I recently discovered the cooking/baking blog, Two Peas in their Pod. It is a blog by a cute married couple who both enjoy cooking. What a wonderful thing. Paul and I used to cook together when we had our huge kitchen at our first apartment. Ironically, now that we live in a house we have a microscopic kitchen! It is a romantic thing to do, cook dinner together and drink some wine….. sigh. Anyway, the first recipe I tried from their site was Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad. It was really tasty, craisins, spinach, roasted butternut squash,… can’t go wrong! I never got around to taking a picture of it unfortunately, so I didn’t get to post about it, but I wanted to give it a shout out! I highly suggest making it.

I went back to their site the other day and came across this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars. I love homemade granola and I love pumpkin, so these were calling my name! I love having something easy to eat in the morning for my initial wake up with the baby, which nowadays is around 6am. I actually eat two breakfasts most days! Something small when I first wake up like a muffin, banana, or one of these granola bars, and then around 10am I actually cook something. This week I have been big on making cheese-less omelets with chopped red onion and roma tomatoes and a piece of multi-grain toast. So good, I don’t even miss the cheese!

I just realized I am talking about a lot of other food in this post, so back to the granola bars! These are SO good, especially if you are a freak for fall flavors, like me. I made them at night, and the next day they tasted even better, I could taste the pumpkin and spices much more. Like most homemade confections,  homemade granola bars are infinitely better than their store bought counterparts. No preservatives, no random weird ingredients, and of course they taste so much better! I will definitely be making these again!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars adapted from Two Peas in their Pod, original recipe here

Ingredients

3 ¼ cups old fashioned oats
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
½  teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. I used 9×9 and it worked just fine. No matter how many pans I have, I never seem to have the right size for recipes!

In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and mix well, coating all of the oats. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. I kept mine in for 45/50 minutes for fear of having mushy falling apart bars! They turned out nice and chewy! Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Makes 10-12 granola bars.

I warn you, they are addicting!

Thank you for the great recipe, Two Peas in their Pod!

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