May 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

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I know what you are thinking.

Pumpkin is fall.  Fall is pumpkin.  Summer is smoothies.  Smoothies are summer.

Am I right?

I have a seasonal baking disorder.  I don't cook based on the traditional seasons.  Pumpkin is stocked all year round and I couldn't be happier. 

Oh, you are also thinking peanut butter and pumpkin do not go together. 

I'll let you in on a little secret; pumpkin is pretty blah by itself.  There really is nothing to it.  That's why you can mix it with things and be a-okay.

But this is special because not only does it have peanut butter and pumpkin, it has all those traditional spices associated with pumpkin and fall and Thanksgiving.

I told you, I have a seasonal baking disorder.

Anyway, this combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, peanut butter, pumpkin, honey, and oats is simply incredible.  I've made it no less than five times in the last month.  This was the first time I had made it into granola bars vs. regular granola (which is to die for, by the way, I eat it every morning for breakfast.  Every single morning.  It's that good.)  The first time I tried to make these as granola bars, they were too soft and crumbly.  They didn't stay together at all.  In order to remedy that problem, I used an oat flour, old fashioned oats combo instead of straight up oats.  It worked like a charm.

However, I am still so grateful for the season changes, despite pumpkin being predominately fall.  Some locations don't get the variety Kansas does.  My friends claim I like it because I get to change wardrobes (okay, that has some truth . . . but it is valid, right?) but taking out and folding/sorting all my winter clothes and then hanging up all my summer clothes is time consuming, albeit exciting (finding new outfits - fuu!) 

While I was cleaning out the closet, I found several notes from friends.  As I was re-reading them, I first noticed what encouraging friends I have, but secondly, that both were about auditions.  One was for a play, another was for piano, but both were about auditioning.  It made me think how my confidence in the auditioning was based on my level of preparation and confidence in myself.  And then I thought, how grateful I am I don't have to audition for God's grace.  If receiving God's grace was based on my skill at being good, I would be rejected.  No matter how much I prepared, words will fly out of my mouth that hurt other people.  No matter how much skill I have in pleasing people, there will be times someone is disappointed in me.  Thank goodness God was willing to accept me based on Jesus' sacrifice and not anything I can do! 

 Thank goodness good granola never goes out of season,too, or there would another side affect to my seasonal baking disorder. 

Just look at that - the perfect snack!  Making granola bars at home is so easy and much less expensive.  Not only that, with this recipe, there is no butter and no added sugar.  Yes, the perfect snack, even in 90 degree weather.


Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life.  Adapted from Averie Cooks

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, allspice, each (feel free to add any other spice you want.  I don't measure any more, just shake and taste until it is strong enough)
1/2 cup oat flour (I ground old fashioned oats in our food processor)
1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 300.  Lightly grease 9x9 pan.

Stir together coconut oil, pumpkin puree, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in large bowl.  Add spices and stir.  Add oat flour and oats and stir to coat.

Press into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  (Check periodically for browned edges.)

Let cool completely before cutting.  Store in airtight container.

Like oats and granola?  First check out the original recipe above, because it is a winner. 

Don't want pumpkin?  Try Peanut Butter Granola.  Only six ingredients and 30 minutes before you have granola ready to eat!

Larabars are fruitier versions of granola bars and these two are my go to for energy packed, no bake snacks.

Blueberry Larabars

Apple Raisin Larabars


  1. Yum, yum! What a great treat! I bet my girls would love these. I too suffer from the 'squash in March, ice cream in December' disorder...AND I rarely celebrate food holidays! Bad food blogger...:-)

    1. Ice cream in December - I'm with you all the way! I miss all the food holidays too! Oh well, these should make up for it;)

  2. Wow, I'm impressed--blogging while on vacation?? Also, I was cleaning out my desk, and found several encouraging notes from you. I was re-blessed, so thank you! I now have them in a notebook with page protectors, so I'll know where they are! ALSO, pumpkin can't go out of season. It's just too awesome. These look really good, and I really want to try them!

    1. Welllll, I did most of it before we left:)
      It is so much fun finding old cards - it's like they're new again! It's also fun to see specific things we were doing at the time. So encouraging! Oh, the seasonal baking disorder club has an opening ;)

  3. You're not early, you're just ahead of the times with the Fall. The posts will start before you know it! Me, I like pumpkin all year!

    1. Thats exactly what it is Dorothy! Why didn't I think if that? I'm going to try your pumpkin bran muffins for my next pumpkin project.

  4. Haha I have seasonal awareness disorder. I'm seasonally challenged, that's what I like to call it. ;) And these sound incredible. I happily eat pumpkin all year long!

  5. We eat pumpkin all year long. We love it! These sound yummy!

    1. Thanks Aimee! I guess I'm not alone, am I? :) I wish my family liked it as much as I did!


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