These survival bars are easy to make, quick, and they taste great. Yes, they should have a very long shelf life (20 years). There is no oil or any ingredient that goes rancid or spoils quickly. They do not contain moisture, as you dry them in the oven, but they stay moist due to the Jello. Pretty cool, right? These homemade survival bars will stay intact without crumbling, pack well, and are great for camping, hunting, hiking, and are also great to have on hand for emergency preparedness.
Step 1: Here’s How to Make Survival Bars:
Ingredients for Homemade Survival Bars:
2 cups oats (regular or the quick variety)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup sugar
1 3 oz package jello
3 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons honey
Step 2: Mix the Oats, Powdered Milk, and Sugar Together.
Nothing fancy required here. Just put the ingredients in a bowl and stir them. Make sure your bowl is big enough to hold 2 more cups of ingredients, as you will be adding Jello mix next.
Step 3: In a Medium Pan Saucepan, Mix the Jello Mix, Water and Honey. Boil.
Add one 3 ounce pack of Jello, the flavor is up to you. Add 3 Tablespoons of water and 3 Tablespoons of honey (Note: You are only going to use 3 tablespoons of water, not the amount called for in the jello recipe on the box. ) Stirring as you go, bring this mixture to a rolling boil. (A rolling boil is where the water keeps boiling when you stir it, it does not stop.)
Step 4: Add Jello Mixture to Your Dry Ingredients and Mix Well.
I recommend you use a mixer here, as it is much faster. If you are mixing by hand, use your hands to combine the ingredients. Using a spoon is too tedious.
Step 5: Check the Consistency and Add Water, If Needed
If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time. I usually end up adding 1-5 teaspoons of water at this point. Test the consistency of your dough by trying to press it together. Ultimately, your dough should be crumbly, but it should stick together when you press it. Add water until you get this desired result.
Step 6: Press Dough Into a Large Rectangular Pan (9×13 Is Ideal) Lined With Parchment Paper.
Line your pan with parchment paper. I lined mine with parchment paper and foil, to help hold the parchment in, but you can just use paper. Then pour the mix in your pan, and press it in firmly. I used my fist to press mine down. You can not press it down too much. If you want to, you can make the dough nice and flat with a little rolling pin, a dowel, or a glass soda bottle, which actually works great. As long as you press the dough in firmly, this is optional.
Step 7: Cut the Dough Into Bars.
Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into rows, making it into rectangles or even squares. It is important to cut all the way through here, or your bars are likely to crumble a bit when you try to get them apart. I recommend you over the lines with a butter knife to be sure. I used a pizza cutter, then that, and mine turned out great.
Step 8: Bake Them for 1 1/2 to 2 Hours in an Oven Set at 200 Degrees.
Unless your bars are still pretty moist, they should only take an hour and a half. You are not really going to mess them up if they stay in a little long, though. Your oven is not very hot, and you do want your bars to dry out. When they are finished, remove them from the oven. Let them sit 10 minutes, then pick them up from your pan, just by holding the edges of the parchment paper, and let them cool out of the pan.
Step 9: Pack Your Bars in an Airtight Container.
When your bars have cooled and are completely dry, pack them into a Ziploc bag, Plastic Tupperware type container, or wrap them in foil.
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