Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pumpkin-Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Every year I look forward to the official launch of fall: when Starbucks starts selling their pumpkin spice lattes. That's how everyone marks their calendars, right? My kitchen saw all things pumpkin this past November: pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter, pumpkin simple syrup, and these bad boys (shown above). 

If you happen to have any leftover pumpkin puree (/if you are so lucky), I recommend whipping up a batch of these delicious pumpkin bars. They're just sweet enough with barely any added sugar and are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or a healthy snack to take to work or class. 
Yield 6 
2 cups rolled oats 
¾ cup pureed pumpkin 
½ cup apple sauce 
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped 
1 tbsp honey 
3 tsp Stevia brown sugar blend or 
1 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together pumpkin, apple sauce, honey, 2 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix together oats and cranberries. Pour wet ingredients over oats and mix thoroughly, making sure all oats are covered.
Line a 9x9 cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray (paper should be long enough to go up sides of pan to make it easier to life bars out). Spoon oats into cake pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining teaspoon of brown sugar blend on top.
Bake for 15 minutes. Lift out oats using sides of parchment paper and transfer to cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into 6 bars.

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