As many of you probably already know, I love anything and everything to do with fall. In high school, I was cited as saying that one of my favorite childhood memories was going to the pumpkin patch to search for the biggest pumpkins. I was made fun of. And my sister, of course, didn’t even remember this most precious occasion. Pumpkins are so great. I just don’t understand how they could be forgotten!
One of the best things about fall is that I can cook with pumpkin without feeling weird. (Obviously, I cook with pumpkin and squash basically all year ’round, but I feel weird when I do it in the middle of summer). My most recent foray into cooking with pumpkin: Homemade Pumpkin Pie Nutrigrain bars.
I have to wonder why Nutrigrain does not already have a pumpkin pie bar. You would think, with how popular Pumpkin Spice is with every other brand (kisses, m&ms, starbucks, etc. etc.) that they would jump on the bandwagon. But, alas, they have not – so I decided to do the dirty work for them.
These cereal bars make the perfect on-the-go breakfast; they contain no saturated fats or processed sugars, and with the oats and pumpkin they can stave off the hunger grumbles until lunch. Make them now!
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Nutrigrain Bars
1 cup finely processed oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
4 tbsp agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp peanut or other nut butter
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
a drop of vanilla or caramel extract
1. Make filling first: Combine all ingredients except the extract into a pan. Heat on medium high until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add extract. Let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Now for the dough: Combine processed oats, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, agave nectar, olive oil, peanut butter, and milk. Whisk until ingredients are well-incorporated. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir together. This will form a rather crumbly ball of dough. If need be, add water a teaspoon at a time to make it more manageable for rolling out.
3. Lay out parchment paper and roll out the dough. Use flour to prevent sticking. Dough should be 1/4 of an inch or so thick. Trim edges so you are working with a rectangle. Roll out trimmings to use as well.
4. Spoon cooled filling onto the half the length of dough. Depending on how fruity you like your bars, add 3 to 5 tablespoons and spread evenly, leaving a little bit of room on the edges. Fold other side of dough over the filling and press down lightly. With a sharp knife, cut into rectangles. Top with oats and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Enjoy!