Posted by: karascrumbs | February 16, 2012

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars

This is a busy week for me.  Tuesday I went to see an allergist (more details will come when I have more time, but tonight I have homework.  I know, the first day of classes and I have a presentation and two page paper to do; and I’m not too happy).  Then on Wednesday I had orientation for my classes that started  today and tomorrow.  Since my classes are morning classes, I decided I wanted to make something that I could take with me for breakfast so I don’t have to eat at 6am before I leave.  I wanted something with protein and fiber and that could be individually portioned and frozen (for easy grab and go).  So the other day I made and froze a batch of these bars.  It made a great breakfast this morning: easy, fast, portable.

I had seen a recipe that used applesauce, bananas, and dates as the ‘glue’ to hold the ‘granola’ bar together.  I thought the recipe sounded good, but I can’t have applesauce or bananas and I didn’t want all the sugar from the dates.  So I put the recipe aside, but was inspired to create my own bar using pumpkin as the binder.  Boy was it a good idea; these bars are very yummy.  I had a hard time deciding what all I wanted in my bar.  Since it was intended for breakfast, I wanted something healthy and not overly sweet.  Well, pumpkin needs to be sweetened, but the bars did not end up overly sweet.  Some of the sweetness comes naturally from the ingredients.

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup flour (I used pumpkin seed protein powder)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/32 tsp. stevia powder
1 flax egg
optional: chopped dried fruit (I used one chopped prune on half)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line an 8×8 pan with foil and grease the foil.  Mix 1 T. flax meal with 3 T. water and set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; adding the flax egg last.  Spread into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 min, until the middle is firm.  Once cooled, using the foil lift the bars out of the pan.  Slice and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze.

    

I cut my pan into 9 bars.   Eating just one for breakfast today was enough to keep me satisfied until lunch.  I thoroughly enjoyed the bar and will definitely have to make more soon so I have more for breakfasts.  I enjoyed the chopped prune that I put on half, but am glad that I did leave some of the bars without a prune.  I ate the bar cold this morning since I had no microwave, but I imagine they would also be good warmed up a bit.

Well, I better get back to my paper.  I still have one page to go and a poster to make.  UGH, the realities of school.  But I enjoyed both of my classes today.  🙂

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