Loaded with wholesome ingredients and plenty of sweetness and spice, these soft and chewy No Bake Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars are the ULTIMATE fall treat!
It’s amazing how big of a difference a good night’s sleep can make to your well-being… or mine, as the case may be. I’ve been running low on the zzz’s for a little while now, and it finally caught up to me this past weekend when I broke down in a fitful “woe is me, everything sucks” sobfest on Sunday night before passing out at 8:45 PM. Cue collective “awwwwww.”
And the funny thing is that I didn’t even realize it or think to attribute any of my “symptoms” to a lack of sleep… Writer’s block, a [severe] lack of creativity, trouble focusing, a lack of enthusiasm for life in general — I thought I was just going through some sort of seasonal funk. But seeing as I woke up on Monday morning (after an unheard of 8.5 hours of sleep) feeling like my normal peppy self again, I’m going to blame sleep dep. for that one. Jerk.
But I’m back, baby! And I come bearing gifts [of the edible sort]…
I know I just posted a pumpkin granola bar recipe a little while ago, but these No Bake Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars are a completely different breed of delicious.
First, there’s no pumpkin in them — just a delicious dose of aromatic pumpkin spice (aka: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves). That’s not to say that I’m getting burnt out on pumpkin, but I would have needed to open a brand new can, and I wasn’t quite ready to make that kind of commitment. Instead, the stars of these bars (Dr. Seuss eat your heart out) are dates…
Dates that, when processed with almond butter, honey, and aforementioned pumpkin spice make a sticky, sweet and spicy base that you’ll have trouble actually getting in to bar form because you’ll just want to eat it straight from the processor by the spoonful, which I may or may not have done… repeatedly.
But put.the.spoon.down and pick up your spatula — trust me on this one — because adding in some oats and crispy rice cereal will reward you with a bar that’s irresistibly soft, chewy, sweet, and spicy, with a subtle crisp in every bite. And the best part is that you won’t have to wait long to dig in because these bars require no-baking and are whipped up in a flash. All they need is a little chilling time in the freezer, and you’re good to go.
As an added bonus, you can customize these bars to your heart’s content. They’re naturally gluten-free as long as you use certified GF oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill) and crispy rice cereal (I like One Degree); you can easily make them vegan by swapping out the honey for brown rice syrup; and they become nut-free by using a sunflower seed or soy nut butter (I like Wowbutter) in place of the almond butter. You can even toss in a handful of chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, or dried fruit if you wish. I almost went the chocolate route myself, but ultimately decided against it — I think they’re perfect just the way they are (read: it’s true love).
I’d love to know if you make this (or any!) recipe! Tag @runwithspoons on Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy and delicious recipes straight to your inbox!Print
No Bake Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 10 bars 1x
- 1 cup (~120g) dates, pitted and chopped*
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey**
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1 cup quick oats***
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Add dates to the bowl of a food processor and process until they are completely broken down and form a smooth paste*. Add almond butter, honey, and spices, and process for a few more seconds until everything is well combined.
- Transfer date mixture to a large bowl and stir in the oats. When oats are well incorporated, add the cereal, being careful to avoid crushing it.
- Transfer the mixture into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down firmly and evenly. Cover pan with a sheet of foil and place into the freezer to set, at least 15 minutes.
- When mixture has set, remove from pan using the foil overhang, and use a sharp knife to cut into individual bars. Bars are best when stored in the fridge.
* If your dates are not moist, soak them in warm water for ~10 minutes to soften them up. Be sure to drain and pat them dry prior to processing.
** Sub out the honey for brown rice syrup if you want these to be vegan. I wouldn’t use maple syrup of agave because it may not be thick enough to get these to stick together.
*** This recipe requires the use of quick oats or the bars may not stick together properly. If you don’t have quick oats, just pulse regular oats in your food processor until they break down slightly. Also, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats if you need these to be gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
Keywords: gluten-free, gluten-free granola bars, no bake, no-bake granola bars, pumpkin spice bars, pumpkin spice granola bars
Looking for more healthy granola bar? Try one of these!
No-Bake Vegan Oatmeal Fudge Bars
No-Bake Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars
Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars
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I don’t like dates. Would cranberries and goji berries work?
Pumpkin spices are my favorite 🙂 Do you think I can sub the dates with applesauce and stevia? Will that be sticky enough to hold the bar together? Just not a fan of dates, but I love everything else about the recipe!
OH my. These look perfect for a nice fall hike. I can only imagine how they taste! I’ll definitely me making these. Thanks for linking up with #FoodieFridays!
They look amazing! The mixture of spices make it perfect for fall 🙂 love it! 😀
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
I have been wanting to try making my own granola bars! I need to sit down and do it. Thanks for this yummy recipe…I am so glad you shared it with us at Foodie Fridays…I needed a little push! Pinning and sharing!
I hear ya on the sleep deprivation sucking the life out of you! For me it was Friday. An 8 AM wake-up, cup of tea, and a shower later…I felt back to normal. At these these granola bars look like they’d be nutritious enough to keep you going for those days you don’t get 8.5 hours of sleep;)
Thanks for linking at Foodie Fridays!
And now ALL I want for breakfast is about a hundred of these granola bars. You are the best at tasty snacks with minimal ingredients. And I love the flavoring on these 🙂 Pinned for sure!!
Shashi @ runninsrilankan
Oh heavans – these are no bake? Quicker prep time means quicker pan to tastebud time which means quicker emptying of said pan!!! There would be NO leftovers of these if I made them at my home! Awesome idea to use chocolate chips!
Sleep (like Aaron Eckhart) is so so under-rated! Glad you got your 8.5!
Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli
These look grrrrreat, but I only have the big dates! And I’ve never used them before, so not sure how I’d go about it. But I’m def willing to give them a try!
These look amazing! Definitely going to try them!
Ksenija @ With An Open Mind
You really are my queen of snackbars! Two days ago I made your chewy protein granola bars again and what can I say, they are nearly gone already. So I guess I just have to try the pumpkin spice bars next.
Happy that you could finally get some well earned rest. I am a zombie when I don’t get enough sleep, same goes for sleeping too much: it somehow messes up my whole day. Give me some good 7-8 hours though and I function perfectly.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Aww lady! It’s so great to see you around the blog world! Missed your face!!
Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy
Yum yum – i love no bake foods they feel so much simpler to make sometimes:) Yum!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
These are even prettier on here that on there.
Only a pretty epic picture can make me want something I don’t usually enjoy….Note- Dates.
Sleep + me need a big kanoodle. Stat.
Selena @ The Nutritious Kitchen
Ahhh I JUST bought a pack of dates and have been wondering what to make of them! This recipe is so easy and perfect! I might replace the almond buter with sunbutter though since I just picked up a jar from TJs…so excited to try these!!
and p.s. As a full time nutrition student I hardly get 8 hours of sleep…it’s more like 5 or 6 which I know is so terrible but my body has just adapted to it…i know, bad! Lol
MY GOD these are gorgeous. I want these with my morning coffeeeeeee. I have been sleeping more lately on my days off…I guess I need the ZZZZ’s too!
I’m the exact same way – when I’m sleep deprived I always have a major sobfest and I feel like my life is so miserable, I really don’t know why haha. Also I feel constantly hungry, not in a growling tummy kind of way but in a weird aching kind of way.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Ditto on the hunger! Almost like no matter how much and what you eat, you never really feel satisfied…