Hi guys! Sorry about taking last week off of blogging. I was in Boston on a little vacation with some of my friends from college. We had an unbelievable time baking cookies (new recipe coming soon), exploring the North End, running around Southie, and laughing until we couldn’t anymore. Life is good! I’ll have a recap soon of all of my Boston outings plus some favorite things of mine, too! But of course, Monday came and vacation ended. And now it’s October; I can’t believe it! I’ve been busy running outside trying to soak it all up before Minnesota weather comes swinging in with negative temperatures. Obviously since it’s been so lovely, I’ve been slacking in the baking department. Sorry about that! I’m back now… with tasty little bars. You’re excited, right?
You should be! I’m a HUGE fan of all things pumpkin. In fact if I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would be a simple slice of warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream. That’s my heaven. Seriously pumpkin is the JAM to my peanut butter. What I really mean is that it completes me.
These bars are just as wonderful as pie in their own way. They make mornings a little brighter. Somehow they feel romantic and will definitely have your house smelling like fall.
Oh and did I mention that they’re healthy? Yes, you can totally eat them for breakfast or as a snack — there’s only 128 calories per bar and healthy ingredients, too!
How can that be? Well I made these bars based on my vegan and gluten free banana bread. It’s one of my favorite recipes on my site and I knew that I could make some tweaks to convert it into an amazing healthy bar. Usually you can sub pumpkin for bananas in recipes with ease; just make sure you account for any sweetness that may be removed.
To ensure this recipe was gluten free, I used gluten-free oats to make oat flour (listed in the instructions). Making oat flour one of the easiest things to do, and especially wonderful if you are gluten free! Oats hold a ton of moisture and provide healthy carbs — so eat up!
Secondly, I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips to keep the recipe vegan-friendly. However if you aren’t vegan, regular mini chips will work just fine!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I’ve been working hard to create better for you treats and snacks! So of course… more coming soon!
- 3 cups gluten free oats
- 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8x11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
- Measure out just 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Timing will depend on what size pan you use, but definitely check around 15 minutes. Once finished baking, cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut into 16 slices.
Make sure you read all ingredients and nutrition info to ensure recipe is gluten free/vegan, if that is what you desire.
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