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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Fruit Topped Banana Oat Pancakes

fruitoppedpancakes

Sunday morning breakfast, and we weren’t in the mood for typical eggs! I whipped up these yummy fruit topped banana oat pancakes, and needless to say they went fast! They are quite healthy, and very flavorful. I love pancakes, so does my family, but we do try to watch what we eat, and are trying to set a good example for my son. I didn’t use any flour in this recipe, I switched it up for oats, and a little corn meal. The banana flavored them up, and added an extra sweetness naturally. The fruit topping was delicious all by itself, but combined with these pancakes, well even better! One thing I love about the fruit topping, is that the peaches picked up the color of the berries as you can see in the picture. So pretty! Also, I did drizzle a little maple syrup on top! I am human, and love maple syrup. By the way, you can eat these for dessert, they are that good!

Ingredients

1 egg
1 cup oats
1/4 cup corn meal
1 banana
1/4 to 1/2 cup low fat milk
olive oil for frying
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Fruit Topping

2 cups fresh or frozen mixed fruit
Splash of orange juice
(I had, peaches, strawberries, and blackberries)

Add to a pan, with 1 teaspoon sugar, and a splash of orange juice. Cook on medium low until fruit is soft. Set aside, but keep warm until ready to use.

Directions for Pancakes

In you food processor, or blender add your oats, corn meal, egg, banana, milk, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Blend until it has a creamy consistency. Heat up a non stick pan, and add your olive oil. You may use whatever oil you like. Next drop tablespoon amounts of batter into pan. Cook until bubbly, then flip. This only takes a couple of minutes. When finished cooking oat cakes, plate them, and drizzle with warm fruit topping and maple syrup! You may also top them with whipped cream for extra decadence! Enjoy ;o) Makes approximately 18 silver dollar pancakes.

Tip: I made my pancakes into silver dollars, but you can make them as big as you like.

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Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

oatmealcookies

Oatmeal cookies are so good! I love oatmeal for breakfast, but much more in chewy cookie form! Oatmeal is very healthy, and keeps you full. It’s definitely a part of my breakfast when I want a break from egg whites. Today was national oatmeal cookie day, who knew! so I figured I’d go along with it, and make a chewy oatmeal cookie that isn’t too sweet, but not bland either. These were just perfect, and my family really gobbled them up too! I figured they would. I enjoyed a couple myself, after all I made them! Check out the recipe below, you’ll love it.

oatmealcookies1

Ingredients

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Eggs, beaten
3/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy with a hand mixer. Add in vanilla next. Follow with your eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda, set aside. Add it into the creamed mixture in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined. Mix in the oats until just combined. Use your preferred size cookie scoop (or a regular spoon) to drop portions of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. If you’d like a crispier cookie, just cook a little longer! Let them cool slight on the pan after removing from the oven, then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving. This batch makes approximately 30 cookies using a tablespoon. Enjoy!

oatmealcookies3

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