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 pumpkin cereal bars 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 ingredients do you need for pumpkin cereal bars?
To make these bars you'll need:
- Porridge oats - I use regular ones but you can get gluten free porridge oats too so it's easy to make this recipe gluten free.
- Dessicated coconut
- Pecan nuts - These can be replaced by walnuts.
- Chia seeds
- Milk Chocolate chips - Use vegan chocolate chips if you want them to be vegan friendly.
- Pumpkin puree - Use a jar or pumpkin puree or make your own by roasting slices of pumpkin and then blending it in a food processor.
- Agave nectar - You can replace this with honey (unless you want them to be vegan) or maple syrup
Are these pumpkin breakfast bars easy to make?
These pumpkin bars couldn't be easier to make. All you need to do it mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Grease and line a 20cm square loose bottomed tin. Press the cereal bar mixure into the tin. Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
What are these pumpkin cereal bars like?
These pumpkin cereal bars are soft and a little bit gooey inside.
They are a little sweet but not too sweet. I use milk chocolate chips as my family prefer milk chocolate but do bear in mind that it is sweeter than dark chocolate. If you use plain chocolate then you may need a little more of whatever sweetener you choose to use.
Although I only add 50g of desiccated coconut, the cereal bars have a lovely coconut flavour too. Another option would be to use coconut oil, which would make them even more coconutty and is definitely something I want to try soon!
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.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.
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 so they last longer then they freeze well too! They will keep well in the freezer for at least 3 months. Wrap them in baking paper so they don't stick together. That way it's easy to take out individual bars.
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.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
Here are just some of the recipes for healthy bars and cakes you can find on Searching for Spice:
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Places I'm sharing these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
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