Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars

With the first day of Fall just around the corner, I'm so ready to break out the pumpkin and spices! I was in the grocery store a few days ago and noticed that Kashi has pumpkin granola bars. I like Kashi products and considered buying the bars but at over $4.00 for 6 bars, I put the box back on the shelf. Making granola is fun and super easy so I decided I'd try to make my own pumpkin granola. When I got home I decided to adapt the recipe from the Silver Palate for Outrageous Granola that I've made countless times but I wasn't sure what I wanted to use to bind the granola so that I could cut it into bars. I Googled pumpkin granola bars and sure enough some of my fellow bloggers had already beaten me to the pumpkin granola idea. Several linked back to this recipe from Two Peas and their Pod. I sort of used a combination of the two recipes and threw in some toasted wheat germ to up the healthfulness of the bars. I used things I already had in my pantry to make these bars but they are easily adapted so feel free to use any combination nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit that want. 

Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce cup
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix oats, spices, salt, and wheat germ (if using), together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.
Evenly press oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin and applesauce add a lot of moisture to the bars so bake them until they are golden and set or they will be too soft. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and cool completely. 
The pumpkin keeps the bars very moist for several days if kept sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Recipe adapted: Two Peas and their Pod and Silver Palate Outrageous Granola 
Pumpkin and spice!


bellini said...

Healthy and delicious are a deadly combination. I am slowly moving over to comfort foods and pumpkin does it for me.

Stephanie said...

I always have a hard time coming up with healthy snacks. These look perfect!

grace said...

i've never seen pumpkin incorporated into a granola bar before--excellent idea!

Barbara said...

My first visit...love these granola bars! As far as I'm concerned, it's time for pumpkin everything!
It was fun to go back over your other posts as well.

bethy said...

Fantastic. I had to sub some ingredients but I think I made a winner! Didn't have apple sauce, so used 3/4 cup pumpkin instead of the 1/2 cup, then added about 1/4 cup vegetable oil. No chocolate chips so I used about 1/4 (maybe less?) of cocoa powder. No maple syrup, so used some extra brown and white sugar.

They were soft but when I cook this again, I will spread them out a little thinner and bake them longer to get a crispy texture.

You can also crumble the uncooked granola on the pan and make Chocolate Pumpkin Almond Granola. So good! Thanks for the recipe inspiration.

bethy said...
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