These Hearty Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars are a great snack! They’re portable, healthy and delicious!
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It’s that time of year when the routine of school has set in and the novelty of making lunches and snacks has worn off (or was it ever there?). Luckily it’s also the time of year when I feel most inspired to bake and cook, so this means delicious goodies are never too far away. There’s something about the cool air that makes me want to nest, so I bake and cook and try to fill my freezer. I figure I may as well do it when I’m feeling inspired, because I sure appreciate it later when I go the freezer and find home made baking.
One area that I’m always trying to keep up with is snacks. The kids are always hungry! Why do they always need to eat?! To keep up with their growing appetites I try to have healthy and easy snacks available to them. But sometimes I find snack time hard…I’m always trying to find new ways to serve up snacks to my kids, both for lunch boxes and after school, and ones that don’t always include cheese & crackers and the usual stand bys.
Since the one snack we do love around here are granola bars, I decided to bake up a batch. The kids love them because they’re tasty, and I love them because they are good for them…especially home made bars where you can sneak in healthy ingredients! So I dug out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars from last year, and decided to make a different variation. Granola bars are great like that…you can easily switch things up.
This version is packed with nutrition…these bars have pure pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, dried dates, coconut, raisins, oats, molasses and honey. I also added some white chocolate chips for a little extra sweetness…and let’s be honest, they’re in there to entice the kids to eat them!
One thing I love most about making granola bars is that they’re easy to whip up. It’s basically as easy as tossing together the ingredients, baking for 25 minutes then cutting them into bars. And in no time you have a healthy treat loaded with real ingredients!
You can tailor these granola bars to your tastebuds too! Feel free to add or change up the ingredients – you can substitute in dried cranberries or apples, add chocolate chips, nuts or sunflower seeds – the possibilities are endless.
Hearty Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars
- 21/2 cups quick oats
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- pinch nutmeg
- cloves pinch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup shredded coconut sweet or unsweetened is fine
- 1/3 cup chopped dates
- 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup chopped raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 1/4 cup fancy molasses
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper.
In a bowl combine the oats, oat flour, spices, coconut, chopped dates, apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds and white chocolate chips.
In a separate mixing bowl, using a mixer, combine the pumpkin puree, honey, molasses, butter and vanilla.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the oat mixture and combine. I just used my mixer to do this part for me.
Once the granola mixture is thoroughly combined, press it into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is light brown and dry to the touch.
Then remove from the oven and lift the granola slab out onto a cutting board.
Cut the granola into bars, being careful not to saw the bars - press down to cut so that you don't tear apart the bars.
Let cool completely.
These granola bars also freeze really well, so eat half now, and save half for later! It’s always nice to have a batch of baking in the freezer to fall back on…especially on those days when there isn’t much around.
I hope you try these and love them!
For more snack ideas check out these posts!
Have a delicious day!