Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars


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pumpkinspicegarnolabars

Hello everyone! It's been months since I have posted. Life has been very busy, and I have been missing posting my recipes. I am back and have some Fall recipes to share with you! I don't know about you, but when the air gets cooler, and Fall seems to be creeping up, I get in the mood for anything pumpkin! Those crisp mornings where you want a hot cup of coffee and a delicious treat to go alongside it. Well I made a granola bar that is full of Fall flavors, and scents. Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars to be exact. First let's talk about pumpkin. Most people use pumpkins for pies, breads, soups, or for spooky carvings at Halloween. Did you know that pumpkin provides us with vitamins A, C and E, is rich in minerals, and has powerful antioxidants? It has a high fiber content, and can help with weight loss and lowering cholesterol too. Pumpkin seeds alone are a healthy, and nutritious snack, and add a nice nutty flavor to many dishes. Last year I bought a few pumpkins, baked them, and made my own pumpkin puree. Here is the recipe. This year, I am using canned pumpkin because the pumpkins aren't out yet! I can't wait.
This granola bar recipe is slightly chewy, full of fiber, not too sweet, but very filling. They make a great grab and go snack for the whole family, and you can feel good that you opted to make your own versus store bought granola bars loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Hope you enjoy them!

Ingredients

3 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree ( I used Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray such as Pam.
In a large bowl, toss together oats, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, blend your brown sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.
Pour your wet ingredients over the oats mixture, and mix well until the oats are completely moistened.
Next add your pumpkin seeds, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Press the mixture firmly into your 8x8 prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, and firm. Let your granola bars cool slightly before cutting into them, about 5-10 minutes. You may cut your bars into whatever size you prefer. You should get about 16 bars out of this recipe.

Some suggestions...You may replace raisins for cranberries, or any dried fruit you like. You may also add nuts for extra crunch and flavor. You can store your granola bars in an airtight container and keep frozen if you don't plan on eating them within a week or so.

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Breakfast Pumpkin Scones

Breakfast Pumpkin Scones


breakfastpumpkin scones

I woke up this morning thinking pumpkin! Not pancakes, not muffins, but scones! It’s been awhile since I’ve made scones and being home today I thought it would be nice to have a warm, flaky, buttery scone right out if the oven, YUM! Scones can be bought at coffee shops, bakeries, and markets but there’s nothing like a homemade pumpkin scone, or any scone for that matter. The recipe is super simple, and you can prepare them in a matter of minutes.  Scones also make a  great grab and go breakfast.  I love my scone with a dab of butter, or cream cheese. You may also use jams, marmalades, nut butters, nutella and anything else spreadable you can think of.

Ingredients

2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons fat free or regular half-and-half
1 egg beaten
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

In a medium sized bowl, add your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. Next add your cold butter. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate your butter until it appears crumbly. In another bowl mix your egg, pumpkin, and half and half. Add your wet ingredients to your flour mixture, and knead your dough onto a floured surface. Don’t roll it out too much, it should have a messy texture. Roll into a one inch thickness, and use your pizza cutter to cut triangle scones. Triangles are the typical shape of a scone, but you can make squares, circles etc. You can also make your pumpkin scones as big as you like. I made mini scones which gave me 16. Place your scones on a sprayed cookie sheet or silpat and bake at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, they should appear golden brown on top. Dust your scones with confectioner’s sugar, or homemade icing. Enjoy!

pumpkin scone

breakfastpumpkin scones

Baked Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

acornsquash

Tis the season for warm, acorn squash!

This recipe makes a great side dish on a cool Autumn night…I made this because I love all types of squash. Add a little brown sugar and butter and man this is oh so good! Your family will love it!

Here is what you will need:

1 acorn squash, mine was average size, good for 2 or 3

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

cinnamon, to taste

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil, for drizzling

Once again, you may use more butter, brown sugar, whatever you like…

Rinse your acorn squash well, and slice in half. Place cut side up on a foil lined baking pan. In a small bowl, mix your brown sugar, and cinnamon, set aside. For the butter make sure it’s room temperature, and spread on top of each acorn squash. Then sprinkle on your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Use as much as you like. Drizzle with olive oil, and salt and pepper to your liking. Cover with foil and bake at 350F until squash is soft, tender, and butter is bubbly. If your squash needs more or less time, check on it. Mine took about an hour.  You may then serve the acorn squash alone and eat it right in it’s skin, or scoop it out in a bowl, and serve on your table to enjoy with your family!

You may add more toppings like pecans, fresh herbs if you like, but I like mine nicely sweetened with sugar and cinnamon! So does my son ;o) Enjoy!