Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ultra Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars

I think it was last week (or the week before) where I told you guys that I managed to score the second to last giant can of pumpkin puree. Well, because of it’s enormous stature, I’m having difficulty using it all up. I have managed to get a little dent in how much left-over pumpkin is sitting in the fridge, but it seems like it’s just starring at me, taunting me every time I open the door. So I’ve been searching all over for pumpkin recipes to use it all up. I think I’ve got like three different pumpkin bread recipes, two kinds of cookies and some yeast bread made with pumpkin, but who knows if I’ll have time to make them all. Either way, it’s still fun to see all the things you can do with pumpkin. For instance, these very chewy granola bars.

The other day I was looking on the internet for more pumpkin recipes when the thought passed through my mind: “Can you make pumpkin granola bars?”. The answer is yes. I had to do a lot of searching though. All of the recipes I initially found were just repeats of this one recipe that didn’t strike my fancy. Then, I came across this recipe on Clean Eating Chelsey.

This is a quick and easy granola bar recipe. Putting together all of the ingredients takes no less than 10 minutes, and then all you have to do is wait for it to bake, simple as that. However, I did have a little trouble with the baking process. After the mixture was in the oven, I was worried that it wasn’t cooking. After the timer had gone off, they were still really soft, so I stuck them back in the oven for another couple of minutes and they were still really soft. I threw caution to the wind and took them out anyways, hoping for the best. I can never tell with some things if they are cooked all the way through or not. Some foods are just tricky like that.

After taking a bite of one of the granola bars, I came to the conclusion that they aren’t really granola bars but a version of those oatmeal to go squares by Quaker. They are dense and very chewy. If you’ve ever had those Quaker oatmeal to go bars, and like the texture, then you are surly going to like this.
The pumpkin flavor is very subtle, or at least I thought so. I’m not so sure about my taste buds at the moment since I’m getting a cold, but I thought the amount of pumpkin was quite nice. I could definitely taste the pumpkin pie spice, and that made the bars taste nice and warm. Speaking of warm, these bars probably taste best (in my opinion) when they are slightly warm. I think a couple of these warmed up on a plate sitting next to a glass of cold milk would make a really nice breakfast, or snack, whichever you prefer.

Ultra Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars
 slightly adapted from Clean Eating Chelsey

2 cups old fashioned dry oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup agave syrup
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (for slightly crunchier granola bar, go up to 325 degrees F). Grease a 9 by 9 inch square baking tray, set aside. 
  2. Place ½ cup of oats into a food processor and process until the oats have formed into a flour-like powder. Line a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, remaining 1 ½ cups of oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Toss the ingredients until well incorporated.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, agave syrup, maple syrup and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold until the mixture becomes a little sticky and is well incorporated.
  4. Turn the mixture out into the greased pan and using either your hands or a spatula, press the mixture down until the bottom is completely covered. This could take a little bit of effort, but don’t be discouraged, it will spread out eventually. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting into desired portions. 


  1. I had the same tale two years ago about pumpkin puree! I couldn't believe my luck when I snagged the last two jars of pumpkin puree, but then it was so difficult to use all of it!! And so I baked with nothing but pumpkin puree for weeks :) Wished I had tried this pumpkin granola. Healthy and delicious!


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