So because these have oatmeal in them and pumpkin (which it turns out is actually very good for you), these are kind of like healthy breakfast bars in my eyes. Yes... one a day keeps the doctor away or something to that regards is what I've been telling myself all this week while I scarf one down each morning. I actually really like the crumbly texture of these guys and paired with over sized dark chocolate chips that melt in your mouth make it all the better. This is my first go at making any kind of breakfast bar and I am so happy they turned out well. A little fun fact about these guys, they are gluten free! Due to co-workers with various dietary constraints (one of them being gluten), I've been finding myself searching the web for new kinds of recipes... gluten, dairy, or chocolate free... vegan friendly... the list combined could shock and amuse! So while a recipe like this one did seem a little intimidating at first, I am welcoming the challenge, not quite sure what I'll be getting each time. If you wanted to turn this one into a vegan friendly and/or dairy free recipe, just take out the chocolate chips or get dairy free ones... the possibilities are endless.
Ambitious Kitchen Recipe (which I altered), makes 12 bars (I cut mine pretty big!)
- 3 cups gluten free oats, steel cut
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie fill)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tbsp. for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom and the sides of a 8" x 11" baking pan with foil, leaving a bit of foil over the edge to help with removal later. Lightly spray foil with non-stick spray, set aside.
- Make flour by grinding down the oats in a blender or food processor until it starts to resemble flour. You may have to shake the blender a few times to ensure that all the oats have been blended and it's ok if it's not perfectly smooth, mine had a little texture.
- Whisk together in a medium bowl 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes or until the consistency is smooth an creamy. Slowly start adding in the oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and mix with a spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in baking pan before lifting by foil flaps and placing on a wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting into 12 bars... you can cut them smaller or bigger if you like.
- Serve with a tall glass of milk... enjoy!
Check out some other amazing pumpkin based recipes on the Pumpkin Series!
***Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving... both a day of relaxing and giving thanks!***