I pulled this article down for a few weeks while I contemplated the benefits of commercializing this recipe. Several people have encouraged me to do it but, I have decided against it. Some things are more important than money. With times being as they are, I think the benefits of sharing this recipe freely, outweigh the benefits of profiting from it. The recipe below may help some of you with your preparedness efforts and that is worth it to me, so here you go...
I know that there are no less than 863,439 people throughout history that have come up with a similar idea, but, as the Marines say of their rifle, "There are many like it, but this one is mine!" I'm talking about Partisan Bars.
For the last several years, I've had a staple of some type on my mind. I didn't really know what it was but I wanted something that would last a long time without refrigeration, taste fairly decent and be somewhat healthy. Hardtack, from days gone by, was a similar concept. The original hardtack would literally last for many years without refrigeration but didn't taste all that great and it's heath benefits were questionable and it was just boring. I wanted something that was a little less primitive but not really a recreational snack either. I wanted a staple. Something that would get me by comfortably for quite awhile without any additional supplement except water or perhaps a good companion for my Survival Tabs. I didn't necessarily care if it lasted for years but a few weeks or maybe months would be nice.
A good friend of mine came up with something she called Freedom Biscuits and she shared the recipe with me. They were pretty darned good and I'll be saving the recipe but they were still not just exactly what I was looking for. I give her credit for getting me started on this journey!
Enter the Partisan Bars (we'll talk about the name later). I think I have come up with the perfect recipe for ME. Your mileage may vary. You may not like them at all but I do, and I am who I made them for.
The recipe below makes 24-4"x4" bars over 1/2" thick. That's 12 bars each in two, 12"x16" cookie sheets. The bars are fairly heavy and later on in this article I will compare the nutritional value between them and oatmeal cookies and granola bars.
- 6 tbsp of cultured buttermilk powder.
- 4 c. high altitude, whole wheat flour. (All-purpose flour works fine but I much prefer the nutritional value of wheat flour.)
- 4 c. instant oatmeal or old fashioned rolled oats.
- 1 c. crushed nuts of your choice. I use walnuts. The nuts are mainly for protein. I also add one, heaping scoop of protein powder for additional protein. If you're allergic to nuts or would rather not have them, add 2 additional scoops of protein powder.
- 6 tbsp peanut butter. (Shortening works fine but, again, I prefer the nutritional value of peanut butter).
(To change the flavor up a little, you can add some crushed, dried banana chips, cocoa powder, vanilla, or any other shelf-stable product that you find tasty).
Put ALL the dry products, including raisins, in large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Put your peanut butter (or shortening) in a small container and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. While it is softening, pour 6 cups of very hot water in the bowl and begin to mix. When your peanut butter is ready, add it into the mix (a rubber spatula is helpful for removing all the peanut butter from the container). Now mix everything thoroughly. I use hot water to keep the peanut butter or shortening soft while mixing.
I said 6 cups of hot water to start with but now you can add water and mix until the dough reaches the desired consistency. 6 cups will make a very thick dough that can be made into individual bars or cookies if desired. I make mine much thinner by continuing to add hot water until the mix is relatively self-leveling. Pour half of the mix into each pan and spread the dough evenly over the entire area of the pans. It will raise slightly and make your bars over ½" thick
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. 45 minutes makes them a little drier, which is fine.
Now you can put them in the cookie jar, freeze them, vacuum pack them or put a few in a box in the truck so you'll always have a nutritious snack. Each bar weighs about 5 ounces so a couple of them actually makes a light meal instead of a sugary snack. Great for hunting, traveling or eating on the run! Drop one in the toaster, slather with peanut butter, get you a class of cold milk and you'll know what they eat for breakfast in Heaven! Don't fret if they get hard. Just eat them!
Now, here's how you make them last...
Just dropping them in the cookie jar (after they cool) will only give you a week or so before they start molding because of the moisture still in them. Ziploc bags are no help. Fold-top sandwich bags are a little better but not much. Just wrapping them in a paper towel worked great because it allowed for complete air circulation and it helped them to dry and harden somewhat. Vacuum packing with your Seal-a-Meal works well but I don't know how well yet. I put several of the bars in all the containers listed above on 29 November and today is 3 January. The ones wrapped in paper towels and the ones that were vacuum packed still don't show any signs of molding so the test continues! Putting them in the fridge extends the life greatly and, of course, vacuum packing AND freezing them will make them last virtually indefinitely.
Now then, here's the deal. Our air fryer has a dehydrating mode. 2 hours at a 120 degrees and the perfect survival bar is born! It dries them completely but because they are kind of fluffy to begin with, they are not rock hard. They're probably a little too hard for people with bad teeth but a little milk or water will remedy that. Remember, the purpose of the Partisan Bar is to offer a nutritious, convenient, compact way to provide healthy sustenance over long periods of time, not a recreational, fattening snack.
Here's the nutritional breakdown by weight as best as I could figure. One Partisan Bar weighs 5 ounces. That's about the same as 6, medium sized, oatmeal cookies and 3.3 Nature Valley Granola bars.
1 Partisan bar 6 cookies 3.3 Granola bars
Sodium - 40mg 192mg 215mg
Protein - 7g 4g 10g
This is nearly the perfect snack and could easily be considered for a meal. Based on recommended daily allowance, established by the Institute of Medicine, the average person should consume 45 to 60% of their daily calories from carbohydrates and 10 to 35% from protein. This means that a 2000 calorie diet should provide 225-325 grams of carbohydrates and 50 to 175 grams of protein. That's a ratio of roughly 4.5 carbs to 1 gram of protein.
I'm not suggesting that one should try to live on these bars for an extended period of time, however, if you were to eat 3 Partisan bars, 3 times a day, you would consume approximately 1638 calories. 234 from carbohydrates and 63 from protein (again, you can alter your protein with powder). That's 3.7 to 1 and makes the Partisan Bar fairly diabetic friendly! This is assuming that you use walnuts, peanut butter and 1 scoop of protein powder.
This will vary slightly, depending on how much protein powder you use, what kind of powder you get, whether you buy the ingredients in bulk, etc.
At December 2022 prices, using crushed walnuts and 1 scoop of protein powder, the whole recipe for 24 bars, costs $6.96. That's a little less than 34 cents per bar.
Now, the name...
Most of you know that I'm heavily into preparedness. I work outdoors and travel a lot. I'm an outdoorsman and a patriot.
Since every conceivable combination of names for bars, cakes and cookies involving protein, power, preparedness, survival, etc. has pretty much been used up several times over, I decided that my bars should be named something that represents a mindset and a lifestyle.
In military terminology, a Partisan is a member of a party of light or irregular troops engaged in harassing an enemy, especially a member of a guerrilla band engaged in fighting or sabotage against an occupying army.
So, the Partisan (or Rebel, if you prefer) Bar was born.
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout1)
Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!