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Pumpkin Granola Bars are sweetened with maple syrup and bursting with oats, nuts, dried cranberries, and the warmth of pumpkin pie spice. Make a batch of these chewy bars for a delicious healthy snack that you can pack in a lunchbox for work or school, or take along for an afternoon at the park or on a hike. Or grab one for breakfast on the go. Plus, they are gluten free and vegan.
Originally published on Nov 11, 2012
See that date up there. Yes, this recipe is from way back in 2012. I was scrolling back through some of my old posts and realized I needed to make these again. Part of that was because I couldn’t stand looking at the terrible photos.
But mainly it’s because I was craving the warm aromas of pumpkin and cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg wafting through my kitchen. Because when fall is your favorite season but it’s late September or early October and still ninety degrees, you’ll do anything you can to convince yourself that cooler temperatures and crisp afternoons are on the way.
And, you know, I have two little human garbage disposals so I always need plenty of snacks around. And I’d much rather have them munching on snack bars where I know all of the ingredients than some of those bars you get at the grocery store.
The simple list of ingredients, incredible flavors, and not too much sugar make these something I want to keep on hand all the time.
And keep my house smelling like pumpkin spice all the time. OK, time to throw another batch in the oven…
Pumpkin Granola Bars
Not too sweet, slightly spiced, and filled to the brim with chewy cranberries, crunchy nuts, the rich flavor of maple syrup, and let’s not forget the warmth of pumpkin pie spice, this isn’t just your basic pumpkin granola bar recipe.
What is in Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars?
- Old-fashioned oats
- Ground flaxseed
- Pumpkin pie spice – you can also use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves if you don’t have a jar of pumpkin spice on hand.
- Pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped walnuts or pecans – if you need a nut-free option, try pumpkin seeds or pepitas
How do you get granola bars to stick together?
First, you toss together the dry ingredients. Then stir together the wet ingredients. The combination of the moisture from the pumpkin puree and the stickiness from the maple syrup and brown sugar being absorbed by the oats and flaxseeds helps the mixture to stick together.
Besides the recipe itself, it is important to press the mixture firmly into the pan before baking. Be sure to bake until firm, and do not remove from the pan or cut the bars until it has cooled completely.
These are a softer and chewier granola bar, as opposed to a hard or crunchy one. So while they will not fall apart, you can break them in half easily if you would like to eat small pieces or share.
Wrapping them individually in plastic wrap will help keep them together if you are transporting them to work or school or bringing them along on a hike.
Are pumpkin granola bars gluten free?
As long as you are using certified gluten free oats, then this granola bar recipe is gluten free. As always, you should read the labels of your ingredients and evaluate them based on your particular needs. Occasionally packages of flaxseed are processed in facilities where there is a risk of cross-contamination. And sometimes spice blends have fillers that contain gluten. This is not usually the case with pumpkin pie spice, but if you are concerned, you can always use the individual spices listed in the recipe.
Are these granola bars vegan?
Yes, since they are sweetened with maple syrup and honey, and don’t contain eggs, they are also vegan without needing any substitutions.
Need a nut-free option? You can always swap the walnuts or pecans for pumpkin seeds to still get that bit of crunchy texture.
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You might also like these pumpkin recipes:
- Mini Pumpkin Pies (crustless)
- No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Coffee Pumpkin Overnight Oats (like a PSL)
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake Roll
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
Here are some more healthy gluten free snack recipes:
- Trail Mix Nut-Free Granola Bars
- Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins (here is the Whole Wheat Carrot Zucchini Muffin recipe too!)
- No-Bake Apricot Energy Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Banana Granola Healthy Snacks
Pumpkin Granola Bars Recipe
With flavors of real pumpkin and maple syrup and aromas of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, you’ll love snacking on these, whether you take them to school, work, or on an afternoon hike. The fiber and whole grains from the oats will keep you satisfied, and you’ll love the textures of the chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts or pecans. Be sure to add these healthy granola bars to your weekend baking plans!
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!
Pumpkin Granola Bars
- 3 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats *See Note
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or a mixture
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Coat an 8x8 in. baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss together the first 7 ingredients (oats through salt)
- In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the oats mixture, and stir until evenly coated and the oats are moistened.
- Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
- Press the mixture firmly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, and firm.
- Cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes, cut into bars, and remove from pan to finish cooling completely.