It’s the middle of October which means it’s pumpkin season and everyone has gone bananas about Pumpkins! How can you not, pumpkins are delicious! In the spirit of fall, I made these cinnamon pumpkin oat energy bars (with lots of pumpkin)!
These pumpkin oat energy bars are so easy, nutty and flavoursome! I love having them for breakfast before going to work, they really give you the energy you need in the morning! Besides the pumpkin you don’t need many other ingredients, just some oats, seeds, spices and some natural sweetener to give it a bit of extra flavour. With homemade energy bars, you don’t have to worry about bad ingredients like refined oils and sugar, which you would normally find in store-bought bars.
You will not believe how simple these are to make. Of course if you want to make them really tasty, it will be best if you buy a good sweet pumpkin and make the puree yourself instead of buying canned. Now that pumpkins are in season, you really would be missing a lot if you buy canned puree. This might increase the cooking time a bit but it is so worth it!
Go to your local fruits and vegetable shop/market and look for a smaller pumpkin. Generally the smaller pumpkins are considered sweeter. There are many pumpkin varieties although not all of them are widely available. I have tried to find some advice online about which types of pumpkins are the sweetest but there are many different suggestions.
Although the orange “Halloween” pumpkins look very attractive and festive they are not actually the sweetest, especially the larger ones. Butternut squash is more likely to be sweeter and is also okay to use for this recipe. The one I buy from my local shop is called (according to Google) Queensland Blue Pumpkin and I absolutely love it. It’s full of flavour and is so sweet that I can just eat it on it’s own without honey or any additional sweeteners. I think you can find them in many other shops in the UK, their skin is not orange but rather grey.
Another way of having one of those bars is with yogurt. In a bowl I crumble one of the bars and then add some yogurt, it turns into something like pumpkin granola and it’s delicious! However you decide to to eat those pumkin oat energy bars, I am sure you will love them!
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 4 - 5 tbsp honey or maple syrup (depending on how sweet your pumpkin is)
- Preheat oven to 175 ºC (350 ºF).
- In a large mixing bowl add the pumpkin puree, followed by the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix them all well.
- Add the oats and seeds and continue to stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Transfer the dough to a gently greased rectangular baking dish. Press the mixture with your hands so that it is flat and evenly distributed.
- Optional: Sprinkle a bit more pumpkin seeds on top and gently press so that they stick into the mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes and then leave it to cool.
- Once it reaches room temperature and it's chilled, cut it into bars (about 4cm/1.5 inch wide).
The size of the baking dish used in this recipe is 12×8 inch (30×20 cm) and it makes exactly 15 bars when the mixture is evenly distributed.