Why bother buying expensive boxes of granola bars full of questionable ingredients? Well once you try these easy and fun to make GRAINola bars, you won’t bother anymore!
As previously warned, my pumpkin frenzy continues…! Did you know that you can even put pumpkin in granola bars?! This certainly had never crossed my mind, but what an excellent idea! The pumpkin adds moisture to the bar, so as a result, there is less fat needed (only 1/4 cup oil!).
These bars are so easy to make and they make the perfect grab-and-go snacks! Store these bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge, and they’ll keep for about 1 week. Or, they also keep well in the freezer when individually wrapped.
Source: slightly modified from Looneyspoons By: Janet & Greta Podleski
- 2-1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds, pecans, or pistachios
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh, or canned, but not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup liquid honey
- 1/4 cup canola or other light tasting oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang on two opposite sides (so you can use it as a sling to pick up the granola bars after baking).
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, honey, oil and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Mix using a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are coated with pumpkin mixture.
- Pour the wet granola mixture onto the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the edges. Using your hands, press down firmly on the granola so that it’s tightly packed in the pan.
- Bake on middle rack for about 25 minutes, until top turns light golden brown and is dry to the touch. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Lift cooled slab of granola from pan by holding on to parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Store in an airtight container, either at room temperature or the fridge. They also freeze well when individually wrapped.
Variation: For delicious banana-nut granola bars, replace pumpkin with mashed rips bananas and replace the cranberries with chopped walnuts. The pumpkin can also be replaced with applesauce or any pureed fruit.
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