Thursday, December 13, 2012


Cranberry Walnut Flax Granola Bar recipe made in my food dehydrator

Here is an upgrade of my previous homemade flaxseed cracker recipe. Whole flaxseed can pass through our system undigested, so I'm now using flaxseed meal to ensure that the flax is more thoroughly digested. Some whole flaxseed is used mostly for decoration; soaking these seeds overnight starts the germination process and may open the seed coats enough to allow digestion of any seeds that are not chewed thoroughly when the bars are eaten. Dried cranberries and chopped walnuts add flavor, texture and more nutrition, making these raw flaxseed bars good with a meal or used as a healthy snack.

1. Mix:
    1/4 cup flaxseed
    1 cup water
    soak overnight

2. Add:
    3/4 cup flaxseed meal
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup chopped walnuts or oatmeal
    1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce)

3. Spread cracker batter on solid dehydrator tray, dehydrate 3 hr, cut divisions between crackers, dehydrate 3 hr more, flip onto screen tray, dehydrate until done, break crackers on dividing lines, seal in plastic bags, store in refrigerator.

cracker batter spread on dehydrator tray
Granola bar batter ready for dehydration.

dried flaxseed cracker
Dried granola flax bar ready to eat.

4. Flaxseed meal is very susceptible to oxidation. Quantities of flaxseed meal purchased at the store should be stored in the freezer until used. (Whole, dry flaxseed can be stored at room temperature.)

5. Granola flax bars are also susceptible to oxidation, so they should be made in small batches, stored in the refrigerator and consumed quickly after dehydration.

More information:
Garlic rosemary flaxseed crackers made in my food dehydrator.
Banana flax crackers and banana walnut crackers, omega-3 fatty acid nutrition.
Raw Flaxseed Crackers made in my Food Dehydrator.
Dehydrated foods for Indoor Snacks and Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hiking, Sonoma Creek Falls, Sonoma County, California

After a big rainstorm JimH and I hiked the trail to Sonoma Creek Falls at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park Trail Maps.

• PDF map: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park map pdf.
• Map book: California Maps - Atlas and Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.

Online map user instructions. Click and drag to reposition this interactive map.
• The tool on the left zooms in and out. Point on the red markers to see the names.
• Map=roads. Satellite=satellite map. Terrain=3D shaded topo map. Topo=topographic map.
Full-Screen online map - Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Double-click on the photos to see the larger view. Use the back button to return.
map of hiking trails at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Hiking trail map.

Trip Report

We hiked the Canyon Trail down to Sonoma Creek Falls. This trail goes through a shady green forest filled with mosses, ferns, fungi and lichens. Sonoma Creek Falls were filled with water from the rainstorms of the past few days.

Sonoma Creek Falls at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Sonoma Creek Falls

Sonoma Creek at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Sonoma Creek

Then we climbed up the Pony Gate Trail. This part of the trail has shady sections and some sunny sections with some good views from higher elevation.

Pony Gate Trail at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
A shady section of the Pony Gate Trail

Then we hiked down the Stern Trail to loop back to the trailhead. (Stern Trail is also part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.) This gravel road is entirely in the sun and provides lots of long distance views of the landscape.

Panoramic view from Pony Gate - Stern Trail junction.

More photos:
• Sonoma Creek Falls - JimH photos
• Sugarloaf Ridge State Park - BRT photos

Sonoma Creek Falls video

Coming Home

On the way home we made our traditional stop at Betty Lou's Bar and Grill in Vacaville, CA. The daily special of turkey soup, salad, dark beer and persimmon pudding with lemon sauce was just what we needed after a brisk day of hiking.

Additional information:
Waterfall Hiking in California - websites - BRT Insights.
Hiking Trails in California - Davis Wiki.
Hiking, Biking & Camping Trip Reports and Photos - BRT Insights.
• Digital Camera: Canon PowerShot A490. Photos edited with IrfanView and Pixtra PanoStitcher software.

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