire, and we were very unprepared in that department.  So, we went for a run instead.  The weather was so perfect for running this morning that I couldn’t pass it up.  I went on a 6 mile loop along the water, then picked up Brant for an additional 3!  My legs are spent.  Bike ride tomorrow!

After our run, we wanted to do something fun and be outside for the day because the weather here in Boston is gorgeous!  We decided to head out to the Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton, MA for the afternoon.

It is gorgeous there!  I have never been before, but have been wanting to make a visit.  Today was the perfect day for it.

They sell lots of goodies inside!

Our first stop included the tasting room.  It is so reasonable – $4 for 5 small tastes of anything that you want.  We learned that the Nashoba Valley Winery makes wine, beer and lots of spirits!  They have mostly white wines, dessert wines and brandy along with a good selection of beer.

I tasted a variety of wines and spirits, while Brant stuck mainly with the beer.  We shared some sips, and everything was great.  My favorite being the Riesling which was one of the best I have had.  Light, crisp and just a bit fruity.

I tried the Foggy Bog Spirit, which is a Cranberry Brandy.  Surprisingly, I liked it!  The cranberry flavor really came through and did not taste all that much like brandy. 🙂

Other highlights included the Dry Pear Wine and the Raspberry Dessert Wine, which tasted like I was drinking raspberry puree!

After wine, we headed to the Beer Tour, which they only offer once or twice per year.

They offer 4 beers year-round and then offer a few seasonal brews throughout.

Their brewery location is so small compared to other craft breweries in the area.  Everything takes place in this one building, and it is a one man show!  One guy literally brews, bottles and labels all of the beer that they sell.

He walked us through the process and let us sample 4 of the brews.

Bottling Machine

My favorite was their Summer Stout – an oatmeal stout with flavors of chocolate, coffee and vanilla.  Yummy!

After our tasting and tour, we sat out in the field for our picnic lunch!

We packed lots of random stuff since this was a last minute trip.  Pretzels, PB&J, millet patties, dried fruit and nuts, apples and PB!

It was such a fun way to spend our Saturday!  We can’t wait to go back for more picnic’s.

another try

Good morning!  Happy Saturday!

It is a gorgeous morning here in Boston, so we are headed out for a long bike ride.  But, first I thought I would leave you with some goodies!

Last week, I took a stab at making some more granola bars, hoping that they would stick together better this time.  Well, I ended up making 3 batches because I wanted different flavors, and they were not coming out the way I wanted them to.  (Please someone, please tell me the trick to getting these guys to stick together!)

All of the bars are SOOO tasty, and I need to remember the proportions myself, so I’ll leave you with the recipes regardless of the stickiness/etc.

Batch #1 – Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

*these are my favorite of the group!  They stick together just fine, and are not too gooey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries
  • 3 T dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 T brown rice syrup
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T raw almond butter
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-6).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#7-13).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

Batch #2 – Tropical Granola Bars

*The combination of flavors in these is amazing!  I love them, but I added too much sauce, so they do not stay together well and are a little gooey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup chopped macademia nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple. unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 T ground flaxmeal
  • 2 T raw honey
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-7).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#8-14).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Let cool, then drizzle with coconut butter!
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

Batch #3 – Maple Ginger Granola Bars

*Love the maple and ginger combination!  But, again – too sticky!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 cup ground flaxmeal
  • 1/8 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-8).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#9-14).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

So, there you have it!  Three delicious varieties of granola bars!

But, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong.  Batch #1 stuck together and firmed up great.  No gooey-ness at all.  Just straight up heaven in a bar!  Batches #2-3 are gooey, I’m not going to lie.  Maybe too much applesauce?  Too much liquid?  Not enough almond butter?  Was that the trick to the first batch?

Well, I will not know until I try again!  Until then…let me know if you have any tips! 🙂