Mornings are not my thing. I wake up at the last possible second (or later) and grab a granola bar to munch on while I fix a cup of coffee. But, man, can granola bars get expensive! They’re surprisingly simple to make at home, and easily customizable to boot. Plus, you create less waste without the wrappers.
This version brings together the autumnal flavors of pumpkin seeds and cinnamon with oats, rice cereal, honey and chocolate. And, you can make them gluten-free if you pay attention to your ingredients! If yours wind up falling apart (my first batch did — I didn’t press the mixture into the pan firmly enough), you can but the chunks in a bowl and eat them with yogurt. No matter how you do it, if you’re a granola bar fan like me, these Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars will make your mornings a thousand watts brighter. // susannah
Click below for the Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars!
These chewy granola bars are ripe with the flavors of autumn.
Adapted from Once Upon A Chef
- 2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
- 1¾ cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed (flax meal) or wheat germ
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (or to taste)
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray gently with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed or wheat germ.
- In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla and salt, then stir in the oat mixture until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds and press down firmly into the bars with the spatula. With the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, press down firmly to pack in the mixture, or the bars will be crumbly. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to cool.
- Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut into 2 x 6 inch bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with parchment paper or foil in between layers.
To make these bars gluten-free, use gluten-free crispy rice cereal and use the flax meal, not the wheat germ.