This is another manifestation of my pumpkin obsession.  You know how pumpkin flavored anything is delicious, and everything is better with chocolate?  Well pumpkin + chocolate is like heaven.  It can perk up even the kind of day where you are running late and then lock all of your keys (including the car keys) in the house. I might know this from experience.

I made it into bars, but it would be really good as regular, chunky granola too.  It will also take less time to bake if you make it into chunky granola, but cut back the pumpkin to ½ cup.  The bars come out chewy, which is how I like them.

Now that it’s back to school and real life, I know it is a challenge sometimes to find easy, portable breakfast foods that are also healthy.  This granola is here for you on that front.  It would even be a blast to make with the kids!! Just measure out the ingredients for them and let them mix it all up in a bowl and use clean hands to press into the baking dish!! They will enjoy them two fold!!

Health highlights of walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.  They have been shown to improve cardiovascular healthy, and are a good source of minerals, plant sterols, and antioxidants.  The minerals found in walnuts enhance the antioxidant activity, and the plant sterols have been shown to have a positive affect on cholesterol.  Omega-3’s are also great for your brain, helping improve brain function and even memory (walnuts look a little like brains and are good for the brains!!).  This makes them a wonderful way to start your day, especially for kids heading off to school!

Pumpkin Granola Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup Walnuts
  • ¼ cup Cranberries
  • ¼ cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the pumpkin, maple, cinnamon, nutmeg
  2. Add the oats, walnuts, cranberries, and chocolate
  3. Mix well and tip the whole lot into a greased 9×9 pan
  4. Use the spatula to press down the granola into the pan
  5. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes
  6. Allow to cool then cut into bars
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

What is your favorite breakfast on the go?

 

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