September 28, 2015

Skinny Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

What's better than a sweet, hearty, chocolatey, pumpkiny little bar of love?

Nothing. I know, right?! Really, there's nothing better. I feel like I want morning to hurry up so it can be an appropriate time to eat these. 3am is considered "the morning," right? ;-)

As you all know by now, I use oats all the time. In fact, this recipe doesn't differ too much from my last post! However, these bars are great in that you can heat them up or eat them at room temp and they are easily transportable for those busy mornings.

What's even better is that each bar contains a scant 103 calories and 6g of sugar. Much better than any of those store bought breakfast bars. The old fashioned oats and whole wheat flour really help keep you feeling full until lunch time. And at 100 cals each, you can snack on a few of these without any guilt.

The pumpkin spice isn't overpowering and the chocolate balances out the oaty fall flavors beautifully. If you aren't a chocolate fan or prefer to have even less sugar, you can sub any kind of nuts or even chia seeds. Oh, and did I mention you only need to dirty one bowl?

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Happy fall, y'all!

Skinny Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Makes 16 small squares in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan
Adapted from Sally

2.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick oats)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour or gluten free)
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla, but regular is fine)
3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly spray 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
2. Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the vanilla, pumpkin, milk, egg, and maple syrup. Mix together until evenly combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips gently.
3. Pour the mixture into the pan, spread around evenly with spatula and bake for 20 minutes-30 minutes, or until baked through in the center.
4. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Bars stay fresh for up to 5 days in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

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