We love granola.
This is obviously evident by the variety of granola and granola bar recipes on this here blog. Since we love granola so much (and homemade granola is so easy to make) I usually make a big batch every week or two.
Eric absolutely loves my granola, but lately he has stated he wished I would make more granola bars, so that he can grab one as a quick and convenient breakfast/snack as he heads out the door (and that guy is always on the go!).
With the school year in full swing and this being the busy time of year, I think we could all use some quick convenience foods. But not that junk you get at the corner store. No, I want good wholesome snacks that are fulling and yet convenient.
These Pumpkin Granola Bars are a spin on my Pumpkin Spice Granola, Eric’s favorite homemade granola to date. Full of fall flavors, like dried cranberries, pecans, warm fall spices and of course pumpkin; that granola was a hit and now these granola bars have become a favorite too.
And oh yeah, they are actually really healthy. Using all natural sweeteners and adding extra good for you things like flax seeds and wheat germ, this is a convenience food I can feel good about eating (and stuffing in my face)!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup wheat germ
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9-inch pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flax seeds, wheat germ, cranberries, pecans, and pepitas. Stir until mixed.
Melt coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir in pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and honey. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt.
Once pumpkin mixture is done cooking, pour over the oat mixture. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Spread granola mixture into one even layer in prepared pan.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes for chewy granola bars or for 40-50 minutes for crunchy granola bars, or until granola bars are golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store bars in an air-tight container.