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  • Mary Kay

Valentine GORP-To-Go with Someone Special

This Valentine GORP will give you and your special someone extra energy when snowshoeing, skiing, winter hiking or just relaxing in front of the fireplace this winter. Good Old Raisins and Peanuts! It’s an energy boosting sweet and savory treat for you and your Valentine favorite. And, it's an easy to-go snack.

The sweetest thing about GORP is that you can mix and match your favorite savory treats with a couple sweets added. And, you won’t be spending hours around the stove or oven.

There’s no need to stick with just boring raisins and peanuts. Mix up your favorite flavors – dried blueberries, golden raisins, dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, pecans, M&Ms, red hots, Teddy Grahams, gummies, and whatever other flavors you enjoy.

For Valentine’s Day, mix the colors of the holiday – reds, pinks, whites, lavenders and, of course, chocolates. Then package the sweet savory treats into easy to carry sealable bags or twist cover containers. Or, make the presentation more romantic with a pretty ribbon wrapped box.

It’s definitely the easiest and fastest way to create a sweet and savory treat for after school, parties, hiking, camping or just for having around the house. It’s a treat that we’ve made in our house for take to football games, long bike rides, extended walks with the puppy dogs, and as a quick snack for sharing with that special person. Or, just because.

Start adding other flavors like chocolate covered coffee beans, M&Ms, malted milk balls, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, yogurt covered raisins, dried apricots, dried bananas, small caramels, granola bites, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or even gummy bears and Swedish Fish. There is no limit! Actually, the only limit is the size of your container.

There’s no need to use the oven or stovetop unless you plan to toast and cool the nuts before mixing your GORP.

Prepare your pan or bowl:

Use a medium sized bowl to mix your GORP.

Think about the flavors and colors for your GORP:

Remember that people eat their eyes, so colors could make your GORP more appealing. Use colors that are eye appealing. Tie in the colors of your special Valentine holiday.

Size matters:

- Compare the sizes of different treats you plan to include in your GORP. If some pieces are a lot larger than other treats in the mix, the smaller pieces will probably sink to the bottom of the bowl or pan you serve it in. So, try to use treats that are similar in sizes.

Think about Textures:

- You can make more interesting GORP when you offer a number of textures from soft sweets to firmer sweets to firm nuts to semi-soft dried fruits to crisp dried fruits.

Gather up your GORP Ingredients:

- Nuts – choose one or two, whether they are peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamias, etc. They could be salted, lightly salted or sans salt.

- Chocolate type sweets – choose one or more: M&Ms, chocolate chips, yogurt covered raisins, small chocolate covered caramels, etc. Make sure the colors match your holiday.

- Dried Fruits – choose one or two from dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried bananas, etc. I prefer dried fruit that have not had sugar added since the sweets added will contain plenty of sugar. Think about the flavors here – some can be sour, some overly sweet, some bland. The contrast of flavors in the mouth can be very pleasant.

- Soft sweets – choose one type that offers a number of flavors and colors such as gummy bears, Swedish Fish, gummy fruit, sugar covered gummy fruit, caramels, etc.

- Salty treats – choose a couple of these such as small pretzels, Fritos, oyster crackers, Teddy Bear Grahams, etc.

How to serve:

- For the Valentine Season, I like to package GORP in a special crystal container that I received as a gift. It’s just the right size for a few handfuls of the pretty red, pink and chocolate GORP.

- And, since we were engaged on Leap Year Day, I like to keep my special little crystal container around the entire month of February every Leap Year.

- Just need a supply at home for an afternoon snack? Keep it in a covered container in the pantry. Keep it out of sight so you're not constantly dipping into those extra calories.

Valentine GORP is fun to design and easy to make. And it’s easy to share.

However you make it this Valentine Season and whatever you include in your GORP, “Bake your own Memories!”

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