These pumpkin granola bars are the ultimate snack for fall! Soft, chewy, and bursting with the delicious combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and warming spices!
If there’s one set of problems I’m not good at dealing with, it’s the kind that relate to technology. Throw accidents, natural disasters, relationship drama, or even calculus at me, and I can [usually] maintain a pretty level head, but give me website problems and I’m an absolute mess… which is what I was for a good part of yesterday.
Spoons experienced a considerable influx of traffic starting Wednesday night, which exacerbated some underlying issues that I wasn’t aware of beforehand and compromised the stability of the site. Ugh, sorry — I’ve had my head in the ‘techie-talk’ clouds for a little too long… What I’m trying to say is that one of my older recipe suddenly got a lot of attention, and the increased traffic put too much of a strain on the server, causing it to crash… repeatedly. I was on the phone with Bluehost (click here to see why I love them!) until about midnight on Wednesday night, and I thought I had everything sorted until the same thing happened on Thursday morning and I woke up to a flurry of texts, emails, and comments saying Spoons was having issues again. Eff.
So, picture me at 5 AM, disheveled, half-blind, and barely conscious, jumping out of bed and making the perilous journey to my computer in the dark — it’s a miracle I didn’t break my toes/nose on any furniture and/or door frames. I might have been a little more relaxed about it had it not been for Thinking Out Loud, but I felt super bad that people were having a hard time linking up and commenting (sorry again!!), so a mad dash it was.
One more phone date with Bluehost and countless frayed nerves later, and you’re hopefully reading this post (and actually able to comment on it!) without any issues. If not, then I’m probably still ripping out my hair (if I have any hair left) and wondering if it’s considered bad practice to start drinking at 1 PM on a Thursday afternoon… Needless to say, dealing with technology is not my forte, especially when I fix one issue only to have another one pop up as a result. Thankfully, I had these pumpkin granola bars to keep me sane.
How’s that for a seamless segue? And why does segue look completely different from the way it sounds in my head? Nevermind. The point is, these pumpkin granola bars were what kept me from going over the deep end while dealing with wonky plugins, updates, caches, and site optimization issues.
I wouldn’t say I’m an emotional eater, but I’m definitely a nervous snacker. That, in addition to twirling my hair (only on the left side), biting the inside of my cheek (on both sides), and constantly fidgeting to the point where I look like I’m having a seizure, help keep me calm when shiiiiiiitake mushrooms hit the proverbial fan. I think I remember reading somewhere that eating calms us down because our body figures that if we have an opportunity to eat, the threat to our lives must not be that severe (read: we’re not experiencing famine or getting chased by something that wants to make a meal out of us).
Whatever the case may be, it works — 3/4 of a pan of pumpkin granola bars and one functioning site later, and I’m happy as a clam… But I guess that’s to be expected when you’re enjoying a soft and chewy granola bar that’s loaded with oats, pumpkin, chocolate, and warming spices. These may just be my newest favourite snack for fall.
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Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 10 bars 1x
- 2 cups (160 g) rolled oats
- 2 tbsp (14 g) ground flax
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (120 g) canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup (64 g) creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup (80 g) brown rice syrup*
- 2 tbsp (25 g) coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (60 g) chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F (176C) and prepare an 8 x 8 (20 x 20 cm) baking pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flax, spices, and salt. Add the pumpkin, almond butter, brown rice syrup, sugar, and vanilla, mixing until fully combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the dough to your prepared baking pan and use a greased spatula or your hands to spread it evenly, pressing down firmly.
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for ~20 minutes before cutting into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
* You can also use honey if you don’t need these to be vegan.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
Keywords: chocolate chip pumpkin granola bar, gluten-free granola bar, pumpkin granola bar, soft and chewy granola bar
Looking for more healthy bar recipes? Try one of these!
Soft and Chewy Protein Granola Bars
Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars
Chocolate Covered Raspberry Oat Bars
These are cooling right now, and I tried a nibble – tasty! I’m trying to switch to making homemade granola bars this year, as the store kind are pricey/pretty high in sugar. I used dates and cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips, and 2 T of almond meal in place of the flax seed – that seems to have worked really well.
Do you think I could replace half of the honey with blackstrap molasses? And I don’t have flaxseed, so do you think it would work with wheat germ?
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
You could definitely replace the honey with molasses, Elaney, but since molasses has a pretty strong taste, it would alter the taste of the bars quite a bit. And it’s fine to leave the flaxseed out completely if you don’t have any.
I made these yesterday with the flaxseed and molasses, and while they’re delicious, they kind of crumbled apart after they were in bars. Do you think the molasse was the reason?
Theses are great!!! Just wondering, how many calories?
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Sorry Grace, I don’t calculate the nutritional info for my recipes — I just try to focus on using healthy ingredients. If you need to know specifics, you can enter the ingredients in a calculator like this one to figure them out — http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator
These are great! Just wondering how many calories?
I made these and they are OMG DELICIOUS. The ONLY problem with this recipe is that they are so good I could eat the whole batch all at once. They’re definitely healthier than store-bought granola bars, but that still doesn’t mean I should eat all of them at once. LOL
Finally made these this morning! So delicious and filling!
I doubled the recipe- now i can have snacks for the whole week.
They are in the oven as I type this 🙂 Nutrition count? Calories?
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Sorry Brittany, but I don’t calculate the nutritional value of my recipes — I just try to focus on using healthier ingredients. You can use a calculator like this one if you want to figure it out — http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator
Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats
I’m right there with ya on the techie stuff! So not fun… especially when your site is jacked up and you have NO idea what to do.
Luckily you can take solace in these granola bars, because holy cow amanda do they look amazing. Pinning to my pumpkin board. 🙂
These sound wonderful! I love chewy things so these are perfect! I am so glad I can eat whatever the heck I want now, time for the splurge!
Oh God. Technology Issues are the nightmare. THE NIGHTMARE. I seriously frak out when things don’t go right – and it has no rationality whatsoever. One might think I lost all my money or someone died measured by the way I react (biting skin, swearing, hit on the keyboard, yelling) , it is ridiculous, but yes, I can NOT deal with it. Glad everything is back and running smoothly! And I can totally relate that food saves nerves – and these look definitely like the best treat for a situation like this!!
I’m an anxious eater too, which is definitely different than being an emotional eater. I tend to throw trail mix into my pie hole like it’s going out of style or at least until I finished whatever project had me up in arms.
You have a way with bars my friend and not the boozy kind. These look great, even if they do contain pumpkin. 😉
Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
Yuck sorry about the site troubles girl! I’m totally lost when it comes to anything related to the tech side of blogging. The fact that I could even figure out how to verify my site on Pinterest is a miracle lol. I’m glad Spoons seems to be back up and running now!
Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
Yuck- so sorry you had to deal with all of those technology issues. I know the several times that my blog has been down or isn’t quite acting the way it should, it’s so stressful and frustrating. Glad all is in working order now! Love that you made a pumpkin granola bar. Perfect for the Fall snack attack!
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
Well I can comment! No problems here 🙂 I’m the same way with technology. I just can’t deal with it. Even the simplest of problems haha it drives me up a wall. I love what you said about “eating calms us down because our body figures that if we have an opportunity to eat, the threat to our lives must not be that severe.” I wonder if that’s really true…I mean it SOUNDS like it makes a lot of sense! It’s funny when you remember we’re really just animals haha. Also I was looking for something to bake tonight (big Saturday night woooo!) and this is it! Can’t wait 🙂 just gotta make sure I have enough pumpkin in stock….