Granola bar day today. The verdict on last week’s bars was a little divided. Adriano thought they were too hard and gave him a belly ache. Dario just grunted. You’d think after 21 years, I would be able to interpret his grunts but I guess a chap has to keep a little mystery. The bars agreed with me – no belly ache – but I have to scratch them from all future menus for the sake of my husband’s stomach.
Today I was determined to add plenty of moisture along with the goodness. Somewhere I saw that a recipe used pumpkin puree along with apple sauce as the liquid and I used that base. I added all the nuts, seeds and dried fruit to make a true granola bar and threw in some healthy wheatgerm for good measure. This was a triumph, even if I do say so myself. They are moist and delicious. No salt or fat either. That has to be good. I am looking forward to morning teas this week. I don’t know how to top this recipe.
Recipe: Pumpkin, Almond, Chocolate Granola Bars
- 5 cups old fashioned oats (for gluten-free check on the packet it hasn’t been prepared with equipment which makes products containing gluten)
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup almond slivers
- ½ cup wheatgerm (leave out for gluten-free bars)
- 1 cup dried fruit (I used apricots and cranberries)
- ½ cup toasted seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (I boiled a pumpkin, skinned it and pureed it in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter a 10” by 10” baking pan and line with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix oats, spices, dried fruit, almonds, seeds, choc chips, wheatgerm, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist.
- Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into bars.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 16