Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pumpkin Granola Bars

It's back and it's everywhere. Pinterest. Starbucks. From candles to bread to drinks to the pumpkin patch. Is it just me or is pumpkin super popular these days? Like pop culture popular. I feel like pumpkin has it's own style, and it's definitely a household name. For me, it's delicious and fragrant and taking up space in my freezer!!! So, in an effort to use up last year's stock and make room for some new stuff {my parent's pumpkins are always prolific so we end up freezing a TON!} I've been putting pumpkin in everything.

When I first made these pumpkin granola bars, I wasn't sure whether my hubby would be on board or not. He likes pumpkin but not pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice lattes or any of the other pumpkin goodness that I love. But I made them with him in mind, since now he's back at school and needing snacks to get him through the day. I also made them with Burke in mind, since he's at the age where he eats like a grazer. All day long. Little bits at a time. So I like to keep healthy snacks on hand for him as well.

Needless to say, these were a hit with everyone! They had a nice granola bar texture--soft and chewy, but not sticky or messy--and they were easy to eat on the run.

Healthy Pumpkin Granola Bars 
adapted from Oh Sweet Basil Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars 

4 cups quick oats
      1/2 cup coconut oil
     1/4 cup organic cane sugar or sucanat
     1/2 cup pumpkin puree
     1/2 cup honey
     1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
     1/2 teaspoon sea salt
     1/2 cup pepitas {pumpkin seeds}
     1/4 cup sunflower seeds
      1/4 cup flax seeds
        1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
      1 Tablespoon wheat germ 
      1 – 1 1/2 cups raisins

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and place parchment paper in a 9x13” baking dish
     In a large bowl, mix together the oats and coconut oil. Add the pumpkin, honey and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
      Press the mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven  and press down on the granola bars using a spatula or large spoon. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

* Don’t have pumpkin pie spice? Make your own! Simply combine 4 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 4 teaspoons of each ground nutmeg and ground ginger and 3 teaspoons of ground allspice. {This will give you plenty of pumpkin pie spice for all of your Fall recipes!}

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!!

What are some of your favorite Fall foods, flavors and/or fragrances?

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