Fall is finally here! I always thought Spring was my favorite season but I was wrong…. Who doesn’t love the changing of the leaves, cozy weather, boots and PUMPKIN?!
Yes I know it’s only the second week of September I’ve already stocked up on as many candles, soaps and wall plug-ins as I can. Lol
The pumpkin temptation is serious, especially in dessert form. And even though I’m not a big sweets person, I wouldn’t mind diving into a whole loaf of pumpkin bread or scarfing down a giant slice of pumpkin cheesecake (not to mention all of the pumpkin spice lattes at every coffee shop AHH!). But let’s be real, all that would give me is a tummy ache and a load of necessary sugar 🙁
So instead, I have been buying organic pumpkin puree and incorporating it as much as I can – like in overnight oats, my 4-ingredient protein pancakes and even my protein shakes! Yesterday I was browsing the web for anything “healthy pumpkin” and found there are about a hundred different recipes but the ones that caught my eye were the pumpkin granola bars! I usually stay away from buying granola bars and protein bars because 1) I don’t like the taste and 2) they are mostly filled with junk, so homemade is definitely the way to go for me!
I got my inspiration from one of my favorite healthy food bloggers and just tweaked the recipe to make it my own. Here’s what I did:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tbsp organic chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup almond butter (I used Justin’s Honey Almond Butter)
- 1/4 cup organic honey**
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used 4 sections of Alter Eco Blackout dark chocolate bar and smashed it up into tiny pieces)
- 1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
**I eyeballed a little bit of extra honey since I didn’t use any added sugar in this recipe
You can also substitute or add any other goodies like nuts, dried fruit, etc. 🙂
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients [rolled oats, chia seeds, spices and salt] until well mixed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients [pumpkin puree, almond butter, honey, and vanilla extract] until smooth. Then pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients until mixed together completely. Now just add your chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and any other additions you might have!
Pour mixture into baking pan so that everything is distributed evenly and firmly packed. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before cutting into squares. Now it’s finally time to enjoy your pumpkiny treats!
Happy pumpkin season everyone!