Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Bars
Need a late afternoon snack with an energy kick, or want to pack a protein filled delicious, yet healthy snack in your kids' school lunch box? These protein rich bars will be loved by kids of all ages.
- Coconut oil or cooking spray
- 3 cups whole grain oats
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup canned (or even better, tetra packed) organic pumpkin
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup organic unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (60-70% cocoa)
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9-in or 9-in round, nonstick baking pan very lightly with coconut oil.
- Place oats into a blender or food processor, and pulse 7 or 8 times, so that the oats are broken down, but still identifiable.
- Add flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom; pulse several times to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and applesauce until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the oat mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fold in most of the chocolate chips and all of the pumpkin seeds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle reserved chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut in to squares.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze.