Vegan Pumpkin Oat Bars

With autumn just around the corner, I am finding myself unearthing every excuse in the book for baking with pumpkin.  One of my favorite flavors and tacked tightly to the long list of reasons why autumn is my favorite season.

These pumpkin bars are just the ticket for an ideal fall snack or dessert.  Gluten free, easy to make (I threw the “batter” together in roughly 5 minutes, then popped it in the oven and viola, done), low in calories and much healthier than a usual pumpkin bar dessert item.

Lightly sweet, filling, oaty, with just a bit of chocolate thrown in (optional of course, as if you aren’t a chocolate lover, they would be just as great without chocolate chips)

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3 cups of gluten free oats

1/2 cup of coconut sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ginger

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

2-4 tablespoons of chia seeds (optional)

1.5 cup of canned pumpkin

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Chocolate chips (dairy free)

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (essentially, all the dry ingredients) in a medium to large sized bowl.  Mix with a spoon to distribute everything together.
  2. Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, olive oil and chocolate chips.  Stir well, until the canned pumpkin evenly coats and has covered all the oats and entire dry ingredient mixture.  If, after mixing well, it seems a bit dry and you sense a lot of the oats haven’t be covered in pumpkin, add in a few more spoonful’s of the canned pumpkin.
  3. Once ready to go, spoon the finished “batter” into a lightly greased 8×8 square baking dish (or 9×9).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, just until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan.  Then cut into squares and serve warm.

Extra bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

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