Pumpkin in granola bars!

>> Thursday, November 18, 2010

I roasted a pumpkin for the first time ever last weekend.  It was easy, but time consuming, and frankly not much cheaper than buying canned pumpkin*.  Honestly, unless I find a stellar deal on pumpkins in the future, I'll probably stick to using canned pumpkin.

After roasting my pumpkin, I pureed the cooked pumpkin and used it to make pumpkin muffins and these yummy granola bars from Meal Makeover Moms.  I tweaked the recipe to suit my tastes, but it remains true to the original recipe.  One nice thing about this granola bar - the fat is fully replaced with pumpkin!  I am not opposed to fat in the granola bars I give to my kids (as long as it isn't partially hydrogenated), but I love the fact that they're getting an extra dose of super-nutritious pumpkin when they have one of these bars. 

These bars are good - full of pumpkin, but they don't have an over-the-top pumpkin taste, which means that even a non-pumpkin fan like myself will find these enjoyable.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
adapted from Meal Makeover Moms

3 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 TBSP flax meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree *
1/4 cup honey (a little less is fine too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a 7"x11" baking  pan (I used a Pyrex pan) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, flax meal, and salt together.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar through vanilla extract together until smooth.  Pour over oats mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Cut into bars with a sharp knife.

Makes about 15 small bars.

Want some more pumpkin recipes?  Meal Makeover Moms has lots of great tips and recipes for using pumpkin puree!

*Many thanks to Elana for reminding me that pure pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling sit on the grocery store shelf next to each other and look almost exactly alike!  When buying canned pureed pumpkin make sure that the ONLY ingredient is pumpkin!


Elana November 18, 2010 at 6:13 AM  

Canned pumpkin isn't actually made from pumpkin though.

From http://www.livestrong.com/article/293475-canned-pumpkin-ingredients/:

Cans labeled 100 percent pumpkin contain pure pumpkin and no other additives. Certain companies use specific varieties of pumpkin that they maintain offer the best taste, texture and color. Libby's, the company responsible for 87 percent of the canned pumpkin in the U.S. market uses Dickinson pumpkins. Zeratsky recommends using 100 percent pumpkin to keep calories under control.

cathy November 18, 2010 at 6:24 AM  

Elana - I'm going to add a disclaimer to make sure people buy only pumpkin, not canned pumpkin pie filling. They do look pretty much exactly the same on the shelf. I've talked about that before with my pumpkin muffins, but honestly, it's rote for me to flip the can over to make sure I'm only buying pumpkin - not pumpkin packed with sugar and other stuff - so it didn't even cross my mind to mention it this go around! Thanks for the reminder.

Amy November 18, 2010 at 6:32 AM  

Yes, good reminder. GREAT recipe! Love the Meal Makeover Mom's! and while I've roasted a pumpkin, I've never pureed one yet. But with the effort alone, I'm with you. If it's 100% pure pumpkin, it's worth it to me to buy it.

Jill November 18, 2010 at 6:42 AM  

Thank you for this one. I'm going to make it.

Lori November 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

These bars sound great! I'm a roaster who can never go back. :) I fell in love after roasting my first pumpkin and now I just roast, puree and freeze for later use. I just don't prefer the canned anymore. Either way, these bars are my kind of breakfast or snack!

Kate November 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

Many people make their own pumpkin puree not because it's cheaper, but to avoid purchasing Nestle (Libby's) products.


Of course, not every person has time for every cause, but seeing as how this is a food blog, Nestle's business practices regarding food for people of all ages, and especially infants, are relevant. Even more relevant since Nestle's infant formulas have HFCS in them!

Sagan December 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM  

Mmmm! These granola bars look fantastic. I still have pumpkin in my freezer from when I roasted it a couple years ago... I wonder how long it lasts... hmm.

http://www.onbux.com/?r=flexiblegoat56 December 17, 2010 at 1:35 PM  

the tea looks delicious bud, keep up the good work.

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom December 19, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

Thanks for posting the granola bar recipe and for giving us (The Meal Makeover Moms) a shout out. Lately, I've been making our Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and my boys love eating them for breakfast.

Heather February 20, 2011 at 7:33 PM  

What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing. I love pumpkin and I think my family will love this.

I am having a link party featuring healthy snacks. I would love it if you would link up.


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