Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars (Gluten Free!)
Recently both of the grocery stores I frequent were all out canned pumpkin, for over two weeks! It was a problem. I could see September drawing near and was itching to start testing a new recipe for Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars, but I was missing the critical ingredient. Fortunately, pumpkin is now back on the shelves and all is right in my world, just in time for September!
Because of course, now that it’s September, it’s officially time for all things pumpkin. And we might as well just pretend that it’s already fall. Everyone else is doing it. Fall decor, and flavors, are everywhere! So why not add a little fall flavor to your next snack time?
I love making homemade granola bars as a quick, sweet snack. Making my own allows me to know exactly what is in the food I’m eating, and I can easily make them gluten free by using gluten free oats. So much cheaper than buying bars labeled “gluten free” in the store! And of course, with fall in view, I had to make my latest batch of granola bars fall themed. I gave a bar to Gary to test taste, and his feedback was “It tastes like fall.” These bars didn’t last long in our house.
This recipe also has endless possibilities. Customize it to suit your tastes! Some ideas to try:
- Throw a handful of dried cranberries in.
- Swap the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, or throw in chopped walnuts or pecans instead.
- Want to make them vegan? Sub coconut oil or vegan butter for the unsalted butter.
- 2½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup sliced almonds (or sub chopped walnuts or pecans)
- ½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (or sub sunflower seeds)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 3 TBS unsalted butter
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine oats, almonds and seeds and spread on a baking sheet.
- Roast for ten minutes at 350°F, then place in large bowl. (Optional- Skip this step if pressed for time)
- Reduce heat to 300°F.
- Line a 8x12 dish with parchment paper.
- Combine vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, honey, brown sugar and butter in a medium sauce pan.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often.
- Once boiling, stir constantly for one to two minutes, until mixture starts to thicken.
- Pour over oat and nut mixture, stirring until well combined.
- Stir in pumpkin puree.
- Spread in 8x12 dish and press into a smooth, even layer.
- Bake at 300°F for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!