You won't find many cereal bars healthier than these nutty chocolate chip pumpkin cereal bars. Packed with oats, pumpkin, coconut and healthy chia seeds, this is a snack you won't feel guilty about eating!
Make these bars with leftover pumpkin!
I made these vegan pumpkin cereal bars with one of the pumpkins we got before Halloween. For the first time ever, I made a real effort to use up all the pumpkin and none of it went to waste!
I was so busy cooking up my pumpkin though, that I didn't have time to post the recipe. And the problem with creating a recipe with pumpkin at this time of year in the UK is that is can be difficult to buy pumpkins once Halloween is over. Don't worry though, these snack bars are just as good with butternut squash or any other similar orange squash.
A great hidden vegetable snack!
If you're looking for a traditional sticky sweet flapjack type of bar, then I'm afraid that these are not what you're after. If however, you're trying to cut down on sugar and even hide some healthy vegetables inside a snack bar that your children might just like, then these are exactly what you're looking for. I have to say, Little Miss Spice loved these and there is no way I can get her to eat pumpkin unless it's hidden inside a cereal bar or one of these pumpkin and apple muffins.
What are these pumpkin cereal bars like?
These pumpkin cereal bars are soft and a little bit gooey inside. They're sweetened with agave nectar but you could use honey or maple syrup as an alternative. I just really like agave nectar as it doesn't crysalise in the jar like honey tends to do if you don't use it quickly enough. Of course, if you use honey then they won't be vegan either.
I added milk chocolate chips as we prefer milk chocolate and they also add extra sweetness. The breakfast bars themselves are not very sweet and if you use plain chocolate then you may need a little more of whatever sweetener you choose to use.
Although I only used 50g of desiccated coconut, the cereal bars had a lovely coconut flavour. If I'd used coconut oil, it would have made them even more coconutty, which is definitely something I want to try next time!
Could you adapt these pumpkin Cereal bars?
These cereal bars are very easy to adapt to suit your tastes. You can swap in other nuts or seeds instead of the pecans. You could also swap the agave nectar for honey or maple syrup.
If you can't get a pumpkin then a butternut squash will work just as well. I used homemade pumpkin puree made by roasting then pureeing a pumpkin. You could do exactly the same with a squash. Just make sure there aren't any blackened bits on it before you blend it.
You can buy canned pumpkin puree and of course feel free to use that as a substitute. Just bear in mind that sometimes it can be sweetened so if you use a tin, try to get an unsweetened one. Otherwise the pumpkin bars will be a lot sweeter and of course not quite so healthy!
If you want to make these a little bit more chocolaty, why not drizzle chocolate over the top as well. Of course, they would also be a little more decadent!
How long do these pumpkin bars last?
These healthy pumpkin cereal bars will keep really well for about 3 days. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool place.
Can you freeze these pumpkin cereal bars?
If you do have too many pumpkin breakfast bars and want to make them last longer then they freeze well too! They will keep well in the freezer for at least 3 months.
Pumpkin Cereal Bars
- 200 g porridge oats
- 50 g dessicated coconut
- 40 g pecan nuts roughly chopped
- 30 g chia seeds
- 70 g chocolate chips Use vegan chocolate chips if you want them to be vegan friendly
- 275 g pumpkin puree
- 35 g oil
- 70 g agave nectar
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
- Line the bottom and grease a square baking tin.
- Press the oat mixture down into the tin.
- Bake in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes.
- Leave in the tin to cool then cut into squares.
- They keep for about 3 days.
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