Pumpkin / Chia / Flax / Oat Bars

This morning, on my daily walk, I noticed that the wrath of last night's rainstorm caused the trees to shed most of their summer skin off and onto the streets. There's even a small trace of the ones I somehow managed to track into the entryway of my home. This may have a slight bit to do with my childlike temptation to kick my feet through large piles of red, orange, and yellow; more so, my lack of self-control over such playful urges.
I feel as though I've written before about fall and the way it makes me want to do nothing more than frolic though the woods, so instead, let's talk about the bars that fuel me up enough to do so.

This is a recipe that took a few drastic adjustments and careful testing to polish off. At the start of this month, I purchased a box of soft pumpkin bars from Trader Joe's, who's texture and flavor was left lingering in my brain for about a week before I decided to come up with my own pumpkin bar. I wanted my version of the bar to be more wholesome, something that could fill me up for breakfast on a rush-out-of-the-house kind of weekday. Therefore, I came up with a protein/omega-3 packed pumpkin bar with chia, flax, oats, nut butter, and enough warm spices to comfort you on a chilly October morning. 

Pumpkin / Chia / Flax / Oat Bars
Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients:
-2 chia eggs (2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 tablespoons h20)
-2 cups rolled oats
-1/4  cup flax seeds
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup nut butter (almond/peanut)
-1/3 cup maple syrup
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease an 8" x 8" pan with oil or pan spray. 
  2. Make the chia eggs by stirring the chia seeds and water together with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes to gelatinize. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flax seeds, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and baking soda. 
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, almond milk, nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the chia egg. 
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry oat mixture and stir until fully combined. Transfer to the greased loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is set. Let cool completely before slicing into 1" bars. Enjoy drizzled with maple or honey in the early a.m. with a cup of coffee before taking care of the day's tasks. 
*store in an airtight container for up to five days or refrigerated for one week. 

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall