Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars

Unlike Cami, I'm still in full on pumpkin mode. I'm not ready to give it up just yet! Maybe after Thanksgiving?

(Yeah, probably not...)

I'm a pumpkin kind of gal and pumpkin pie spice is hitting the spot for me lately. The last couple weeks, I've been watching my calories. My littlest lady is finally eating all on her own (FREEDOM!!!!) and I'm ready to shed the last 10-15 pounds that I've held onto with all my three children. By the way, if you're looking for a great way to track your calories and activity, try the "MyFitnessPal" app. It makes tracking so simple and easy it barely takes any time at all, which is just my style! You can also set your own goals so you know exactly how many calories you should be taking in each day, and the breakdown of carbs, protein and fat (and more, if you want it). It's made all the difference in my life! I'm awesome at working out, but not so great at passing on the sweets.

I've noticed as I've been watching my eating habits that I would run for the cupboards after putting my little lady down for nap. The boys were (mostly) quiet and it was a time I could crouch down in the kitchen and have a little "me" time. Apparently that consisted of drowning myself in chocolate and any other sweet imaginable. Then around 2:30-3:00 p.m., I would feel so tired (go figure!). That sugar was giving me an all-time low and that's usually when I'd reach for the caffeine, but since I've kicked that for over a month now, I was left to analyze how I could put better energy boosting foods in my body instead of sugar, sugar, sugar.

This is what I came up with... Pumpkin granola bars. They leave my sweet tooth feeling satisfied, but don't give me a sugar hangover. They are a great source of energy and tide me over until dinner time (and keep me out of the kitchen cupboards!). And as added bonus, my entire family gives these a two thumbs up!



Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars
10 SERVINGS 
PREP: 10 minutes           COOK: 30 minutes            READY IN: 40 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 60% cacao chips, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, applesauce, honey, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add in the oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until mixed together.
  4. Stir in cacao chips and almonds.
  5. Evenly press oat mixture into greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist so make sure they are golden, you don't want to under-bake them. 
  6. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into 10 even granola bars.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 granola bar    236 calories   8.8g fat   39.6g carbs    6.5g protein    17g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe inspired by Sally's Baking Addiction.

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