{ Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars }

I love the idea of making a huge batch of healthy, homemade granola bars 
during the weekend - and then being completely set on quick, 
grab & go snacks for the coming week.

Considering that I just began class this past Thursday, I figured I should finally 
try my hand at making homemade granola bars - for all the long school days to come. 
(And I know, it's crazy to think that I just now started my classes. UCLA functions 
on a quarter system, rather than by semesters, which makes for 
odd - and slightly obnoxious - scheduling...)

Anyway, I made sure that these granola bars were fit for the season, 
with the addition of - you guessed it - pumpkin. Can't get enough of that stuff. 
They taste sort of like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, with a hint of Fall spice, 
& they're really simple to make. 

Here's how:

Toast the oats, coconut, almonds & pumpkin seeds at 350 for 10-15 mins
until golden brown.

Once toasted, place them into a large bowl and allow them to cool. 
Add in oat flour (this holds everything together), chopped dates, coconut sugarcinnamon
and nutmeg. Mix until evenly distributed throughout the toasted oat/coconut/nut mixture.

Once these dry ingredients are mixed, pour on the wet ingredients - pumpkin puree
applesauce, vanilla extract, melted almond butter, and melted coconut oil.
Stir until everything is moistened.

Lastly, fold in the mini chocolate chips. (If your toasted oats are 
still warm, the chocolate chips will melt - so make sure they've cooled!)

Pour the granola mixture onto a parchment lined baking 
sheet, form into a large rectangle with your desired thickness. 
Sprinkle on & press in some additional chocolate chips if you'd like.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until set. Let it cool, cut into bars & enjoy!


{You could also use a 9 by 9, or 8 by 8 inch pan to make these thicker. 
They may need to bake for a bit longer, though. I used the baking sheet because 
it was all I had. It worked fine, they were just a bit thinner - still chewy, though!}


Toast these in the oven...

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cup rolled oats

Dry ingredients...

1/3 cup of oat flour (rolled oats, blended until fine)
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar...or even honey!)
10 dates, finely chopped
A sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients...
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp. almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 tbsp. coconut oil

Fold in...
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
(plus extra for sprinkling on top of bars before baking)

(The dates don't taste like much, they just add sweetness and chew. 
But you can leave them out, or replace them with raisins if you'd prefer!)

{Recipe adapted via Whole Foods: Chewy Coconut Granola Bars}


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