This is the time of year that most everyone enjoys pumpkin flavored items. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin lattes seem to be everywhere. So recently, Zach and I decided to make a homemade snack with a bit of pumpkin that is sweet enough to satisfy my cravings instead of diving face first into the plethora of cookies and sweet treats that adorn the holidays. We adapted our recipe from Running With Spoons soft and chewy pumpkin granola bars. You can find her original recipe here! These are amazingly delicious. I love homemade items much better than store bought because it allows me to control the ingredients that I’m using.
Here is the version we came up with using items already available in our pantry:
2 cups organic rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp powdered ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup pureéd pumpkin pulp
¼ cup peanut butter (we used maple peanut butter from Peanut Butter Co.)
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup raw cacao nibs
⅓ cup sunflower seeds
(For pumpkin pureé)Preheat oven to 400F if using a fresh sugar pumpkin like we did. Cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and fibrous innards. You can set aside or toss if you’d like; we toast our seeds with savory spices to make a nice savory crunchy snack. Bake your pumpkin for approximately 30 mins or until you can pierce the skin of the pumpkin easily with a fork. Let it cool enough to handle before scooping out the pulp into a food processor. Puree until smooth and set aside.
Reduce heat in oven to 350F and prepare an 8x8 glass baking dish. Running with Spoons recommends lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil and leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. This will allow you to easily flip the granola over onto a cutting board once cooked before cutting into individual bars.
In one mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients, except the sugar: oats, flax, spices, salt, raw cacao nibs, and sunflower seeds.
In another bowl, combine your wet ingredients: pumpkin, peanut butter, honey, vanilla and the sugar. (We like to put a thin coating of coconut oil in our measuring cups before measuring out the peanut butter and honey. It allows the sticky ingredients to slide out easier.) Mix until fully combined. Pour wet mix into dry mix and stir until fully incorporated. **If you don't like a lot of texture in your granola bars, pour your mixture into a food processor and pulse lightly until you achieve the desired texture.**
Pour into prepared baking pan. Using a rubber spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until top sets and edges begin to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes before cutting into 10 bars or 20 squares.
We store our bars in the refrigerator to ensure they stay fresh. We devoured all of ours within a week :)