By the time this posts, I will have already had a pumpkin pantry bar for breakfast. (With some coffee that isn’t Starbucks because I have to break that habit.)
Pantry bars are my version of granola bars, a recipe I adapted from granola bar bites à la Witty in the City that I first pinned, I don’t know, 2 years ago?
So why do I call them pantry bars? Well, I discovered something magic: So long as you keep the ratio of oats:banana:usually applesauce (we’ll get to this in a moment) the same, you can pretty much get away with anything else you have in your pantry. In this case, I substituted canned pumpkin for applesauce because I don’t care how over pumpkin all of you are, I’m not.
So, let’s get this pumpkin party started:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Dash of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup crushed nuts*
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried coconut
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Peel your bananas, pop them in a mixer with your canned pumpkin, and start a-mixin’. Don’t have a mixer? I suppose you can mash them in a mixing bowl, but I’m just going to keep it real: I am literally in love with my Kitchenaid. Some people, before they have children, have pets; and they love them like children. I had a Kitchenaid. Like Charlie, she also has a family name: Gladys. Let me introduce you…
I still love you, Gladys.
Step 3: Add your spices, salt, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Mix until well combined, brown sugar has dissolved.
Step 4: Add the oats, combine, then add the rest of your ingredients. *For chopped nuts, the recipe usually calls for slivered almonds. However, I only had a 1/4 cup so I used another 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to complete the 1/2 cup. This was especially appropriate for pumpkin, keeping the flavor seasonal.
Step 5: Prepare a muffin tin with baking spray. Witty in the City suggests a mini muffin tin, but that’s just silliness. 1. I eat these for breakfast and a mini muffin just would not suffice. 2. There are chocolate chips involved which necessitates the largest portion size I can reasonably get away with.
Step 6: Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into a greased muffin tin circle. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the circle like so:
Step 7: Bake for ~20 minutes until the edges are browned, let sit for 5 minutes, finish cooling on a rack. (Repeat! I get a little more than 2 dozen.)
Another reason I love this recipe: Sounds strange, but they’re actually best cold. Witty in the City says the same thing. Once they’re cooled, I pop them all into a gallon size freezer bag and just grab one for breakfast on the go.
Now, go raid your pantry and get your pumpkin on.