Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Date & Nut Power Bars

Do you love granola bars?  Yeah me too! 

I usually have purses and drawers stuffed with various Larabars and Clif Bars to subdue my angry stomach when it starts to grumble.  The only problem is that these delicious healthy treats can run you anywhere from $1 to $3 a bar!  That adds up if you eat them for breakfast or post work out snacks like I do.  

So in true blogger fashion, I took to the interwebs in search of a yummy, healthy and cheap homemade version to whip up.  As always, I took 2 recipes I liked and adapted them into one recipe to accomodate the items I had on hand.  

I cannot stress enough, recipes are an outline to cooking.  Unless you are baking feel free to stray from a recipe and make it your own (even baking you can tweek a bit but its a bit trickier)  They are not written in stone!

This experiment below was a success in my mind!  Still not the perfect granola bar, but for the cost, ease of making, taste and # of filling bars it made I will definitely be making these fall treats again!

3 mini squares and a hot cup of java is the perfect quick breakfast on the run!

Bad picture of bar, but I love this shot of my at home manicure :) I did it all by myself!

The first recipe I adapted was from for Oatmeal Pumpkin Cranberry Bars and the second was from for Vegan Cereal Breakfast Bars

Basically I wanted something that included oats (for bulk), pumpkin (for fall taste), dates (had them on hand and LOVE them in Larabars) and cashews (for protein and crunch factor). This was easy peasy to make!  I love the idea of dehydrating and slowly cooking bars to make them crunchy but to be honest, I don't have 5 hours to slowly cook a snack!

Mix all your ingredients in one bowl, spread out onto a greased pan and bake.  Can you get any easier than that?  I think not!

Giant jar of oats! You can never have enough oats!
Blueberry Flax seed adds flavor and nutrients to the bar

kind of looks like cat food... but trust me!

Spread it out and try to make it as even and rectangular as possible.

These came out great!  They are missing a bit of the crunch factor I was looking for.  Perhaps more nuts next time.  I ended up cutting these into small squares (about 2in squared) and divided them about 3 pieces per ziplock bag.  I stored them in the fridge and they have been the perfect "on the go' snack and breakfast for me this week!

I hope you try these or your version!  If you make your own, please send me your recipe and photos.  I would love to share with everyone!

Pumpkin Oat Power Bars:
1 15oz can pumpkin
3 cups of oatmeal (quick cooking)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used cashews, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds)
1/4 applesauce (i used one travel cup of organic applesauce)
2 Tbls flax seed ( I used Trader Joe's Blueberry Flax Seed)
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup Trader Joes Pomegranate Seeds (sweetened crunchy snack)
1/2 cup Agave syrup (instead of maple syrup)
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.  Spread out onto a greased baking sheet into an even layer.

Bake @ 350* Fahrenheit for aprox 20 mins.  Let cool and slice into desired size squares/bars.