Well it’s officially pumpkin season in my house, even though the first day of autumn is next Monday! It is my favorite season! Maybe because it follows our long hot Arizona summers. Wish we had a real fall season here in AZ with colorful leaves and chilly weather. But if it is at least cool enough to go outside, it’s all good with me! I suppose we can always take a 2.5 hr trip up to Flagstaff for some fall weather in a month 🙂
Since I had leftover pureed pumpkin from my last post on Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites, I needed to make something with it. I’ve made these Pumpkin Pie Granola bars plenty of times last year and we just loved them! They are sooo good for breakfast in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. Well, I’m sure they’d be good any other way and time of the day, but I’m just sayin’ that’s the best combo right there!
They are so simple to make and consist of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. They are sweet enough to have as dessert too. You could add or take away dark chocolate chips, extra nuts, dried fruit, etc. Of course I added dark chocolate 🙂 Another added benefit, your house will smell amazing like cozy fall spices when these are baking in the oven!
In addition to all of the belly filling fiber in this recipe (seeds, oats, cranberries) the pumpkin puree gives a good dose of Vitamin A and is low in calories. Make sure you are using 100% pure pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix that is filled with sugar and spices. The pumpkin and applesauce in this recipe also replace butter/oil that’s typically used in granola bar recipes. And little honey and brown sugar sweeten it up just perfectly!
Your family and even little ones will love these. Enjoy!
- 3 c. old fashioned oats
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. pure pumpkin puree
- 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (sweetened works too)
- 1/2 c. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (or any kind of chips or chopped nuts)
- 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds (aka: pepitas)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking oil.
- Mix together the oats, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. Add in the cranberries, chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
- Pour into the baking pan and spread evenly pressing with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Make sure they are not under cooked so they hold together well.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. I know its tempting, but let them cool completely before cutting so they don't fall apart!
- You can get creative with this if you'd like and substitute the mix-in ingredients for other nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips.