They’re loaded with dried cranberries, pepitas, and pumpkin spice flavor! They’re crunchy, tasty, and perfect for fall.
It’s pumpkin recipe season! I’ve got you covered this year if you’ve been looking for canned pumpkin. 1) I have a recipe for homemade pumpkin puree. No canned pumpkin in today’s recipe to satisfy your pumpkin craving. Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin spice are the perfect fall snack.
Last time you checked your granola bar’s nutrition label? The ingredient list is long and half of them are sugar synonyms or unrecognizable! I’ve been on a mission to make healthier granola bars with whole-food ingredients and natural sweeteners. You may recall that I previously posted about apple granola bars, chocolate almond granola bars, and now these pumpkin spice granola bars. They’ll be a fan favorite.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
- Rolled oats in the traditional manner.
- Brown rice crisp cereal – similar to Rice Krispies, but made with brown rice for a healthier alternative. There are several brands of brown rice crisps available in the organic/natural section of most supermarkets. Consider the following brands: Barbara’s, One Degree, and Nature’s Path.
- Pumpkin pie spice – While most major grocery stores sell pumpkin pie spice, the ingredients to make your own are likely already in your pantry! Here is a simple recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice.
- coconut oil
- Cranberries, dried
- sea salt
Making Homemade Granola Bars
Preparation pan – Prepare a square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. I prefer to use large binder clips to secure the parchment in place.
Combine all of the dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cereal, 1/8 cup dried cranberries, and 1 tablespoon pepitas.
To make a healthy syrup, combine the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat after 30 seconds and stir in the vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Cook the mixture until it begins to bubble! This reduces the mixture and aids in the formation of the bars. Allow 30 seconds to 1 minute for the mixture to cool.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients – Pour the honey mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Press mixture – Pour the mixture into the prepared pan lined with parchment paper and press lightly to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients. Sprinkle the remaining dried cranberries and pepitas on top and firmly press them with your hands. You’ll want to press the mixture down firmly to ensure that the bars stay together. I like to place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the mixture to prevent my hands from becoming excessively sticky.
Refrigerate – After pressing the bars completely, place the pan in the refrigerator for two hours to allow them to set. Remove the bars from the pan once they are solid or hard to the touch, place them on a cutting board, and slice them into ten bars.
Granola Bars: How to Store Them
Refrigerate these bars to ensure they stay together! They will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. If you want to keep them longer, wrap them individually and freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Notes & Substitutions
Are you curious about possible ingredient substitutions? Several come to mind:
- Brown rice crisp cereal – this adds crunch and gives the bars the flavor of store-bought granola bars. If you are unable to locate brown rice crisp cereal, you may substitute regular Rice Krispies or 1 cup oats for the cereal.
- Various sweeteners – I haven’t tried the bars with other sweeteners, but I’m guessing agave, coconut nectar, or brown rice syrup would work well. I believe Maple syrup would be too runny and would not bind the bars and the other options. Kindly notify me in the comment section if you experiment with a different sweetener.
- Different dried fruit – While I prefer the dried cranberries and pumpkin flavor combination, you can certainly vary the dried fruit you use.