These Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars are packed with all things Fall! Creamy pumpkin puree, warm spices, dried apples, cranberries, toasted oats, and the obvious.. dark chocolate!
Okay. Soooo I ate a ridiculous amount of these bars in bed last night while binge watching Bravo TV.
(FACT: They are made from whole food ingredients so that means the calories don't count?.)
I don't actually recommend eating these in bed or late at night, as they are a little crumbly and highly addicting. But, let's face it, if it has to do with Pumpkin+ Fall, I'm going to eat it.
I have a love/hate relationship with Fall. It is without a doubt my favorite of the seasons! There is something about the crisp air that just rejuvenates me (ok, maybe this is a side effect of back to school, not air)! Where does the hate come in? Weeeelllllll as I mentioned above... I have a serious weakness for Fall baking, and the worst part.... After Fall, comes Winter ?❄️?.
(FACT: I was meant to live in Florida.)
Since there is nothing that I can do about the order of the seasons (or my inability to control myself around Fall baking), I choose to embrace the Fall season.
SPOILER ALERT: If you love Fall baking + Pumpkin, my posts over the next few months are for you!
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
PREP: I currently have 3 canisters of mixed dry ingredients for these bars ready to go! I did this when I was making the first batch. Just mix the oats, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, cranberries, dried apples, walnuts, almonds and chocolate chips! When you are ready for more bars you just have to add in the wet ingredients!
MAKE AHEAD: These bars are made for make ahead! I usually double the recipe. They go FAST in our house! To store them.. place in sandwich bags or wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge. If you want to be really fancy you can wrap them in parchment paper and secure with Washi tape... it's adorable, but honestly, probably not worth the time unless you are giving as a gift!
FREEZER: Yes! Wrap bars in clear plastic wrap and place in an airtight labeled Ziplock bag. Fall goodness for months! Perfect to pull out in the dead of Winter when "crisp Fall air" is just a distant memory!Print
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried apples
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 small banana (ripe)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper so granola bars don't stick.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, cranberries, apples, walnuts, almonds, and chocolate chips. Mix.
- in a second mixing bowl combine pumpkin, banana (mashed with a fork until pasty), coconut sugar, honey, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture. Mix until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared baking dish. Press the mixture firmly into the pan (this will ensure that the bars stick together). You may want to wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Place pan in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the granola bars are golden brown, Allow the bars to cool for 10 minutes. Place a cookie sheet on the top of the baking pan. Flip. The granola bars should easily fall from pan. Allow to cool for 10 more minutes. Slice into bars.
- Want your bars to look perfect! Use a cookie cutter. I found a great square option at Hobby Lobby for $2.99. Circles also work well and give a "different look." Don't try to get too fancy... the nuts in the bars make it difficult to cut with precision.
- Dark chocolate chips can be hard to find (you should always use 60% cacao or higher). If you can't find them, just buy a dark chocolate bar and crush it up with a meat mallet or hammer (make sure to put it in a plastic bag first so that you don't make a mess).
- Use raw local honey when possible.
- Make sure that the only ingredient in your pumpkin puree is pumpkin. Don't buy pumpkin pie filling... it's not what you are looking for!
- The riper the banana is the sweeter you bars will be. Most grocery stores have a "sale area" where you can buy brown bananas for pennies!
- Apples are on the EWG's dirty dozen list. This means that buying organic is worth the splurge. Look for a brand that is organic and unsweetened. Apples should be the only ingredient listed.
- To make these vegan just sub out dark chocolate for a vegan friendly option, or leave out the chocolate completely!
If you give this meal plan a try, let me know! Leave a comment and rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #simplysissom on Instagram so I can see! Your photos make my day!