Monday, February 24, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars [Recipe]

A few years ago, I found a granola bar recipe in Food & Wine magazine and started making homemade granola bars. Making my own granola bars allows me to control the ingredients (organic and natural) and create unique combinations. The granola bar base stays the same each time, but the additions like dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, spices, etc. depends on my cravings that day.

Since my freezer is full of homemade pumpkin puree from last Fall, I decided to make some pumpkin goodies. Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars are a perfect combination of soft, chewy texture with a little bit of sweetness from the dried fruit and spice from pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin puree creates the soft, chewy texture without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.

Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars

Yield: 12 servings/bars
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes

Dairy Free, Vegetarian (sub maple syrup), Nut-Free (leave out nuts)

Granola Bar Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or other flour like coconut flour)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or any other nut) (optional)

Chocolate Topping:
1/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tbsp coconut oil

Note: Instead of the chocolate topping, you can add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into the batter.

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (rolled oats, whole wheat flour, ground flax seed, pumpkin pie spice, and salt). 
  3. Mix in the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, honey, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract).
  4. Stir in the dried cranberries/fruit and chopped walnuts. Mix until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into an 8x8 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
Chocolate Topping:
  1. Melt the coconut oil (I put in a small oven safe dish like a ramekin and place on glass top range over medium-low heat). Remove from heat. 
  2. Stir the chocolate into melted coconut oil until completely melted and combined.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over granola bars. Chill in fridge.
  4. Cut into 12 bars. 
  5. Store in refrigerator for 7-10 days.





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